Even an expert patient like me forgets stuff. Yup, it’s true. Sorry to disappoint you.
I don’t know about you, but generally, when I go to the doctor, I’m not at my best. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be there.
You see, on bad days things change for me from one minute to the next. And by “things” I mean my ability to be able to comprehend what I’m reading, what I’m writing ( 😦 ), and especially what I’m hearing. When I feel awful, I can’t focus on what you’re saying. And I’m certainly not going to remember it. I’m not going to write it down, and if I did, I am not going to be able to read what I wrote. So naturally, I’m not going to do what I just paid half a month’s salary to have a doctor tell me to do.
Most days I am a highly functioning individual. Smarter than the average bear. On other days, I’m not. On those bad days, the bear turns into a sloth and I become a blithering idiot. Usually diarrhea is involved, and I must say that I often feel like I flush a lot of brain mater. Luckily, it recycles, but the image is pretty yucky.
Sadly, I’m not the only one.
Sick people as a general rule, sick people are not smart people because they’re sick, feverish, nauseated, dehydrated, cancerous. People in pain are not smart people. When you hurt, when you’re weak, when you can no longer lift your head because of the pain, well, it’s hard to listen.
Naturally, that’s when it is most important.
Because that’s when you go to the doctor, when you go to the ER, when you learn what you need to do to feel better. But you’re sick so you never remember what you’re supposed to do. Or in what order to do it. Or for how long to do it. Or if it goes inside or outside that orifice…
So when I read this article earlier today in the New York Times, I thought — what a great idea! Record the instructions!
Now why didn’t I think of that?
We all have electronic devices with us at all time. Use the damn things! If instructions are recorded, you can replay the instructions when you forget what you’re supposed to do, and it’s just like you’re back there in the doctor’s office. You have a better chance of doing it right. Just as if you had a personal doctor or nurse right there reminding you just what to do and how to do it.
Some doctors don’t like the idea. They worry (not unreasonably) about malpractice. But frankly, compliance with doctor’s instructions is a big problem in patient care. And this seems to me an excellent recipe for making sure you do what the doctor tells you to do.
Now if I can just figure out how to use the audio on my phone ….