Monday, January 22, 2007

3:30AM - Researching bronchitis on the net.
After researching Bronchitis treatment on the net last nite, I am changing my treatment. My research showed that I have bronchitis, which is a viral infection not treatable by antibiotics. However my doctor here in Santa Rosalia, prescribed antibiotics for me.

I am a very strong advocate for pro-active medical care. This means to me, that the patient should be the ultimate decider of medical care. My future bronchitis treatment is described on the page with the [Bronchitis treatment link] above.

Pro-Active Medical Care
I am devoting the entire content of today's post to the subject of "Pro-Active Medical Care." I feel that I have particular experience with this subject, and that my experience may be of value to a wide range of readers.

When I was diagnosed with cancer [non-Hodgkins lymphoma] in November, 2001, I believed in doing exactly what my doctor told me to do. I did not question. During my treatment for cancer, I joined the Wellness Community in Walnut Creek, California. That joining would change my life forever.

We called it Group. There were twenty one of us in Group when I joined in February, 2002. That year four of us died of our cancer. I went to all of the funerals, except for one. Stephen sat next to me at Group. When I tried to enter his funeral ceremony held in city of Berkeley, I broke down. Could not enter. Stephen and I were too close.

My perception of pro-active medical care grew on me from comparing my cancer treatment with that of other Group members. It was clear to me, that my cancer care was far superior to others in Group. Especially superior to Group members Betty and Janet, both of whom shared the same oncologist [cancer doctor].

Janet was a very strong minded woman. Once she decided on something, she bent her doctor to her own will. Janet decided that she wanted to use the trial drug Iressa. Her doctor did not want to offer Iressa, but Janet persisted and went on the Iressa trial.

Betty was a very sweet lady, in her late 60s or early 70s. Just the opposite of Janet. Betty was a passive woman, easily led. When Betty saw that Janet was getting benefits from her Iressa treatment, she asked her doctor to go on Iressa. The doctor who prescribed Iressa for Janet, refused for Betty. Why would this doctor do this?

It is my opinion, that some doctors are not emotionally fit to be doctors. Their emotional problems prevent them from sharing authority with their patients. And that is what happened to Betty's request for Iressa. It was refused. No explanation.

Janet continued to improve. Betty who had the same cancer, slid downhill. By November it was clear that Betty's days on Earth were close to ending. And then in early December, 2002, Betty's doctor relented and prescribed Iressa.

It was too late. Only two weeks later, Betty died. Janet continued until August, 2004, when Group member Scott told me on the phone that Janet had entered hospice. Janet's time had come, and her struggle was over.

George's Pro-Active Medical Care Experience
Watching in Group as my friends withered away changed me from a passive medical care recipient into a very strong Pro-Active Medical Care advocate. I had been very lucky with being assigned to an extremely talented oncologist. A new doctor had been hired by Kaiser. He had a small case load just when I was diagnosed with cancer. I am here today likely because of that "luck of the draw."

I had urged Betty and Janet, both Kaiser patients, to switch to my doctor. Neither accepted my advice.

One day I had some questions about my kidney function reduction which had resulted from some medication that I had been taking for several years. My Kaiser primary care physician recommended a diagnosis that could only be provided by an operation. I was on an operating room cart, just outside my operating room when thru casual conversation with my surgeon, I picked up on some very high risks involved in this procedure.

Immediately I called a halt to that operation. Right there at the operating room door, everything came to a grinding halt. The surgeon was surprised. Perhaps he had never met a strong Pro-Active Medical Care advocate before?

Afterwards, I discussed what had happened with my primary care physician who had authorized this operation in the first place. However, he now agreed with my decision to stop the procedure. I immediately changed my primary care physician. For me, I now had a "one strike and your out" perception of doctors.

Summing it up
Now you have a perspective on how I changed my present bronchitis care treatment. I am now the final decision maker of my medical care. I bear that responsibility, and would not ever think again of giving up my that responsibility to any doctor. I may not be lucky next time with the "luck of the draw."


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