When it comes to following prescription drug dosing and directions, I’m like a teacher’s pet. I’m terrified of potential drug side effects – almost to a neurotic and paranoid level. And I do exactly what my doctor says. But many patients don’t or can’t. Especially with the economy in the crapper, I know a lot of people who are splitting pills or skipping out of medications all together.
There have been times, however, when I’ve made educated decisions to go against my doctors’ orders for procedures. I don’t have a medical degree, but I do have a ton of common sense and research the hell out of my disease. And sometimes it makes more sense to me to disobey what my doctor is recommending. Here’s an example:
The last time my doc ordered a biopsy of nodes that were half a centimeter, I said, “Forget it. Let’s watch them and if they grow larger than 1 centimeter, I’m game.” I’ve done my reading. Medical guidelines don’t recommend biopsies of puny thyroid nodules less than 1 centimeter because the results usually come back as inconclusive.
But, sometimes my desire to disobey my doctors isn’t because of common sense examples like this. It’s because I’m scared of pain. I loathe anesthesia. I don’t want to make one more trip to the friggin hospital. I’d like to forget the trauma of being a young adult cancer patient. These are the times that I fantasize about disobeying my doctors. But still, I drag my myself to the hospital for the scan or surgery anyway because it is the smart thing to do. (Says the woman who is long over due for a pap smear.)
I try hard to leave my emotions out my medical decision making. I don’t believe in using prayer, faith, or hope when it comes to making sounds medical choices either. I am a staunch believer in evidence-based research and common sense. I am shocked though how often my really top-notch doctors do not approach my case with common sense. This most often happens when they are racing the clock, or treating me as a statistic and not an individual whose symptoms and responses don’t always match the typical patient.
I’m not trying to promote Bernard Getz style medicine. But I am interested in taking action when educated, logical decisions makes more sense than my doctors’ recommendations.
Have you ever disobeyed your doctors orders? What was your reason for doing so? Have you ever wanted to disobey their orders but been too scared to?
Read Everything Changes: The Insider’s Guide to Cancer In Your 20s and 30s to learn about Geoff who ignored his doctor and went mountain biking the day after his port was installed.