Making Elmo Proud

Rough day. I will spare you the details except to say I was on a rip and a tear most of the day. I need to get to hip hop and dance my frustrations away. If you have the opportunity, I would recommend it.

Anyway, after I got home from trying one more time to leash train the puppygirls – with one arm that I could swear is now a good inch longer than the other!; I got some ideas about equipment to keep them from pulling today at work; gotta buy it! – I sat down and looked in my email. The new Healio had an article on shared decision making in medicine. Cool.

Now I don’t know about you, but my mother thought ‘Elmo’ – our family doctor – sat on the right hand of God. Don’t get me wrong, I liked him just fine, but there was a limit to my devotion to his Word.

My mother’s devotion to everything our family doctor had to say helped turn me into a very difficult patient. My favorite questions to any doctor are “Why?” and “Explain that to me.”

Okay, so the second one is not a question. Same difference. Bottom line is I am a horrible patient and “because I am the doctor” is never the answer you want to give me.

So you can imagine I was thrilled to see medicine is starting to be reasonable and see things my way!😋 After 64 years it is about time!

Shared decision making seems to have gotten some traction early this century. It is getting even more popular because it improves patient knowledge, reduces uncertainty and reduces overuse of services.

A National Learning Consortium fact sheet from 2013 listed more benefits of shared decision making in medicine. That article listed how the process allows the patient to learn the pros and cons of any procedure. It allows the patient to take an active part in his care and this leads to better follow through.

Sounds good to me! In fact, even if we did not realize we were promoting the concept of shared decision making, we at Mymacularjournal.com have been preaching patient empowerment since the very beginning. Why? Because I am not a mushroom and if you are following us, you are not one either.

Because these are MY eyes and at the end of the day, for better or worse, I want it to be my decision what happens to them. And third, add your reason here. I suspect you have one…or two.

Patient empowerment. Knowledge is power. Learning about our condition allows us to help our doctors provide better treatments. It allows us to understand the value of treatment and treatment compliance. And…it gives us back a piece of our self-determination and maybe even a bigger piece of our self-respect.

I think that is a good thing. I try to practice it and, you know what? I think Elmo would have been proud.

written Jan. 31st, 2018


Next: Sue’s Toolkit – 2 Years Later

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