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If you needed to have repairs or upgrades done in your home chances are you shop around. You call two or three different people and compare the service they offer with the price and choose what works best for you. When we needed to get the outside of our windows washed I had 3 different people come and tell me what they would do, how they would do it and what they would charge and then made my decision. We don’t think twice about this.
However when it comes to our health, especially if we are in a health crisis, we tend to just do whatever the doctor recommends without question. Turns out that isn’t always the wisest course of action. Now don’t misunderstand. You chose a doctor and of course you need his recommendations. But that doesn’t mean you totally disconnect and forget it is your body and ultimately your responsibility for taking care of it.
Several years ago I found myself in a crazy health crisis (you can read about it here). I had very little choice about some of those decisions. I had to trust that surgery was the best option and it was definitely the right choice. I wouldn’t be here today writing this post if I hadn’t. However, I still asked questions during my recovery and was not shy about asking them to make changes.
After coming out of ICU I developed sepsis which is a very serious condition that can be deadly. When the nurse came in to change out the antibiotic I asked which one. When she said Levaquin it sent off all kinds of red flags. You can read why in this previous post. I politely but firmly refused it and asked that another antibiotic, not in that family of drugs, be used instead. While the doctor wasn’t thrilled, he chose a different one and it worked just fine.
I share all that to say that due to an over-burdened healthcare system, medical errors and misdiagnoses kill an estimated 500,000 American annually and 100,000 Americans die each year from prescription drugs. While a prescription is sometimes necessary, we still need to be proactive and let our health care provider know if it is something we do not want to take and why.
Some doctors, like the one I had, will honor your request in a respectful way. Others, like a periodontist I was going to, will not. (Finish reading here)