Wednesday, June 23, 2010

be your own best friend- be in charge of your health care

If you are diagnosed with thyroid disease or thyroid cancer, it is important for you to be informed. you need to be aware of symptoms, how you are feeling, what medication you are taking, etc. i have purchased several books on thyroid disease and now, thyroid cancer, and i have read and re-read these several times. i have mentioned one in some of my earlier blogs- "The thyroid source book" by Sara Rosenthal. another favorite book of mine is : "Living well with Hypothyroidism" , by Mary Shomon. Mary also has a wonderful website, which i have recommended to several hypothyroid patients: on this website, there is a section called top docs, and it is where i found my current  endocrinologist.

the doctor i was seeing previously did not take my symptoms seriously. he said i was just stressed out, and that was  what caused my blood work results to look so strange and also, explained why i was so incredibly tired most of the time. he just patted me on the back and said to " take care and he would see me next year." this went on, really, too long. but i realized that something was definitely wrong, and i needed to find a doctor that would do their best to help me feel better. i found my current doctor on the website i mentioned, and we just clicked. she sits beside me ( not hides behind a desk)  when i go in for a visit, and she really listens to me. she asks questions,  pays attention to what i say, and adjusts the dose of my thyroid medication based on lab values AND how i feel.

although part of me would like to call up my previous doctor and say " i have thyroid cancer, and it was not stress that was making me feel so badly. and you were not doing your job!!!" i still think that ultimately, it is our responsibility to take charge of our health care. people ask me how i knew that i had cancer. well, i did not know that  i had cancer, but i did know that there was definitely something wrong and i needed to get help. had i not switched doctors and had my new doctor not  been concerned enough to order the right tests, i know that things would have turned out much differently for me. i am not in the clear,though. i have more work to do- radioactive treatment, scans,etc. but at least i found out what was wrong with me, and i am headed in the right direction.if your best friend came to you and expressed concern about a health issue, you would help them get answers, right? just remember to do that for yourself.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Bea- I came across your blog on Mary's site, which I have been reading for several years- maybe since I was diagnosed as hypothyroid in 2000. My grandmother was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in May, it was random that they found it very early, and she had surgery to remove her thyroid right away. She is very lucky she had an excellent doctor. In my opinion, you have every right to, and should, in fact, contact your old doctor and tell him/her that you had cancer and that he/she should have been more thorough. Maybe that doctor will be more thorough with the next patient who has a serious illness. Just my opinion. I'm happy to hear your positive outlook in general, and thanks for being so open about your experience and feelings.