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 Sept - Oct 2004
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COVER STORY: Sherri and Wayne are not invisible when it comes to their ministry!
Did Your Vote Count?
A Reading Resource
The Flavors of Fall
Simple Scrapbooking
3 Easy Gifts to Make
Be Anxious for Nothing
When is it Time to Leave Your Doctor?
Moments with God in the Mountains
Dangling in Depression
Are You Allergic to Your Church
I Want More!
Talk Over Tea with the Editor
Tell Us Your Thoughts
Strive to Thrive Health News
Joy Bites
Strength in the Shadows
Volunteer Corner
Book Review: Cherish the Days
Ask the Doc
HopeNotes: hopekeepers
Group & Leader Information




I am allergic to a lot of medications and have a hard time finding doctors that understand it's not in my head-that it's very serious. How can I best find a doctor that is willing to work with the challenges (and frustrations!) of finding treatments that are safe? - Karen T. Seattle, WA

I have found that difficult relationships with doctors (and spouses!) often stem from communication issues. It may be that you are saying one thing, and your doctor is "hearing" something entirely different.

For example, to physicians, the term "drug allergy" has an extremely specific and limited definition. It describes an abnormal immune response that may result in rash, hives, swelling, and possibly shortness of breath. In extreme cases, it can cause shock and death. If you have these symptoms and your doctor ignores them, run-do not walk-out of his office.

You may be suffering from "drug intolerance" rather than drug allergy. Feeling dizzy, nauseated, foggy, or generally out of sorts after taking a medication is common; and some people are very sensitive to drug effects. An allergist could help to sort this out.

The word "safe" also has a different meaning to a physician. Your doctor figures anything that won't kill you is, well, safe. You may wish to re-enter the dialogue explaining that you feel the risks and side effects of a particular drug outweigh the benefit that you receive. You have every right to make that decision.

If you and your doctor are on the same page and he still is unwilling to work with you, it may be that he simply can't take the time and effort to go the extra mile. In that case, I would recommend finding a teaching hospital clinic. Resident physicians are expected to spend more time with their patients and the supervision is superb.

Amy Fogelstrom Chai, MD, MS, is an Internal Medicine Specialist with additional training in the area of medical research methods. Her experiences as a patient helped to redirect her priorities to home life and Christian ministry.



This article was featured in our Sept/October 2004 issue.
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