“That other doctor didn’t know what he was talking about”, Miss Cathy said, after Dr G decided to reject the suggestion of adding a statin to her daily medications.
“He was just generalizing, he didn’t know me.”
“Well, yes he did”, I piped in, not so much in support of the vascular surgeon she just saw so much as defending doctors in general.
I sat there feeling as if I was under attack for (“heaven for fend”) not only suggesting but also encouraging her to go the doctors and specialists we’d seen in the past several weeks and months-regardless of the outcome of their findings.
Believe me, I understood her frustration after schlepping to more than six doctors in a two week period with no hard diagnosis but what she couldn’t (or wouldn’t) appreciate was the fact that answers are not always guaranteed when you have questions for a doctor.
Sometimes they just ‘don’t know’ and the best they can advise is to monitor the situation or seek a second (or third) opinion.
“In Dr M’s defense”, I continued, ”He was just making a recommendation. He did say that the final determination would be up to Dr G so I wouldn’t just dismiss him. He was looking out for your best interest.”
“Yeah, well….”, she said dismissively, “I can understand that too but I don’t want to take anymore of that medication.”
“All dem pills!” began her familiar retort, followed by, “I don’t see why I have to take’m.”
And so the broken record continued…..
“I’m gonna die anyway, like everybody.” “Nobody is going to live forever.”
Apparently the good doctor and I were to be subjected to all her greatest hits.
Before my ears started to bleed I said, “Then stop taking all of them, don’t come to the doctor and you’ll be dead that much quicker.”
“Will that make you happy?” I asked, not quite rhetorically but not expecting an answer either.
“No, not all of it” she said thoughtfully, “I’ll take some of it, but not everything.”
“Well, actually, that’s the problem, you see, we’re here so the doctor can make the ‘call’ on the medications, it shouldn’t be up to you to decide what you take and don’t take.”
“What’s the point of having doctors if you’re not going to listen to them?”
My question evaporating into the sterile, antiseptic air in the examination room as Dr G closed his notepad, having already said that he wasn’t going to make any change in mom’s meds (or get in the middle of our “George and Martha” act) then got up to leave while Miss Cathy looked around, not for an answer but for her purse and cane before wobbling off to the phlebotomist.
And so ended the appointment, just “another day, another doctor”.
TyTip: Carry your own version of a “Cathy Clutch” (a tote bag filled with all of your loved one’s doctor’s files, paperwork, a notebook and pen for taking notes and film from any/all exams or tests, plus their identification, medical and insurance cards) to all of your doctor’s appointments, you’ll never know when you’ll need something!
TyTip too: Type up and print out a list of your loved one’s medications (be sure to include the dosage(s), what the medication are used for and what condition they are to treat) as well as medicines they might be allergic too
Your “Medications List” can be attached to medical forms and can also be handed directly to doctors and nurses who may inquire about your loved’ ones medications as well.
Having this document will save you a ton of time! Don’t forget to update your list whenever there is a change (addition or removal) of a medication or change in dosage