It seems obvious: When you don’t know or understand something, you ask.
But, for some reason, when it comes to things medical, we who are non-medical are often reluctant to ask questions. For my part, I know I ask questions of my doctor and then think I sound as if I’m an idiot and should already know how to do this, or when to apply that, or the difference between a bug bite and shingles (let’s just say that’s a “for instance”). I defer to my physician because my doctor went to medical school and has all kinds of knowledge and experience.
But, while your physician knows all about the body, you need to remember that you know a lot about your body too. If you have a question, don’t worry about how your question or concern might sound; be more focused on getting what you need so you can live your best life.
One of the reasons it takes terminally ill patients so long to be admitted to something as beneficial as hospice is that we, as patients and family members, don’t want to ask the difficult questions.
Following are some difficult but important questions to think about and ask your doctor when you are faced with a difficult diagnosis.
- Is my condition curable or only treatable?
- Will I die from it? If so, how long do you expect me to live?
- Is the treatment I’m on meant to cure me? If not, what’s it for?
If an illness, disease or injury is terminal, and the doctor agrees that you/your loved one might not live more than six months, consider asking for a hospice consult. We can come to you, at no charge, to talk about whether or not you or your loved one might benefit from hospice at this time. If hospice isn’t the right answer at that time, the hospice professional providing the consult can suggest options that might be helpful to you.
We want you to live well.