One dead end after another, my wife and I have different views on what it all means. To her when a test comes back negative or ‘within range’ she starts to stress out and shut down. This isn’t odd since that is the exact reasoning for the tests being run.
I try to reassure her, ‘It’s like a room full of doors love, we just opened a few but we still have many more. A normal test is good, we’ve eliminated things.’
It doesn’t do much good but I hope, that when she is less stressed it will sink in. This isn’t the end, it’s just the beginning. Healthcare and indeed health in particular can be a labyrinth to navigate. It will be frustrating and there will be dead ends, false starts, but things aren’t always what they seem to be.
My wife just wants to get to the bottom of it, or in this case the center of it. But healthcare is a huge machine and wheels need to turn before you can get what you need. It is unfortunate but that is how the system works and since you are bound by the system you need to follow it and play [somewhat] by the rules.
A few tips for you, my readers who need health care or are getting sub par care from your providers.
–Your Doctor is not a god, he is a mere mortal with failings, biases and an incomplete working knowledge.
I’ve had one doctor try to tell my wife her thyroid would not cause mood issues. This is not true and there is enough medical literature to back that up. But a general practitioner has a general working knowledge base, not a specialty like the endocrinologist we hope to see. So just because one Doctor says something is or is not true does not always make it so.
–You have the right to a second opinion.
We all like to think of our Doctor that we see on a regular basis as our friend, or someone who has our best interests in mind. Most Doctors do, some are burnt out from the medical field, figure out which is which. Even if the Doc is your best friend, remember if you don’t get the care you feel like you deserve then go elsewhere, you won’t be hurting his feelings and if you got paid what he did you wouldn’t have hurt feelings either.
–Advocate for yourself
You are the best person to advocate for yourself, don’t take no for an answer from a Doc if something is bothering you. If you have a mysterious pain that won’t go away but he can’t figure it out or says it’s all in your head, push for better care. If you can’t then get a friend, family member, or significant other to do it for you, it can mean the difference between the care you need and the care you actually get.
–Don’t give up
Sure it can be daunting, all the pitfalls; the dead ends; the negative tests; the seemingly never ending cycle of visits followed by the outrageous bills. But you need care and you should have it. Don’t give up on yourself, if the problem is bad then you need to get it fixed. A trip to the ER isn’t a great option, especially when you can get the care you need to prevent having to make that trip.
My wife is going through all of this right now. I’m trying to advocate for her and carry her to the finish line. Even still all the tests and the talks with the Doctor aren’t helping, it’s taking too much time. She doesn’t want to do this anymore, but who can blame her? That is why people don’t get the help they need, it’s a process and a hard one at that. So they take mediocre care and try to live with the problem.
You don’t need to do that, the healthcare system is a beast, yes. But it can be beaten like anything. I’m too stubborn to give up anyway, she needs help and I’m going to make sure she gets it. So next time you or a loved one needs help, remember don’t take no, or worse, I don’t know, for an answer. They deserve proper care just like anyone else.