Thursday, December 05, 2013

How long would you wait to get 2nd opinion?


I watched a show called Mystery Diagnosis the other night. Of course, this is not like reading a medical history or chart, but it is interesting in that in almost all the cases depicted, it takes ages--years even, sometimes decades--for some doctor or patient/parent-doc combo to come up with a diagnosis.

In this one, a young girl of about 8 was crazy-thirsty all the time--she drank gallons a day, her teachers were sick of her asking to go to the wash room, etc. She hid the water bottles from her parents. She wet the bed. They kept taking her to the pediatrician--they tested for diabetes--nope--OK, go home.

This went on for years.

Then she got a horrible headache--another specialist (finally) and of course, tons of imaging. This doctor had an inkling--it was a rare brain tumor made up of germ cells that should have dispersed in the womb--it was pressing on her pituitary gland and that region and causing the thirst. They did a biopsy and finally chemo and radiation. She will have to take drugs for life--but she is functional--even philosophical about it.

Now--if my kid drank a couple of gallons of water a day, I think I would doctor-shop more. I hope I would.

I know I would put the weird symptoms in a search engine and see if somewhere this computed.

Don't be afraid of offending your doctor--it's your body--get it fixed if you can!

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