WHEN DOCTORS DON’T LISTEN

A  number of posts on the Colon Club forum recently (http://coloncancersupport.colonclub.com/), have had a common theme:  frustrating communication with doctors. It is more than somewhat disconcerting to realize that many others are having the same kinds of mind-boggling communication roadblocks that we experienced with some of our doctors. It doesn’t seem like much of a stretch to conclude that such incidents might be relatively common– which leads me down the mental path of musing about how what we went through might be helpful to others who face similar obstacles.

In retrospect, it is clear that our communication frustrations could be categorized:

Situation #1: The problem:   The doctor heard what John was saying but did not connect the dots.

Situation #2: The problem: the doctor doesn’t listen at all.

Situation #3: The problem: the doctor listens and hears, but doesn’t want to believe because of his own emotional involvement.

Situation #4: The problem: the doctor listens and hears but makes totally inappropriate suggestions which would be emotionally devastating to both patient and loved one if implemented.

I’ve listed four physician roadblocks that stymie clear effective communication between patient and doctor:

not hearing, not listening, caring too much, and ego.

What is the take-away from these experiences– how can the patient and caregiver get around these roadblocks?

If you are reading this post, it is highly likely that you are facing some of the same communication frustrations that we faced with my husband’s doctors. I’ve illustrated each of the roadblocks I describe with stories from our experience, then suggested  remedies that helped us to get what we wanted/needed and simultaneously educated our doctors. It was very interesting to observe how often one doctors was openly appalled by other doctor’s behavior!

You have stumbled upon a rare opportunity to learn first-hand from another colon cancer patient’s four years of experience in navigating the colon cancer maze.

Our doctors told us we were the most informed patient team they had ever encountered– yet we felt utterly lost a great deal of the time. Every cancer patient I’ve talked to felt the same way. We learned so much about The System, and how critical being  an informed patient is to getting the treatment you need, how to deal with difficult doctors, troubleshooting and taking charge of pain control– and so much more, none of which you will hear about from your doctor.

You owe it to yourself and your loved one to benefit from all that we learned the hard way.  This is the kind of information that, until the publication of this book, could only become part of your database by living through it and  realizing in retrospect how all the pieces fit together: colon cancer from the patient’s and caregiver’s point of view.  $9.99 seems like a very small price, considering the emotional and physical suffering you will likely be saved by learning from our experience.

Shedding Light on the Cancer Journey: Navigating the Colon Cancer Maze http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004T3331M  can now be read on any computer or other reading device. The reader interface is available free from Amazon and is downloadable in seconds.

I will realize absolutely no profit from the sale of this book.  All proceeds from the sale of this book will go towards the support of the 400 monks, nuns and yogis in the seven Tibetan monasteries of Tulku Orgyen Zangpo Rinpoche, who have devoted their lives towards building the foundation for peace and freedom from suffering for all beings in this world.

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About surfingon

I live in Hawaii. I surf in the winter and swim in the summer. I have been a hospice volunteer with a contemplative-care oriented hospice for 25 years have been part of their team that trains new volunteers for the last 9 years. I have walked the colon cancer path with my beloved husband these past 5 years. He died very peacefully in April 2009. I now seek to share what we learned, to shed light on the many dark corners of this often mystifying, heartbreaking and heart-opening journey.
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