Do you remember the Don Adams "Get Smart" show from the 80's? He just bumbled along through life. You can't do that anymore. Personal responsibility is the name of the game now.
And I can't tell you how important this post is/might be to someone you know and love. As my dear friend Nancy used to say: How do ignorant people manage their lives? Well actually she used the word stupid but that was years ago and definitely not PC these days. At any rate, she made the comment in relation to something ridiculous that happened to her at the driver's license bureau, but it holds true in every aspect of life. Although today I'm thinking medically, so it's simpler just to list a few things that have happened to me or mine and hope it might help you in the future.
1. Ten years ago my son, at age 45, had back surgery. He's a trauma nurse, so we're not talking about somebody ill informed regarding anything medical. In the middle of the night, a nurse came in and was preparing to give him medication of some sort. He asked her what it was, looked at it and told her it was not what was prescribed. He was right. She checked. It wasn't. Now if that happened to me, I'd never have known unless I asked the doctor what medications were being prescribed and then kept an eagle eye out....day and night....for anything given to me. I'd just trust the correct medication was being given. What worries me is what if I'm so ill I can't check?
2. If you have a health scare, be sure to take your spouse, your daughter or son, a friend or anyone who will listen carefully to what the doctor is telling you. You'll probably be in a state of panic, won't remember anything and you won't ask the right questions. I've had it happen. For some reason, panic turns off your ears.
3. I had a hip replacement 8 years ago. Every year I have an X-ray followed by an appointment with my orthopedic man. I called for my yearly appointment and in turn, his office called the people who do the X-ray. I then received a scheduling call. I was told I had to prepare for two tests: an ultrasound of the pelvic area (must drink 32 ounces of water before the appointment) followed by the normal hip X-ray. Hmmmm. I questioned the woman for quite a while trying to make certain that first test was requested by my doctor, but she decided I was either senile or an idiot (see first paragraph) spoke more slowly, which was soooo annoying, and kept asking if I understood what she was saying. They look at your birth date and scratch you off as senile, stupid or nearly dead. You will find this happens more and more as you get older. I finally gave up with her and told her I would call my doctor.
That first test sounded familiar and then I remembered: my OB/GYN had me do this a few years back. That couldn't be right, so I Googled the test and sure enough, it didn't have a damn thing to do with a hip replacement. I did call the doctor and no, they had not asked for that ultrasound. What if I just took their word for it and had that unnecessary test? The woman was quite adamant about it. Instead of assuming I was an idiot, she should have double checked with my doctor. How difficult would that have been?
I have more to list, but you get the idea. And these were minor incidents. I bet you could each add a personal experience to this post....feel free to do so in comments, any advice may just help someone.
Be informed. Use good sense. Get advice. Talk to people. Use Google. Understand your doctor. Understand your medications and what they do. Get details. Write it down.
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