Monday, February 28, 2011

Press 1 for English!

I really like my doctor.  He is the size of a linebacker, but very laid back and soft spoken.  He is not in a hurry and seems very interested in each of his patients.  The only problem I have with him is this: the English he speaks and the English I speak are two different animals!
I have 5 notebooks and some pamphlets he gave me explaining the different options I have for treatments.  The 5 notebooks are just that; pages and pages of medical terms that mean nothing to me.  Chances are, if I took the time to look them all up, I would not live that long, or forget where I started from and why I was looking.  As it is, I am looking online and trying to find “real people” who are taking these different things and telling how it is to do so.
The IV treatment I have had the last three days is called Solu-Medrol (methylprednisolone), better known as Steroid IV Infusion.  Why can’t they just say that? The choices I have for regular treatments are glatiramer acetate injection, interferon beta-1a, interferon beta-1b, mitoxantrone and natalizumab.  Now, I ask you, does that tell you anything?  Basically, they are injections, developed by different companies, given either daily, every other day or weekly, and have varying side effects.  Just give it to me in simple English and let me decide what I think I can deal with.
I know the medical profession spends a lot of time and money studying and learning all the terms and things they need to know to help us the best they can.  I appreciate that.  I think it would be helpful if I could get a copy of  “Medical Terminology for Dummies” so I would know what they are talking about.
If you come to my house for dinner, please don’t say pass the sodium chloride.  If you do, I probably won’t respond.  Please pass the salt will do just fine.

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