“No hidden Agenda”, I have used that phrase a lot when communicating with doctors and/or specialists. If you are new to this, and you suspect that you are suffering from FQ damage, you are initially going to want to make an appointment to start ruling out any other diseases or disorders that could also be causing your symptoms. Although the symptoms you are experiencing are distressing, it will give you peace of mind to rule out other diseases and disorders. FQ damage can mimic the symptoms of certain diseases so a definitive diagnosis ruling out these diseases is necessary, or it could keep you from getting the necessary medical help you need.
Always keep in mind that it is your body and you are the expert of your body. Although you may not know what is happening to you, you know the nuances and the in-and-outs of your system. Do not lose sight of this fact. Next, learn as much about FQ damage that you can. The more knowledgeable you are the more confident you will be. But always keep an open mind for new ideas and suggestions.
I have found, for me, the best approach is to speak to the doctor with an air of confidence and explain to him/her that I am not one to sit idly by and therefore I have researched what I am experiencing. I relate that I have I looked at the drug manufacturer’s literature and research articles on Pub Med and other reputable sites. I tell him/her that I have found instances where other individuals have responded similarly to FQ’s as I currently am responding, but regardless, I tell him/her that I wanted to get to the bottom of what was causing my symptoms. I told my doctor that I have “no hidden agenda” and that if he comes up if irrefutable evidence of a particular disease or disorder then I will believe him, if not I want him to keep the possibility FQ damage as the cause of my symptoms.
In summary I use the following plan when speaking to a doctor, especially for the first time.
- Honesty. Tell your doctor everything about what is currently going on with your body then tell him about your general health and lifestyle. If your doctor doesn’t have all the facts, he or she may miss something that is key to your care plan
- Explain what you know up front. Your doctor is likely to assume that you know nothing about your condition. Chances are if you are seeing him about an FQ reaction then you have done some homework and learned about your condition. This way you can start off at a different place. If you act knowledgeable and intelligent the doctor will usually reciprocate accordingly.
- Be confident, calm, and respectful. Make eye contact and speak with an air of confidence, but in a respectful tone. Speak like you would like to be spoken to. You need a health care provider on your team who respects you and your knowledge, and the best way to earn respect is give it.
- Speak with “I” statements. “I” statements clearly and directly express how you feel without placing blame. For example, instead of saying, “you haven’t been listening to me!” you might say, “I feel like you may have missed something I said. Let me try again.” This can help the doctor focus on what’s really important — meeting your needs, rather than on defending him or herself.
- Listen! Pay attention to what the doctor is saying — instead of planning your response while he or she is talking. This way you won’t miss any vital facts or instructions you are given.
- If you don’t understand, ask! Doctors sometimes forget that others don’t understand medical terms. Ask for plain language when you are unclear about something. Make sure you don’t leave until you understand all that you’ve been told.
- Take notes. Write down answers to your questions and instructions you are given. Repeat the instructions back to be sure you heard the doctor correctly. Some individuals take pocket recorders or bring along another person to jot down information.
- Don’t expect a magic cure. Chances are he is woeful ignorant of the affects of FQ’s like most medical professionals are. If he is willing to work with you and treat you symptomatically with your recommendations then you will have an important ally on your side.
Doctors are your paid employees. You are paying them for their knowledge and troubleshooting skills. Keep that in mind. You deserve to feel comfortable and respected. If your doctors accepts you and is willing to work with you and your condition then he is an important person to have on your medical team. If using the above steps fails and he does not want to work with you, you do not feel comfortable and respected then it is time to “kick him to the curb” and look for a different health care provider.