Discussing medical experiences is generally not appealing, which to some extent makes sharing such information taboo, basically because the details are most likely personal. When it comes to finding consensus with these types of discussions, we’re dreaming, and this is largely due to our individual organics, no one is the same. When you accept that you own and are accountable for your own organics, the relationship with the medical system evolves.
There is a stigma or stereotype that a family doctor or general practitioner navigates the medical waters for you. Nothing is further from the truth. The moment you start describing symptoms, you’re at the helm of the ship and the direction is based on what you say. Here are a few tips that have made my medical journey and communicating about it much more comfortable when dealing with the system and doctors in particular. I hope they may help you today and or in the future.
Take “note” of everything, especially symptoms
- Symptoms – described in detail and over periods/cycles of time, know exactly what is a core symptom vs peripheral
- Lifestyle – breadth, not depth (diet, exercise, basic bio stats like weight and height)
- Have a current list of medicine and supplements being taken, including dosages
Ask for all of your medical / doctors notes
- If you’re not already doing this, get started
- If you have good reason too, find and study your medical notes history, ask your GP (family doctor) for a copy of your file
Encourage and orchestrate your medical team’s communications
- Synchronize and maintain medical contacts
- Use email to communicate
- Give written permission to each member of your medical team to communicate with each other
- Set expectations that they communicate, follow up and test this
- Keep in touch, provide updates describing symptoms, providing interim insight beyond an acute visit
- Seek several opinions and research online, look for consistency
- Cross check doctors notes to come to reconcile multiple observations and diagnoses
Work with your GP to shape your therapeutic journey, specialists and hospitals address and approach most issues acutely. Symptoms, know them, write them down (especially over a period of time if possible). Recognize and describe both peripheral + core symptoms, the doctor observes and is dependent on you to navigate the medical system and its waters safely. Don’t shy away from asking stupid questions, chances you’re describing something when you do. Ultimately you are accountable for your own health and your interaction (responsibility) with the medical system. Treat your health like you treat your job. Watch what happens.