Many of us hate going to the doctor. It may seem expensive, scary, or just plain annoying, but trying to wait out an illness or just popping some aspirin may not be what’s best for you. While each situation is different, here are some quick questions to ask yourself to determine whether or not you need to go to the doctor:
Do I sense that something is urgently wrong? Trusting your instincts is the best way to decide whether or not you should call your doctor or go to the ER. If the pain is different than normal, if you have an abnormal rash, or anything else unusual, it’s most likely a sign that something is wrong and your normal remedies won’t work. If you lose consciousness, or experience severe chest or physical pain, ALWAYS get checked out by a physician.
What are my symptoms? If you’ve experienced similar symptoms before, do you remember how you relieved them? Would the same treatment work now or is there something strange about the symptoms this time? How long have the symptoms been going on and have they gotten significantly better or worse? In general, if you have reoccurring symptoms for more than one or two weeks, you should visit the doctor.
Have I recently had any type of medical procedure or started a new medication? It doesn’t matter if you’ve just had major surgery or a tooth pulled, if you’ve had any type of procedure or immunization, you should contact your doctor immediately as it may be a side effect or complication. This applies to new medications as well.
As stated earlier, each situation is going to be different according to your unique medical history, so knowing how your body normally responds is going to be play a huge role in whether or not you decide to visit the doctor’s office. Resources online like http://www.webmd.com/default.htm or http://www.mayoclinic.com/ may be a good place to start off but nothing will ever beat going in to a real doctor or nurse and getting the care you need. Forget about thinking you’ll be a burden or that it’s too expensive, nothing should come before your health.