1 step forward 2 steps back?

Set backs. We have all had them in all areas of life. How we react to and handle set backs helps to shape our lives. But what about set backs in health care? We all expect a linear course form diagnosis to treatment to recovery in the shortest time possible. Sometimes, the human body does not respond as we expect to medical and surgical treatments. Definitive diagnoses could be elusive from time to time. Complications from medical or surgical treatment do occur. So, what should we do if we have a medical set back? My first advice is to avoid panicking. Realize that there is a set back but stay positive and more forward in the treatment plan. Let your provider know about your concerns. Some words of assurance from someone who has seen the same issues a time or two before can be helpful in restoring positivity. Second, evaluate our own outlook. Research has shown that a positive outlook can improve health outcomes Try to avoid negative feelings and focus on the positive. Have faith that we were all made with the tools and strength to overcome any adversity. Third, evaluate our adherence to the recommended treatment protocols, for example, taking medications as directed, following exercise instructions, adhering to rest, etc. Fourth, ask questions of your provider. A better understanding of our condition can help improve our outlook and adherence to treatment. Ask if there are other options available for diagnosis and/or treatment if what is being done isn’t working. If confidence in our provider is lost, we can seek another provider’s opinion. Doctor shopping to try to find an opinion that aligns perfectly with ours should be avoided. Remember, set backs happen. We can learn from them and continue to grow. I encourage all of my patients to be frank about their expectations with their care so we can address concerns as early as possible.

Author
Paul Betschart, DPM Dr. Betschart has over 26 years of experience in treating patients of all ages with all kinds of foot and ankle conditions. His mission is to provide you with helpful information about foot and ankle issues and the latest developments in healthcare.

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