It used to be so simple. You got sick; you went to the doctor; the doctor told you what to do; you did it and you got better. Or, maybe you didn’t get better but the doctor’s word was the law.
We’re smarter and more informed now; thanks in large part to the access we have to information on the internet. And don’t get me wrong; it’s a good thing, but it is confusing.
I’ve had a week of contradictory and confusing medical opinions. I am so incredibly thankful that I have friends who are health care professionals whom I totally trust. Without those people, I would have been sunk this last week.
So what is all of this about? Well, without going into specifics (and I am not going to do that), I’ve had some problems with a cough and chest pain. The first antibiotic did nothing to alleviate my symptoms. Common sense told me to get another antibiotic.
So I did what any intelligent person would do. I went to see my doctor. Here is what happened.
Me: I need another antibiotic. There is no improvement in my condition.
Doctor: Let me go and do some research on this.
She comes back after about 6 minutes.
Doctor: Well, I can give you 2 antibiotics. You can take one of them (either one), or you can take both or you can wait until after your CT scan and not take any. It’s totally up to you.
After some discussion, with no direction or guidance from her, I decided to get the RX for both and got some direction from an MD friend, as to what to take. ( He said to take one of them, so I am.)
After the CT scan, and it was basically clear (a huge relief), the nurse practitioner told me that since it was clear, I didn’t need to take the antibiotic any more.
Again, I asked some friends who are health care professionals (an MD, a pharmacist and my chiropractor), who all said, “NO, you need to finish the meds.”
So where does that leave people who don’t have friends they can ask an opinion of when they are sick; people who believe that the doctor’s word is law?
I shudder to think.
This week has shown me the importance of being your own health care advocate like never before.
I’m still coughing and I still have chest pain, but this antibiotic seems to be working and I am starting to feel better. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
As I continue to go through more testing and get to the bottom of this, I thank my lucky stars to have these people in my life.
You know who you are.