QUESTIONS to ask your doctor
or other medical practitioner
To be or not to be, that is the question….
Notice, the question is about being – but how often does your doctor enquire after your
being and more than that, even if they do ask, do they listen?
How often do you pay attention to your being and what it is telling you? You may have
a symptom of diabetes eg claudication but in your being you are worried, afraid, fretting
over the fact that if the condition worsens, you may have to have your leg amputated.
You then worry about how you would get around in life, manage life. Bu does anyone
explore these feelings in your being? Does any doctor say, “this is how we need to think
about managing your emotional well-being?” My experience is they run a mile if you
introduce how you are really feeling. And yet, how you feel I crucial to your healing.
Healing holistically. In this scenario – they may chop off your leg – but you are still left
with feelings. And now minus a leg, feelings of grief, of loss, and all those implications.
How would you like to be in this moment?
The present health system cares not one jot by being but only by symptoms and the body,
and therefore what you, your GP, and you, are going to do about them. But you are more
than just your body! You are a being who deserves to be heard, listened to, respected.
But, we trot along to our GP, report our latest symptom, and then sit, passively, whilst our
GP trots out what can or can’t be done, will or won’t be done.
And we sit there and take it, mostly. We seldom ask questions – deep, penetrating questions that infuriate the hell out of doctors. Now they are trying to tell us we should not be informed and tell them what we found on Google (see )
Google and the Internet in general is a place of being wherein you can find answers to so many things. Why are doctors so afraid of informed patients?
So the radical healer says – inform yourself anyway in whatever means possible to you, ask those awkward questions, annoy the hell out of the complacency and arrogance of unenlightened doctors – whether it is on the basis of being informed through Google or not. Remember – Google also holds, has in its being, its belly, lots of reports, research, offerings by august medical journals. If those learned bodies can use the internet to their advantage, so can patients. Doctors simply do not like informed patients. They want to retain their power.
Empower yourself with these questions You don't have to ask all them at any one consultation. Copy the questions that you want to use onto a notepad or tablet to take to your doctor’s appointment.
And to be more radical -record the conversation with your doctor on your phone for future reference. If challenged, simply say that you find it difficult to remember all that is being advised to you. It is your body, your right. If the doctor has nothing to hide, why should they object?
I have this xxx– describe / offer to show your symptoms, what has been going on for you
When did you become aware of your symptoms?
How do they impact your life, what effect do they have on you?
What you have done about them – already have consulted and no improvement, home self-help treatments, ignored them, waited till they improved
How they make you feel -you may have a bodily symptom, but you may also have thoughts and feelings about it eg you may have worry about cancer over persistent coughing lasting more than three weeks
What is my diagnosis?
What does this symptom mean?
What could have caused it?
Speed – Could this condition develop quickly into something worse? Is this a fast growing or slow growing cancer? How long has it been growing in my body?
What do you think has caused this?
-Do you think my diet, pollution or stress had anything to do with it?
-Could it be genetic?
YOU QUESTIONS ABOUT TREATMENT POSSIBILITIES
What can be done?
What treatment do you recommend?
What are the drugs you will prescribe?
What are their side-effects?
If side-effects are severe – are there any alternatives?
Are there any complementary approaches I could use?
Are there any other drugs that I might have to take alongside what you recommend?
Can I get a list of all the drugs that will be involved in my treatment?
What are the short term side effects of these drugs?
What are the long term side effects of these drugs?
Do any of these drugs have life threatening side effects?
How old are the drugs you recommend? How long have they been around?
What is the “need-to-treat” statistic for each drug?
Is this treatment curative or palliative? Are we simply palliating the condition?
If the treatment you recommend doesn't cure, then what?
What is the recurrence rate after this treatment?
Where does that statistic come from? IS it from the pharmaceutical companies?
Has it been independently verified?
If palliative treatment is suggested:
What's the point of the treatment/chemo or radiation if it's not going to cure me/get at the cause?
How would drugs that make me sick give me better quality of life?
How much time do you think I have to live if I do this treatment?
How much time do you think I have to live if I do nothing?
What is the 5 year disease-free survival rate for my specific diagnosis with this treatment protocol?
What is the 5 year disease-free survival rate for my specific cancer / condition if I do nothing?
Are there any studies comparing this treatment protocol to patients who did nothing?
What if the treatment doesn't work?
May I have copies of the Material Safety Data Sheets on all the drugs I'll be taking?
I would like to take them home with me today to review them.
Have you ever taken any of these chemotherapy drugs to understand what they are
Would you do this treatment if you had the same diagnosis as me?
Or would you just try to make the most of the time you have left?
What would you do if you were me? (NB Doctor is unlikely to answer honestly - but still ask the question. Their non-verbal response will speak volumes.)
Is this about simply managing ill-health or is it about creating health?
What is your definition of health?
Mine is …..
I want to create health - not manage symptoms. How do I do that?
Are you married? Do you have children?
If your husband/wife had this condition /cancer would you give them this treatment?
What if they declined the treatment?? How would you react?
What if it was your child? Would you give them this treatment?
Is it true that chemotherapy drugs can make cancer more aggressive?
Does chemotherapy kill cancer stem cells?
I read that many chemotherapy drugs are carcinogenic? Can this treatment cause more cancers in the body?
Do cancer cells eventually become resistant to chemotherapy?
What do we do when that happens?
What other treatment options are available besides what we've discussed?
What is your attitude to functional / integrative / complementary medicine?
What is your view on the importance of nutrition?
Do you believe nutrition is one of the best forms of medicine?
Why drugs instead of nutrition?
How will nutrition help my specific condition?
What should I avoid eating / make sure I eat?
What are your dietary recommendations?
What do you recommend I eat while doing chemotherapy?
Is it ok if I have ice cream and pizza – both of which have carbs and sugar?
What's the best anti-my condition diet?
I was thinking about adopting a plant-based diet, eating lots of raw fruits and
vegetables, and juicing, is that ok?
What’s your evidence for how beneficial that would be?
ASK ABOUT TESTING
First do your research on the tests available for your suspected condition.
What different tests are available?
I would like to get the xxx test
Can you order that for me?
If not, why not?
How quickly can we get the tests done?
How many patients do you treat per year with this condition?
How many patients have been permanently cured of my disease / condition with your protocols?
I'm really nervous about this and would like to speak to 5 of your patients with the same cancer as me that are cancer-free after 5 years. Is that possible?
Do you have any patients with my kind of cancer that are in remission after 10 years?
Can I speak to some of them?
If the doctor balks at this— Would you be willing to call and ask them personally if they would talk to me?
If not, why not? (what does the doctor have to hide? Lack of their time is not a good enough excuse.)
TALK ABOUT MONEY
You may decide to go private and so may have to consider financial implications. Whichever system you use, consider these questions: -
What is the total cost of the treatment you are recommending?
How much of that is your profit?
I'm curious to know how much money you are making off me as a patient.
What is the mark-up from the price of the product versus what you will charge me?
Do you make a profit on the chemotherapy / other drugs you prescribe?
And that some have higher profit margins than others?
I would like to take some time to think about your recommendations / change my life, would that be agreeable to you?
How much time do I have to think about all this and make my decision?
Is it possible for the body to heal itself of cancer / diabetes / other condition?
If I decide not to do treatment, in order to enjoy the time I have left, will you support me with periodic blood tests and scans?
Can I get a copy of my medical records?
How much will that cost?
How do I arrange a second opinion?