I am currently recovering from an ‘allergic’ reaction and all that entails… This reaction was the first really bad reaction I have had since 2003 – so it had been a while. It is also the first reaction where I’ve shared info with a larger group of friends due to the advent of Facebook. Being reflective on all of this, I’ve decided to write down my experiences in the hopes it might help others – this post focuses on the importance of doctor/patient relationship and what to take with you when seeing a doctor.
It is very important to know your doctors and for your doctors to know you! I have fought to try to keep consistency in my doctors which can be difficult in the military community. I have found success in actively working with my doctors. WRITE THINGS DOWN before going in. BE CONCISE. Understand that medicine is NOT an “exact science”. Doctors have to make educated guesses as to what is going on based on their education, what they have seen in the past, AND what they know of your past history.
When seeing a doctor:
- It is very helpful to write your symptoms and concerns down. When I say write I actually TYPE mine most of the time so the doctor can easily and quickly read them. They can read quicker than you can talk! They can then ask questions and you can clarify anything for them. – If you have a smartphone use it!
- Bring a written list of all known allergies and adverse reactions. – Keep it in your smartphone! I use Awesome Note and have a “Medical Folder”
- Bring a written list of all medications, herbs, suppliments you take. – Again Keep it in your smartphone!
- Do not forget that herbs and spices can act as drugs too! Modern medicine is mostly synthetic however medicine in the past was made from herbs/spices etc!
- Remember medicine is not an exact science – everyones body reacts differently. Doctors consider a norm when treating you as they cannot know or consider all senerios. If you are regularly ‘un-normal’ doctors need to know that! I have many atypical – ie NOT NORMAL responses. For example, I have had migrianes where there is no headache. Instead I experience the same symptoms as stroke with the entire right side of my body becomes numb and my speech slurs. I have to go in to the hospital for doctors to check to make sure it is just migraine they need to know that I have a history of atypical migraines when I go in.
- Remember doctors are people too! They have to see alot of patients in a small time period – it is a stressful job which they do because for the most part they love helping people. Watch your attitude and try a little role reversal: Would you want to help you? I’ve seen and heard patients yell and become very nasty to doctors I personally know to be very good, kind and caring…