Thursday, January 08, 2009

Speak up at the doctor's

…They call it doorknob stuff—the things you save up for the doc until her or she is putting a hand on the doorknob to leave—approximately 20 mins, if you’re lucky, after entering “the little room.”

…Examples. “Oh, I meant to mention—I think I saw some blood in the toilet the other morning.”

…”When I was walking the dog, I got this funny squeezy feeling in my chest.”

…The top things people are embarrassed to mention are: mental illness, STD symptoms, sexual orientation issues, sexual dysfunction, bowel or bladder changes, obesity, diabetes, domestic violence, memory loss, and substance abuse.

…Some people even feel that if they are not healthy, they are doing something wrong.

…That in itself is wrong. People get sick. Yes, lifestyle can keep us on an even keel somewhat, but things can go wrong.

…Tell the doctor about all medications—from other doctors, from the health food store.

…Answer lifestyle questions accurately. If you drink three drinks everyday, say so. If you are still taking those pain pills from your operation a year ago, mention it.

…Don’t conceal symptoms. For instance—don’t cover up instances where you lost time, say, because of a seizure, thinking your license may be taken away. The doctor needs to know this.

…Don’t shy away from mental illness symptoms, especially.

…If you wonder whether to bring something up—this means you should!

…Docs have heard it all. They hardly ever groan or barf.

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