When you walk into a doctor’s office, seeking treatment, as much as it is the doctor’s responsibility to make sure you get all your information, and become as well as you can, part of the journey is also yours. As a patient, you cannot divorce all responsibility and expect to get well, and be back in the pink of health, just based on what the doctor does, or intends to do.
There are several factors that you need to consider when you visit with your doctor, and all of them, along with his or her expertise, ensure that you become – and stay – healthy!
Here is a list that you have to adhere to:
1) Take ownership of your health
It is your body, and your mind. The doctor is a medium of health and healing, but remember that old saying – you can take a horse to the water, but you cannot make it drink. If you do not accept that your health is your own, you can go to the best doctors in the world, and not get well.
Understand your body. Understand its triggers – what makes you feel good, what doesn’t. Tune in to yourself, so you know when things are off. This is all information that is hugely useful to the doctor.
Get to the doctor on time. If you waste time trying home remedies, or Googling information and self-diagnosing, you are not in charge of your wellness. Once you’ve messed things up, it is going to take your doctor much longer to set them right.
If you don’t feel on top of things a couple of days in a row, call them, and ask them what they think it could be. If they want you to come in immediately, go in immediately! There are no compromises to be made on your health.
2) Be honest
Nothing is worse than hiding information from your doctor. Tell them all of your health history with absolute clarity. Share your symptoms without fear. Tell them if you’ve had surgery or any such intensive treatment at any point in your life. You may think it does not matter but it does. Tell them if you’re on medication, and why. Take in your file of x-rays, and scans. Take in your latest blood test. Take in prescriptions. Remember that health issues are complicated – if you present your doctor with all the information in a clear and honest manner, they will be able to diagnose you well. If you hide information, and they suggest a procedure or medicine that is potentially harmful, you have yourself to blame.
3) Partner with your doctor
Work with what they tell you. Don’t second guess them. If you want to get a second opinion, do so by all means but don’t delay it, don’t play around – get all the information you need, make your decision and commit to it. If you’re trying alternate healing therapies alongside, let your doctor know. Getting well soon depends as much on you, as it does on them. If they tell you to follow a diet or fitness or other kind of regimen, and you don’t, there’s no point to the whole endeavour.
4) Stick with it
Ask your doctor for a timeframe, and don’t compromise on anything you need to do for yourself within that period. If he or she gives you six months to get well, commit to those six months. Do what you need to do, and remember that you are the winner at the end of that period.
5) Stay in touch, even when you are well
Don’t disappear on your doctor. Keep them updated. Ask them if you need a follow up. Do your regular tests on time, and share the reports. Do not fall back into self-diagnosis or carelessness. Staying healthy is a lifelong process, and your doctor is your best friend on that journey.