Differences do occur but they are resolved easily
between people who know what they are doing
and whose goal is to be fair.
In my experience, the following are the top three complaints consumers have with their physicians:
(a) Waiting too long for their appointment;
(b) Not getting enough face-time with their doctor – especially given the wait-time, and;
(c) Not being comfortable enough to question their physician’s choices and decisions, or to introduce remedies they wish to try without fear of rejection in being dismissed and invalidated – compounded by the insult of having to pay for the experience!
Here are but a few of the “how to” areas in which I can be of value:
Creating dialogue to bridge the communication gap
Setting boundaries for having your expectations met
Managing your medical records
Managing the transition between physicians
Interviewing physicians, their staff and facility
Knowing the right questions for your pharmacist
Helping you explore the many viable alternatives in medicine
Due to time constraints, my focus on individual cases has transitioned from managing details to an educational and consultative format. This is likely a better scenario, as it will empower you to be in charge of your healthcare, which is the ultimate goal.
Managing one's healthcare can be complex. This is why advanced planning during healthy times will prove valuable. By having formats to follow and forms to fill in, you and/or your advocate will have an easier way of collecting and processing information during the brief time available with your physician. Being a licensed healthcare professional, I can provide key questions not typically thought of by consumers.
Having this information will alert your doctor they are working for an informed consumer who intends to be a primary decision-maker. People who do this inevitably receive more details. This is already common-place in our coastal states but will be a major cultural shift for many mid-western physicians. None-the-less, worrying about the psyche of the expert you are hiring to help you really needn't be a concern for you. So, release any guilt or fear you may have and give yourself permission to find people who will meet you where you are and make the interaction all about you.
Being an Advocate
When we are not well or are already overwhelmed, maneuvering with authority and assurance through the maze that has become our healthcare system can be impossible. This is the reason to always have a healthcare advocate with you at doctor appointments or during a hospital stay. Even at our best, this environment can be confusing, frustrating and intimidating. This is not the time to go it alone; allow yourself to be supported by family or friends. Two (or more) heads really are better than one.
There are numerous variables in how a person can utilize or act as a Healthcare Advocate. For specific information, please feel free to contact me. I will arm you with the appropriate tools and be available for consultation along the way, if you so desire.
Are Your Parents on Drugs?
Helping our seniors get off dangerous, synthetic chemicals by exploring their options in Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAMs) is a particular passion of mine. This, of course, is done in cooperation with a pharmacist and physician who have had continuing education in Integrative Therapies and Nutritional Healing.
Actually, any physician willing to receive and process the information would be fine, but people are typically down on what they aren’t up on, so if the “expert” you are paying is not receptive, it is certainly okay to remove them from your payroll and begin interviewing for a replacement. Extra diligence in the beginning finding the right professionals for you can save you time, energy, money, anxiety and possibly disaster on the other end.
Moving to the physical, our liver is a major filtration system for what we put in our bodies. Since it does not heal itself like other parts of the body, keeping it healthy is of the utmost importance. Seniors simply cannot filter pharmaceutical compounds with the same efficiency as younger people and a buildup of those toxins in the liver can be fatal. This is an important fact we need to give more attention.
Having too many chemicals in the body can also cause auto-immune diseases such as shingles and other terrible things we don't want our parents to suffer through. Unfortunately, I learned this at the expense of my father who used to say, "If you ever get the shingles, you might as well drive head-first in the Mississippi River. It's terrible." This comment came after suffering for years with diabetic ulcers that were raw to the bone, so I'd say he had more than a reference point. He also used to say, "They're gonna drive me to the poor house on the way to the grave," and they did. I didn't know what to do about all that then. I do now.
There are so many options in health and healing that people are not aware of, but even if pharmaceutical drugs are your choice, there are over 10,000 drugs on the market. It is okay to expect your physician to go through the top five that will work in your case, and together you decide which one you will take. Before leaving the pharmacy, it would behoove you to have the same conversation with your pharmacist. If you receive conflicting information, call your doctor immediately for clarification prior to paying for any medication and leaving the pharmacy.
There is so much more to be shared, so if I can assist you or a loved one in exploring the many viable alternatives in medicine, it would be my pleasure to do so. I don't pretend to know all the answers but, after more than a decade of studying complementary and alternative therapies, I know the questions. I also know enough to begin the process and guide you to those more knowledgeable as you progress through your journey. A phone call or e-mail is all that is needed for us to see if I can help you. The initial consultation is, of course, complimentary.
Thank you for your time and consideration. And, thank you on behalf of your parents who will never know all you do to protect them!