Thursday, July 11, 2013

More Thoughts on Bad Medicine

If you can't tell, medicine is where my heart has always been, so this is a subject near and dear to my heart.  Seeing people receiving less than outstanding medical care hurts my heart.

I had another thought about my last post, and rather than make a comment which could be missed since I feel it's an important thought, I thought I'd better post another entry.  Something that is so important is knowing that you the patient are taken seriously.  It is the responsibility of every health care professional to help make that happen.  I, like everyone, indicated in my last post have had to "turn patients away" but never did I ever disregard them.  I did NOT want to run the risk of them feeling like their illness or symptoms were stupid or unimportant.  I TOLD them they were important and it was definitely important for them to be seen so they could be healthy and things would not progress to an even worse state.  I may not have been able to see them whenever I was in an emergent/urgent area if they had a problem that was not acute, urgent etc. but I could definitely help them find the care that they did need, AND ensure that they were validated as a person.

That having been said, I was having other thoughts that I left unsaid.  It is SO important to be honest with your patients.  Honesty, while in this day and age seems to be more rare, is precious.  If you don't know what's wrong with them, rather than take the attitude that it's all THEIR fault that something is wrong and they have wacky symptoms that don't seem to go together, tell them.  I am so sorry, your symptoms are manifesting in a way that this seems a rather mysterious illness, and I don't know what it could be........BUT, we definitely need to work at helping you on your way to recovery and a healthier you, so we will EXPLORE what that illness may be, we will find out what it is, so that we can treat the underlying cause.  Let's do some tests, I'll talk to my colleagues or if all else fails you.........don't forget there's always the internet people!  Let them know, I don't know right now, we will test, we will find out and we will get you healthy again.........NEVER FORGET THAT IT SUCKS TO BE SICK, IT SUCKS TO BE IN PAIN AND ANYONE WITH THE OPTION WOULD NOT BE IN THAT STATE!  I thought I should highlight that for you since so many seem to take that attitude that coming to see you is on the top of everyone's to do list for the week.

When I was having so many odd symptoms, it was a brand spankin new doctor just out of the box that diagnosed me.  She had no idea, but had heard of my odd symptoms and sought ME out.  I didn't know her from adam, she worked in a different area than I did.  She did tons of tests, she talked to me, looked at me, even had me bring in photos of myself and family.  She explored EVERYTHING at her disposal.  She didn't know what was wrong with me, but sought the answer for me.  I thank God for her every day, because I could still be wondering while getting worse were it not for her.  She had an intuition for what MIGHT be, and she followed up on that.  She then educated me about what was known about my illness, and I took it further.  I looked up anything and everything I could get my hands on, I wanted to know what was going to happen to me.  My symptoms are NOT typical of my disease.  I have some typical, but I have some atypical also.  But then again, if you treat symptoms and not the problem, you have a whole list of syndromes, illnesses or medical problems.  So, it very well may be that people with my disorder have joint pain, migraines, arthritis, bone deterioration etc etc.  We may never know until someone takes all the files of all the people with my illness and does a comparative study.

I know when I was diagnosed, I basically became the leading authority on my disease.  I then successfully diagnosed and encouraged treatment of several other women I recognized with the beginning symptoms that began first manifesting with me.  I was diagnosed in the 90th percentile, which is very far along in any disease/syndrome.  I'm hopeful we were able to avert some of the worse ones for the young ladies I came into contact with after finding out about, and studying my disease.  If you break me down piece meal then I have chronic migraines, arthritis, PCOD etc etc.  But if you look at the entire picture, perhaps there is a treatment for my disease which would treat them all by treating at the source.  I don't want to be the lil old lady with 50 million pill bottles, I don't like taking medicine and have enough trouble taking what I already have to.  Because my disease affects also my digestive system, I take medicine for high cholesterol, which I've had since a little before diagnosis, acid reflux a little after diagnosis, and the metformin for the actual disease itself.  To me, it's evident that one affects the other.  Disease affects digestive system......digestive system decides wheeeee this is fun let's do other weird stuff now!  That's one reason I think it's SO important we look at the person as a whole.  Do ALL the symptoms stem from the same source.....if so, is there a way to treat the source and alleviate ALL the symptoms?  Wouldn't that be awesome?

No matter what, if you know, if you don't know and let your patients know that, that's what matters in the long run.  Letting them know they are important and their health is important to YOU, is important.  When you finally find out, especially in cases like mine, and the link I posted in the previous entry, after years of mistreatment, nontreatment, told you're crazy etc.  Diagnosis is like a banner.  It's like SEE I KNEW SOMETHING WAS WRONG AND YOU PEOPLE TOLD ME AND TREATED ME LIKE I WAS STUPID>>>>>>>>IN YOUR FACE!  LOL

Yeah, there are hypochondriacs in the world, but it's .0000000000000000000001% of the population so you can't go around treating everyone like a loon just because YOU'RE lazy and don't want to look for the answers!