Combats and Conversations with Doctors in regards to medical treatment and holistic approaches to healing. This is becoming a way many individuals with ANY chronic illness is taking. Handling how to discuss this with a doctor who may not be as educated on this area may be difficult.
One of the stickiest situations that can exist between you and your doctor will arise when you voice your request for, or knowledge of, holistic approaches or questions you have in regards to what they have or are presently ordering for you. Many doctors do not understnad holistic approaches to medicine. It may threaten him all his education and training, his entire hopsital experience of doing things to parts of people, the beliefs and philosphy of the system he was brought up in. If you are right, he may have to acknowledge that he has put many, many patients on a path of unncessary suffering. His emotional commitment to his methods may be huge, however covered over by doctor's armour. It usually comes out in anger. Many patients' nervous attempts to discuss alternatives elicit increasingly aggressive support from conventional medicine. others have actually been dismissed and told to go and find themselves a homeopath or another traditional doctor. They may have been lucky to find a doctor that accepts their train of thought.
Your general policy should be: don't talk about it. Don't argue about it. Just do it. You are on weak ground as a patient and you are unlikely to be able to convince doctors to change lifelong views. Rely on your freedoms and take independent actions. Let the doctors, in the end, come to you and ask you about your attitudes, practices, and health beliefs. Then use the kind of concepts becoming familiar to the medical profession today, such as "quality of life," "the psychological dimension," "dietary factors."
I've concentrated so far on a somewhat adversarial relationship with your doctor, because it is so common and so frequently leads to blind consumption of harmful drugs and treatments. But doctors are gradually being taught to be partners rather than distant professionals. The old-fashioned training in bedside manners, lost for a time, is resurfacing as a conversation between equals. In contemporary culture it is appropriate for doctor and patient to meet as equals, with the former rendering expert advice and the latter bearing ultimate responsbility for deciding whether or not to follow that advice. This is written in a current clinical physicians' manual.
The actual questions to ask your physician are the following:
1) what is your diagnosis? are there any other possibilities?
2) what are the treatment options?
3) what are the risk involved in each and the side effects?
4) how can I reduce any adverse effects?
5) how long will I have to take this medicine?
6) what will happen if I delay treatment or do nothing?
7) why have I got this condition?
8) what self-care methods can you recommend, including diet and supplements?
Your dialogue should deal fully with these questions. But it should not be the end of it. For you have a better chance of not receiving unnecessary treatments if your doctor knows you. Talk to him. Tell him that you are a nautral-minded person, you don't like to take drugs and you prefer preventive measures in health care. Look into his eyes. Let him get to know your life, your fears and your problems. He will see you as a human being, not a cipher. It will protect you.
Treat him as a person too. Put yourself in his position. You may find a sudden sympathy for him. he may be bored and suffering, feelings as he carries out the thousandth abortion, tonsillectomy or blood test, somewhere between a care mechanic and a lavatory cleaner. You have a temporary connection with the hard world of a doctor, but he is in it for life. or you may share his enthusiasm and interest in people, his commitment and the joy it brings. When you see him as a person he will tend to do the same to you. It breaks the pattern of production line medicine in which you are placed in a category and fed a pill. This contact will, by the way, help your doctor to be a better doctor. Doctors often don't really know what patients feel about the success or otherwise of their treatments.
It is worth remembering that just as the most common problems encountered with anesthesia are mental, so the mind can resist them. Think of the classical hero cop who gets knocked out during a chase, but then gets up, shakes his head and carries on running. Anxiety, stress and exhaustion increase vulnerability to pain and the side effects of anaesthetics; while calm, confidence and energy are helpful.
Here then are some tips to make the entire process of anesthesia much eaiser.
1) Come to the operation well rested, well fed, and well looked after. Take mutivitamins for at least 10 days before, especially B vitamins. Cut out alcohol and unnecessary drugs for this time to protect the liver. Try to reduce coffee and tea intake; it is known that people who consume alot of caffeine recover more slowly from anesthetics.
2) Make use of one or the other of relaxation techniques such as yoga, reflexology. Articles in the future will be posted for many alternative relaxation techniques.
3) Refuse the tranquilizers given before the operation. They make it impossible to prepare yourself and relax. You lose all clarity. They do not necessarily calm you down; instead you can feel extremely anxious and aroused, but cant show it and cannot express it. The anxiety is frozen. This is why it is often said that tranquilizers are given to help the staff, not the patient. In addition they have side effects of their own. Many patients feel knocked out and need to recover more from tranquilizer after-effects than the anesthetic. Tranquilizers should be taken only in extreme cases of panic when no other help is available.
4) Your expectations should be realistic. Realize that you may be disorientated and depressed after the anaesthetic, and you may find writing and using language more difficult for a while. Dont try to do too much afterwards--give yourself time to recover.
