Speak Up, Step Up, Advocate for Health
Your feedback is important!
When you have macular degeneration (AMD or MD), you are a valuable resource not only to others with the same condition but to your doctor, as well. Never underestimate how important your feedback is. In many ways, you are the expert! Here’s what I’m talking about.
A trip to the retinal specialist
Recently I went to my retina specialist for a 6-month exam. I had some information to share and questions to ask, but I was hesitant. I took copies anyway, just in case an opportunity arose where I would feel comfortable discussing what I had learned.
Hesitant to ask questions
What was stopping me? My preconceived idea that my doctor would think it arrogant and be insulted that a patient might show him something he didn’t already know. After all, he’s the specialist! I was wrong.
Speaking up for your health
When I entered the exam room, I laid the white envelope with my copies on a chair and took my seat. We went through the normal exam and I got the good news I was hoping for: My condition was relatively unchanged. For MD, that is great news to hear and I could continue to drive a little longer - Whew!
This opened the door and gave me the courage to share how grateful I felt, especially after reading posts from others on a community website I had found. I explained how I had become an advocate for Health Union and MacularDegeneration.net. I was on a roll and continued to explain the research I had also done on eye vitamins. He was genuinely interested.
Sharing my work
In the envelope I brought, I included copies of an article that was published about Health Union, my involvement, and MacularDegeneration.net, plus a spread sheet I created on 10 eye vitamins as part of my research for an article I wrote on vitamin intolerances.
He could not have been more kind and said he was learning from me. As he left, he took the envelope and remarked how kind it was of me to share this information with him. He certainly didn’t seem offended whatsoever!
Why speaking up is important
For me, what he did with the material wasn’t as important as it was for me to speak up and step up. I grew up in a generation where you didn’t question authorities, such as doctors. That was misguided advise but it was deeply entrenched in my mind. More recently I’ve learned how crucial it is for each of us to speak our truth, always in a kind, respectful way.
If you know something, say something!
Share your findings with others, especially your doctor. Only then can the best solutions be found more quickly. What the person does with the information is irrelevant. What matters is that important information is shared! We all need to do this.
Most doctors value their patients’ input and welcome discussion on MD, along with hearing your personal experiences. We can provide a valuable service by passing along pertinent information.
Stepping up, speaking up
Stepping up and speaking up is not only a right, it’s our responsibility!
If there’s any chance we can ease the way for others, we can all speak up!
Do you find it easy to advocate for yourself in a medical setting?
Have you introduced yourself to the community yet?