I don’t know about you, but I’ve never really liked going to the doctor’s office. I’m the type of person that denies that anything is wrong with me unless I think it is life-threatening. There is no way I am going to willingly let someone poke and prod me like I am some creature and then tell me to do something that I think does not fit into my agenda. For instance, in high school I played (and won) three tennis games on a foot that had a fallen arch and a rolled ankle (all at once) and the entire time, I denied that anything was wrong because I could still hobble around on my own. I had lost my first match because I had rolled my foot, and I was determined to win consolation. Painful? Of course. Worth it then? Most definitely. Worth it now? Nope.
Why? Because when my parents took me to the doctor after the event nurse saw me trying to hop across the street and took me out of the tourney after yelling at my coach for not making me sit out sooner, he gave me the options of either having my foot in a plaster cast for 6 weeks or wearing a (removable) boot for a bit longer. I chose the boot. Naturally, I hated it. It creaked when I moved, I couldn’t walk normally, it was too heavy to wear up and down the stairs, and after a while, it just hurt. That, and I was super subconscious of people staring at me and asking me, “What did you do?” when I really didn’t feel like going into a rant that I had played and won 3 games on that foot and that it was fine blah, blah, blah. So, what did I do?
I ignored my doctor’s orders and took it off after only three days. I was supposed to wear it for like 7 weeks. It hurt, but I was so stubborn that I pretended that it didn’t. I even lied to my school’s sport doctor so that I could play tennis again. He didn’t believe me when I said that it was fine (I had been in a boot only the day before, after all) and made me run around and jump on my foot to prove that it was okay. I did it all with a smile. Even though it hurt enough for me to bite into my cheek, I kept on until I had convinced him.
You see, I had been on Varsity and was playing in a JV tourney when I injured my foot during a play. Tennis was my sport, and I just needed to be back on the courts! I played three games on an injured foot, stopped wearing the boot 6 and a half weeks short, and made myself pass a physical just so that my coach would let me play again. My reward?
He put me on JV and benched me the rest of the year.
Now, since I disregarded my doctor’s instructions and advice (you know, the things we pay them for in the first place), I can’t point my left foot all the way, I can’t wear any high heels any higher than 2 inches for more than an hour, and if I run on it, it cramps up and I re-roll/pop the tendons in it.
You might be shaking your head right now thinking of how stupid and hard-headed I was (and still am), but admit it: we all do this. The moral of the story is that even if you are dying to get back out there to your own agenda but doing so would be going against your doctor’s orders—don’t do it! You will regret it. I do. Not only did it not bring about what I wanted (to play on Varsity), but it also screwed up my foot for the rest of my life. And it’s my entire fault. I implore you all to seriously listen to your doctors and follow their instruction to the T, because if you don’t, you might actually wind up harming yourselves in your stubbornness.
This isn’t just restricted to physical orders, either. It also applies to medicines and prescriptions.
If you have the flu and the doctor give you antibiotics to kill it, don’t just stop taking them when you start to feel better! Antibiotics are designed to block the virus over a set amount of doses. If you stop half way, the flu virus that was in your system (and still is in your system) mutates and becomes stronger because you quit fighting the virus with antibiotics before the virus was completely gone. Just because you feel better doesn’t mean that you are better—especially when it comes to something as sneaky as the flu (or pneumonia or bronchitis, etc.)
Or a more practical example (at least I think so): if your doctor prescribes you medication and tells you to be sure to drink plenty of water (as in lots of water) while you are on the medicine, don’t just drink water when you take the medicine. After a while, you will begin to get really dizzy and confused and you won’t know why. Your head will hurt. You will feel exhausted. And if you don’t realize what’s happening, you will wind up in the hospital.
My point is this—even though you may not trust your doctors (you know who you are) or you don’t like them, always do what they tell you to do. They are the ones who went to 10 years of school to know what they are talking about. Don’t self-diagnose yourself and change your medicine (or ignore the doctor and continue your physical activity). Don’t complain. Just do it. That way, in the long run, you won’t regret it.
I hope this has been an insightful post for you all. Thanks for reading!