Sunday, November 24, 2013

Hostile Patient

The Hostile Patient mistrusts most members of the medical community.  Is suspicious of all suggested/recommended drug prescriptions and periodic/preventative tests.  Doctors are not always the experts.

The Hostile Patient ignores the pink ribbon marketing campaign that has invaded retail stores across the country every October.  Resists "rounding up" at the grocery check-out to support medical research on
the "featured" condition of the month.  Researches everything relevant to personal health.  Relies primarily on his or her own research, intuition and beliefs.

I am a Hostile Patient.

Many people turn over their medical fate to those folks in white coats.  If a test is ordered, they do it.  However invasive or painful it is doesn't alter their submission to "authority."  If it's time for their annual Exam for Whatever (which usually involves the removal of clothes), they comply.  It almost seems as if people don't realize they have a choice:  they can actually say "No Thank You."

The doctor knows best.  The patient doesn't question the doctor's authority or knowledge.  Sometimes the doctor is right; sometimes not.  It's not random, but it's not a sure bet either.

Old Guys are often "over-treated" for Prostate Cancer, since much research shows they will most likely die of something else first.

But the typical Old Guy trusts his doctor, so he might even allow "markers" to be inserted into his prostate.  And then allow himself to be radiated 5 times a week for 9 weeks.  He does this because the doctor told him he will have a "90% chance of full recovery."  Thus enabling the Old Guy to feel good about his prospects of dying of something else.  Do the doctors remember to mention that "full recovery" might include Depends?

I don't know exactly what a prostate is, but these insertions of things and those doses of radiation sound gruesome and painful.  That's just one example of why passively trusting whatever the doctor recommends simply reinforces the suspicions of the Hostile Patient.  And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Instead, the Hostile Patient researches the condition as if it were a doctoral thesis topic, and then decides what course of action is ultimately taken with his or her body.  After all, the "ownership" of a person's body not only seems obvious to me, but has also enabled Dr. Oz to cash in big-time.

It is true that loved ones may have opinions, but ultimately the Body Owner should have the last word.  In my opinion.  I also believe the Body Owner has the right to choose a particular course of action when/if something happens that is most likely outside the control of the Owner.

Case in point:  it was determined that I have a polyp in a private place.  The doctor who discerned this fact was ready to schedule surgery to remove the polyp, along with 12" of the private place.  Yikes!

As a Hostile Patient, I politely declined the surgery, named the polyp Fred, and the two of us (Fred and I) have been living in harmony for five years.

In fact, we always look forward to celebrating our anniversary of being together every year.


  1. Excellent article, I'm a hostile patient too, at least to a certain extent. It's something we all should learn, a good dose of cycnicism about the medical profession can help everyone's health

    Glad you have such a good relationship with fred.

  2. Great post and very good advice. We own our bodies, not the doctors. We should try to be as informed about what is going on when we have medical encounters. I still think many docs have that God complex. My sister used to say that they are just "practicing" medicine and eventually might get enough experience to actually know what they are doing.