Talking to your doctor

In India, we respect our doctors. Which is good. They are after all helping us to deal with a chronic illness. Without them, we would not have made it this far.

However, many of us fear our doctors. We are scared to ask them questions about our health. We are scared of offending them. This is wrong.

Remember one thing - the doctor is there to help you. Do not feel shy to ask questions about your condition. Ask him or her to explain in detail to you about what exactly your condition is. Fearlessly ask them questions. Any number of questions.

What is my disease? How did I get it? Why should I not have more water? Why do I need dialysis? Why hemodialysis? Are there other options?

Most doctors generally like to deal with proactive patients. Patients who are well-read and are informed about their conditions. They will generally like to discuss the pros and cons of treatments with their patients.

Since you are reading this, you are probably already aware of the internet and the treasure trove of information it is. Read up all you can about your condition. Read up about the various side effects of kidney disease. Read up on all the medication you are taking. Join a forum or mailing list.

You will be surprised at the drastic improvement in your overall ability to have a healthy discussion with your doctor about your medical condition.

Remember - this is about you. Your health. If you are not proactive about this, nobody will care.