Is It Time to Reassess?
Another controversial subject, but it needs to be said — doctors are just humans with (professional) opinions — but they aren’t always right.
I wouldn’t want people to read this and then think that they have a justification for ignoring everything their doctor says to them if they don’t like the sound of it BUT
I would encourage people to take part in their diagnosis, listen to their inner compass when it tells them something doesn’t sound right and seek second, third (or even more) opinions when those doubts arise.
You are living with your condition, your doctor isn’t. After your appointment, they go home and live their lives and you go home and keep dealing, day in and day out, with the struggles you’re going through — guess who’s more invested in making sure you have the correct diagnosis and treatment?
Evaluating Your Options
Discuss your situation with friends and family if you feel like you need a sounding board for your concerns. Maybe go online and chat with support groups (using your judgement to make certain they are informed and actually supportive) to get the ‘inside story’ and possibly even recommendations for other specialists (or at least how to access that information).
Something that I’ve found that works for me that you could try if you like the sound of it, is what I call a parenting exercise: I pretend that I (Lowen) am the parent of me (Lowen) — what would I tell myself? “Stop being silly”? (no, that would be that pesky, negative inner voice in your head, not your mothering self). You may find your parenting self might say, “hmmm, maybe you should get a recommendation and go and see someone else for a second opinion,” or, “try this medication for a few weeks and see if it helps, like the Specialist said it would”, or “I think you’re over thinking it, love,” or, “maybe sleep on it and see if you still have reservations in the morning”. Our parenting selves tend to be more logical and loving than the rest of the jumble of thoughts in our head. It can be an effective way of stepping back and looking at the situation in an objective way.
Being Part of the Process
These are all ways of making a measured decision about how you want to progress in managing your illness. And that bit I just highlighted is so important — we shouldn’t just be treated by a doctor — we should always be part of the decision-making process.
If you are coming away from your appointment feeling like you weren’t part of the process, it probably is time to move on.
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