The Doctor Is In

There is a curious thing going on lately: Medicine ads on television suggest we ask our doctor if this or that one “is right for you.” I am usually puzzled by most of the ads. For instance: What disorder are they treating, exactly? It’s hard to tell for sure with some of them. But have we become a society where we tell our doctors which treatment they should prescribe? Apparently so.

I will concede that those of us with MS stand a better chance of telling our doctors how to treat us. We tend to want to try every new drug on the market in the hopes that it will be the one to slow the disease’s progression eventually to a full stop.

Surfing the ‘net can be informative but it can open us up to misinformation, too. That’s why I carry a sheaf of on-line printouts with me to my doctor’s office. There he usually tells me which information has merit and which does not. I secretly think he feels a little offended that I am questioning his ability: like maybe I think he hasn’t heard of a particular treatment or for some reason I feel he is keeping the information away from me for some nefarious reason.

I think, if I’m not careful, the idea of being one’s own advocate can be a tricky one. We have to balance that impulse to feel we know better with professional information provided by those we trust. Ultimately, our treatment choices are ours, but we have to be smart about it, too.

So I guess I will calm down with the internet searches and focus my time into watching the presidential race. The Repubs, the Dems and even Bernie Sanders should keep me entertained for months. I wonder if there’ll be any ads with a white-coated professional telling us who to vote for included in their earnestness to buy their drugs. Who knows? If the march to the White House gets any weirder, we’re going to need them.

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