As a sick person…you seek out a doctor. It’s your hope that your doctor will have the answers and in return for their years of schooling, and your copay, they will tell you what is wrong with you and how to fix it.
Most of us are not doctors. Though at times we often feel like we know much more than they do, but the reality is we are not medically trained.
So…how do you tell a doctor they are wrong?
My adorable niece, D, is two and a half and for the last couple weeks has been exhibiting some strange stomach discomfort and weird poops. Naturally, for my family this throws up red flags all over the place. My sister, her mother, has been picking my brain about what to feed her and the details of her poop, what it looks like the consistency, the color, etc. Strangely enough, I am happy to be the poop expert for my friends and my family. Especially little D.
My sister has taken D to the doctor, and submitted a stool sample but has been told it would be 5-10 days before they had an answer. Poor D has been on the BRAT diet for over a week, and for a kid who lives on milk and yogurt, it hasn’t been easy for her. Judging by her symptoms, I do not think that D has IBD.
When my sister asked the doctor at the family practice (who just so happens to be my lady doctor), about the likelihood of D having some form of IBD, the doctor which we both know and trust replied that she doesn’t have IBD because kids of her age do not present these diseases.
Well…being an informed patient, I just so happen to know that this is wildly wrong. So wrong. So so wrong. Is it less common? Yes. But impossible? Not at all. Tell that to my kids at camp who have had IBD longer than I have by the time they’re in the 4th grade. Tell that to the parents of Elijah…who not only had UC as a small child but had it so severely he’s had a colectomy.
I just so happen to have an appointment with this doctor later today and I feel like its my job as an activist and a patient to correct her. However…I’m not a doctor. Is there a tactful way to tell your educated, trusted doctor they are wrong. So wrong in fact, that they could potentially be doing damage to their patients by neglecting the potential severity of their problems?