You are part of your health team

August 18, 2021 0 Comments

Don’t piss off the people that help you the most

It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of people helping to manage your care. Your spouse, general practitioner, oncologist, nurse practitioner, siblings, pharmacist, children, even your neighbors, friends, and family can all be trying to help you in some form or fashion. Much of the help is greatly appreciated and highly needed. With so many people clamoring to help, it’s easy enough to get swept away and lose sight that at the end of the day, it’s ultimately your body and you have be present.

With recent technology, it’s much much easier to be able to be aware of what’s happening. This could mean keeping track of your test results, doctors’ visits, and medications. That’s only the short list. There’s so many different factors that it’s all hard to keep track of and that’s why it’s necessary to have help. You can’t do it alone (so be appreciative of the help and don’t take it for granted). Even though it’s damn near impossible to do it alone, it’s even more difficult if you don’t do it at all and only rely on others. The more eyes on you though (your eyes included) the fewer mistakes that can happen.

As an example; last Friday was 5 days from my last chemo dose. My numbers had started to fall and my platelets were among those. Watching my platelet numbers fall and knowing how I react when they’re low (unstoppable nose bleeds), I was concerned. Wednesday my platelets were at 38 (normal range is 140-440). Friday my platelets were at 22. Having watched the trend and knowing my next clinic visit wasn’t until Monday I messaged my doctor (thank goodness for technology and the easier access) at the urging of my wife. Again, another set of eyes and someone to help look out for me, my wife is always helping and I’m extremely grateful.

MyChart is a great app for staying on top things

You have to remember that doctors and their nurses are seeing hundreds of patients. It’s difficult enough to see the numbers of all those patients. Much less look for and notice trends for them as well. My doctor’s nurse responded back and set me up for an early Sunday appointment in the clinic for a platelet transfusion. Thankfully we did because on Sunday my platelets were at 10. Dangerously low by most accounts. After two bags of platelets, my numbers came to 22. By Monday they had dropped again to 15. Had we waited from Friday to Monday, we don’t know what would have happened.

Empty calendar because I’m not giving up personal info, but I fill this thing out everyday

I’m fortunate to have the access and help that I do. My doctors and nurses do their best. My wife does her best. I need to do my best as well. Yes, it’s a team effort but that effort starts with me. If you’re in my shoes, you need to be helping yourself and others. Don’t sit idly while others do it for you. Take action. Be a part of the action. Know your numbers. Know your disease. Know the trends. Be the one that drives the team. It’s your body. Don’t you want to be the one making the decisions?

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