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Schooling the Doctors

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I will fearlessly learn all I can about my loved one’s healthcare needs and become an integral member of his or her medical care team.

Fearless Caregiver Manifesto

Lesson One: I’d like to open with a further discussion of Principle 5 of the Fearless Caregiver Manifesto. To begin, allow me to introduce Mindy who has a lot to teach all of us. As she says regarding her age, she is “a good ways past the halfway mark,” making her old enough to have created a full life before the advent of computers, laptops, Twitter, Pinterest and yes, even Google.

Yet, the Google has quickly become a tool she ranks high among those in her caregiving toolkit when dealing with the medical community. For example, when Mindy’s doctor prescribed a new drug to relieve the pain she described on a recent visit, she had received a very cursory response to her inquiry about the benefits versus risks of this new medication. Feeling unsatisfied with the non-answer she had been given, her first move was to visit the great Google machine in the sky to check on this new drug he was prescribing. After reviewing pages and pages of contraindications, one in particular stood out – and it was a doozy.

Mindy discovered that the new prescription had some pretty (potentially) drastic side effects for someone who was on a medication she was taking, prescribed by another one of her doctors. She called the office and they quickly made adjustments to the prescriptions. Her situation was common for most folks “a good ways past the halfway mark” since on average, seniors take seven medications prescribed by more than one doctor.

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