When I saw this commercial on TV the other night–I admit, it made me laugh, but then I realized that it really did have a valuable message. In fact, it is the same thing that I tell the couples in my Childbirth Classes—“It is your body and your baby so you have the right to ask all the questions you need to.”
Sadly, even in this assertive age, there are still people who are too intimidated or shy to ask questions about medications, tests, procedures or even their own symptoms.
When my third daughter, Jillian was a baby we came home from her immunization appointment and I noticed that she was acting…funny, nothing huge, but she just wasn’t herself and wasn’t responding normally for her. I called my Pediatrician, Dr. Phil Freestone and told the receptionist about it, expecting her to brush it off as nothing to worry about. But instead, she put Dr. Freestone on the phone and he told me to bring her back immediately.
Turns out that she was having a full blown allergic reaction to the DPT shot and needed medical help right now. It turned into a huge 2 week ordeal to get her back to her regular old self, but she survived. My point is that if I’d have been afraid to ask questions of my Pediatrician–even if they sound silly–we would have ignored a very serious situation, that could have had awful consequences.
I actually love the new AHRQ campaign to encourage better communication between patient and doctors. I hope you’ll check out the site and watch some of the videos. Perhaps they’ll help you be brave enough to ask all the questions you need to next time you’re at the doctor’s office.
Because having all the facts is the best way to take care of ourselves and the ones we love.