Be Your Own Advocate: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

Be Your Own Advocate: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Back when I was younger, I never asked my doctors questions. Through infertility treatment, two pregnancies with my daughters, and the occasional illness that required a doctor's visit, I just sort of did whatever the doctors told me, not questioning anything. I remember once asking my OB about something and how annoyed she was by the question. I avoided doing that again. Then came Crohn's. I started out the same way, not questioning anything. My internist gave me the referral to the GI. I didn't ask for other options in case I didn't like that particular GI — and I was lucky I wound up loving her — and I didn't question what procedures or medicines I was going to take. I didn't question when I could get appointments. I just did everything everyone said. Then one night I had an episode that sent me to the hospital. I was just recovering from a Crohn's flare and I had taken a sleeping pill to help me get some rest. I immediately fell asleep in a way that I guess scared my then-very young daughter and my husband, and he called 911 when he couldn't rouse me. I was sent to the hospital overnight for tests and then brought to a room. The doctors thought it was neurological and sent for someone they said was tops in the field. I immediately didn't like this tops-in-the-field doctor. I was in the bathroom when he came into my room for my first examination and he pounded on the door. "I'm here," he said. "You need to come out." Then he did a quick neurological evaluation and wanted to put in an IV. There seemed to be no reason for an IV since I was OK at that point, and I refused it. Then he started telling me that even though my tests were fine, he wanted to do more tests. And he insisted on putting me on a medication for seizures even though it was clear
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One comment

  1. Nicole says:

    Thank you for this article! As a physician and patient advocate, I completely agree. Patients must feel comfortable speaking up for themselves and doctors must allow them to do so.

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