5 Reasons You Need to Be An Informed Patient
New information and treatment options for endometriosis are discovered every day. With all of the ever-changing data, it is more important than ever that we be informed. As a patient, I firmly believe that it is not only a good idea, but it is our responsibility, to be informed about the disease that we live with every single day. Being informed allows you access to more quality care and support, which allows you to live the best life possible with endometriosis.
1. Information is power
When you are well-informed about endometriosis, you hold a unique power which allows you to know the difference between the reality of your situation versus perceptions. There are many “gimmicks” out there that claim to “cure” your endometriosis. Having correct information means that you have the power to know the difference and make informed choices.
2. Know what questions to ask
When I was first diagnosed, my doctor asked me if I had any questions and I just sort of stared at her. I had no idea if I even had questions or even what they would be if I did. Being informed about endometriosis allows you to ask the appropriate questions to get the valuable answers you need about treatments options, comorbidities, and symptom relief.
3. Know how to advocate for yourself
As an informed patient, you are able to be your own best advocate. Being informed allows you to make sure that you are receiving the best treatment options available to you. It allows you to speak knowledgeably about your disease and be assured that you are being given the best care possible.
4. Make better use of your 15 minutes
Studies have shown that the average patient gets about 15 minutes in a room with a doctor. If your doctor thinks that you have little to no knowledge about endometriosis, then he or she will speak to you on that level. Therefore, they will (in that 15 minutes) only be able to give you a basic understanding of endometriosis and how it affects you. However, if you are an informed patient about your endometriosis, then your doctor will be able to go more in depth in their explanations and options for treatment, allowing you to make much better use of your limited time with you doctor.
5. Be prepared and take preventative action
Being informed prepares you for possible complications. With endometriosis comes the possibility of additional complications and comorbidities, such as autoimmune conditions. If you are aware of all the possible implications, you can take preventative steps or catch additional issues at their beginning stages, making it much more manageable.
Navigating the murky waters of living with endometriosis can be very difficult. Make it easier on yourself and your healthcare team by being informed. This allows you to be your own best advocate and helps you access the best care possible, which, after all, is what every patient needs and deserves. Use the resources available.
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