How much should a patient learn when going to see the doctor? If the patient is terminal, should he hear all the details at each office visit? How much do you think the mental and emotional well being of a patient is affected by knowing everything?
My dad in ways fought to his last breath but in other ways, he stressed just like I do. I surely must have gotten that from his side, as his mother was the biggest worry wart ever.
When my dad became ill with Leukemia, Parkinson’s and Bone cancer, yes, all three, he fought to do as the doctor said but mentally and emotionally, he didn’t cope as well. He kept family and friends away and only let a few in his life. It was like he was pretending if people didn’t know, then he was fine.
My dad ask me a lot of questions. I felt good that he confided in me but all my years of training in the health field couldn’t match up to these three diagnosis. When we went to the doctor, he asked nothing and kept his head down.
He worried and he stressed. It began to affect his quality of living. After seeing this advance, I made an appointment with his Oncologist and upon arriving, I asked permission to receive emails about the most pertinent information and when we were sitting in front of the doctor, all my dad heard was encouraging words. With the right papers signed, it was agreed on. I should add here that if it was some devastating update, good or bad, of course, I made sure my father heard it from the doctor’s mouth.
My dad started changing some. Although his body was taking on the daily grind of his sickness, his spirits became lifted and I saw a few more smiles because of the doctor’s kind words. I think this really made an impact on the remaining days of his life.
I am glad that God planted that idea in my head and that his doctor agreed with me. Although my dad didn’t make it even a year, he was more at peace with life and himself.
It is always the patient and family’s choice to decide how much to tell the patient. As I said, some patients handle information better than others and others take it to heart and can actually deteriorate much faster.
Hugs my friends.
This is my dad and my mom below. Both are now deceased and greatly missed.