Wednesday, January 17, 2007

advocate, reprise

I was going to leave this in the comments section, but it got long and I got itchy to proofread and spell check and the box got little, and...

1. In my case, I was dealing with a few additional variables with respect to the clinic and doctorS that I was seeing that I chose not to share here that had an impact on my overall experience (also, in retrospect, I was feeling cranky and probably defensive when I wrote that post.)

2. I still do believe in advocating for yourself, just know that doctors are people too with all of the positive qualities and shortcomings that the rest of us have. Some listen to their patients; others are less interested in patient-interaction. They're people and while some people are wonderful, others suck ass.

With regards to infertility, it seems like many people feel like they're just a number or are on a cookie-cutter protocol. Some don't care and it may not make a difference in their treatment anyway. For others, individualized care can be a major issue.

Know how to work YOUR system. I often let my doctor tell me in detail things that I already know, because I've found he's less receptive to higher level discussions if I interrupt. A waste of time? Maybe. But I get a better response from him when I let him go through his process first. I've had other doctors who were relieved that I already knew what they were talking about. I've had some who hadn't read my chart, weren't listening to me anyway, and no matter what I said or how I said it, I wasn't going to get anywhere. Just another form of "know your audience."

3. In the US, it is NOT LEGAL to deny you a copy of your records.

You're entitled to inspect, obtain a copy of, and amend your own records. Most offices have a procedure in place for these requests; all hospitals do. If your clinic/doctor does not have a request form for you to fill out, put your request in writing. In the link I added to the original post there's an example request.


Irish Girl said...

"They're people and while some people are wonderful, others suck ass."

How true - in healthcare and in life. Being able to tell the difference is a truly wonderful gift to have!

"With regards to infertility ... individualized care can be a major issue."

Yes, yes, and yes. Especially the further into treatment you get. I know of NO OTHER human on this planet (my husband included) who cares even close to as much as do I whether or not I ever become pregnant, give birth, or parent a child. How much more reason do I need to help fight my own battle?

Good for you. Advocate for yourself. You have valuable information about yourself, your health, your needs and wants, all of which can only help the health care professionals with providing your care. It is their job to incorporate you in that care.

RUTH said...

I found getting a copy of the notes about me and reading what a bad nurse had written about me empowering. It made me very clear I had made the right choice in complaining about her care.

Another story is reading upsidedown across the desk as the doctor wrote "hypochondriac" on the file. Better to know.

twirl said...

Ugh, Ruth, that really sucks.

That's exactly the kind of shit I'm talking about.

Good for you for complaining. I hope it got you somewhere.