Sunday, April 06, 2008

How Does Bubbleman Face Being Sick?

Bubbleman as patient has had a long storied case file. I've encountered more doctors, before and after medical school, than the average Filipino.

And, for me, it seems that the most stress-free way to face being sick is to distance your professional self and leave the decision making to another colleague.

I remember last year when I had my cholecystectomy. I presented with vague abdominal pain with fever, and no other GI symptoms. My first instinct was to take antacids. When that didn't work, I sought the opinion of another doctor - my girlfriend Joy - who then considered Typhoid Fever. When the tests and initial treatment failed to confirm the presumptive diagnosis, I went to my former colleagues in Surgery to be examined. An ultrasound showed a greatly swollen gallbladder with no stone; I was operated on the next afternoon.

In another time, one of my many doctors and I were faced with evidence of a nagging illness. The proof was so powerful that there were no other alternatives for a diagnosis.

In both cases, I could have been a difficult patient and bore some of the responsibility of decision making myself. I could have engaged colleagues in a protracted debate, ordered additional tests myself, and tacked on medications for my own personal benefit.

But it was so relaxing to be taken care for once.

We also receive more information than the average patient, and alternatives are presented to us at an earlier time. I would understand that if these details were relayed to those with minimal or no medical training (patient information on the web not included), it would take a very long time to explain everything. I repeat, a VERY long time to explain.

I reciprocate this transparency with an unqualified faith in my doctor's ability to treat me. I fully know that if this faith is violated in any way, I can gently seek another opinion from a different colleague, thus effectively sharing the burden of treating me.

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