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Monday, July 17, 2006

Take charge of your own health

Recently I had an early miscarriage. What irked and annoyed me greatly was when I was trying to call up my doc to find out when I should go in for a check-up, I couldn't even get past the receptionist!

I was merely calling up to enquire when is a good time for me to have a check-up ie then or after my period was over. Obviously Ms Receptionist had a hearing problem and just kept on saying "Just come in". Hah! Yes, I want to come in for a checkup but my question was "when". But Ms Hard of Hearing Receptionist just kept on insisting that I "Just come in" "The doc is very busy, can't speak to you".

In the end, I had to make my own decision. I listened to my own body and since I felt alright, I decided to go and have a follow-up check after and not during my period. Everytime I go to see any doc, I have to drag my little ones along. I certainly had no intention to "Just come in" and then be told that the doc cannot do an internal examination during my period and to "Just come in" again at another appointed time. No way! It'll be a waste of my time and money.

I believe that everyone must take charge of their own health and not rely on their doctors blindly. When I say take charge here, I'm talking about reading up and finding up as much as you can, getting second opinions, things like that. I don't mean foolishly diagnosing yourself, medicating yourself without professional opinion or taking alternative medicine ie herbs etc without a proper prescription or ignoring your own body signals by not going to the doctor when you obviously do not feel well. By taking charge, I mean.....

  • Always find out about whatever illness you have so that you can discuss and ask the doctor everything that you need to know that will help put your mind at ease.
  • Always ask your doc questions. Do not be shy or afraid to ask questions. You have to understand your health or illness better and the only way to do so is to ask. Now, I know its hard to ask some specialists questions though. Some of them behave like their time is gold and speak to you curtly and very quickly like they can't wait to get you out of their examining room. Hey! I understand that Mr/Ms Specialist is a very busy person with lots of patients in the queue but this is my health/illness we're talking about here and I'm bewildered, confused and I need information about my health/illness. Can't you spare me a few minutes of your time?! I'm paying for it afterall. I think one thing that some specialists lack is human relations skills.
  • Always get a second opinion if its something more serious.
  • Always ask whether a prescribed medicine is really necessary to take.

From my experience, some doctors just diagnose you and then prescribe you some long term medication that you have to take without explaining the full implications (if you don't ask) and some of the meds may not even be necessary to begin with. My sister recently was prescribed some meds she had to take daily on a long term basis but when probed further, the physician said "Oh, its ok if you don't take it now that your symptoms have gone." Imagine, if she didn't ask. She would be taking something on a long term basis with don't know what side effects when it wasn't even necessary! I too have been prescribed long term medication but a second opinion gave a very different diagnosis and the second doc felt that it was not necessary for me to be on medication.

Yes, I definitely believe that I have to be a smart patient. Are you one? Oh and one more thing. Once you are above 30, thats when you will find many of your friends and yourself start having health problems one by one. You can't escape it. Its the old engine acting up. Even our bodies need servicing, tuning and regular maintenance. So if you are below 30, do take care of your health NOW! Eat healthily, exercise regularly and get enough sleep NOW!


  1. Hi there,
    Nice of you to drop by. It's been a long time since i checked that PP5 or whatever you call it list. I was looking for other mums at first but found none. Ok, now there's you, so I know, I'm not the only M'sian mum who blogs. :) Was just wondering where they were. It's amazing how you maintain so many blog-sites at one time! and yours is truly a mummy site while mine is ...rojak. I like your writing style! interesting and with good info. :) By the way, how do you get paid for blogging?
    Stay in touch!

  2. I definitely agree with about being a smart patient. I've seen docs who have all the time for me and some who don't. As a patient, we should all do our homework, such as jot down all your symptoms. The doc will be very appreciative when you can give him/her that list. On that list, try to be detail and not vague. Don't just put "5pm feverish." It's better to say, 5pm fever 38C, etc. Just my 2 cents. :)

  3. Hope you're feeling better now...take care!

    some doctors these days are more concern about how much they can 'earn' from us rather than our well being...these are the black sheeps..

  4. a&a'smom1:16 PM, July 17, 2006

    Really sorry to what had happened. I too miscarried b4 I had my 2nd boy.

