Lupus is a very complex and mysterious condition. So much so, that it often remains a challenge for doctors and physicians who dedicate their work to it. Because lupus is so complex, flares can strike at any time without any warning. When then happens, patients may have to rush to the doctor for assistance.
At times, that might mean going to an emergency room and seeing another doctor, where you’ll have to go through all your symptoms and explain your condition. To help you with that sort of situation, check out Kellie “Hurricane” McRae‘s tips on how to be heard by your healthcare providers:
1. Write down the things that are causing you the most difficulty.
Remember: you’re dealing with someone who has at a minimum an additional eight years of schooling since leaving high school. They are notorious note-takers in most cases, and will be able to line up their thinking with the idea that you thought out what you needed to address.
2. Be firm when they become dismissive.
Don’t make a scene, as they’ll most likely call security, but if you feel they’re not listening, simply let them know that your impression is that they’re being dismissive. I’ve found that firmly stating that I feel my issue is not being properly addressed makes them change their tone and pay more attention.
3. Know your pain level.
We are all familiar with them asking us to assign a number to our pain. When they ask, if you are not at 10, do not say you are. If every time you arrive, your pain level is a 10, even for a routine visit, it will cause them to think you’re exaggerating.
4. Don’t smile or joke if your pain is higher than a five.
It’s hard enough for anyone who is not battling a chronic illness like lupus to understand that we don’t look sick, but our bodies are in full rebellion. Then you smile or laugh, and again they believe you’re exaggerating and may be more likely to be dismissive. By laughing or playing around, it may become more difficult to get their full attention when going in with problems.
5. Remain calm.
When your body is in serious pain, this can sometimes be the most difficult part of all. If you have a loved one who can go with you to your appointment or the ER, it often is easier for them to advocate calmly on your behalf. When we are in pain, often we are at a heightened emotional level that can cause us to lose our tempers sooner or become unsure. This is where we miss asking critical questions if the doctor’s demeanor is dismissive or makes us feel we don’t know what we’re talking about.
Lupus News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.