Some folks may wonder why I want to share my medical problems with the world and delve into my medical history, the good and the bad.
I, on the other hand, wonder why people DO NOT want to share their experiences with their medical issues. We all could learn so much from each other if we would just share our stories. If I can reduce the suffering of one person based upon sharing my experiences with the world-wide-wonderweb, then I will have completed what I set out to do.
Too many doctors place patients into little diagnostic boxes (not literally) when they see them. The patient loses their identity, and they become, “that back pain who is looking for drugs.” “the sciatic with her internet research,” “the mid-life crisis looking for attention,” “the overweight chest pain.” Etc. Etc. Etc. These are ACTUAL references I overheard as I was a patient just waiting in doctor’s offices to be seen. You would think that medical professionals would be just that – professional – but they aren’t always. They are humans as well. They are prone to gossip – just like everyone else. And they form opinions about the patients they see, just as everyone else forms opinions about people they encounter at their workplaces. This is why it is of utmost importance to learn as much as you can about what conditions your treating physicians THINK you have, what conditions YOU think you have, and what research is out there and readily available on the WWW for you to discover. Go beyond the simplified “WebMD” type sites and delve into the PubMed or Medscape research site. Subscribe to weekly newsletter updates in your area of interest – they are all free. Go where the doctors go (or, where the doctors SHOULD be going – quite often I will bring their attention to some research they ever even heard about…frightening when THEY are the ones that are supposed to be keeping up to date of medical developments, and a PATIENT is telling them about a new procedure or treatment that was approved 6 months ago for a condition that the doc is allegedly “board certified” in. ACK!
I could fill pages of my blog with ancedotes of people that went years being told they had X by doctors that had put them into the tiny, little box and treated them as just that – a tiny little nothing – until finally the patient, a human being, decided that they had had enough time being treated like an object and looked into their symtoms and began to advocate for themselves. And guess what. They never belonged in that “nervous stomach” box, or the “mid-life crisis” box, ” or the “just wants more drugs box.” They really had something physically wrong with them – something that should have been found if only the doctors or some medical professional had actually listened to the patient and NOT jumped to conclusions and hurriedly packaged that human into a box to move them along the conveyor belt of of our health care system. Cancers. Nerve defects. Malformed bones and organs. Tumors.
I guess my message is basically this: be involved in your medical care – to ask the doctor questions – to research your condition on your own. Don’t be content to be in a box. You are much more than that.
In my blog, I will post newsletters I had written for other sites that cover general topics, as well as topics specific to my own problem. Interspersed in those postings will be personal experiences – good and bad – that I have had with the medical community trying to solve my own case of mysterious back pain. I think that people need to know what can happen to them if they don’t advocate for themselves. People need to know what the medical community has to offer – and what they have but don’t want to offer. People need to know how to advocate for themselves as I had to do – I had to find a doctor that treated patients that sounded exactly like me – and do research on him, and find out if he is legitimate and does valid and respected research and read his research and follow it – sometimes for years as I did. All of the time and effort paid off for me. I hope that I will be able to teach others to do the same. Never give up – never surrender.