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SPEAK UP OR DIE

How Silence Can Be Bad For Your Health


No doubt that loud noises are bad for you, wrecking your hearing and even driving up your blood pressure. But silence can hurt you, too — at least when it’s what you don’t say to your doctor. Don’t fall into these clam-up traps:

1. You think something “isn’t worth bothering anyone about.” We know a 50-something guy who kept hoping that the shortness of breath he had while walking up the hill to work was just going to go away. Fortunately, he got himself to the hospital … where he survived his heart attack. We know you don’t want to hear that something’s amiss, but it’s better to hear it when you’re standing than for others to hear it when you’re about to go 6 feet down.

2. You think your appointment is over when you leave. You don’t get to ask your doc questions only after you’ve forked over your co-pay. Too many people leave their appointment and then say, “I wish I’d asked … whether I can have wine/when can I have sex,” and other essentials. Don’t rely on Dr. Google! Smart patients call or e-mail and ask!

3. You think that if the doctor didn’t bring it up, it’s not important. We can do lots of things, but mind reading isn’t one of them. We don’t know that you’ve been having erectile dysfunction, chest pains or an overwhelming desire to speak in Klingon unless you tell us. We don’t know what that last one means, either, but if it’s bothering you, mention it. Speaking up may be the healthiest move you’ve made.

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 1st May 2010

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