A journey into the world of medicine, as a first time patient with a life threatening condition, is frightening beyond comprehension. How you handle it and the ensuing black hole of medical jargon and actions, is critical.

If you think that there will be someone there to take care of things, don't fall prey to that illusion. You can't be sure and you can't count on those closest to you to not fall apart. So, where does the responsibility lie for taking the reins?

It lies with you, my friend. Whether you like it or not.

I am a native american with diabetes and while that's no surprise in this day and age, what does surprise me is the attitude of a large percentage of physicians who treat any diabetic with the same condescending and almost resentful attitude. There are very few physicians who look at the person anymore, with regards to patients as a whole.

In addition to diabetes, I have a hearing disability and a myriad of psychological issues related to the past 8 years of medical intrusion into my life and body. While I'm completely aware that it all could have been prevented with a better attitude towards my own disease and better care of my body, it didn't happen that way and what did occur gives me a very unique insight into the world of doctors and their gadgets and their administrative machines.

I have been hospitalized and operated on over 7 times in the last 8 years. I can't give you the exact count, as when I begin to sift through the memories my throat gets tight and I physically feel a lot of things I would like to forget.

The initial hospitalization ended up with a grotesque amount of flesh excised from my feet and removal of one toe. The next six months were spent with nurses coming into my home daily to change bandages and ask the same questions over and over.

I can't tell you how frightening it all was, and it was only the beginning, but through it all I've remained focused on one thing and that is to be informed and understand what they were doing to me and why. You cannot just lay there in that hospital bed and let them prod you, give you medications and not know why. If you do, then what happens to you is your own damned fault.

You as the patient, have the right to ask any question you have. You have the responsibility to take that information and make your decisions. You have the right to refuse or request different treatment options. You cannot leave it in the hands of physicians who are there simply to pay off their student loans, or to fund their next house renovation.

Am I being too harsh on the doctors in this country? You have your opinion and I have mine based on several years of dealing with my own medical traumas. I have found very few doctors who actually have that last spark of compassion and humanity. They are, unfortunately, jaded and apathetic for the most part. Just doing their jobs and if you're intelligent, ask questions and let them know that you are going to stand up for yourself, they often don't like it. It makes their job harder. But listen to me, my friends, it's your right and it's your body.

There are two things that doctors have the right to do and that is to diagnose, and recommend treatment options. Just because you are on their patient roster does not give them the right to bully you or lie for their own comfort or gain.

Sometimes it pays to think of the doctor's office as just what it is, a place of business, and just like any other business, they can be replaced with one that is more suited to your needs and personality.

Originally posted to One Thin Paradigm on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 06:36 PM PST.

Also republished by KosAbility and Community Spotlight.

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