5 Tips for Patients

5 Tips for Patients

Any time we get sick, we want to
get well as quickly as possible. As a doctor, there’s a
lot I can do to help, but when I’m a patient, I also play a critical
role in my own care. If you or a loved one is a
patient, there are things that you can and should do to
ensure that you get the safe and correct care
that you deserve. I encourage my patients to be
advocates for their own health, and here are five things that
I encourage everyone to do. First, remember, clean
hands save lives. Cleaning our hands is one
of the most effective ways to prevent the spread
of diseases. When you’re a patient, watch
your healthcare team and ensure that everyone cleans their
hands before they touch you, every time. If they forget, help
them remember. The same goes for your visitors. Second, be alert to
changes in your own health. For example, if you’re
currently taking or have recently
taken antibiotics and you develop diarrhea, let
your healthcare provider know. If you have a catheter
in your vein and the skin around it becomes red or
painful, let someone know. If you do have a catheter,
ask every day if it’s time for that catheter to come out. Third, take antibiotics only when your provider
thinks you need them. If you take antibiotics
when you don’t need them, you’re only exposing yourself
to unnecessary side effects. If you do need antibiotics,
take them exactly as they’re prescribed. Fourth, get a flu
shot every year. The CDC recommends that
everyone over the age of six months get a
flu shot every year. Getting a flu shot
is a simple way that we can protect
not only ourselves, but our loved ones as well. And finally, speak up. Ask questions about your care. Know what medicines
you’re taking and why you’re taking them. If you have concerns about
your health or your care, share those concerns
with your providers. The information that you
share might be critical in getting you the
care that you need. As a doctor, the more I
know about my patients, the more I can do to help them. At CDC, we believe that providing safe medical
care is a team effort and patients are a
critical part of that team. By following these
steps, you can help ensure that you get the safe and
correct care that you deserve.

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4 thoughts on “5 Tips for Patients

  1. Your suggestions are all wonderful.  I have a problem though.  The treatment my brilliant doctor prescribes for me is not covered by my insurance because the CDC refuses to update their information on my disease.  My prescription insurance will no longer pay for my Antibiotic medication because YOU think extended care with ABX has shown no positive effect on patients.  Well, I can tell you that you are wrong. I am a late stage Chronic Lyme patient and had gone misdiagnosed as Fibromyalgia for 19 years because your criteria for diagnosis is antiquated.  I have been in treatment with a LLMD for 18 months now.  Oral ABX for 5.5 months, then added IV Rocephin and switched up the oral abx and antiparasites for the following year.  The lyme infection in me was so severe ( sever pain in joints and muscles, loss of the ability to speak, partial loss of vision and hearing, severe short term memory loss, could not get home from places i have been going to for years without using my GPS,  Chronic migraine that lasted 7 months and was not relieved even with the use of Botox treatments, approaching my best friend and panicking  as she approached because i fully recognized her but could not for the life of me remember her name.   I did not see any improvement until being on the IV for three months.  It continued as a roller coaster ride, with my physicians telling me that i am a treatment resistant patient.  They assured me it was not my fault. but that doesn't matter because I am still suffering.  I am experiencing pain that I never thought i could survive.  My PICC line is going to be pulled in two weeks (because they have to follow IDSA and CDC guidelines, and I will likely see a return of symptoms. This terrifies me because I still feel many symptoms and great pain, and I am Positive that the Lyme bacteria is still in my BRAIN.  I literally am terrified.  My LLMD removed me from Biaxin (one of many ABX we have tried) because it was really kicking my butt, and when i stopped taking it I started experiencing Neuropathy, which i had never had before.   What is going to happen to me when the IV is stopped?  PLEASE, CDC, I am begging you to look past the clash you have had with the ILADS and look at their science , their studies, their medicine.  Pride and Arrogance has kept this canyon deep between the IDSA and the ILADS camps.  The ILADS motivation is to simply care for their patients. The IDSA and CDC have ulterior motives that are well known by the Lyme Community and lead to their ultimate interest , $$$$$$$$.  Members of your boards have too much financial interest in the Insurance industry.  I personally believe that insurance companies should be not for profit organizations.  We, like the AIDS patients in the early years of AIDS are being ignored, told we are crazy, told that this is all in our brain, told to go away and see a psychiatrist.  Our tests may not support YOUR idea of treatment because you cannot deny that your tests are inadequate and anitquated.  You test for one out of 300 strains of Lyme.  What are the odds of someone getting a true positive.  Not great.   I sincerely invite a member of the IDSA or CDC to come to my home where they will be met with hospitality to be able to spend a typical day with me and my family.  See what it is to be a Lyme Patient.  I BEG YOU, make this better.  I don't want to die, and I'm so afraid.
    God bless you all and may the Spirit grant you the wisdom to see the truth and follow you Hippocratic Oath to always do what is right for the patient.  Be the HEROES and blow this plague of ignorance right open.

    It has been said;  "You won't get it until you get it"….and I pray you never do.

    Rosemarie Kahn
    So far a Lyme Survivor, fighting every day.

    ps….listed within my letter are only a portion of my symptoms.  The full list is impressive and frightening.  I pray you or your loved ones never have to walk in my shoes.   Lets get a lot of money for research for better diagnostic testing, better treatment, better prevention.    PLEASE!

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