I have always felt that part of doing your job right is to manage up. I used to work for a man with severe hearing problems, okay he was basically deaf. I would never go into his office and talk to him about issues. I would send him lots of emails and updates so he could understand what was going on and then discuss as needed. Talking just got him frustrated and cranky. I started a new job last May, I one of the things I made a point to do on my first day was to find out - where to leave information for my new boss (not on his messy desk, but on his chair) and how was the best way to communicate with him (stop by his office when he wasn't on the phone). This is managing up.
But this is a blog about medical crap, most of which is unfortunately my own crap, so this is about managing up with your doctors and other medical stuff. This article (I promise some day I will stop reading articles and critiquing them - right about when they find a cure for cancer) the other day covers it pretty well. Write stuff down, ask questions, find out what you need to know, and basically take charge. Don't wait for the magic healing fairy to flit through your life and fix everything, work with your doctors to find out. If your back hurts (like me) tell them when and why it hurts.
In addition to what is covered in the article, I would like to add a couple more.My primary care told me a few years ago, don't tell her about a pain, tell her the story about the pain. Keep track of when and why it hurts (sharp pains in my ankle on the treadmill for example instead of my ankle still hurts sometimes) and it makes her job easier to do and you get the benefit of quicker treatment.
Also, if you have any test - from blood taken to a scan or anything at all - the most important question to ask is when and how will I get the results. And if they don't get you the results, you can call and ask for them and find out what the results mean. Yesterday my husband got a blood test result in the mail as a follow up to his annual physical. The test was for his Vitamin D levels in his blood. He was actually just below the normal range but the doctor wrote on the printout 'Fine'. My husband's response was 'why is it fine if not in the normal range and what the heck is a Vitamin D test mean anyway?'
Managing up your doctors is key. (Managing up your spouse can be more important but that's another story...) Today is a rainy Sunday morning and after folding five loads of laundry, we are going out to brunch just because we want to.