"Treat the disease, you win some, you lose some. Treat the patient, you always win."
~Patch Adams~

Thursday, February 24, 2011

'I'm cheating on you:' 5 secrets you shouldn't keep from your doc

It amazes (and upsets) me to hear patients talk about all the things they don't discuss with their doctors. I have had more than one woman tell me that they don't tell their primary care doctor/gyn that they are taking bioidentical hormones. If I had a quarter for every patient who tells me they have vaginal dryness but don't feel they can discuss it with their doctors.....I could afford to pay off my mortage in one payment. Hormones, vitamins and supplements are powerful substances, and you need to be absolutely honest with any practitioner treating you about what you are putting in your body. No exceptions, no excuses. Check out this article from MSNBC.com on five pieces of information you should not be withholding from your doctor.

And as long as I am on my soapbox........

I have more than once told you that I have in my purse a written list of all my medications, hormones, vitamins and supplements, as well as the contact information of my physicians, emergency contacts, and in my case (since it's pretty extensive) a list of all my surgeries. I tell all my friends to do the same thing, I have posted it here on the blog more than once, you name it. A week ago today I took a friend down to the hosptial for a medical test. We had to be there 90 minutes early, and while we were sitting in the waiting room the nurse brought over a 6 page form to be filled out.....and it included list of medications, surgeries, and so on. My friend hit the roof, and grumbled loudly the entire time she was filling it out.

Yes, the hospital should send all the paperwork to you ahead of time, but they don't always, so I make sure I make every effort to get that kind of paperwork ahead of time. Secondly, I have told her and everyone else in my social group (and my knitting groups and my Saturday lunch group, and on and on) to get their list ready, save it on the computer and keep a printed copy with them at all times. If my friend had done it, she would have saved herself a bunch of time and effort. I had to grind my teeth to keep quiet (you should have seen me, I buried my face in my knitting---I was gripping my knitting needles so hard I am surprised I didn't break one). If you have not already done so, make a commitment before the week is over to sit down at the computer and make out the list. Keep a copy with you, and give another copy to someone who is likely to end up being with you if an emergency arises.

Have a great week!

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