My Life as an Empowered Patient
Mark-John Clifford, Co-Founder of the blog Health in the Laugh Lane, relieves his journey on how he became more empowered as patient.
I believe I can trace my start as an empowered patient to when my parents were involved with my treatment as a child for polio. I don’t remember everything in the early stages, but as I grew older, they began talking to me about how to take an interest in my health. At 12 or 13, it was hard for me to listen. Now, I can honestly say thanks to my Mom and Dad for insisting I get involved in my own health.
I love being empowered and being involved. I love learning and researching new drugs and new procedures that might help me in life and health. I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I will be honest in saying I have done my research – online, and by talking to people young and old, empowered and not.
I believe that in this day and age no matter your age you need to take an active role in your healthcare. Now more than ever you need to know what is going on about you. Because that is what you need to do to live a healthy life.
I thought I would give an instant replay of a conversation I had with my doctor at my last visit. At this visit, I had some research to share with my doctor. Do your conversations with your doctor go like this? If not, why not?
This is a replay of a conversation I recently had with my doctor at my last visit.
“Good Morning Doc.”
“Good Morning Mark. How are you today?”
“Not bad Doc. Have had some issues on and off but in general okay.”
“That’s good to hear. You told my nurse you want to talk about your medication and changing it?”
“That’s right. I have some paperwork here that I’d like you to look at after my research on whether this would be a good change for me. Everything I found seems to fit me.”
“Well let me see and I’ll give you my opinion as always. Remember not everything you read about or research about is good for you.”
“I know Doc but this one really seemed to fit the bill. I just don’t know about the interactions with the other drugs? I didn’t see anything but that’s what you’re here for, right?”
“The only thing I see is an issue with your dose of insulin and taking this medication. You may have to lower your insulin intake in the evenings while taking this new med and then see how things work out. Is that something you want to try?”
“Yes. Everything I read seems to show it will help me in the end because I will lower my does of insulin, which would be great. Although I will be adding a pill to the mix it’s better than more shots.”
That’s a basic rundown of my last visit. All my visits are like that. I go to each doctor visit excited to see what she has researched for me and what I have to share. I have come to find that because I go there with things I want to do and change, she’s more involved in my healthcare because she sees me involved. It only makes sense, doesn’t it?
I read, research and decide what I think I want to try and have her play the devil’s advocate when I get there. She respects my judgment because she knows I know my body. She understands that things are different for every patient she has.
I am not your average patient as you can see. I go prepared and so should you. You don’t have to do a great deal of research if you’re not up to it, but if you do, communicating with your doctor becomes easy and this greatly improves your Doctor visits.
Do your visits go like this? If not, why not?