Are we truthful to our doctors? How has medicine changed over the years?
What is your doctor like? Do they listen? Do you hear what they say?
I was having a long discussion with my elderly friend in the southern US. She grew up with old school medicine and seems to have an old school doctor. Or their healthcare is different in the deep south.
My MIL was old school too. She didn't like to see the doctor and listened to her friends for medical advice quite often. If Silvia had The Gripe and took a particular kind of medicine, then maybe she had The Gripe and should take the same stuff. They traded symptoms and came up with solutions themselves.
Later in her life, she decided that the More She Doctored, the better off she was. Especially if they gave her more pills to fix everything.
I'm guilty of what happens these days. I look things up on the web because we all know that we can cure ourselves on the web.
Some of the older generation never bother to ask the doctor what is going on or perhaps they are afraid of asking. Doctors know everything right? No, they don't. But sometimes getting a doctor to have a real conversation, is like a Mission Impossible Movie.
My friend struggles when seeing her doctors. I don't think she interacts with her PCP. Or perhaps she can't remember what they were talking about. [She has told me that her memory is very bad.] When she tells me about her visit, she complains that no one told her a thing about her ailments. If she gets a new medication, she can't recall why and refuses to take it.
I asked her if she told her PCP about her frequent falls and dizziness. Or about the fact that she felt lonely and depressed?
Um, no, not really.
She said if she told them about her depression then they would call her mental and put it on her record. Therein lies a stigma. Depression = Mental? She is in her late 80's and won't share with her PCP because she feels she would be judged.
If she told the doctor that she has frequent falls they may think she needs help. She said she had dizziness and the doctor ordered blood work. She was angry because dizziness is only dizziness and she knows that her ears need cleaning because her Grandpa had flaky ears. It won't be in her blood work, she needs a specialist.
The last thing I discussed with my elderly friend was that it was okay to tell your doctor the truth, because they were not mind readers and couldn't figure out what might be ailing her if they didn't know she was feeling poorly.
"Do you mean you are truthful with your doctor?"
I was a bit shocked. "Yes ma'am. I do."
I studied for two years to negotiate the ins and outs of doctor visits so that I could code the visits with diagnosis codes for billing. Even I know that humans are incredibly interesting creatures that are still a bit of a mystery for doctors.
And yet here we are trying to find answers.
Sometimes it seems as if you are going 'round and 'round on a merry go 'round with no way off.
Humans are not straightforward in their thinking or their ailments.
Hey, I heard walking was good for you.... and....