Trusting Intuition: Second and Third Opinions

I heard from a woman today about her son’s recent experience with two doctors who are contradicting each other.  She wants to know who she should believe.

See what you think.

He’s a college athlete who for the past few months has had problems breathing, and has no energy.  He has gone from being in top physical condition to barely making it up a flight of stairs without pausing to catch his breath.

A doctor in the town where he goes to college has diagnosed him with a cardiac-related problem, but has told his parents that there is no treatment for this particular diagnosis.  Realizing such a difficult diagnosis would plague her son for the rest of his life, his mother took him to a cardiologist in their hometown. He informed them that there is nothing wrong with her son at all.

Yeah, right.

Here’s what she DOES know.  There is something wrong with her son, and so far, two professionals can’t agree on what that is. 

Here’s what I’ve advised. 

First — that Mom trust her instincts and to pursue continued analysis until she feels like she has an answer that moves them forward.  This is a good example of trusting one’s instincts and moving forward toward an answer. 

Second — that the question of “right” vs “wrong” doesn’t apply here — what she really needs to do is get another opinion — at least a third opinion and maybe a fourth.  Perhaps a family doctor/general practitioner can send them in the right direction — someone who understands the big picture, as opposed to a specialist who may understand only one body system well.

From there, there may be other considerations.  For example — the problem her son is having may be related to pulmonary problems (lung) — not cardiac.  Or — maybe he’s allergic to something, or having asthma attacks of some sort.  Or — maybe he’s doing drugs.   Or — maybe the problems are related to his heart, but another doctor would actually be able to put together a treatment plan.

Don’t forget — medicine is still an ART in many ways.  So trust your intuition — and be creative — until you find the answers.

Advertisements

1 Response to “Trusting Intuition: Second and Third Opinions”


  1. 1 intrepidly January 24, 2007 at 9:24 pm

    Great advice you gave about another opinion and not to soley rely on a specialist. You are 100% correct about a specialist only understanding the one thing they specialize in. The son could very well have something underlying that is causing his symptoms. I am curious to know whether he is having other symptoms that might be suttle enough to be over looked by a physician.


Comments are currently closed.



. . .This Blog Has Moved!. . .

Where did everything go?

Not far.
We just relocated, that's all.

You can find every post and comment from this blog
-- and plenty more --
at the new location of the
Every Patient's Advocate Blog.

Just click here:

EveryPatientsAdvocate.com/blog

Please don't forget to change your feed, too!