Monday, July 6, 2009

Is it Time for a New Doctor?

Big Disclaimer here – I am not a doctor; this is my experience as a patient only!!

You’d think this would be an easy decision. I have a tendency to approach my life decisions like I do my business decisions. If a vendor doesn’t get the job done he’s gone and I get someone who can get the job done. But a doctor to an MS patient is much more personal than that. The more I thought about this the more difficult this became, because I have not had a major episode in years. Then why would I want to replace him you ask? Well one very seemingly innocuous statement. He says- “Sir you haven’t had a relapse in a couple of years, I think maybe we should take you off of Copaxone” At first I like the sound of this (I am really tired of shots); however is this like half full? Half empty?. I think I have not had a relapse because I am on Copaxone and not in spite of it.

My mind looked like one of those movie sequences you see. Picture me walking all night…fade to the pier scene…fade to me walking down a city street… fade to the sunrise. Ok not that bad but I did come to a decision. I need a new doctor, but how does one just go get a new one? (It’s not like new shoes you know). Here is why you want to go to meetings at a local MS chapter. I was able to ask everyone I know in the Upstate chapter for the best doctor in my region. Surprisingly I received almost the same answer
from everyone. Hey this was going to be easy I’m calling this guy (no names, no hurt feelings). Again easier said then done. I called made the appointment but on my way down there I felt dishonest. I almost didn’t go in I was so conflicted. Wow was I relieved when the new doctor said he would contact my old doctor for my records. All I could picture was me writing a Dear John letter and having to deliver it (I have an active movie like imagination)

My point to reiterating this saga is to encourage you to trust your gut instinct when it comes to your health professional. I would also encourage you to contact your local MS chapter and go to a couple of meetings. The information and contacts that you can make are a valuable tool in fighting MS.

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