Thursday, March 22, 2012


Does your doc tell you the truth? The whole truth?

Possibly not, according to a recent survey in Health Affairs of nearly 1,900 physicians around the country.

If you have a fatal illness would your Doc tell you? I think it depends on your relationship to the Doc. Is he like a parent? An authority? A teacher? Does your doc know the real you? If Doc thinks you'll kill yourself, he may suggest tests and make you aware that you need to be concerned. How you react, what questions you ask will tell him what should be revealed to you.

Why was the survey made on whether or not doctors tell the truth to their patients? Probably to promote something. I think opinions are sought and quoted to prove a point for someone who wants to substantiate that their conviction or their product is best, the rightest.

For me this is talk in the air. Like a cloud, it'll fade into another cloud, or disappear.

The real question is, do you have a good doc, the right doc, or are you your own doc? If you are, can you trust you?

I am my own doc. I go to the professional doc for tests I am not able to take on my own, or prescriptions that need to be renewed.

The guy who needs to know everything about what 's going on inside your body, head to toe, what feels okay, what feels odd is YOU. Sure, you can pay a doc to do the bookkeeping, but it's better if YOU remember, (not necessarily the dates or numbers) -- better if YOU retain what hurt, what healed, what tests were made, what they showed, what doesn't feel right now -- what medications, what advice worked, or didn't work.

It's a lot to remember, but you remember because it's YOU. If you don't remember some of the details, just mention it. And your doc will ask questions. The two of you can construct the "case" history.

You are the best, the very best keeper of your own history. Hey, you know what size shoes, belt, dress, pants, suit, jacket, underwear, (if you're female) glove size, hat size, and bra.

Accidents, injuries, small thing that happened to you -- that stomach ache, migraines, bathroom problems, fever, infection -- they're bumps, and bruises on the plant (I think of myself as a plant) that later shows signs of decay, and later on, more decay.

All those events in your life, I think, are areas of weakness. If you watch over them, you may be able to prolong your life. I've got to say, right here and now, I think old injuries, ailments, aches and pains are a preview of coming attractions. They can tell you how your life is going to end.

Tell the truth to yourself.

“The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.” -- Oscar Wilde

“I lie to myself all the time, but I never believe me.” -- S.E. Hinton, author of young adult book,"The Outsiders"

“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.” -- Gloria Steinem

Take this test and see if you are depressed.

Take this test and see how gullible your are.

Take this tezt to find out if you know enough about medicine.

If you're not exhausted, click and find out how Dr. Em came to be.


Maureen Jacobs said...

First and foremost, you know your own body. You feel it, you experience it, you know when something is wrong. Your doctor is there for you to FULLY explain your symptoms to. Like a good detective, the more info the better.

Trust in the doctor is based on trust of the patient. Many people omit things, fail to inform, and forget things to tell the doctor. Being a responsible patient means presenting your case. Write down things for the doctor. Be sure to address all of your concerns. Lastly, remember, he/she works for you.

I am with you Em, I monitor myself. I take care of myself and am sure to be cognizant of any and all issues that arise. Medically, emotionally, as well as mentally. Who knows you best? Certainly not the doc who sees you once a year.

Be assertive, be responsible, and finally, be honest with both yourself and your doctor.


Anonymous said...

No, never have completely trusted doctors because of bad experiences growing up. They are on a "need to know" basis with my life. Ido tell the truth when asked, but cautious especially with young drs. Learn to take care of yourself-your body is the best to learn from. Good blog today Em! kam

Carola said...

I agree with you that you are your own best doc. I belong to a clinic-based HMO, which means it is important to take responsibility for my own care. I like the clinic and I trust it. Although it means that I don't develop a years-long relationship with one doc, it also means that there are backup docs, PAs, and nurses that I trust. I can email my current GP doc and get an answer by the end of the day. I get my lab results same-day and on-line, accompanied by my history and medical information about the implications of the results. My specialists all coordinate. Together my clinic and me make a good medical partnership.

Carl Watts said...

Em, you might like this simple acupressure tech for getting rid of stored stress from the body. short :-) enjoy

Linda Phillips said...

I have a primary care doctor that I have enormous faith in. I do know my own body and watch for any number of possible signs of things, as I am not in the very best of health. I always come well prepared with a list of any possible health issues that I am aware of. I'd rather say to him "What is this on my skin?" and have him tell me it is nothing, but something that comes with aging, than walk around not knowing and worrying over nothing or leave myself at risk.

Years ago, when I lived in NYC, I had a million
"specialists". It was ridiculous, but my doctors were always sending me to new ones. Not so today. I only see a specialist if there is really a problem and certainly not on a regular basis as I was told to do by all of those specialists that I made wealthy when I lived in NYC.

I feel very good about my doctor, although, I am a Medicare patient and as such, I may not always get all of the tests or treatments that I need, since Medicare is quite restricted in what it will pay for. That bothers me a lot, as I know that there are treatments and tests that I should be getting, but don't.

Unknown said...

Unless it is an emergency thus the Emergency Room (knocking on wood) ~ this hasn't happened in quite a while now...there is no regular doctor for me. Unless there is an emergent required inpatient hospitalization, Medicare is little to no good. It is one tiny step up from 'better than nothing'.
* * *
I am Medicare with only supplemental drug insurance, not supplemental health care insurance and I'm not an acceptable patient in the two main clinics health care systems in the region..because after Medicare would pay, I don't have enough money to pay off their balances. ~ Thus, I don't have enough monthly income to pay for supplemental health care coverage and I don't have enough monthly income to pay off medical bill balances. CATCH 22. (They say it ain't so, but it is so ~ clinics will not accept you as their patient!)

I laugh loud, hearty, and snarkily about hearing about Medicare reform and budget slashing Medicare. For several years I even paid for my annual flu shot out of pocket rather than process that amount through the Medicare system. This year I relented and let them bill it to Medicare. Oh my gosh it was paid at 100% for a approx $30 shot. Probably cost them $300 in time and employees to process it through the system.

I then mightily sneer as to why cut the Medicare budget and all that stuff and not simply budget in a full time task force against all those who commit Medicare fraud where invisible non-people are getting Medicare benefits or real people are getting picked up off the street and hauled to clinics for a little o this and that & Medicare is being billed for a whole lotta this and that.

If the U.S. can freeze 'terrorist' assets globally, why in the heyell can't they freeze some of these fraudsters bank accounts and hall that money back into the Medicare bank accounts????
* * *
Honest to goodness, if it all goes to privatization I don't think any of this is going to get better, be better, I just have a hunch Ima gonna get it worse than I feel like I've got it now.
* * *
So Ms. EM I have no choice but to listen to my body, try to find common sense ways to deal with the pesky and petty illnesses. Have that 'knowing' if something is or is not bad enough to go to the ER or not. I trust myself. Not a matter of trusting a doctor or their billing office whatsoever.

Much love to you EM & your John Cullum and FAMILY. I'm @grammakaye on twitter.