When you get an icky medical diagnosis, what do you do? I don't mean something like a broken bone, I mean something where the doctor gives you your options and recommendations and tells you to take some time and give it some thought.
Do you seek advice from others, discuss it with your spouse and family members, or research and make your own decision? I probably do a combination of the last two - I will do some research and talk to my husband. And I make sure its my decision and not what anyone else thinks - especially their recommendation from their cousin's hairdresser's neighbor's mother in law's dogwalker.
I realize there may be times when I am not able to make the decisions - if I am unconscious or something. This is why my husband knows what I want to do.
A recent study (because we need more studies) found that doctor's see family disagreement and patient denial as barriers to decisions about care. I make a point of avoiding the first part by making my own decisions.
I know I have gone into denial when faced with some diagnoses. As Adam says in the movie 50/50, 'but I recycle!'. I think we all go into denial when faced with trauma. "Did I really miss that stop sign?".
Denial is a normal reaction. But if it lasts too long, it really can impede medical decisions - no I am not sick! I think doctors realize this and are trained to help patient's through it. But when family disagreements get in there, the doctors shouldn't have to convince an entire clan of people as to what is best.
I think we need to prepare for times like this by keeping our selected family members informed of our decision thought process. What is it? "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?"
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