Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

End of Life Planning (continued)

January 29, 2010

The Harvard School of Public Health‘s publication  cited a study indicating that doctors delay communicating end-of-life care issues with terminally ill patients.  This is another example where individuals should be taking responsibility for their lives (and deaths). We don’t need doctors to urge us think about this, to prepare necessary documents and discuss these issues with next of kin.  We just have to inform doctors or our wishes and plans.

Let’s be  proactive not reactive or worse yet, inactive.

Mammography vs. Thermography

November 18, 2009

I had my last mammogram when Katrina hit New Orleans. I know this because the doctor who was supposed to read my results was busy arranging for her relatives from NO to join her.  I had to wait for my results until she was done with her arrangements.  I was in just a skimpy top incase other diagnostic procedures were recommended by her.  Which she off handedly did recommend, a sonogram.

Nothing was found but it was an uncomfortable ordeal.  The compression hurts. And the anxious waiting was worrisome. So I decided, no more.  Instead I had a noninvasive thermography scan.  No radiation, no compression and no discomfort and no Cancer.

My Doctor Makes Me Sick

October 27, 2009

I’m pretty old (77) but don’t feel my age too much.  Occasionally I have joint pains and I’m not as quick  as I used to be.  I’m steady on my feet. Have not lost any height and have even lost some weight lately so am of normal weight.  I work hard at having a healthy lifestyle. I do Yoga regularly. Go to a meditation group weekly, eat a good diet and try hard to restrict sugars. The only thing I need a doctor for is to get a new prescription for thyroid medication which I have been taking forever.

However when I come in for this (he insists I visit him) He always does a cardiogram and confirms that I have atrial fibrillation.  I don’t feel debilitated by this at all.  He worries that if I do not take Coumadin I’m in danger of throwing a blood clot and having a heart attack or stroke.

I have done some research on Coumadin and the literature says that it is dangerous for a woman my age. It could cause a stroke. And since there are many restrictions when one is on this drug I suggest that I take the things that are restricted and cause thinning of the blood instead of the Coumadin (Vit. E, Fish Oil, green leafy vegetables even aspirin etc.).

He continues to urge me to see a cardiologist.  And when I leave the office I literally feel sick. He has frightened me and is unrelenting about this.

Managing My Health. A Letter to my Doctors

October 22, 2009

This I believe and practice.

I take responsibility for my own well being.

I see my doctor as a collaborator in keeping me healthy.

I reserve the right to refuse procedures and interventions.

I want a doctor who respects my right to respectfully decline treatment, procedures and medication.

I prefer less intervention to more. I prefer to give my body a chance to heal itself without medical intervention

I believe in less testing than more. When you test you find.  Let’s not go looking, fishing.

And finally I’d like my doctor to be respectful, encouraging, supportive, upbeat, positive and even nurturing.