I have been a nurse for a long time. I have seen a lot of heartbreaking things over the years, but none more heartbreaking than this:
A patient who has given her power away.
When you go to the hairdresser, do you suddenly forget your wants or needs, your values and what is important to you, and just do whatever the professional dictates? Of course not! It’s a two-way conversation where you express your concerns, your preferences, your expectations, and the professional collaborates with you to achieve the desired outcome. This is exactly what you should do with your primary care physician!
Do not hand over they reigns to your health to your physician. The have medical opinions and possibly expertise, but you are the expert on you.
So what mistakes are you making at the doctor’s office?
- Not having all of your questions and concerns for your appointment written out in advance.
- Not asking why a test is being ordered and what you will do with the results it provides once you have them.
- Assuming that you must take the pill that is prescribed.
- Not asking if there is a less invasive option than a surgery to treat your health issue.
- Failing to realize that you may be able to help yourself resolve the problem through lifestyle changes, such as by reducing your stress, increasing your exercise, and eating better.
Remember that you are still in charge, even in the doctor’s office!
You are not a sheep (sorry, sheep).
You are an intelligent human being who knows herself better than anyone else. You may need help to discover what is causing your health issue, or advice about how to stay well in the face of a chronic health condition, but you always have the final say and choice about what treatment options you want to try and which ones you want to decline.
You have the power! Don’t give it away!