    Yes never take our health for granted.

    Take care.

  5. oh....now that explains the coffee break.
    Get well soon!!! oh and....eat lots of vitamins+multivites.

  6. Hearts,
    If you look at my sidebar, you will be led to dozens of other mommy bloggers in M'sia. You will have a field time blog hopping! As for being paid? See the little ads on the blog? I signed up with Google Adsense and will get paid each time someone clicks on those ads. Its a meagre about for most but for a SAHM like me, its pocketmoney. Hehe.

    Oh yes, what you say is true. We must do our part too when we visit the doctor ie by giving them the necessary and accurate info to help them with their diagnosis.

    Yes, sad but true isn't it?

    I will, thank you.

    That amongst other things which keeps me really busy like a bee at the moment.

  7. I'm sorry to hear about your miscarriage. Do rest more during this period.

    And yes, I believe in listening to one's own body instead of relying blindly on conventional medical practices. In fact, I've grown to be very medically wary that I take the doctor's words with more than a pinch of salt.

  8. That's why I like my gynae. He never makes the decision for you, he always you present you with the facts, he even give you reading materials to go home to read up before deciding what you want to do.

    This is very good for people who wants to take charge of your health, instead of just let the Dr do whatever he think he should do (and maybe make more money out of it).

    Btw, sorry about your early miscarriage.

  9. I must be one of those patient doctors hates as I ask lots of questions, sit on the chair until it gets hot, and ignore the doc's impatient signals telling me to get out of the room quickly as there're people queuing outside.

  10. MG, sorry to hear of your miscarriage. When my sister had her miscarriage with her 2nd child, her radiologist (my boss) told her that your body knows when something is not right and gets to work what is right. In other words, it could be a blessing in disguise.
    I thought the days of 'Just come in' were out of the windows yonks ago. Obviously not.

  11. hellooooooooo MG...wah so long i no come ur blog!

    u're right about being smart patients. but i think my gynae finds me half impossible at times cos i would ask her a million questions on a test that she advised me to do but has only 60% of accuracy. doesnt make sense does it? but i did it anyway...cos the dr says that now patients read too much that patients worry for nothing. whatever lah...to me at least i know whats happening to me yeah?

    sorry abt ur miscarriage. are u trying again?

  12. Yeah, i do agree with you on reading up and know more on our body. We really could not rely 100% on doctors. Moreover most of them just want to milk more $$ from us. I know some doctors who always prescribe more vitamins so that they can earn more, although we don't actually need them at all!

  13. earthember,
    Its better to be self aware and listen to our own bodies.

    zara's mama,
    Sounds like you have a good gynae there.

    Lol! Ask even if they don't like it eh? I find that some think we're questioning them and get defensive instead. Thats ridiculous. We only want to know whats happening.

    Its just nature's natural selection process. Better now than to have problems later on.

    Hey! Long time no see. Strange that you came nearer (to S'pore) and that probably left you with less time to blog hop so I got to see you less than when you were back home in LA. Hahaha.

    Yes, we always get prescribed vit c for colds and sometimes a simple cold or flu will find you with medicine for every ailment ie for throat pain, gargle, cough drops, antibiotics, nose drops, painkillers, for fever, decongestants etc! After taking them feel like a zombie!

  14. Sorry to learn you had a miscarriage.

    But you're right about the docs. They're humans and they err too. We must take charge and not depend on them entirely.

  15. sesame,
    Some of the humans want to make big bucks as well....

  16. Sorry to hear about your miscarriage. :(
    I had an early miscarriage too in March, and doctor couldn't tell me what went wrong, after going thru so many rounds of blood tests and internal examinations. After reading your entry, i know i cannot escape anymore... just made an apptmt for a full body checkup. I must Take Charge now!;)

  17. crazymommy,
    I hope you are feeling better now. I have yet to see the doctor myself since I have been very busy with other things. So much for "taking charge of my own health" (*rolls eyes*)

  18. Gosh, the recept!!! I had my checkup done a week after D&C. i'm lucky, cos my gynae is very proactive... now he is asking me to get preggie faster so tat he can quickly deliver me haha


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