Stand Up For Your Life
By: Janvier Richards
She was only forty when she died. Her doctor told her that she had gallbladder stones. She trusted her doctor, as she should have. After all, he had had extensive years of training in his field. When she finally discovered the truth, her full and young life was cut short by colon cancer.
She was prescribed Diflucan to treat a yeast infection over and over again. This medication worsened the problem because it kills the good bacteria that ore yeast infection. Well, she did have a bacterial infection, which required antibiotics, and the problem was solved really quickly after seeing another doctor.
Her doctor told her that she had a sexually transmitted disease and she worried for months, going through anxiety and depression. She was thirty years old at the time and had not gone for her annual pap smear in three years because she did not like doctors.
Those stories are about 3 different women but this article is not about colon cancer or bacterial infections. It is about our ability to take back our health and stand up for it. Do you go for your annual check-up, categorized in your age group? Do you understand the tests you are getting? Are you walking around with the belief that everything is fine with you? Do you get a second opinion from your doctor after you have heard the news? Do you believe that it is just a skin rash, yeast infection or that you are just tired because you need more rest? Do you question your doctor when the same symptoms occur over and over again? Do you have doubts about how to proceed once you have heard a diagnosis? Do you even know what the problem is and understand the treatment?
Going to your doctor for all your physical check-ups can prevent more health problems down the road. Getting a second opinion can open your mind up to other possibilities of treatments; it can give you a better understanding of what your problem is and what kind of treatments are out there in the medical field to help you. It gives you options. Do not be afraid of offending your doctor; in fact a great doctor would suggest that you get a second opinion. This is your life, not theirs. Remember, doctors are humans and can make mistakes. One doctor may read something that the other does not see or know that might save your life.
Story after story that women tell me about themselves; family members, friends that have worried, stressed or died because of misdiagnosis, not paying attention to their own health or just not getting checked out. Many of you still do not go for your annual Pap smear, mammogram, colon, and HIV AIDS tests. To our many women friends that do not have health insurance, we understand the difficulties you face in obtaining good medical information or advice. For those of you with insurance, it would be a shame for you to ignore your health. You should be the first in line for many of the annual tests approved by your health insurance. It is time that you stop and take your health into your own hands. We are dying and becoming our own silent killer.
Getting a Second Opinion
- Ask your doctor to recommend another doctor or specialist for another opinion
- If you do not feel comfortable asking your doctor about whom to see for a second opinion, contact another doctor you trust.
- Always check with your health insurance provider first to make sure the cost of a second opinion is covered.
- Arrange to have your medical records sent to the second opinion doctor before your visit.
- Learn as much as you can about your condition.
- Never rely solely on the telephone or Internet for a second opinion.
Everyone should get a standard yearly physical, which should include a blood test that checks things, such as blood iron levels or thyroid function, Pap tests at least every three years, and for some, annually.
20 or Older: Along with the above-mentioned tests, you should get your cholesterol checked and learn how to do a breast self-exam.
40 or Older: Add mammogram to your tests every other year (between 40 and 50 and annual after 50) along with your pap test. You will also have the unpleasant experience of adding the screening for colon cancer.
50 or Older: Start doing a bone density exam and a thyroid test, along with all other tests listed above.