Tell Us: When Have You Deferred on a Doctor’s Recommendation?

fork_in_roadRecently, during one of our member chats, we discussed a doctor’s recommendation that you knew was not right for your caree. You may have understood the reason for the doctor’s recommendation and you knew you had a better solution.

Which leads to quandary: Follow the doctor’s advice or follow your gut.

So, I’m curious: When has a doctor made a recommendation that you knew wouldn’t work but you followed anyway? Or, when did a doctor make a recommendation that you knew wasn’t right so you didn’t follow? In either case, what was the result?

Please share your stories and experiences in our comments section, below.

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About Denise Brown

I began working with family caregivers in 1990 and launched CareGiving.com in 1996 to help and support them. Through my blog, I share words of comfort and offer coping strategies and tips. I also write opinion pieces about recent research, community programs and media coverage of caregiving issues. I've written several caregiving books, including "The Caregiving Years, Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey," "Take Comfort, Reflections of Hope for Caregivers" and "After Caregiving Ends, A Guide to Beginning Again." You can purchase my books and schedule a coaching call with me in our store.

7 thoughts on “Tell Us: When Have You Deferred on a Doctor’s Recommendation?

  1. Profile photo of ChrisChris

    While TLO was under the care of Hospice of Broward County, the physician suggested that I remove his Lipitor. When I asked the physician why she was recommending this, her response was “He has so many other problems that he has to deal with, cholesterol is the least of his problems.” I found her response kind of strange because she did not take into account how he would feel about the removal of the Lipitor. Knowing that I have the Ph.D. in TLO, removing the Lipitor would have caused him added stress. I could hear him saying, “What about my cholesterol, is that not important anymore.!” To flippantly stop the MEDs just did not make any sense to me.
    While I am all for limiting as many meds as possible, there has to be a clear reason and discrpiton why a medication should be removed. If the physician would have said,’his cholesterol levels indicate that he really does not need the Lipitor,’ then of course, I would have supported eliminating the med.
    After consulting with the primary care physician, I was comforted in knowing that I made the right choice. Sometimes in the midst of Caring, we forget that each one of us has a choice!

    Reply
    • Profile photo of PegiPegi

      @Chris, so glad TLO has you! We went through the same thing with my Mother, and just as you were leery of, it did upset her to have her regular meds taken away. Well done, you saved the dear man from needless anxiety.

      Reply
  2. Shelley Webb

    When my father was in the mid stages of dementia and later stages of congestive heart failure, the cardiologist recommended a sleep study with the possible consequence that my father would have to wear a CPAP mask at night.

    I refused the study. (I could because I was his legal guardian/conservator.) It was a ridiculous expense at that stage in my father’s life and it was already difficult enough just to keep his oxygen mask on him. The cardiologist was kind enough to support my decision.

    Reply
  3. Profile photo of PegiPegi

    Quite recently my husband choose to defer from his PCP’s directive to go to the ER. He has been hospitalized four times this year, the last time for ten days just about two months ago. Mid October he was having problems breathing ; he thought he had another coronary blockage. I called his PCP who said it was more than likely fluid from the malfunction of his kidneys and he needed to go to the ER. He negotiated a deal with her, as we still had home health nurse coming every other day. Two days, the next visit from RN; any breathing issues we were to call 911, he promised to comply; going to ER could waste valuable. My husband proceeded to follow directives and two days later his lungs were clear of fluid. There are times your Caree may just know their body better than their doctor. I was a mess, but he recovered much faster doing it his way. When we went to the PCP a couple days later, she was so pleased with his condition that he actually has the first two months before next visit ever.

    Reply
    • Profile photo of Gail KrollGail Kroll

      Oh Pegi! I’m so glad to hear this news! Obviously I do not know what “PCP” means! What kind of doctor is she? Tell Jim how happy I am for you both! With love, Gail

      Reply
  4. Profile photo of seniorsnesteggseniorsnestegg

    If a medication is diagnosed and my husband has reservations about using it then we have a discussion with the doctor. There have been many times that the doctor or nurse prescribed the incorrect medication or dose and totally jeopardized my husband’s health. It’s a balancing act at times but if something doesn’t seem right we use our common sense, have discussions with his primary and find the best solution that we can all agree on.
    He has a wonderful team of doctors and we are extremely grateful for their guidance and understanding of his medical conditions.

    Reply
  5. Profile photo of TrishTrish

    This comes up quite often for us. Robert’s neurologist knows how reluctant I am to try new medications for him. He also sees a memory specialist and this neurologist recommended Robert start using Lactulose in order to reduce his ammonia levels (which get high because of the amount of Depakote he’s on to help control seizures). We see this doctor once a year. Last year, he recommended Lactulose but I chose not to start it because Robert lived in a care facility and I was not confident they could give him this new med without it affecting his other meds. (Not to mention trying to keep him clean.) When we saw this doctor again this year, I explained my predicament and he understood but suggested I try it since Robert lived with us now. Still, I was reluctant because Robert has BM incontinence most of the time anyway. This was definitely not going to add to either of our quality of life. However, I did eventually try it and at first it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be. Unfortunately, he developed hemorroids so I stopped the medication with the blessing of his regular neurologist. It’ll be interesting when we go back to the memory specialist to see what he says about us again not following his orders.

    Recently, I had a fill-in GP tell me to take Robert to the ER on a Friday night based on information given to him by the home health nurse (which was somewhat inaccurate). I chose not to take Robert in as I thought it would cause more harm than good. I waited for a regular appointment on the following Monday and that fill-in doctor said he was fine. I’m a little frustrated with the fill-in docs because they don’t know Robert and are actually a little dismissive of my concerns. We’ll see how they work out.

    As @thpurplejacket stated, he has the PhD in TLO; I have the PhD in Robert and will defer (or refuse) a doctor’s recommendation if I think it will cause more harm than good.

    Reply

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