Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Trust Me...

Doctors mess up.

They're not gods. They're not infallible. They're not perfect.

They're just people.

Yes, they do a great, almost miraculous, job most of the time. And we are incredibly grateful for them and appreciate those who go above and beyond. But it's that rare occasion where they screw up that you have to be on guard for...you can't just blindly trust in anything or anyone. Because it does happen.

I don't like saying this. Doctors have saved my children's lives. They pieced me back together after I broke my back. I've put all my faith in several, and will continue to, but we've been let down as well. Badly. By "top" physicians. By the "best in their field" doctors.

So it makes me cringe when someone tells me a doctor has told them something and they've just accepted it. A doctor they don't know everything they possible can about...on a diagnosis or treatment or opinion that they don't follow up on or research...that they don't get a second, third, or even fiftieth opinion on when their gut is telling them otherwise. And this happens a lot--people just accepting what one doctor tells them.

They hand over all their control, all their power, and just react and accept.

And I want to scream, Noooooo!!!!

I know I sound righteous here. I know I sound like I'm perched on a soapbox and I'm ranting (because, um, I am), and really, I'll fully admit I'm trying to cut back on both processed sugar and caffeine products as it's getting a bit out of control--my obsessions--so perhaps this wasn't the best time to post on this subject.

But it happened to us. More than once. The most devastating was when BBB was misdiagnosed, and damage was done. Irreparable damage.   Had I questioned...oh, hell, had I even asked for the reports...it wouldn't have happened. I was young and stupid and scared, and I didn't, and I learned the hard way at the expense of my children's health.

I'll never make that mistake again, though. Every medical test, every written note--everything I see and question. And our doctors are beyond cool with it, because they rock, and they understand and respect us.

So what I want to say is be strong and brave. Your medical records are yours. Ask for them. Read them. If you don't understand them, have the doctors explain them. That's their job and they WANT to help you.

You have the right to question your doctors, to research them and anything they say. You have the right to get as many opinions as you can. And if you don't like a doctor, or they don't respect you or treat you well, fire them. You can do that. I'll even go so far to say you should do that.

It doesn't make you a bad patient or ungrateful. All it means is you're taking control, being proactive, and honoring yourself and your doctor. It's one of the most wonderful and empowering things you can do. And forgive my rant, please, because I just don't want anyone else to have to learn this the hard way like I did.


  1. Kelley,
    I couldn't agree with you more!!! (thumbs up! applause!)


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