Before 2007 I went to the doctor every - never. Then I had a stroke and numerous other issues followed. Now I'm in the position of seeing doctors far too regularly. That's not a negative statement about doctors. By and large, they are brilliant. However, they don't always get everything right - how could they? Medicine is incredibly complex, and then we add the incredible diversity of patients, most of whom don't understand much of what goes on in our bodies.
If I had seen a doctor regularly they would have identified my blood pressure as a significant issue. While saving me from a stroke would have avoided many issues, it would also have stopped me from learning so much, mostly not directly about health. I do not regret having had a stroke - I'm actually grateful for the insights provided.
This article is not a complete record of my medical history. There are issues not touched on, such as a drug I can't even remember the name of that I stopped taking after only a few days because it left me almost catatonic - a slight exaggeration but I did not tolerate it at all.
The biggest single thing I learned about doctors getting things wrong was actually with my Mum. She finally mentioned to her GP some issues she had been struggling with, so he immediately sent her to the hospital. The doctor there was someone she had a low opinion of from his treatment of my Dad. I have no idea how fair her negative view of this doctor was, but when the GP found he'd dismissed her as just an old lady complaining, he sent her back with a stronger worded letter. She was found to be so riddled with cancer they couldn't tell where it had started, and she lived out her final three months in a rest home on palliative care.
So here's the first lesson I've learned. Doctors are there to help with our body (and mind). They can only do that if we can tell them what's wrong, and if they hear that properly.