The Right To Choose
Last updated: October 2022
How many times have you sat across from a white-coated doctor and felt your only choice was to swallow whole what they were saying?
After all, they went to school to learn all they thought they knew. They had the knowledge, the degree, and the white coat. They knew all of the answers. You were merely in search of answers to questions you dared not ask.
But here’s the secret about your medical health - You DO have a choice in the matter. You know your body better than any medical professional. You may not know the correct medical terms or the correct diagnosis; however, you know what you feel. Never discount that.
Are you happy with the relationship you have with your doctor?
I knew something felt off
I remember calling my doctor and telling her that something wasn’t right. I could feel it in my body. She thought that I was paranoid because of the cancer and that I was overthinking things. I felt that wasn’t the case at all.
I told her that I was running a fever; my head felt like it was filled with water; my ears hurt; my equilibrium was off, and my vision was blurred. That’s a lot of information to not know what’s going on in your body.
She told me that it was nothing to worry about, that I probably was coming down with something, and if it made me feel better that I could come and see her. Instead of being perturbed, I took her up on her offer.
It's okay to demand additional testing
As she began to inspect my nose, she made a grunting sound. As she peered into my ears she let out an, “Oh my!” She then informed me that I had a sinus infection as well as a double ear infection, and my blood pressure was 220/115. She immediately sent me to the ER.
This was a case of I know what I feel. It’s OK to ask your doctor questions. It’s OK to disagree, and it’s OK to demand further tests. There are times when it’s the right test but the wrong results for the wrong illness. Sometimes we have to go outside the box to get to the facts when it concerns our health.
You are the team captain of your health
Never be intimidated by the white coat and the degree. It’s a full team effort, and you’re the team captain for your healthy life. Prior to doctor's appointments, I compile two lists - one for what I desire out of the appointment, and the other with questions that I want to be answered. This has served me well, and I rarely leave the doctor's office without coming to a beneficial conclusion concerning my health.
Never underestimate your position on the team
So, on your next doctor's visit, go in as a partner and not a helpless victim. Your healthy life depends on everyone collaborating with each other for the healthcare plans that best suit your needs. You’re the driver, and the rest are merely passengers. Never underestimate your position in becoming a healthier you.
Do you have a safe space where others understand what you are going through?