"It's my belief that God gives us all gifts, special abilities that we have the privilege of developing to help us serve him and humanity" -Ben Carson Doctors' and medical appointments are obviously very important for a patient's treatment and recovery processes. If handled correctly, these can be extremely beneficial in hastening a person's progress towards recovery. I am saying that if handled correctly! Sometimes we have appointments with our health care providers and leave non the wiser with no idea what is really going on with us medically or what our treatment plan and desired outcome is. My first meeting with my doctor was scary for me. I did not know what to expect, what I was going to be told about my prognosis and how I was going to react to what I would be told. I had a notepad ready to take notes because I knew I would not be able to focus much and may not remember everything that we would discuss or all the information that would be given to me. My oncologist, thank God, is one of the kindest and most patient people that I know. Bless her heart! She walked me through my diagnosis and even drew diagrams to explain things to me. She then explained the different treatment options and prognosis associated with them. This was very helpful because the information and knowledge that I received took away much of the fear of the unknown for me. Another form of assistance I received at the hospital appointments was that I was connected to a social worker who assisted me in accessing different supports to help me through my challenge. The social worker helped me with filling out disability claim forms and other forms for me to obtain benefits whiles I was off work. The social worker also encouraged me to join support groups for cancer patients so that I would not isolated whiles going through my challenge. The hospital pharmacists were also very knowledgeable and helpful in providing information on my prescribed medications and drugs including drug interactions and side effects. As I always say, we do not have to fight our battles and face our challenges on our own unless we choose to do so. Even my children had supports available to them to help them cope with and understand what was going on with me. I was referred to a dietician to help me with information on what to eat and healthy nutrition during my treatments and after. All these supports were very helpful because they provided me with answers to questions that I had concerning what to do and what was happening. I learnt subsequently to write my questions down in my notebook anytime I had them between visits with my doctor. This helped me to have all my questions answered when I saw my doctor in the most efficient way. I was never made to feel that any question I had was silly. I was supporting a lady in Ghana through her cancer journey a few years ago. I was curious about the drugs being used to treat her for chemotherapy. She had no idea what her chemo "cocktail" was. She had no idea. I asked her whether she was not curious about what was going into her body and the possible side effects. She said the doctors who were treating her get impatient when you ask questions. I encouraged her to ask nonetheless. I believe it is a patient's right to be informed about their treatment and everything else associated with it. I encouraged her not to be afraid to stand up for herself and ask questions if she had concerns. Lessons Learnt: Research and access every possible resource available to assist in your recovery journey. Be proactive in your health care. Do not shy away from asking questions of your healthcare providers and seeking other opinions from other doctors other than your own if you have unanswered questions.
Scripture: Proverbs 1:5 Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, Ecclesiastes 7:12 For the protection of wisdom is like the protection of money, and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of him who has it. Proverbs 24:5 - A wise man [is] strong; yea, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” a man of knowledge increaseth strength.