fostering the humanistic practice of medicine publishing personal accounts of illness and healing encouraging health care advocacy

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He Made His Own Decisions

My husband knew his body.

When he was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation in his 40s, despite the fact that he was a dedicated runner, every physician he ever saw recommended that he take some blood-thinner or other. Each of them gave as their rationale the fact that he had a five-percent chance of experiencing a stroke without such medication.

He was well aware that the possibility was real because, among other reasons, I am a medical librarian and kept up with the literature on Afib, which I passed on to him.

Regardless, he refused the pills and said he’d take his chances. He had always been a slow metabolizer of drugs and almost always experienced bizarre adverse effects; ergo, he preferred to refuse any meds that were not absolutely essential.

Flash forward some 40-plus years, to when he died of a pulmonary problem, strokeless to the end.

Leila M. Hover
Lacey, Washington

 

 

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