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Categories > What Up Doc >
Doctors: Can't Live With 'Em, Can't Live Without 'Em

What You Need To Know First 

Doctors. What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of your doctor? 

If you see your doctor as a "superior," a "boss," or even an "enemy," getting well again might be a long, uphill battle. What would happen if, instead, you saw your doctor as a coach to get your body to perform at it's healthiest...or a partner, or maybe even a 
friend? Pretend for a moment that you're both contestants on a reality TV show called The Amazing Race To My Health. You and your doctor are a team, and the better you work together, the faster you'll win that race. 

Your Role On The Team 

There are certain things your doctor-patient team can't succeed without, and these four are up to you: 

1) Honesty. Keep no secrets, tell no lies. Let your doctor know about anything and everything that's going on with you, no matter how private, gross, or generally icky you think it is. Remember that doctors are experienced professionals and have already seen a lot of private, gross, and icky things with other young patients. Besides, telling your doctor about something you're too embarrassed to tell anyone else about might feel really, really good. 

2) Trust. Believe that your doctor knows what he or she is doing and always has your best interests at heart. If he or she orders another test or puts you on new medication, remind yourself that it's all part of the grand plan to get you healthy. Believe that your doctor will keep your discussions private. 

3) Communication. Feel like your doctor speaks some strange language called IBD-ese? Here are some of the words and terms you'll hear a lot: 

  • Flare = active disease = relapse
  • Remission = inactive disease
  • Large bowel = large intestine = colon
  • Small bowel = small intestine = ileum
  • Inflammation = red, hot, swollen, and sore = indicates IBD
  • Colitis = inflammation of the colon
  • Ileitis = inflammation of the ileum

Ask questions when you don't understand. Ask questions even if you do understand, but want to know more...about your diagnosis...about what to expect in the future...about your treatment. Actually, ask questions whenever you have them, even if you think they're dumb or you should already know the answer. 

Remember that the unknown is much scarier than the known. When you understand and expect stuff, it's a lot easier to deal with. 

4) Cooperation. Yeah, we know. You can't stand taking all those pills. You hate not being able to eat your favorite foods. But when you blow off your doctor's advice and instructions, you're just helping to keep yourself sick.


Your Doctor's Role On The Team 

Since this is an equal partnership, you should expect your doctor to pull his or her weight by: 

  • Acknowledging and understanding what you're experiencing, both physically and mentally.

  • Not judging you.

  • Being open and honest with you.

  • Educating and reassuring you.

  • Having a clear plan for your treatment.

  • Helping you take responsibility for your health.

If you've done all you can to make your doctor/patient team work, but you and your family have doubts or don't feel comfortable with your doctor...
FIND A NEW ONE! A positive partnership is very important to your treatment.

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