Sunday, November 1, 2015

Being a complainer

There is a difference between complaining and being a complainer. I complain sometimes, we all complain. And we should. We should speak our minds and make our wishes known. But if we complain too often we can become complainers where we are either Chicken Little or the Boy who cried Wolf so that when we have real complaints, they get lost or overlooked.

Here is a tale of a complainer who complained so often that her complaints became overlooked and she ended up diagnosed with stage IV thyroid cancer and died from it which lead to a malpractice suit.

I think there are a couple issues in this story. The patient complained so much and spent so much time talking about other issues that it became difficult to discern real medical issues from other issues. Of course her doctor could have done more to figure out the cause of her symptoms but he and a specialist could not find anything that significant and attributed the diagnosis of acid reflux  as the cause, which is very common.

When I am the patient, I come in prepared for my appointment with a list of questions to make sure they were all addressed. I would have also kept the list from one appointment to another to make sure something is being done to find out what is wrong with me. And if it dragged on to too many times I was back in for the same thing with no change or resolution, I would get pushier and want more options.

With my medical background, I know you are never too young, too old, or too anything for a diagnosis.

I also know all medical personnel are busy and need to be told a story about a complaint. Don't say 'I have a pain', say 'I have a pain when I do this or eat this', etc. We need to make it easy for my doctors to get to the bottom of the problem. We don't need to share pictures with them or tell them about the rest of our lives. We need to give the  medical professionals as much information relating to our health problems to help them help us.

We should not be complainers but we should tell about our complaints so we do not end up like the patient in the story.

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