Members of the Team have had various experiences with this over the years and we felt it was appropriate for its’ own blog because the management of your health administratively, knowledge-wise and emotionally is as important as knowing how to prevent or to care for a certain medical issue.
Some years ago when someone on the Team had an ailing mother, he was really unstoppable about her care. His Mom had pneumonia, a portion of her lung missing from cancer, and was placed in a nearby teaching hospital and left for dead after the antibiotics did not kick in in 48 hours. But it was because of ‘Mike’ we’ll call him, that his Mom lived. He got a hold of her pulmonary doctor at another hospital where he was an attending physician, got her records, and went by ambulance there to get her on a stronger med of choice and only given when you incur pneumonia from an institution. Despite Mike warning the first hospital of the drug of choice, they would not oblige and his Mom almost died.
Take away #1: Be informed, study and write down what works for your own health or if you are a caregiver, for the person you take care of.
Do not be afraid to demand your rights or to stay on top of your situation. It makes a difference.
What if someone you know has an emergency and cannot respond well.
Take away #2: Keep a list of conditions treatments medicines and allergies for everyone you care for, including you! It is that emergency that occurs and you cannot really conjure up what happened when he broke out in hives or whether she is on a blood thinner or if your father thinks he is allergic to penicillin but he’s not been tested. Also get people tested for things they think they are allergic to. It can save lives!
The list should have date of birth, social, current meds, conditions, hospitalizations and dates as well as a listing of names and addresses of doctors and their phone/fax numbers. It should be kept current too.
Another person we know went for a test and they had to be followed up for something. The next thing they were seeing specialists. Sometimes seeing a specialist can be very daunting as an experience. The professional can be and in this case was very popular and busy and felt they had a corner on the market. Therefore perhaps they treat people in an arrogant manner and the patient is not getting their questions addressed because they are at a mill of sorts.
Take away #3: Go to a different person where you will be heard taken seriously and respected. It does not get better and if that is not there to begin with, that is not going to get better. Trust your gut. First having done your homework, know what to ask and don’t waste anyone’s time. But if you are not being addressed in a thorough way, it is time to end the visit.
Being an informed health advocate for yourself also means that you follow the trends of health that we share and other ones. That you stay current with screenings for various diseases and that you get your body checked and tested in the ways that are recommended and in a timely way too. Daily, more data comes out—more information on what constitutes health and healthy choices.
Take away #4: Keep current about health. Speak to your friends, be in the conversations and watch the news. Read our posts. Make healthy choices for yourself and your family. This seems easy enough but it takes something to really focus and follow up in these ways.
Take away #5: Once you are informed-stay present and reasonable, not hysterical. Stand for your rights to rights to know and to ask. Then create team anywhere with your empathy for others and by being in communication. It is this way you can perhaps get the most responsive care and promptly.
We can choose!
Choose to win for health for yourself and for your family!