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Why wont doctors tell you what they are searching for?

(9 Posts)
IntotheNittyGritty Thu 02-Jun-11 01:31:35

Am undergoing lots of tests and procedures and they are now specific tests for a specific condition. But the doctor is still being vague and says they will tell me when they have all the results of everything.

Now I know this is common sense, but why cant they give me an incline of whats wrong instead of me worrying myself silly after reading totally irrelevent stuff on the internet.

Why dont doctors like to tell you what they think a condition might be, maybe with a proviso that this is what we are looking for but dont know for sure.

silentcatastrophe Thu 02-Jun-11 09:33:43

If you start looking things up on the internet, you will only find out what has happened to other people. Yes, it is frustrating to be faced with test after test after test. It has happened to me too. Sometimes they don't know exactly what they are looking for so they may be trying to rule things out.

Please DON'T look things up on the internet! It really won't help you at all, and will make everything far more worrisome than it need be. It is not for you to worry anyway. That's their job.

SarkyLady Thu 02-Jun-11 09:36:17

I would (and have) insist that they tell me.

Say "I'll only scare myself by looking in the Internet otherwise"

SarkyLady Thu 02-Jun-11 09:37:02

You have a right to know the reason for any tests.

saggarmakersbottomknocker Thu 02-Jun-11 09:39:46

I think some people don't like to know and GPs often err on the side of caution by giving less than full information. Generally I just ask outright because I don't cope well when kept in the dark. I'm sure if you said 'what are you looking for specifically' then he would answer your questions.

But you'd still get a lot of 'ifs, buts and maybes'.

tribpot Thu 02-Jun-11 09:54:02

I think it's a difficult judgement call for doctors to make. Some people - myself included - want to know precisely what is being tested for and will use the information appropriately. It sounds like you're in the same boat - you'd be less worried if you could use the internet as an extra resource but with more confidence that whilst it could be condition a it's probably more likely condition b, for example.

It was literally this time last week that I eventually went to see my GP about a potentially very serious medical condition. He said to me straight out "it might be this kind of cancer, it might be that kind of cancer". Knowing that I basically already knew that anyway from reading on the internet (NB I'm pleased to say that the blood test results the day after have 99.9% ruled out any form of cancer).

For other people, the absence of firm information would just cause extra stress and worry. Silentcatastrophe is right - the internet is just as much a curse as a blessing in these circumstances. But I also agree with SarkyLady. You have the right to know why you're being tested, and the doctor should give a straight answer to a straight question. Even if that answer is "I don't think it's [x] or[y] but I want to rule them out with text [z]".

You're already worrying yourself with the internet. If your doctor's view is that there is just not enough evidence to point in one direction yet, he/she should just say so and basically tell you outright to stop Googling!

Hope you get some answers soon.

silentcatastrophe Thu 02-Jun-11 09:57:32

I was told, once they'd come up with some idea of what was wrong with me that they had been looking for a lot of big nasties. Sometimes they prefer to tell you what they know rather than what they don't know. You may end up with a list of what's not wrong with you. It's pretty crap being investigated.

IntotheNittyGritty Fri 03-Jun-11 09:06:00

Have definitely been told to stop googling! Certainly very traumatic when I do.

Makes me laugh whilst in hospital and doctors come round to talk to patients. They pull the curtains round. Is this really meant to stop you hearing the conversations of whats wrong with other people. I know its not interesting but pulling a curtain round doesnt make the conversation more private.

tribpot Fri 03-Jun-11 12:48:06

Nitty - when I was in hospital just before ds was born, they did the whole 'curtains round the bed' in order to give the woman next to me a sweep before moving on to me. Amazingly the curtains did not stop me from hearing her gasping in pain and then start crying - yeah, I was really relaxed and positive when it was my turn as a result!! I think soundproof curtains would be a great investment ...

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