Multiple times in the past few months I’ve been to see doctors who haven’t told me the whole story. I suppose there’s a fine line they need to tread – some patients don’t want to know. I, however, do not fall into that category.
The first was my optician. I went for a checkup where I was told I needed to make sure I wear sunglasses when I go out and to make sure I rest my eyes occasionally when I work on the computer. No problem, right? So a few weeks later I bought sunglasses and I during that time walked away from my screen once every couple of hours.
Then I went back to see the optician because I was still having trouble.
“Oh, you have the beginnings of a cataract,” she told me this time.
“Yes, that’s why I told you to wear sunglasses and to rest your eyes.”
Had I been told that in the first place, I might have been a little more diligent, don’t you think? I didn’t say those exact words out loud, but the answer to what I did say went something like, “I didn’t want to scare you.”
Next, my shoulder. As you know if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, I have a rotator cuff injury and tendonitis. I’ve been told by numerous doctors over and over not to push myself past my pain limit. Until today I didn’t know why. Wanna know why?
Apparently if I put too much pressure on my tendons when they’re swollen and inflamed they can snap. Break right in two. Then I’ll have to get into surgery within 24 hours or I can say goodbye to the broken tendon for the rest of my life. I was told by the doctor (a resident working under my family doctor) that if I hear or feel a snap I’ll see my arm swell as the muscle, free of being held in place, runs down my arm and pools at my elbow… Nice, eh?
Had I been told that in the first place… See above.
Again, I understand there are people in this world who wouldn’t want to know these things about their bodies. But there’s nothing quite like the worst case scenario to keep a person from doing something stupid out of ignorance.
Our physicians’ job is to help us heal. It’s also within their power to protect us from ourselves by either giving us the information we need – or not. Communication is of the utmost importance. If we want to know, we have to tell them and they need to be honest; it goes both ways.
Would you want to know? Because if not, I strongly suggest you follow your doctor’s instructions to the letter. You don’t know what kind of pain you’re in for otherwise.