Tuesday, February 28, 2006

What's Up, Doc?

Ben Weber is a pitcher trying to make it on the Toronto Blue Jays roster. A few years ago he was a key part of the Anaheim Angels bullpen. Then he developed numbness in his pitching arm and it was downhill from there. He was pitching in minor leagues trying to make it back.

The interesting part of the interview I saw was that he went to something like 15 doctors to try to figure out what was wrong. It was a chiropractor that was able to finally diagnose a slipped disc in his neck. He had surgery and is pitching again and is now trying to make the Jays roster.

Just goes to show how frustrating wading through the medical field can be. I’ve had a particular issue with my ears that no doctor has ever been truly able to diagnose, let alone fix. Basically, all I’ve ever been told was that they didn’t know, and to live with it. Which I have. Needless to say, my faith in doctors is a lot lower than most. And yesterday’s checkup reinforced the notion that it is up to the individual to maintain their own records and do their own research.

It’s your body. You know it better than anyone else. Do your homework, keep your records, and have the confidence to go toe to toe (in a nice way) with doctors until you find the truth and what will work for you. There are a lot of good doctors out there (heaven knows I wouldn’t want the job), and a few that should have an attitude adjustment. But after wading through the medical field myself, I’ve learned two things: (1) learn, research, and keep notes on everything like your life depends on it – it probably does; and (2) if you really want to know something, ask the nurses. They’re the ones in the trenches everyday and have probably seen it all. Tap into that experience every chance you get.

This has been a public service announcement.

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