The Take-Charge Patient
Martine Ehrenclou, M.A
Lemon Grove Press, LLC (2012)
ISBN 9780981524030
Originally posted on de blog (July 20, 2012)

(The Take-Charge Patient) the book is a must-have for anyone wanting to increase their odds of getting the best treatment possible. I knew I had to write about it.

I was aware Martine had written another book, and was only a few pages into this latest title, before I’d Amazon’d her first award-winning book, Critical Conditions: The Essential Hospital Guide to Get Your Loved One Out Alive. Though both came to be because of Martine’s own experiences, it felt as if she had written a story I’d already lived. Her account of dealing with the illness of her mother, was reminiscent of my own experience trying to do what I could, for my ailing mother.

Easy to read (and guaranteed to be a better way to pass time than anything else in the waiting room) both are full of ways to help your doctors and nurses help you, whether or not you have a diagnosis. She offers tips for saving money, as well as suggestions for understanding and making good use of your insurance coverage. The tips within, are easy to employ.

Additionally, Martine’s methodology reminds us that doctors and nurses are human beings who deserve our consideration and respect. Having had the very unfortunate experience of seeing/hearing irate family members disrespectfully addressing medical professionals, I appreciated the underlying reminder of something which should be obvious, the better our rapport with professionals, the more invested they will be in the care for the patient.

There is some overlap between the two books, because The Take Charge Patient is written for the patient, while Critical Conditions was written for the patient’s advocate, but they function nicely as a pair. There are literally hundreds of valuable tips within these books, and while some may seem obvious, when you’re faced with the emotional magnitude and distraction of big issues, it’s very easy to forget small, but important details.

These books are intended to help us ask the right questions, talk to the right people, do everything we can to get the best possible treatment, while avoiding very common medical mistakes and mishaps. Whether we are advocating for yourself or somebody else, these books explain how to go from passive to proactive without coming across as demanding. There is no price that can be attached to health and no frustration greater than the helplessness of not knowing what to do when faced with illness. If you are ever so unfortunate, as to be wondering what you can do for yourself or someone else, having this information close at hand, could make either or both books worth much more than their cost. It is my sincere hope you’ll never need either book, but if you ever need them, I hope you’ll have them.