Monday, August 16, 2010

Being insistent with doctors

Back to the doctor-visiting regimen today -- and unfortunately (or maybe not), back to having to insist a little bit (politely, of course) to get the kind of treatment we wanted from our doctors. We saw Dr. Sehgal, our chemo oncologist today to review matters after one cycle of chemo. It all looks pretty positive except for an uptick Dr. Sehgal thinks is anomalous in the Ca-19 reading. Then came time to nail down our radiation schedule, and the first thing the nurse said, after consulting with the radiation office, is that they plan to begin actual treatment (5-1/2 weeks) around Sept. 3. That would be too late for our schedule, which requires getting back to working, at least from home, by Oct. 7. We protested, then Dr. Sehgal talked directly to Dr. Mason, and things changed.The first blush was the set-up already scheduled for Friday to be followed by first treatment early the following week. Then on the way home we got a call from the radiation office changing the set-up appointment from Friday to tomorrow.

Moral, from our perspective: stand your ground with authority figures like doctors and if what you're asking for is reasonable, which ours was as everybody stresses not having big gaps in treatment, you'll probably get it. In the respect, I can't recommend Sharon Presley's new book, "Standing Up to Experts and Authorities," highly enough. It has not only philosophical arguments for being insistent with authority figures, but scads of very practical tips about questions to ask of a wide range of authorities. I can't prove it in our case, but I suspect the original schedule was built around the doctor's vacation rather than the patient's needs. But we got what we wanted eventually. So stand up for your rights, even if it isn't necessarily a matter of absolute right!


Nicolas Martin said...

Damned right. Good for you.

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