Doctor, do you really realize what it means to be chronically ill?

doctor 2Chronic illness is a persistent disease, prolonged in duration, one that can usually be controlled but not cured. But this explanation can be found in every medical text book. Due to the fast growing aging population the doctor needs to know how to manage even more situations. What should he do? How should he behave? I think that he needs a patient-centered approach to make ill people feel properly cared for during every medical interaction. It is essential that the doctor take his patient’s character traits and personality into consideration.

There are patients who are more pain-tolerant, while others have trouble coping with increased disability and pain which affect them physically as well as psychologically. They are also coping with decreased functioning.

A physician needs to be empathetic, genuine and careful not to say anything without due forethought. Maybe the doctor could ask himself:-

  • How would I feel if I had a disease that was constantly reducing my ability to do the things I did a few months ago?
  • How would I feel if I experienced constant sleeplessness, pain and the inability to leave home on my own?
  • How would I feel if I could  no longer drive, walk  my dog, do my supermarket shopping on my own, or lose the ability to feel comfortable attending a party?

1 thought on “Doctor, do you really realize what it means to be chronically ill?

  1. Kathleen

    Hi Jill, my Father 89y.o. who up until this year has enjoyed good physical health but definitely declining cognitive capabilities . He has been in hospital recently for a week and not one doctor, nurse realised in that time that he had no idea what they were talking about. They had him sign consent forms for procedures to be preformed. All family members were in at different times every day, we have medical power of attorney in case this situation arose.
    How can doctors assess a patient of any age without asking for feedback to ensure it is fully informed consent. I know from all the medical appointments I accompany him to, when he answers a question it is mostly the incorrect answer. These medical people do not look at the patient to assess understanding they barely look up from their paperwork and phones and moving off to the next patient.
    My brothers and I would receive different answers when we asked questions.
    I took Dad to his GP today to find out what the hospital reported to him, problem, cause, ongoing treatment they have not informed him that dad was in hospital.
    They discharged him without a care plan , questioning who is going to take care of him etc. I am so angry, frustrated, worried, sad and ……


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