Desiree Davidson – Be Your Own Advocate
Desiree Davidson lives in Chicago, Illinois and is an Adaptable Study patient partner currently being treated for Atrial Fibrillation.
When I began working with Adaptable, the research on aspirin dosage was something I didn’t understand. The common belief about aspirin in my circle of friends was that you took the lower dosage if you had a sensitive stomach, and you took a higher dosage to thin your blood out further. But I didn’t really understand why people would start taking it. Some of my acquaintances started taking aspirin daily, like you would a vitamin, when they reached the age of 50 simply because of a segment they saw on 60 Minutes.
Once I began sitting in on meetings and conferences for Adaptable with a much broader group of patients that were being treated for a wider array of heart related issues, it became more clear. I started to learn more about heart health and the different options patients have for prevention and treatment. My new found knowledge armed me with a curiosity about health decisions I’ve made for myself and the decisions that were made for me in the past that I hadn’t questioned.
Later, I found myself hospitalized for several days and meeting with a new doctor I had not seen before. After he took my history, he began to tell me his treatment plan. My floodgates opened and I began to ask him a mountain of questions. I questioned the entire treatment plan. I’m not suggesting his plan wasn’t appropriate, I am saying that I wanted a better understanding of the decisions being made about me. This made both he and I step back and take a second look. My last day there, he told me I was a very good patient.
Frequently, patients don’t ask question sometimes out of fear or lack of knowledge on the subject. One of the tools that has helped me increase my knowledge is joining the Health eHeart Alliance. I suggest you become your own self advocate. Get an understanding of your options and share your thoughts with your doctors. Try it, it makes a difference.