Proactive Healthcare

Our common humanity is often best expressed through the struggle to maintain or regain our health. Below is an excerpt from an interview with Elvin Malone, as well as an audio recording of our full conversation. Click here to submit your own healing story.

 

Dr. Tuckson:             
 
 
 

Elvin:                         
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Elvin:   

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Elvin:  
 
 
 
 
 

Dr. Tuckson:  

Elvin:  
 
 

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Elvin:
  

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Dr. Tuckson:  

This is Dr. Reed Tuckson and I’m welcoming Mr. Elvin Malone to Tuckson Health Connections. Mr. Malone is a 77-year-old man who, not too many years ago, like so many other men, experienced difficulties with his prostate. Tell me a little bit about what happened with you and your prostate.

I would go to the doctor. I was fortunate to get two tests a year. I get one from my regular physician and I get one from the VA. When we noticed a move in my PSA, I begin to watch it closely. As it begins to elevate, once it left the number four, then it started moving. I found out that it was time to do something about it. I couldn’t just sit there. Then I started researching. A good friend of mine was a doctor, so I started talking with him. I have a sister who’s a physician. I talked with her. We found out what’s the best procedure. We found out that the robotic procedure was the best one.

For you?

For me. So then we found out the best doctor in our community, Macon, Georgia.

Now let me ask you, many men are reluctant to get the PSA test. They just think maybe I don’t want to know about it. Why did you consent to have the test?

I’ve been keeping up with that for years. I would get a test from my doctor and one from the VA. The VA, I like that test because all your blood work, they give you a complete copy. You can find out anything about you whether your sugar level or your blood or cholesterol. And I would even make a copy of this and carry it to each one of my physicians and I have them put it on the record. I think one’s in my glove compartment. If I go to a physician, this is where we need to start.

One second. You keep a copy of your medical records in your glove compartment?

Right. And then on me in my wallet I keep the drugs that I’m taking. And where I live, I’ve got a copy of it there. If I would fall down in my house and somebody would come in, on the refrigerator immediately medical people get a whole history.

That is a brilliant idea. Now you mentioned something else that I thought was very important, you say you shopped around for the best doctor.

Well, this is important to me. That was my first major surgery, in ‘09, that I’d ever had. So if a person is going to go in, I’ve got to know you’re the best.

So what would be your advice to people who are reluctant to shop around and who are intimidated by the medical care system? What’s your advice to them?

My advice is this: First of all, get your physical. Find somebody to get you a good physical and get a copy of all your tests, all of your blood work. Then, if you don’t actually understand it, talk with a person that you know that can go over it with you. Make sure you understand this level is a little too high, this one is too low. The lessons that I learned from getting those tests make me more informed even when I talk to my doctor.

Then the other part would be, is don’t be shy.

Don’t be shy. If you got a PSA that’s gone above .4 and getting above that, you need to have something done because the earlier you attack it, the better off you are.

Well, Mr. Malone, you’ve given some good advice and I want to thank you for coming and sharing it with everybody.