Finding a doctor or provider who understands ME/CFS can be a challenge. There is still a lot of misinformation and lack of understanding about ME/CFS in the medical profession. And unfortunately, some providers still believe that ME/CFS is not a physical illness. That said, there are some providers out there who DO understand ME/CFS and most importantly, there are many provides out there who know how to work with a patient no matter what the diagnosis.
This puts the burden on us, the patient, to create a working relationship with our providers. How? Step into the role of the provider. They have trained for years to make educated medical assessments based on data collected from medical/family histories, physical examinations, tests and symptoms as described by the patient. Two of these sources rely on the patients memory and capacity to translate how they are feeling into terminology that means something to the provider. For ME/CFS patients, this is a challenge. We inherently are struggling with compromised memories and frequently fail to keep a conversational context for any extended period of time. Add that to the often rushed environment of a doctors office where the face to face time with the physician is limited and mostly directed by the doctor who is asking a lot of questions. Lastly, we have a diagnosis that is non-specific. Each patients version of ME/CFS can be vastly different in presentation other than the standard definitional symptoms. So as patients, we need to be proactive with data. We need to go into the doctors office with an accurate picture of how we have been since our last appointment described in data terms that a doctor can relate to.
A daily health log is key to ensuring a reliable picture of how you are doing. It provides your physician with data driven input. It accurately represents your symptoms and their severity which give your provider specifics on which to focus. Most importantly, it gives you confidence in knowing how you are progressing in real terms that don’t rely on your compromised recollections. Are you keeping a daily log? Do you have a working relationship with your doctor? Please COMMENT on this blog or Send in your thoughts and I’ll post them with your permission. You can use the Contact Form or send an email to Martha at DefeatCFS dot net. And Guest Blogs are most welcome!
Look for a weekly posting on Tuesdays. And consider being part of the conversation.
Be Well Again,