CAVEAT: I AM NOT A MEDICAL DOCTOR AND DO NOT OFFER MEDICAL ADVICE. NEITHER IS THIS AN ATTEMPT TO UNDERMINE THE MEDICAL PROFESSION. THIS POST IS JUST AN ACCOUNT OF A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, THEREBY FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. READERS ARE ADVICED TO SEE DOCTORS FOR DUE CONSULTATIONS AND TREATMENT. THANKS.
Health they say is wealth; a man without his health is surely losing his wealth in trickles. For if he has no health, how does he pursue his wealth. With the abundance of information on the internet today, it is disheartening to realize that people are dying in their scores from ailments that could be salvaged if they made conscious efforts to seek knowledge about their illnesses. The past few weeks have been medically challenging for yours truly. I have been tested and re-tested, diagnosed and re-diagnosed, treated and re-treated. Being prodded with tens of injections, until my butt got sore (just a little above 20).
One thing that has helped me so far is the volume of knowledge I had garnered during this period. I was able to learn more about my ailment. My medical appointments are usually like colleagues chatting over a cup of coffee. (Na lie, I was in pains.:( ) As the doctor offers his thoughts, I add a few of mine. If he prescribes a drug, I talk about the contra-indications and adverse reactions. I may be perceived as inquisitive or showboating, rather I’m just someone who badly needs relief and will go to any length to get it. There’s always a glint in the doctors eyes when we discuss ME. With the way I use the few medical terms I know and call drugs by their “active ingredients”, they know I’ve made an attempt. All these has been possible through the help of the internet and medical sites like webmd.com, mayoclinic.com, nhs.com etc. mayoclinic remains my favorite, because of the ease of use. Their symptom checker seems the most efficient of all I’ve used. Before I even had my first appointment, I already had an idea of what the doctor would say. And when he says something I’m not familiar with, I ask questions on why it should be his thoughts. So while the doctor is using his medical lingo, I can relate with him at least a little. I will not gape and panic when he says a big medical term. Because I have an idea with respect to his diagnoses.
The internet has made information easier and accessible. Typing your symptoms into google would give you more than enough information. This would provide you with at least a lay man’s understanding of your ailment. If some terms are vague to you, further search on such terms would help. You could also note the terms and give to your doctor for explanation.
How I developed this interest is a story that needs to be told. I once saw a movie couple of years ago titled “Lorenzo’s Oil ”. It is about Lorenzo* a boy boy who was diagnosed as having adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), (which is usually fatal within two years) and the efforts of his parents** at finding a cure.
This movie has had a terrific impact in my life. It has made me to realize that “He who wears the shoe, knows where it pinches most.” Therefore, it is your prerogative to know as much as possible about your ailment if you can. It will surely help in your diagnosis, treatment and of course prognosis. While I do not support that you self diagnose and treat yourself, I do believe doctors are humans and there must be a reason why they call their profession a “practice”. More so, the dynamic nature of knowledge indicates that relying on old information is worse than having no knowledge at all.
I may come off as being forward and all, but experience has taught me to know about what’s wrong with me before seeing a doctor so I won’t just be in the dark. You may be seen as pesky too, but both the patient and the doctor should be able to work it out. I’m not trying to take over your job. Its about me getting healed.
In my next post, I will be discussing how to use the net for your medical research and what to do before your next doctor’s appointment.
Would you rather leave your health decisions to your doctor? Kindly use the comment box to air your views.
*The course of research for this article revealed thatLorenzo Odone , died on may 30 2008 at age 30, 26 years after his first diagnosis of ALD. May his soul rest in peace.
BBC world also reports Loreznzo’z father Augusto is late.
“@BBCWorld: Augusto Odone, who created an oil to save life of son Lorenzo, has died http://t.co/QHiCyQlNMv” #RipAugustoOdone