Don’t Be Afraid to Get a Second Opinion

Don’t Be Afraid to Get a Second Opinion March 16, 2015

Don’t be afraid to venture beyond the first piece of advice offered to you, whether from a professional or amateur opinionist. You are the one who has the best view of your situation and sometimes someone, well-meaning or not, has limited resources in which to draw from and perhaps even an agenda to insert. Everyone, myself included, is so adept at doling out advice on any given subject but it’s not all worthy of your time or energy.

LeAnn and I were so excited to visit a doctor after discovered she might be pregnant with our first child (Natalie). We were the starry-eyed couple on the verge of a major life change waiting patiently for our chance to confirm. When we saw the doctor, a gruff old man who had probably delivered more than his fair share of babies, our enthusiasm came crashing right into his apathy. When he couldn’t hear the heartbeat, he refused an ultrasound that the nurses had promised. “I gave them the afternoon off. That’s the problem with promising . . . you can promise the moon but they can’t deliver it.”

Our overwhelming joy turned to concern. “Is it possible that she’s not really pregnant?” I asked. He looked at me snarled, “If she’s not, are you going to leave her?” My mouth dropped open. Was this really happening? Perhaps Dr. “House” thought he was cute or funny or just didn’t care. Maybe he stopped caring after Baby 10,0000. We cared, though . . . deeply. I told LeAnn I did not want to make this journey with a man who was just “over it.” After another visit, the nurse’s eyes widened when I asked for our chart, determined to find another physician who had at least an inkling of the anticipation we were feeling. We were blessed to find a professional, joyful young woman who awaited Natalie’s arrival almost as much as we did. She was her first baby to deliver. Score.

Along with this memory, there’s at least one another significant moment where I believe I was being sold one thing by a provider while another gave me a more honest diagnosis. When our family was presented with one long-term care scenario by a professional, I joked that “this is the funding plan for their new boat.” It turned out that someone else had a more manageable plan that worked just as well.

Sometimes we are just too timid or embarrassed to not agree to the first solution offered to us. We shouldn’t be. It’s our lives, our family and our resources being affected. If it’s a really hard sell, there’s a reason for that. They probably don’t want you thinking about it for too long.

Has there even been a time when you searched for a second opinion with a professional, whether health-care, retail or even repair services? Share in the comments.

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