A friend of mine, Kerry, recently confessed to me and a few friends that it was time to find a new doctor. Her normal one had been a disappointment for her far too many times. Time to move on.
And how she is moving on TOTALLY impresses me, and I think all of you reading this should consider this positively assertive and self-advocating strategy.
First, she scoured through her list of doctors on her insurance plan, and found one that looked promising. She called and spoke to his nurse on the phone. She then told us the following: I explained that I use Armour and refuse to change meds; I am VERY involved in my health; I watch my Frees carefully and don’t rely on the TSH at all since the feedback loop is interrupted by meds..etc. With that said, the nurse stated she would check with the doctor.
In other words, my friend Kerry refused to do what all of us have done most of our lives–approach the doctor passively. She clearly outlined who she is, where her intelligence is about her body, and that she expects a partnership, not a demi-god, one-sided dictatorship of what is right and what isn’t right for her health care.
She also stated that if this doctor didn’t come through, her next strategy was to write a letter about her health needs and how she wants to be very involved in her treatment, then fax it to every available doctor on her insurance list in her area and see if she gets someone calling.
MAJOR, HAND-CLAPPING BRAVO, Kerry!!
THAT, friends, is the way each and every thyroid patient should approach their health care: candid as to your beliefs about your treatment, and what you want from the doctor. And eventually, your assertive approach will produce a doctor who is going to be a gem for you! Remember: it’s YOUR body and YOU live in it.
p.s. Without an insurance plan? Pull out the Yellow pages! And don’t hesitate to use parts of this Dear Doctor template letter to help you flesh out and compose your words or letter.
***WANT TO MAKE A FASHION STATEMENT ABOUT YOUR THYROID TREATMENT? Go HERE for a thyroid advocacy t-shirt. I dare you to wear it to your doctors appointment. (But if you don’t, wear it everywhere else. It does attract questions.)