A friend of mine injured her knee and has been seeking treatment for it. At first she was told that she might have a torn ligament. Then an X-ray showed that it was most likely sprained. After an MRI, she was told by a doctor that the problem was a cartilage tear. Finally, she made her first physical therapy appointment, where the consultant informed her that she’d actually dislocated her kneecap.
Understandably, these different diagnoses have left her confused and frustrated. She now feels like her doctors didn’t do a good job of fully communicating the problem, which is troublesome since she is due to get surgery soon. This situation really highlights the importance of communication with one’s doctors and asking questions so that you are both fully aware of the issue.
Don’t be afraid to question your doctor and ask for a better explanation of your diagnosis. If your loved one is the patient, especially if they are a child or elderly, act on their behalf. If the doctor uses technical terms that go over your head, ask for a layman’s explanation. It’s your right as a patient to know exactly what is going on, and you shouldn’t be left feeling in the dark about your condition. Doctors really should work better at communicating with patients.