Recently, I was with a friend who was sharing a story of something that happened to her medically and it was very frightening. She went for her annual mammogram and shortly after that received a letter saying there were some questionable findings and she needed to go for further diagnostic testing. That was all the information she received. (First layer of fear). She was given a date a few months away. (Second layer of fear)
A few months later she went for her diagnostic test and was told by the technician to go and wait in a special waiting room and not to get dressed. (Third layer of fear). So, she went into this special waiting room to wait. There were other women in this room that were dealing with breast cancer and others that were waiting as she was. (Fourth layer of fear)
A short while later she was told she needed a further test and to follow the technician to another room (Fifth layer of fear). She proceeded to follow this technician and had the next test done. She was sent to another room to wait. (Sixth layer of fear)
Shortly after that she was told everything was ok. It was just some tissue issues, but she had nothing to worry about and they will see her in 10 months.
NOTHING was done to counsel her or check with her to be sure she was ok after the journey they just put her through for the past two months and especially that day.
After she told me this story, I pondered some things. I shared with her the fact that I don’t have “health insurance” but something called “Health Sharing.” My medical expenses get “shared” and one of the things this “Health Sharing” has taught me is to be totally involved in my medical care. Sometimes my medical expenses are out of pocket. So, I began truly dialoguing with my doctor to understand why they would order a specific test, how much will it cost (even if it was shared), and what are they looking to find.
If a prescription is ordered, I want to know the cost. I want to know the side effects and I want to understand fully why they ordered it.
So, what could my friend have done differently to have eased the fear inside her? First, I would have called the Doctor initially to find out exactly what they found and why they need to do further testing.
I would have asked what the cost of the diagnostic test would be and what the risk would be if I chose not to do this diagnostic test? She was unsure if her insurance would cover it.
If I chose to do the diagnostic test and then was told further testing was needed, I would want to know what they found and why they felt further testing was needed again? Basically, what did they see? Why would I want to know? Because each time they do these tests, more and more radiation is penetrating my body and radiation can cause cancer.
Also, are these tests being done in the Doctor’s office or a separate facility? If done in the Doctor’s office, I would want to know if the test is truly needed or could it be another way for the Doctor’s practice to bring in income. Sad but true but this is something we all need to consider. Since Obamacare came into play, Doctors have gotten together to create Corporations and develop “Marketing Plans.” My concern is their focus profitability or medical care? I know that’s a fine line, but it is truly something we need to consider and look at. Physicians seem to just “blanket” order tests and prescriptions without fully consulting the patient and even understanding if it’s something they can afford.
We all need to be advocates for our health care.
We all need to understand what Doctors are ordering in the way of testing.
We all need to understand the prescriptions that are prescribed to us and what the side effects will be.
So, at your next Doctor visit, engage with he or she and have a complete understanding as to what is happening, what they are ordering and the reasons for these orders. Then go home and do your own research. I understand that “Google” should not be our way to obtain medical information. But with that being said, you can find good published research on various drugs and diagnostic tests via Google … and even alternative treatments.
Don’t just completely trust your physician without asking questions and getting a full understanding as to what is happening to your body. It’s your right.
Your Health, Wellness and Organizing Coach … Believing in You!