Medical Care for the Physically Challenged
Medical care plays a large part in a dweller’s life. Finding the right doctor(s) and other practitioners could be time and money consuming. Getting to appointments can be exhausting. Researching information for your condition(s) takes your valuable time. That’s why medical care gets its’ own page. May you find something to help you. And if you’re an observer, here’s another piece of the puzzle about dwellers’ lives. And it’s a big one.
The perfect doctor
The perfect doctor
Short waiting times
Able to make appointments quickly
Treat each other with courtesy
See each other as unique
Work together to build trust
Treats patient as a partner in his own health care
Willing to research your symptoms
Willing to help patients be all they can be within their limitations
Why So Much Care?
You, an observer, may not see a doctor very often and you wonder why all this emphasis on doctors.
It’s because all our problems are severely impacting our ability to live a “normal” life, and we need medical intervention. Our symptoms frequently change, and we wonder if it’s worsening or if something new is happening. We’re likely looking for some way to improve the quality of our lives, or at least to keep them from worsening. Many of our illnesses aren’t terminal, but bad things can sneak in, yet we think it’s just part of what we already have. Some of these things can be cured, others need immediate attention to keep from getting worse. Oftentimes, only a doctor can tell the difference.
My primary care has a difficult job: keeping track of everything that’s going on, who I see, and what I take; and figuring out what category the new symptom fits in! Thank you, Dr. I!
Traits your doctor should have
- Know how to listen.
- Believe what you say.
- Ask fitting questions or make appropriate comments.
- Seek clarification when they don’t understand you.
- Apply their knowledge to your situation.
- Spend the necessary time with you.
I’ve not always had good docs. Some don’t even try to understand; some try, but just don’t get it. Others won’t take the time. A few think they’re God. Some are just weird.
Lists for your doctors*
For a doc you’re already seeing, you need to include what’s currently going on, your questions, and maybe some history.
Here are some specifics. Personalize for your own situation.
- Changes in symptoms
- Changes in medications since last visit
- Questions and concerns
For a new doc, add these things. (This list can get quite long.)
- Diagnoses, dates, and doctors’ names
- Development of your symptoms, including dates
- Complete history (family history, etc.)
Then when you have to fill out the inevitable form, just write “See attached.” And you’re done.
Joy Selak (You Don’t Look Sick) uses a template and just makes the appropriate changes. She prints out two copies, one for the doc and one for herself to consult during visit. She lists all her medications, symptoms - new, changing, or continuing, and picks three top questions to ask, leaving room at the bottom for notes.
*Many, but not all, doctors will appreciate knowing what’s going on with you and what you want from the visit. After all, we don’t (usually) go there to get a cure. Know your doc. If he’s not interested in a list, maybe you should consider if she’s right for you.
Thank goodness for computers! They make these jobs
SO much easier!
Daily charting saves your mind! As simple as check-marking your calendar or as involved as a complicated spreadsheet. Whatever works for you.
Charting helps you …
- Remember everything when it’s time to make lists
- Catch changes
- Document dates
- See developing patterns
For more information, see the post 6 Traits To Consider About Doctors And Chronic Illness.
How might your doctor be looking at you? How should she be considering all your problems? See A Doctor’s View of Patients with Chronic Disease for an interesting point of view.
You Don’t Look Sick! is a book worth investing in. It is co-written by Joy Selak who lives with an unusual combination of chronic illnesses and Dr. Overman, her lead physician. Together, their presentation of medical care and living well with chronic illnesses covers a variety of topics important to our community.