A Missed Opportunity to Be a Great Patient

Posted by Courtney Larned

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Jan 16, 2014 9:53:00 PM

This is a slight adaptation of a post I recently made on my personal blog.

I've worked in healthcare technology for the bulk of my adult life; over a decade, in fact. However, I am not a clinically trained person. I can hold my own at dinner parties (I make a fantastic +1), can get through a demo with most doctors and hospital executives, but do not have any clinical training. I somehow manage to get through the bulk of my days knowing what I know.

levaquin running tendons

Except last week? I needed to know that Levaquin was a not good drug for people who run a lot. I learned this randomly this morning during a work meeting where we were discussing how providers just go through the processes, typically based on their values, and don't always share important information based on the patient's lifestyle and values--my (clinically trained) colleague used the lifestyle example of a runner being prescribed Levaquin.

Um...I am on day 9 of a 10 day course and am actually quite irritated that this didn't come up during my appointment last Monday night. I specifically said that I was training for a marathon. In fact, my visit was related to something that was caused because I am a runner!

Things I learned? I am glad I am not a doctor. There's so much to remember and so many things that could go wrong. And I'd be horrible at it, in general. I also learned that not every side effect affects everybody...despite running quite a few miles since I've been on the Levaquin, I've been relatively unfathomed by tendon issues. My right ankle feels a tad messed up, but that is either psychosomatic, triggered by my psycho overactive brain, or is actually an overuse injury that I had before I had something to blame it on...I digress.

The point is this, though...at the end of the day, as patients, we have to do our homework and make sure that the care plans we receive, the procedures we have, the meds we take, and the steps we follow are right for our lives.

General practitioners, urgent care providers, etc...they have to remember SO much. I don't blame the doctor for not mentioning that the Levaquin is probably not a good fit for me; he only had pieces of my past medical history to make a very quick decision - in fact, I only shared pieces of my past medical history with him, I had more I could have shared - but I do blame him for not sending me off with great patient information. I blame the pharmacy for the same thing. And if they did and I missed it? I blame myself for not being responsible and consuming it.

Being able to share your health story is so incredibly important. I recently learned that 80% of all medical visits can be diagnosed with the patient's story. NOT tests. NOT procedures. By just sharing with a provider who is listening.

Why is this important? You save time, you save money, and you don't put your body through potentially risky tests, procedures, and medications.

If you do end up needing a prescription, or a test, or a procedure, you know that you worked with your provider, with an integral level of transparency, to try and solve the problem with your story.

Truth be told, at the end of the day, I blame nobody. I am grateful that I know to cool it with the running for a couple of days while the drug leaves my system, and that nothing tragic happened to my tendons while I ran on the antibiotic...

extra! free webinar to learn how to share your health story!

If you're interested in being able to effectively share your health story (and you should be) with your doctors, I highly recommend that you take advantage of our free upcoming webinar, where guest host Dr. Leana Wen will be revealing her research and tips on how to achieve a better healthcare experience through the sharing of your health story.

Date: Wednesday, January 29
8:00 PM ET
Cost: FREE!!

Learn more, and sign up for the event by clicking the big blue button below; it's an hour well worth your time. In the meantime, if you wanted to get started with CareSync, use the promo code CONTROL at checkout to save $5 on any of our CareSync Plus services.

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PS. Yes. Those are my feet. And my son's Star Wars Lego projects that have taken over my living room...

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