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Identifying My Care Needs is like Choosing an Investment Portfolio

I had been preparing for an appointment when I realized the needs that I had before were different than they had been in the past. I think patients need a diverse approach, just like an investment portfolio. We may need to reevaluate our portfolios to get a better sense of what we need and when, but perhaps it is something that is always evolving.

Advocating for my care needs

I was now an empowered patient, I had my “data”, I now had to advocate for myself. Yet, I still had this smidge of doubt if my preparation for this particular appointment was prepared to go in the right direction. I soon realized that this is because my patient care needs have changed from a year ago. My asthma control was in a different spot and I was back to figuring out breakthrough symptoms that I have not had in some time. After a rocky Fall visit with my specialist, I had been giving more and more thought to leaving their practice. I understand that they are busy and it had taken us such a long time to be “partners in my care,” but we just did not seem to be connecting and I felt like our goals were no longer aligning.

In some ways, I had always been scared to leave their care considering we had been through so much to get me to a place of good asthma control. I had gone through a few doctors after being told that there were limited options or that a physician was at a loss on what else to try. It was nerve-wracking to think about going back to that place. What I needed to remember is that I was feeling empowered and ready to leave the nest if need be. I will admit, that a lot of this newfound power came from a particularly good stretch of controlled asthma and knowing that I have a good handle of things.

Voicing my concerns

When I approached these concerns with my specialist, they were somewhat disregarded. This had me questioning if my partnership/doctor-patient relationship was still a good fit. I did not find that I was being heard. I was encouraged to look on the bright side, that I have enjoyed a good stretch of health and to celebrate that. While this was true and we did not have a shared opinion on this, I, for the first time in quite some time, did not care as much about their opinion. Maybe this was a good reality check, perhaps I was more hyper-vigilant about changes in my asthma control. This realization gave me the strength to identify that I have different care needs at this stage of my asthma journey. I now know that as important as figuring out my complex case was finding a care-relationship in which I feel respected and like a true partner.

Where did I go from here?

Moving forward with my care

I actually had a heart to heart with the Fellow at my last appointment about my concerns about my previous interaction and they were able to express those concerns in a different way. I ended up having a meaningful conversation with my physician and finding a bit of common ground. It is important to understand that physicians also have bad days as well. However, it is important to stick with what you need out of a care-relationship.  If it isn’t working don’t be afraid to make a change.

Have you had an experience where you needed to end a care-relationship? I would love to hear about your experience. Please consider sharing your story or writing a comment below!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Asthma.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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