Medical professionals have a pretty rough existence. Besides the long hours, shift work and overall lack of appreciation by their patients, they’re usually living their daily lives within the confines of everyone’s else’s physical and mental ailments. And the current pandemic makes it no easier. On the flip side of that coin, patients usually hate divulging information about themselves, especially information about their private lives and habits.
Where those two sides meet in the middle is when medical professionals ask patients certain key questions, only to have the patients flat out lie about. Or at the very least, stretch or omit the truth. Everybody does it. Hell, I’ve been guilty of answering differently than what I should have on a few occasions. There are a number of reasons why people do this.
For some, it’s to prevent embarrassment. From bad habits to potential addictions, some feel that lying or omitting certain pieces of information related to their habits will save face. Fair enough, I can see that as being a normal human instinct. For others, it may be because they don’t know better. Asking if you’re on any other medication or supplements may seem like an easy answer until you say “no” despite taking multivitamins, workout supplements over even over-the-counter meds.
Then, we unfortunately have the stubborn bastards who simply think, “They don’t need to do that to do their jobs…” When one’s life depends on the outcome of your doctor’s findings, maybe you should let THEM decide what they need to know or not. And that’s the takeaway. Instead of withholding information or lying about it, some transparency can help avoid some unnecessary complications. Let’s examine a few, shall we?
It Can Alter The Effectiveness Of Treatment
Lying or omitting information from your doctor can lead to complications with prescribed medications and treatments, rendering them ineffective or changing how they react to the body.
It Can Alter A Diagnoses
Picture a doctor asking someone if they smoke, who in turn states that they don’t and never have. Meanwhile, the patient in question actually DOES smoke. The problem with this is it can lead to your doctors or medical practitioner looking for the cause of a symptom in the wrong place. Same applies to alcohol, excess sugar, sedentary lifestyle (not exercising) and bad eating habits. This will all cause particular ailments and symptoms that your doctor will have difficulty treating if they aren’t “in the know.”
It Can Cause Severe Harm Or Death
Think I’m exaggerating on this one? Think again… This piggybacks on the earlier point I made, but lying or omitting anything you may be taking can cause severe reactions with medications your doctor prescribes. Imagine dying because that weird workout supplement you decided to order online that comes from someplace you can’t spell, interacted and reacted with your actual prescribed meds?
Doctors and medical practitioners are here to help. If they’re asking, assume they need to know or have a valid reason. If you have someone with you whom you feel less comfortable answering in front of, perhaps you should reschedule or ask that person to leave the room. One good example is a doctor asking how many sexual partners you’ve had but you don’t want to say more than one because your significant other is there… Awkward!)
Ultimately, this is a bit like a bad, 80’s zombie movie where one of the main characters gets bit but doesn’t tell anyone until it’s too late. Then, not only do they end up dying anyway but they take a bunch of folks out with them. Don’t be that person. Be honest. Be transparent. Be open. At the end of the day, not only does it make your doctor’s job significantly easier, it also ensures your increased safety when dealing with medical matters. Food for thought…☯️