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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Being Assertive in Your Own Health Care

An important lesson that I have learned in the last several months is how important it is to be assertive in your own health care. I have known for a long time that something was not right with my breathing and that none of the asthma medicines had helped. I kept telling the doctors and they kept prescribing different medicines. It all started almost 6 years ago. I had been coughing and coughing non-stop for months. I went to my regular doctor's office and they did a breathing test on me and decided I had asthma. But for several years before that, I had been fighting recurring bronchitis several times a year.

Last August, I was to the point of despair. I felt terrible, both physically and mentally. None of the asthma medicines helped. I had NO energy to do anything. I went to see my pastor, thinking perhaps the problem was spiritual. He insisted that I go back to the doctor and gave me a list of items to ask them to check out. At that time, I didn't have a sub available for my child care very often and wasn't sure how or when I could go. But I knew that week, I had a day that I was only scheduled to have one child and sometimes that child didn't come on Thursdays. So on the way back from the church, I prayed that if there was a physical problem, then God would work it out where I didn't have any kids on that day and could go to the doctor. He worked it out and I went to the doctor that week. To make a very long story short, this eventually led to me finding out what was wrong and having the tracheal re-section surgery. We also learned that I had entered menopause. I'd had a hysterectomy several years ago but they left my ovaries, so I had no um...monthly way of knowing that I had entered menopause. LOL

So...what is my point? Well, I had known for years that something wasn't right with the breathing. I kept letting the doctors throw different medicines at me instead of insisting that they look deeper. It would be really easy to be angry with the doctors (and I am a little bit). But, in all fairness, the lady at Medford had suggested last year that I go see a pulmonologist and I put it off, not really seeing the point. I had also suspected for a while that I was in menopause, but hadn't asked them to check my hormone levels to see for sure. So, my main point is: You KNOW your own body. You know when something isn't right! If you feel like a doctor isn't listening to you, then either switch doctors or insist that they listen. Make a list, keep a chart of the problems, whatever it takes. But be assertive! Stand up for yourself if you know you're not feeling right.

5 comments:

Mom Thumb said...

This is so true. They told me Curtis had ADD and I knew he didn't. Took me a few years to figure out he was allergic to yellow dye. They told me Jessica had asthma and I knew she didn't. She was allergic to sugar. You really do have to be vigilant about your health and that of your family.

Louise said...

oh you are so right about this!! I could write a book on a similar experience I had, it cost me 4 years of my working life till I could find a dr who would take me seriously! what frustrated me most was I was a health professional at the time, I worked with these drs and still they wouldn't listen!

Mandy said...

So true! I have been to the doctor four times about my lower back hurting now and I think it is about time to go again and make them figure something out other than yea try not to lift lol

Di said...

I have gotten bad about researching my symptoms on Yahoo health and then going to the Dr. and saying "I think this is what is wrong with me." But I have usually been right.......

KiddoKare1 said...

Wow, Linda. Allergic to sugar? Yikes! Louise, that is very frustrating! I'm glad you found a doctor that would listen. Mandy, I'm sorry to hear you're still having trouble with your back! Di, I do that all the time too, look up stuff on the internet. I bet the doctors hate that. LOL