Monday, July 25, 2011
I get questions all the time, asking me HOW, to stand up to doctors, who seem so unwilling to listen. Doctors, who at times, seem to not understand the pain and frustrations that come with having Neurofibromatosis.
If you have come to this blog and are dealing with Neurofibromatosis, you have found someone who understands. I am not a doctor, or medical professional...But, I am living with this disorder, and experience many of the same frustrations you do.
I didn't get to "Thriving with Neurofibromatosis" overnight. In fact, there are days that I don't "THRIVE" at all! But that bar is set....And it's something I try to reach for everyday. Every time I face my mountain, THRIVING is my goal.
Every time I face a doctor who tells me that nothing can be done, or that I have to simply endure my pain. Every time I face doctors who make choices for my children that I don't agree with...Or treatments, that seem to be doing more harm than good....THRIVING is my goal!
So how do I do it? How do I stand up to the world of doctors who are obviously more educated than me? Who seem to "know-it-all"...Doctors who wear the respected white coats, and have YEARS of experience.
First, you ARE your own health care professional! It's important to remember this when facing ANY health care crisis. YOU know your body and YOU know your children, better than ANY doctor.
It all starts with respect. If you do not respect your doctor...FIND A NEW ONE! I can respect someone, and still disagree with how or what they think...And respect goes both ways...If you feel you aren't being heard and treated well by your doctor, it's time to move on.
Another thing...Getting angry gets you nowhere...and can oftentimes leave you more frustrated than when you began. I've been there and I know that people who don't listen, and who act dismissive of your pain, can leave you feeling very helpless, but anger only escalates this frustration and can increase your symptoms.
Two weeks ago, I faced a mountain. A very respected Neuro-Oncologist, who was on-call while my 15 year old daughter was facing her own mountain, came into the hospital room with the results from the blood test. My daughter's blood count had dropped 24 points overnight, and this doctor wanted to write up discharge papers and send us home.
My mountain was right in front of me, and I had no choice, but to start climbing it. "I don't agree with going home...while her counts are still low." Is all I had to say to him. I got the "Ya Buts...." But the choice this doctor had made for us wasn't right.
I knew Bailey was better off staying one more night. Confidence and respect can go a LONG way, and can help make your mountain climb easier. It's scary, and intimidating, but if YOU don't make this climb...Who will?
I can't go in with you to the doctors office....But this message can!