There. I said it. I am a bad patient.
I used to be an excellent patient. I made all my check ups on time, I took my medicines as directed, I listened to what my doctors said, believed them, and tried to do as they instructed. Once a doctor had me fill out a survey on how my health care providers could help me comply with my medicine instructions better. I complied to the letter, so I couldn’t even fill the thing out.
Now I have 6 specialists and a PCP (primary care physician) and have appointments at least monthly.
I have become the patient that cancels regular check ups (some times the same day *gasp*), calls in for urgent appointments when in pain (kidney stones, migraines, bizzare leg pains, etc), goes to an urgent care clinic for simple things like sinus infections because my PCP is all the way accross town, and am willing to change the way I take my meds slightly – based on my own ideas and research – not my doctors’….
Just this week I went into my PCP with bizzare and unexplainable leg pains. All my labs are fine, my legs “look” fine – it’s been going on 2 weeks now so bad I can’t sleep. My PCP wants me to do a sleep study.
That’s right – a sleep study – for leg bone and joint pain. I think she is crazy and I’m sure I need to go to a Rheumatologist. BUT I am going to go do the stupid study. And put off relief even longer.
I am already signed up for it. I’m not excited, but I’ll go.
I don’t think people should be sheep, just listening to their doctors, not researching on their own, never knowing what their last lab levels were, or what they need to do to be healthier. I know off the top of my head what my thyroid hormone levels are, my thyroid cancer tumor markers, my cholesterol, my triglicerides, my vitamin D, my magnesium…. When my grandmother had breast cancer (granted, it was a bad time for her, her husband had just died) she didn’t know anything about her treatment plan, didn’t know what course they were taking and why, didn’t know much of anything about it. She just did what her doctors said to do.
I refuse to be that patient, and luckily I have a couple docs that like that, and trust me and my judgement about my body. And know I don’t believe everything I read on the internet, or make my own diagnosis.
But if I don’t shape up, I might have to ship out.
I probably need to see a shrink about this aversion to doctors (who can blame me really? A birth and 4 surgeries in 3 years, numerous biopsies, scans, treatments, blood draws, ultrasounds, not to mention that I couldn’t even begin to imagine how many doctors appointments I had in those 3 years or since.) But that would mean one more doctor, and more appointments to cancel.
So, I guess I will just be the bad patient for now…