A doctor takes care of “patients”. I’ve always wondered who came up with that. Impatient is more like it; patient is the last thing you are when you need a doctor. I figure it had to be a doctor who coined the word “patient”—in an effort to subliminally influence the mindset.
But I digress. Even before I start.
Some doctors will disagree with me for saying this, but I think being a bad patient is a good thing.
What I mean by that is asking questions, being assertive and involved and pro-active about your care….the kind of behaviors explained in an article I read recently in USA Today.
Before I digress again, I respect and admire doctors as a group.
Though it has nothing to do with having a younger brother who’s a doctor-–I know they’re just human.
And they make mistakes—-which is how my mother died of cancer when she was 41.
In a way, that painful experience prepared me when I got cancer myself.
There was nothing patient about me.
I challenged my doctors; I walked out of a cancer center in the middle of a consultation; I changed my oncologist in midstream when he didn’t support my decisions. (It’s all in this article written about my cancer journey in MORE Magazine .)
Normally I’m not the type to do this stuff. I had no idea that my actions 15 years ago were examples of what has become more common practice. Given our mess of a medical system, if you care about your health, being a patient patient isn’t an option.
This is something I’ve always meant to write about. Honestly right now I’m absorbed with something else. And though I could have just waited and written this when I’ve pulled my thoughts together more coherently, I’m just not patient. I hope you’re not, either.