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The Importance of Patient Involvement in Their Own Healthcare

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Lynette Wilson

Instructor Ms. William

English 1101 Online

25 April 2011

The Importance of Patient Involvement in their own Healthcare

I feel it is essential that patients speak up and get involved in their own healthcare. Twelve years ago I got involved in my healthcare and it literally saved my life. A lot of people go to doctors and never ask questions regarding their healthcare because they are afraid to speak up. Most of us are more familiar with our bodies better than anyone else; if you listen closely to your inner self, your body will alert you to what it does and does not need. I spoke up and I can't help but wonder, whether I would be alive to experience mother hood today if I hadn't got involved with my healthcare .

I was twenty eight years old and working in an Ob/Gyn clinic as a medical assistant. I dealt with pregnant women on a daily basis and anticipated the day that I would have a child myself. One day while working in the lab where we tested women for pregnacy, I decided to test myself and to my surprise my test was positive. I was smiling inside all day and couldn't wait to get home to share the exciting news with my husband. After giving him the wonderful news we set up an appointment for my first doctor visit. Luckily my doctor was one of the doctors I worked with at the Ob/Gyn clinic. Although we were excited about this pregnancy my husband and I received some disturbing news on a later visit. I was told that my pregnacy was high risk because I had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. This is a form of diabetes that occurs in women who were non diabetic before pregnancy. Having gestational diabetes meant I had to check my blood sugar often throughout the day, administer insulin injections, follow a strict diet and attend doctor visits weekly instead of twice a month. The risk with this type of pregnancy was that my baby would grow to be very large and I would have to plan to have my labor induced four weeks earlier than my anticipated date of delivery. I was very knowledgeable about my diagnosis because I asked a lot of questions during my visits and made by doctor aware that I wanted to be involved as much as I could from the very beginning.

The best way to get involved in your own health care is to prepare yourself before every doctor visit. I would write down questions that concerned me. I would bring my list and ask my doctor to explain things to me as thoroughly as possible separating myths from facts. When I left my doctor appointments I felt confident about my high risk pregnancy instead of discouraged. After all this was my first pregnancy and I had another life to consider besides my own. I thought my doctor would be bothered by all the questions, but he actually seemed to



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