Doctor’s Day, celebrated in the United States on March 30, rings a little more deeply this year.
Physicians all over the world became modern-day heroes in their care of COVID-19 patients and their care of non-COVID patients, too. Amid the pandemic, people still suffer heart attacks and other emergencies. Babies must get their childhood vaccines. People with rare diseases continue to need care and coordination to keep their treatment plans on track.
For a rare disease patient, just getting an accurate diagnosis can take years. Often, it’s a thorough doctor who solves the mystery. Machelle Pecoraro recalls her long journey and “countless vials of blood, test after test, each one diagnosing me with something new – allergies, mental illness, possibly cancer.”
But that wasn’t it. Finally, when Pecoraro was 21, she tried one more specialist – not expecting much.
“I had zero time, zero desire and zero money to go to another doctor,” she said.
But that immunologist cracked the case. Pecoraro had hereditary angioedema (HAE), a genetic disease that causes attacks of swelling that can be fatal. Today, she’s able to treat her rare disease, live a life that includes two sons, and serve as an advocate for other patients who have HAE.
Would you like to improve your own working relationship with your doctor? This animation offers tips on forming a respectful, healthy partnership.