Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The List

The young bride recently bought a kitchen blender which now sits proudly on our kitchen bench. It’s a wonderful machine and apparently does amazing things. I haven’t been allowed to play with it yet, but I have eaten of the fruits of the machine and they are definitely good!
Before she bought this blessed electronic gizmo, she made a list of everything she wanted from it. She then did a search of similar gizmos in order to work out which one was best for her. Finally she checked out Choice Magazine to see what they thought and where the best bargains might be found.
By now you might be thinking that I’m going to write about healthy eating. But I’m not. This is all about that strange and sometime scary event:

 “Going to see the Doctor”

From my early years when I was on the other side of the desk, to the more recent years when we've moved around to sit next to our patients, one of the 'heart sink' moments that we Docs all experience is the patient who comes in with the dreaded “List”!

Early on in life, a visit to the Doctors is usually a fairly simple  - earaches, sore throats, rashes, soft tissue injuries etc. But as we age and things start to creak and go wrong, then many people resort to “The List”. 

But beware, sometimes “The List” can end up being a double-edged sword especially if you leave your Doctor to decide which items on the list need his/her attention immediately. This is becoming more of a problem as most patients rarely get to see their own Doc these days. The reason being that most Docs are now part-timers who work in large clinics and they’ve probably never seen you before in their lives. All they have is you, your medical history and “The List”.

So my suggestion is to take a leaf out of the young brides book and do some “due diligence” yourself.

  • Make a list of all the things you want to talk to the Doctor about.
  • Prioritise that list with the things that you’d like to get attended to first.
  • Show your prioritised list to your pharmacist or Community Nurse to get their opinion. And if you’re a little nervous about it all then take an advocate along with you - family member or friend.

Be aware that if you have more than two things on your list it is wise to make more than one appointment to deal with all your issues. Believe me, one interview will never allow enough time to properly analyse multiple problems or to allow your Doctor to explain their thoughts to you.

Finally, if you think your Doctor is not giving you adequate time or failing to treat each issue seriously, then feel free to get a second opinion. 

Ask my young bride, if you were buying a food processor you’d look around for the best deal - so why not do the same for your life!
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Jenny Woolf said...

Interesting thought. I wonder if older people get more patient and uncomplaining about the minor aches that would have sent them rushing off to the doc in the past.

Duncan Jefferson said...

I think some do but others don't. Loneliness is a big factor I think.

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