When my father was really starting to feel ill, I flew out to Arizona to see him. Using a stethoscope to listen to his lungs, I noted that he didn’t have breath sounds in the middle lobe of his right lung. He also had night sweats and intermittent fever. Some of you may have already guessed that it sounds like pneumonia. That’s what I thought. I went with my father to his already scheduled doctor’s appointment and told the doctor of my findings. He just did a cursory scan of my father’s chest with his stethoscope while talking. He then told my father that his problem was all in his head. I was shocked!! The doctor certainly didn’t know the mental strength and fortitude of my father to have made such a crazy statement. A few days later my father coughed up a part of the cancer which was causing the pneumonia in his lung. Of course the doctor’s whole demeanor changed.
My mother-in-law (Eunice) fell and broke her hip back in January. Besides her obvious leg pain, she complained of low back pain. In fact, she complained that her back hurt worse than her broken leg!! If Eunice complains of pain then someone needs to take note. They told her that her back was bruised from the fall. Over the months she continued to have intense back pain. Yet, no-one was willing to x-ray it. The doctor told her that it was her imagination. I told Eileen that Eunice likely has a compression fracture in her back from the fall and needs to go to a different doctor or whatever it takes to get an x-ray. As gently as Eileen could, she pestered Eunice who in turn talked to the doctor. He finally took an x-ray, and sure enough, Eunice has a compression fracture at the base of her spine.
The arrogance amazes me. I guess that if some doctors can’t figure out the problem then it must be in the patient’s mind. I’m thankful that my doctors aren’t that way. To those who have doctors that are so arrogant, there are plenty of doctors who aren’t. Remember, it’s important to maintain as much control of our health as possible, even if that means keeping an eye on those who are supposed to be keeping an eye on us.