Ask the Dumb Question

My fear of asking the wrong question made me feel like a deer in the headlights at times. When a room full of doctors were examining the patient, my husband, then turn to look at me and ask, “do you have any questions,” – “uh no”, I retorted many times. Most of the time, I was never really sure what to ask of that group of knowledgeable individuals.

In our case, the situation was dire for much of his hospital stay. There were certain things that I wouldn’t ask because we were in front of my husband. I didn’t want to add unnecessary stress to his delicate condition.

My advice: take time to digest what you have heard, then, write down ALL the questions you have. Also, if at all possible, have someone accompany you so that they can corroborate what you heard. Ask them what their questions would be from their unique perspective.

Don’t be afraid to ask the doctors to speak in layman’s terms. The terminology is a lot to absorb for those of us without training. I found myself referring to my computer every night just trying to understand all the new information I had been given. It was often overwhelming.

So, if you think your question is a silly one; ask it anyway. You have nothing to lose and possibly a lot to gain.

In a life and death situation, it is all about the questions. Thankfully, I had my 23 year old son, Riley, by my side. We helped each other through the perilous journey. We would sit down at night and write down all the questions we had for the doctors the next day. We also looked up all the new terminology we didn’t understand so we could get a better grasp of what’s going on, and tailor our questions accordingly.

Leslie Sullivan