Part 3: What Would You Do If Your Doctor Won’t Listen? How A Patient’s Demands Saved His Life

A few weeks ago, I met a new patient, we’ll call Mark. He’s in his late twenties and has a history of heart disease-he’s already had multiple stents placed into his heart’s arteries to keep them open. Mark volunteered an important experience, that saved his life, when he insisted to his doctors that something was seriously wrong with him.

Mark at the age of 25 wasn’t the picture of good health.  For several weeks he was feeling extra tired, sluggish, and very little energy.  His busy life was falling to great disarray as his 14 hour job at this family’s business was descending into chaos.

His family doctor referred him to a cardiologist, after his initial examination found nothing out of the ordinary.  Mark shared his visited included a preliminary echocardiogram that found his heart was pumping normally.

The cardiologist told him everything looked fine and he needed to get more rest.  Mark said, no, everything wasn’t fine and he didn’t care what the echocardiogram showed.  He knew something was wrong, and told the doctor he wasn’t leaving the office, until he found out what was wrong with is body.

The doctor initially resisted, and then asked his colleague, another cardiologist to help him re-examine Mark.  This time they conducted a more thorough and careful examination of his entire cardiovascular system, and found he literally had no pulses to his lower extremities. He was in heart failure!

Mark was immediately admitted and a cardiac catheterization found multiple arteries were blocked.

Mark saved his own life. His insistence that they listen to him, allowed a critical, life threatening diagnosis to be made, in the nick of time.  He could’ve easily gone home and died in his sleep.

I have one more story to share with you in this series. I hope they’ve helped you to understand how important it is for you to not only pay attention to your body, but to insist, difficult as it may be, that your doctor listens to you as well.  And if he or she doesn’t listen, please immediately find one that does!

For more information:

What Would You Do If Your Doctor Doesn’t Listen?

What Would You Do If Your Doctor Won’t Listen? Part 2: Dr. Elaine’s Personal Story