Know Your Disease

I’ve never been able to fully understand our dependence on doctors. I would rather like to call this dependence as utter surrender and many times which crosses the fine line between rationality and irrationality. I don’t have anything against the doctor fraternity; my point is against the people who rush to doctors as soon as they sneeze. The doctors are of course there for our help and to tell us what is wrong with our system. But the obliteration of our common sense and our own understanding has no justifications.

I would like to ask you all how many times when either you or any of your closed one has been diagnosed with a disease, you have bothered to gather some information about it? How many times have you looked up the internet to read on the disease? Or how many times have you gone to the doctor after a bit of self research? I’m sure very few hands are likely to go up for the affirmative. This is what I’m trying to reason out here; we throw ourselves on the doctors like a sugar bag. In this age when myriad information is always just a click away from us, we prefer to spend our hard earned money, precious time, and valuable fuel rather than reading something which is absolutely free of cost.

The diseases have become so varied now such that many times doctors also take a long time to diagnose them. In the meanwhile patients are put on experimental medicines and tests. I was encouraged to write this article when one of my closed one had a problem and the doctor couldn’t understand it. He put my friend on several medicines for months and then when still no improvement was seen, he was asked to undergo a test which would test his mental stability and tensions! Whew! Of course, he did not go for the test but decided to a tad of self research, found the problem and the cure and voila, he is alright now and very much sane!

Don’t you think that when you have some not so common problems, doing a little bit of self research will only put you in a better spot? I agree that plethora of information is available on the Internet, but all I’m asking is that read according to your own symptoms. Following the medications prescribed there is not advisable, but being well informed and better equipped in front of the doctors will only work in your favour.

I would like to narrate an example here. We all know how the famous cyclist and seven time winner of Tour de France, Lance Armstrong fought and survived Testicular cancer. It wasn’t only his luck and the treatments that brought him out of his death bed, his grit and determination also played a huge role in it. Only few of us would be knowing about the rigorous research he carried out on the disease. Rather than only relying on the doctors to supply him with all the information, he attacked the internet and several books to garner all the information he could. He tried to understand each part of his treatment, what diet he should follow, what exercise regime he must undertake, what his survival rates were, what kind of treatment was available and where he could avail that and several other things related to his disease. All this not only helped him overcome the disease which very few people are able to, he has also started Lance Armstrong Foundation for cancer research.

Every now and then we grumble about how expensive medical procedures have become, how a long list of tests are asked to be undertaken for the diagnosis of our disease and how commercialise the doctors are! So why can’t we try and save ourselves a few bucks? If you already have an idea about the disease, you are less likely to be taken for a free ride and can also escape a number of tests. By knowing your disease, you are not only becoming well equipped with the facts and details, you are also saving yourself a lot of anxiety. So just click the right buttons and be self reliant!

Shikha Tandon

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