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Two Heads are Better Than One!

Gary is a tall, once lanky 50-something guy whose stooped posture now betrays pain and significant muscle deterioration.  Despite weekly physical therapy and swimming he does on his own,  his body seemed to be aging by the minute.

Fortunately for Gary, his wife spoke up to her own neurologist at a recent appointment and described his condition.  Amazingly, her doctor offered a diagnosis on the spot that turned out to be ‘spot on’!  Gary switched doctors and has every reason to hope for full recovery of his old athletic self.

Wonderful! What happened?

All of us have life experiences that shape how we perceive and analyze information.

Doctors are not immune from this very human trait: they tend to filter patients’ information based on their professional training and experiences. In Gary’s case, he saw an orthopedic doctor who saw his symptoms through the prism of his own experience with the bones and muscle of the back.  His wife’s neurologist analyzed the same set of symptoms through the prism of her specialty – the nervous system that runs through the back.

I don’t believe the first doctor made a mistake – he just did not have exactly the right filter for Gary’s problem.

So what’s the moral of this story?  Trust yourself, trust your body. 

If you’re not getting better under one doctor’s care, get another doctor’s brain on your case.  Get a third or fourth opinion if necessary.  Don’t stop until it feels like you have the right doctor for you with the right solution you need.