My treatment, my choice: what do I need to know?

What can shared decision-making look like from the patient’s perspective? A treatment that is the best medical option may not be the best for the person’s life. In this guest blog, Rosalind talks about the treatment choices she faced when her Graves Disease symptoms returned and how she worked out what is best for her.

We were about to launch a new family business in the week I also became a patient

How embarrassing. I arrived home from my GP appointment and fell into my husband’s arms, sobbing with relief that I wasn’t going to die, and looked up to see our cheery hairdresser, mid cut on my son’s hair, mouth open, scissors aloft and forgetting all about chirruping about her holiday. I can laugh now as I look back on the forty-something me; wife, mother, daughter, primary school teacher, singing group conductor, about to embark on two new paths whilst keeping all of these plates spinning. We were about to launch a new family business in the week that I also became a patient, diagnosed with Graves Disease.

Now I had an explanation for the uncontrollable trembling of my hands that had made my parents fear I might have Parkinson’s Disease; for my rapid speech which was apparently like a music track on fast forward; for my heart keeping me awake at night with its pounding and irregular rate and levels of anxiety that soared as I felt my body spinning out of control.

My GP was calm and reassuring. She was sure I had Graves Disease, an overactive thyroid. I needed time and medication to bring the symptoms under control. I was going to be all right. And four years later, I am all right. But the road to recovery and moving on is neither straight nor easy.

Click here to read Rosalind's full blog on Evidently Cochrane.