Is it forgetfulness or...

Is it forgetfulness or...

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Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono/ Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono/

By Dr Irwin Lim, Rheumatologist

I see many patients who are intelligent and who juggle many aspects of life successfully. Family organisation, high level jobs, their hectic schedules.

And yet, when it comes to their health, they're not so efficient. Let me give you some examples:

  • Turning up to 1st appointments without the referral letter or a pile of investigations they forgot to bring;
  • Returning to appointments forgetting to bring the investigation to be discussed eg Xray;
  • Forgetting to perform their regular "monitoring" blood tests;
  • Forgetting to take their medications;
  • At some stage, forgetting the usual dose of medication & then taking less or more of the medication;
  • Forgetting important caveats which have been emphasised repeatedly, such as, skipping a dose of biologic DMARD medication if they are unwell, for eg, during an upper respiratory tract infection.

Is this always just due to being forgetful?

Is it due to some ingrained desire to try and avoid thinking about a chronic illness?

I don't know but it happens often enough for me to wonder. Do you have any ideas?

Dr Irwin Lim is a rheumatologist and a director of BJC Health. You should follow him on twitter here.
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