Using the Resources
Feeling Better with Fred
As an example of how some of these resources can be used, let's follow the course of Fred. This hypothetical situation will give you an idea of how some of the resources in this guide can be applied to real life circumstances.
Fred is proud of telling people that he hasn't been to a doctor in years. He considers himself very healthy, and feels that he usually eats properly and is somewhat physically active. For a middle-aged man, he thinks he is doing great. Considering that Fred doesn't like going to the doctor, he is pleased that he is so healthy.
So, it is concerning for Fred when he suddenly begins feeling unwell. He notices that he is frequently tired and losing a lot of weight even though he is eating more than he normally does. In addition, he realizes that he seems to be thirsty all the time, and can't drink enough to quench his thirst. Fred decides to do some research and see if he can figure out what is going on.
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He starts with the Professional Guide to Diseases and looks at some of the possible causes. Fred checks the entries for fatigue and weight loss. There are a number of possibilities, but one thing that is listed under both symptoms is Diabetes Mellitus.
Fred wants to know more. He looks at the Merck Manual of Medical Information for more information about diabetes. The information provided concerns Fred. His symptoms seem to be typical of Type 2 Diabetes.
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Fred decides he really should see a doctor. But since he hasn't been to a doctor in years, he doesn't know where to go. From his home computer, Fred looks at the American Medical Association Doctor Finder and the Practitioner Profile from the Florida Department of Health.
Fred finds a general practitioner, makes an appointment, and learns that he does have Type 2 Diabetes. Fred is very depressed. The doctor told him he was not in good shape and that he wasn't eating properly. Now what? The doctor suggested he see an endocrinologist, someone who specializes in diabetes. Fred goes back to the Library for more information. He looks at the Official ABMS Directory of Board Certified Medical Specialists and finds a couple of doctors to call. In addition, he decides to check out some books on diabetes and a couple of cookbooks for people with diabetes.
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Fred goes to the Endocrinologist and is given a lot of information. He is starting to feel a little better about having diabetes, but still wants to know more. His doctor has given him some medicine to help control his blood sugar levels. Fred looks at the Complete Guide to Prescription & Nonprescription Drugs and learns about his new medicines and the potential side effects.
Fred doesn't like taking medicine, and wants to find out some alternative ways to control his blood sugar. He starts by looking at the PDR for Herbal Medicines. He doesn't find exactly what he is looking for. He then discovers the electronic resource Health and Wellness Resource Center and Alternative Health Module. This resource has full-text articles and books about all aspects of health and wellness, including alternative health information. Fred spends a lot of time in front of his home computer exploring and finds great information about diabetes and alternative treatments.
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A few months later, we see Fred again. Fred is very happy. He has worked hard and brought his blood sugar under control. He is eating better, exercising more, and feels great. His doctor has told Fred that he may not have to take the medicines to control his blood sugar anymore if he keeps up the great work. Using the online resources, Fred is also keeping up on the research on how diabetes affects the body and is learning what he needs to do to stay healthy. Even though Fred now has to go see a doctor on a regular basis, he has found a doctor he likes and is paying careful attention to what he is told. Fred's future is looking good.