Now Matt is the exact opposite. He does not believe in organized religion, the Bible, Jesus, God, or Faith. He believes in science. To him the rest is superstition. While my Dad’s beliefs are firmly tethered to a higher power Matt’s are deeply rooted on this earth. I can get him to begrudgingly admit that some things are just a mystery beyond human understanding and perhaps there is a reason we are all here he maintains that there is a mechanism and scientific explanation for everything and everyone on this earth…we just haven’t figured it out yet. When I was diagnosed he began to scour the internet for answers. And I scoured with him. While I do believe in God I also believe in science. Jesus may have healed the sick but so do doctors and they are in a more plentiful supply this side of 33 AD. While we googled medical terms and read pub med articles until we were bleary eyed we never found the miracle cure for what was wrong with me but I did become more confident with medical terms. I found that after a while I could read my own charts, radiology reports, labs, and to an extent even my MRI’s. In meetings with the many doctors I was to encounter throughout this process I found that I understood what they were talking about more easily and it made me less afraid to ask questions for clarification. In some instances it gave me the courage to seek a second opinion when I felt that I was not getting the type of care I deserved. (More on that later, it has nothing to do with the excellent care I received at Mayo. To this day I maintain that it is the best place in the country to go for adequate healthcare. A few other places I have been leave something to be desired in professionalism and a thorough look at a patient’s medical history) In a way, Matt’s and my obsession with becoming experts in the area of Otorhinolaryngology and skull base tumors gave me a secret strength. I was able to catch overlaps in prescriptions, point out discrepancies on my scans, and explain to radiology techs the difference in my T cell mediated reaction to contrast dye which was harmless and anaphylactic shock. Overall I believe it improved the quality of care that I received.
In the words of School House Rock, “Knowledge is Power!”