As I got older, I realized they were human, too. They didn’t know everything, and they weren’t always right. I developed some discernment and learned to ask good questions.
Now in my 60s, I have no problem changing doctors if I feel I’m not being heard or my concerns are not being taken seriously. Fibromyalgia has given me a new boldness in the way I handle my medical care.
Life is too short to put up with less than satisfactory medical care. It’s a compromise I’m no longer willing to make. You shouldn’t, either. You deserve not only to be heard but also to get the best care you can. Be willing to stand up for yourself. Ask all the questions you want and demand answers. It’s your health that’s on the line.
I have no problem telling my doctor that I’m willing to try this but not that. I’m not necessarily outspoken — I just want to do the best thing for me. You and your doctor — or doctors — are a team. It’s not a dictatorship. Your input is valuable because you are the only one who really knows your body and how you react to FM meds or other therapies.
Before your appointment, write down your questions. If you can’t ask all of them at your appointment, see if there’s an online patient portal where you can leave questions. Or perhaps there’s an email address you can use. My doctor has increased my meds at times, and I didn’t feel as good, so I went back to the lower dose and let the doc know why.
Communication is imperative if you want a good relationship with your medical team. Also, if I have questions about certain meds, such as side effects or possible interactions with my other meds, I ask a pharmacist. They have the knowledge. And don’t be afraid to ask if there’s something natural you can take that will help as well.
It’s always better to be proactive than reactive. As always, I look forward to receiving your thoughts.
Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.