It is quite surprising, funny really, when we think about the patients who came to the doctor clinics in the past month and how similar their reaction were to their diagnosed illnesses, repeated queries about what not to eat and a general non compliance with their drug regimens.
The patients that were examined came from different localities, with as diverse mindsets as their financial background. But almost all had one thing in common denial of the medical problems they were suffering from despite repeated counseling on each visit they would simply not comply with the dos and don’ts of their disease as advised.
Take for example, high blood pressure. A female patients who were newly diagnosed with this condition were hell bent upon proving that headaches, dizziness and tiredness they had been experiencing was due to low BP and not high as the sphygmomanometer had recorded on three different occasions. Now, how do you counter such a strong belief even with overwhelming scientific evidence?
A majority of patients believe that hypertension is similar to the flu, which goes away with a week, with the result that they stop taking their prescribed medicines before their first follow-up visit. No amount of counseling can tilt their beliefs in favour of the efficacy of allopathic medicines as opposed to hand-me-down tib and unani remedies, not to mention homeopathic cures.
The level of education has nothing to do with the understanding of a medical illness. A paanchivipass is just as likely to take anginal pain as heartburn as a PhD. he would rather treat it at home with an assortment of doodhsoda, carminative tablets and mint leaves than go to a doctor and be treated.
Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to aggravating diagnosed anginal pain. This may lead to a heart attack which could have been avoided with timely medical intervention.
Another worse case scenario remains self adjustment of the prescribed medicine as the patient may deem fit. Deciding that under-the-tongue tablet for angina is the sloe cure for it and not the other concomitantly prescribed medications is not the patients’ prerogative as he may believe and practice.