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The Biggest Hurdle In Researching Health Issues ...

... is kind of obvious. Sick people are sick. They want to spend their time in bed, not feverishly researching strange medical terms or wrangling with complicated insurance guidelines. When you're sick you just want to trust that your doctors will get you better and that insurance will cover the costs. Unfortunately when you're really sick or have ongoing issues, or, as in my case, have these health problems occur away from your regular doctor, you have to work harder to make sure that your treatment is accomplished in an efficient and effective manner.

The key to handling the overwhelming nature of a major medical event is getting organized. First of all, make sure you have the contact information for all of your doctors and health insurance carriers somewhere easy to find. That way when questions come up you don't have the excuse of needing to look up the doctor's phone number to keep you from taking care of this issue quickly. When my husband broke his ankle a few months ago while moving us into our new place in a different state than our family doctor was located, it took forever to get his prescriptions transferred over to the hospital he stayed at before and after surgery because I couldn't remember the doctor's office number and things were too crazy at the hospital for their staff to google a doctor that wasn't in their list of doctors they normally worked with.

Secondly, make sure your doctors are aware of each other's existence in your life. Your doctors won't always care if you share this information, but generally the good ones will. Currently I'm trying to get treated for a recurrent sinus infection so my allergist and ENT have been working very closely. Normally my allergist would require me to take a daily antihistamine but because of the drying effects of those medicines my ENT has requested that I don't take them while I'm on antibiotics so the infection is free to drain from the sinus it is so reluctant to leave. If these two professionals weren't working together, I'd be caught in the middle unsure of which doctor's orders to follow.

Third, just like your doctors should be aware of each other's existence you should keep track of all medications you're on and make sure this information is shared with each doctor you see. Luckily most doctor's offices include these kinds of questions with every visit, but sometimes when you're in the midst of a big event where your medications are constantly changing, it's hard to keep track of everything you're currently taking. And while you may know the names of all the medications you're taking, do you know the dosage? This was another problem for my husband while he was in the hospital because while we could remember the names of the medications he was on, we couldn't remember the dosages and one of his pills which had several different dosages regularly prescribed.

All of this seems pretty basic, but I'm going to get even more basic and say that the first step to getting your health information organized is to realize that you're the one who has to take charge of this information. When you stop assuming that your doctor will take of everything and you just have to do what he or she says, the quality of your treatment will improve.
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