If you are anything like me, the second you walk into a Doctor’s office, all logical thoughts leave your head. I go from being crunchy and in charge, to listening to the Doctor and biting my tongue. It has taken me years to get over my anxiety and find my voice with my Doctor. These are 5 key phrases that remind me to speak up. I hope they help you the next time you feel overwhelmed in the consulting room.
“I do not consent” – It is easy to be bullied into consenting to things without realizing it. When you first arrive at the office they hand you a stack of forms and you feel like you are required to fill out every one. Truth be told, you are allowed to skip questions you are uncomfortable with. You are also allowed to ignore consent forms that you do not agree to. Just remember when you walk up to the desk and they say, “You forgot to sign this form” your only response need be “I do not consent.”
“What are my alternative options”– Doctors tend to plan out one course of action and expect you to follow along. Do not be afraid to ask for a more natural option, or a course of treatment you feel more comfortable with. If you know you have had a bad reaction to a drug in the past, ask for something different. It is OK to question your Doctor. It is your body; you decide the course of action.
“Can you please explain” – Feeling overwhelmed or confused after your Doctor has explained something to you? You do not have to leave the office feeling bewildered. Your medical professional needs to explain things in a clear way that you can understand. Whether that takes diagrams, or a small dance number is beside the point. The important part is that you know what is being said.
“I would like to do some research first” – So your Doctor has explained a course of treatment, and you are still unsure about it. Go home and do your own research. Ask your fellow crunchy moms, and get a few ideas for alternative treatments. Take your research back in, and then discuss the best options for YOU.
“I would like a second opinion” – You have been diagnosed with X and you have been told the treatment options. Somehow you still feel like something isn’t right. Go to another Doctor and get a second opinion. There is no harm in getting another viewpoint. If they come back with the exact same results, at least you have had that second look. This is also an important phrase when you do not agree with what your medical professional is telling you. Do not be afraid to ask for a third or fourth opinion as well.