Doctors no longer seem to be all-knowing gods to many of us.
My grandparents always did just what the doctor told them to do. They trusted their doctor to be honest, knowledgeable, and infallible.
Fast forward many decades and things have changed. A lot. For one thing, there are the studies that suggest doctors lie to their patients. They apparently do this to protect their patients, to save their feelings, but it doesn’t help with the trust thing. Doctors are now overworked and dealing with lawsuits, insurance, and budget cuts. In other words, they’re human. The mystique is gone. Even more, we have the internet now and can do a lot of our own research. This helps us to realize that, again, our doctors are human. They don’t know everything.
Now, I do think that a lot of my doctors are very knowledgeable and I trust them. That, after all, is why I continue to see them. However, I still find it difficult when I need to make a decision, and I have no one to help me make it. I talk to my parents for advice, but I’m getting tired of that; I’m over 30, for crying out loud! I’m not in a relationship, so I can’t turn there. And anyway, these all just other laypeople (though my parents are very smart and knowledgeable.) I can talk to my doctors, of course, but they won’t tell me what to do. Sometimes they strongly hint at their preferred course. Sometimes they say it outright. But many times they don’t know what the right thing to do is. Damn, they really are human.
I am now facing a small dilemma. Should I continue my gluten-free diet, with its good effects but also possible negative ones? Should I quit the diet and see if the negative effects go away? But then the good effects might go too. Should I try an over-the-counter med to see if that helps the symptoms? But what if my body is still adjusting to the new diet? It could be that I improve from the diet, but if I take the meds, I won’t know which is helping. Or I can adjust my thyroid med dosage. I’ve already filled the prescription. This won’t help the nausea, of course, but it could help the fatigue. But what if the diet just needs more time to work, and adjusting the thyroid med covers that up? And I could have negative effects from changing the med dosage, too. And these are just my top choices – there are even more options to consider!
It would be so easy to have someone tell me what to do. It would remove this pressure that’s sitting on my shoulders. But I have to admit, I’m glad when my doctors admit they don’t have the answer; it’s better than pretending otherwise. Besides, I’m sure I’ll figure it all out eventually.
Does anyone have a coin I can flip?
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