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Nate Browne
Taking responsibility

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Nate Browne

Taking responsibility


KellyOver the past several years, we have been undergoing a paradigm shift in the healthcare profession. There has never been a time when information has been more readily available to the public than now. Take yourself back in time to when you were young and your parents took you to the doctor because you weren’t feeling well. The stuffy guy in the white lab coat spent a couple minutes with you, maybe ordered a test and gave you a prescription to have filled and on you went. On your way home from the doctor’s office you stopped at the drug store, had the script filled, popped that first pill in your mouth before you got home and you were officially on the road to recovery. Nobody, not even your mother, questioned what was being prescribed or what type of side effects you might have from the medication … just take it for three straight weeks and you’ll be all better. My how things have changed … or have they?
     Fast-forward to 2010. We are now in the “information age” in which anything and everything we’d ever want or need is at the click of a button. We have the resources to investigate and research on our own what is best for us. Are we taking full advantage of this? Not even close.
     Being in the healthcare profession and leaning toward the more natural side of things it always makes me cringe when a new patient comes in with a long list of all the medications they are taking. Most folks don’t even know what pill coincides with what ailment without referencing their list. The first question I ask any new patient is, “What brought you in today?” The answers I get range from chronic pain to insomnia. After digging a little deeper, I often find that today’s patient is under the care of several specialists for a variety of issues and, thus, has been prescribed various medications to help with these specific problems.
     The real question here is: Who manages these medications? If a patient thinks that each doctor they see has the time to analyze the laundry list of pills they bring in, they are mistaken. Don’t be afraid to challenge your doctor and ask questions. And don’t ignore what your body is telling you because the information is at your fingertips.
     I have seen so many people have their quality of life stripped away for nothing more than medication mismanagement. Web sites like drugs.com can educate you on the medications you are taking, their side effects and interactions with other drugs. You might learn why your joints are aching, why you cannot fall asleep at night or why your mouth is so dry. 
     It is also important to use the same pharmacy whenever possible. If you get your scripts filled consistently at the same location, the pharmacist will have records of your prescriptions and potentially be a lifesaver if there are any counteractions involved with new medications added to your regimen.
     Don’t misunderstand my point and stop taking your prescribed meds, but talk with your doctor(s) and express to them how you are feeling in hopes that there are other solutions to the issues at hand. The responsibility falls on you to educate yourself in an effort to stay healthy for the long haul. Just because the guy in the white coat prescribes something to you, don’t automatically assume it’s going to be the answer. Educated individuals don’t plead ignorance; you owe it to yourself to ask intelligent questions and demand answers.
     Nathan Browne is a Doctor of Chiropractic serving Atlanta, GA and the region.