Yes, I am talking to you.
Could you do something for me?
Bear with me and just take a moment to point your finger right to the middle of your chest and say allowed, “You.”
You are the best and only true advocate for your health in this life. You are the one that is best suited to fight your battles when it comes to your health.
I have been fighting for myself my entire adult life and have never given up. I have watched from the bench a few times when it came to my health but I did not allow myself to rest there long. If I did it would allow medical atrophy to set in. This would undoubtedly lead to me giving in to whatever quack diagnosis, or lack of a diagnosis, and direct my life in a terrifyingly incorrect way. Can you relate?
I was misdiagnosed or told that I was the perfect picture of health for many years.
Come to find out, I was very much sick. It was not “all in my head”, even if it did not show up in my labs. I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder (I will tell you more about this in a future blog post) after many, many years of suffering. And sadly, after some very unnecessary treatments and surgeries I found out I had other options I could have explored. I am not going to dwell on this though. It is in the past now and not reversible (unless you have a time machine I can borrow?…no, okay then, moving on). Besides, I have better things to focus on anyway! For instance, living my beautifully blessed life and being present for those that I love are a couple. I refuse to live in my past swimming in the pool of bitterness and regret. Just saying…
It is vital that you learn how and when to advocate for yourself, especially in your midlife years.
These are very important years and a turning point in your life when it comes to how you want to live these years. I am all about having a good quality of life. I would like to live as long, as happily and in the best health as I can. The only way that I can see doing that is by being a good steward to the body that I have been given.
Love yourself and your life enough to seek out a medical professional that is willing to listen to you and answer all the questions you have.
I was surprised to find a Nurse Practitioner (NP) who specializes in autoimmune disorders, adrenals, and hormones that is helping me. She has her own practice set up and gives me 45 minutes of her time at each appointment for a flat fee and can even bill my insurance. I get all my labs done prior to sitting down with her and the entire 45 minutes is an open, back and forth discussion about me, my symptoms, my fails, and my triumphs. She listens to all my questions and ideas and gives me great advice on what to try and not try (FYI, Google doesn’t know everything, the odds are that it is not brain cancer and NO, you do not have to in-jest that!).
If my NP does not know how to answer something for me she researches it or refers me to the correct medical professional to find answers. I am not suggesting you go out and find an NP, I am just saying don’t limit your search for a great medical professional. You might just be surprised at who may be a good fit for you and support you in advocating for your own health.
Oh, and last but not least; don’t be afraid to ask for a second, third or fourth opinion.
This should go without saying but I have seen way too many friends and family go with whatever their medical professional says, as though what they say is “golden” or “written in stone”. Just because you have been with them for years doesn’t mean they know everything or know what is best for you. Sometimes safer, less aggressive or more aggressive options can be found. If it is something potentially life threatening do not delay in getting a second or third opinion.
You should never feel guilty for putting your health needs first. A good medical professional will not feel bad because you ask for another opinion; a great one will welcome it.