5) Arrange for encouraging things to be said to you when you are under the anesthetic. Failing to ask for cotton wool to be put in the ears. You may not remember what went on in the operating room, but some part of you does register comments, especially when it concerns your fate. These can act as unconscious suggestions to affect your recovery.
Here are some of the dangers, so that you know what they are. One in five people who go to the hospital receive a health problem there that they did not have before. This does happen to one in every 3500 hospitalized patients.
In the US some 6 million unnecessary operations and invasive tests are performed each year.
Drug side effects
The incidence of side effects from drugs given in hospital can be as high as one in five of all patients.
As many as 5-10 percent of pateitns receive an infection while being hospitalized. Mistakes in diagnosis and treatment Of all deaths in hospital, 10% are thought to result from misdiagnosis. On average, hospital doctors misdiangose about 15% of the time.
YOU CAN AVOID UNNECESSARY HOSPITALIZATION As with all medicine it is the best not to accept hospitalization unless it is really necessary. Here is how to make sure that hospital visit is right for you. The office or clinic of your general practitioner is the point whree the ball starts rolling. Your open dialogue with your GP should be able to assign correctly your stomach problem to your marriage, and that of your heart to your imagination, or correctly detect a more serious problem and send you for a checkup to a specialist. you should be careful, open and ask lots of questions. Your doctor should be caring, communicative, and knowledgeable enough to answer them. These are the 10 questions to ask your practitioner when he or she recommends a visit to a specialist:
1. What exactly is the problem and why do you think I have got it at this time?
2. Why do you think I should see that kind of specialist?
3. Why do you recommended that particular specialist?
4. Can you give me any advice on how to look after myself so that the problem is stablized or improved?
5. What will happen if I delay my visit to the specialist?
6. What will happen if I choose not to visit the specialist?
7. What tests are you recommending and what questions do you need to answer?
8. What are the risks or discomforts of the tests?
9. How reliable are they?
10. Are there any other ways to arrive at a diagnosis?
Tests are rarely so urgent that you cannot take time to be prepared. Don't rush into a consultant's appointment unless your health problems are urgent and need immediate attention.
Read about your suspected condition in health books, health magazines, internet and medical texts. Contact self help groups. Check with them whether the consutant and hospital you have been referred to is the best for your problem. If necessary go back to your GP to ask further questions if the information you have found conflicts with earlier explanations.
Prepare a record of your symptoms and the questions you want to ask the consultant You will be faced with a busy specialist, behind a pils of papers, who may hardly look at you. You may be rationed to a few squeaks about your symptoms interrupted by the telephone. So have your questions ready. Consider obtaining a consultatioin with a complentary practitioner before the specialist appointment. More help can be obtained by seeing other forms of doctors and medical practitioners in between the doctor's visits. These include dietary, acupunture, osteopathic/chiropractic, psychotherapeutic, homeopathic, or herbal methods. Some can be dealt with so successfly by complementary medicine so that you may be able to avoid excessive invasive tests. Talk to people who have been to complementary practitioners, if you are not sure about it. Practitioners belonging to the main professional bodies, with a good reputation and several years experience, will normally give you a fair assessment of what you can gain by complementary medicine.
Seeing the Consultant
Your practitioner will advise you of, or refer you to, a particular consultant/surgeon in a particular hospital. ou should ask to be referred to a surgeon who has great deal of experience of the operation in mind, who has a good reputration among medical people, and whose works in the hospital that is renowned for the treatment of this particular condition. If you are paying then you can shop around.
You should tell him or her of your problem and ask?
1) what is the illness and why did I get it?
2) what are the treatment options? How do their results compare? What are the statistics and research evaluations of each?
3) What will treatment or surgery do? WHat are the risks? What will be the physical and psychological consequences and how long will it take to be back on form?
4) What will happen if I say no? Will it reduce the quality of my future life more than the side effects of the treatment?
5) What will happen if I delay it?
6) What will be the costs of surgery, tests, hospital stays and anaesthetist?
7) How frequently do you do this procedure?
If you are not happy with his or her answers and you want to check them you can go for a second opinion. If he or she refused to answer your questions or become aware that this consultant and the hospital do not have a good reputation for your condition you can change him.
Changing your consultant is easy if you pay for it but if you are covered under some medical plan it might take some time to be able to set up the appointments.
If the procedure is at all serious, of if the answers and the questions do not completely satisfy you, or if your own preparation has uncovered less risky treatment options, you should have a second consultation as a matter of course.
Many insurance companies will pay for this as it often saves costly and unnecessary surgery. However, dont do an automatic round second or third opinion simply because you are nervous about the surgery but you cant find fault in the chosen treatment method. The second consultant to whom you refer should do all the necessary tests except those that are hazardous, including xrays, which you should be with you. The consultant should know you want advice, not treatment, so he or sheh will give a detached picture. You should not tell him the diagnosis and conclusion of the first consultant. Don't choose a consultant for a second opinion who is from the same practice or hospital, as or recommended by, the first one.