So, your doctor tells you that your lab work is totally normal and that there is nothing wrong with you. Here you are sitting at the docs office thinking “but I still feel like shit!”
I hear this from women all the time! Personally, I can relate to this scenario as well.
I’ve been to numerous doctors in the past complaining of severe fatigue, brain fog, and low mood. I was told several times that I was “fine”. Of course me being oh so health savvy, I knew they were telling me this because they simply didn’t know any better and conventional medicine was not able to figure out and address the root cause of my symptoms.
The other aspect of this was the fact that my doctor was not ordering me the complete testing
Knowing this, I’ve had to advocate for myself numerous times and be insistent that the doctor give me a requisition for specific lab tests. I realize that I obviously have an advantage when it comes to being a detective with my own health. I often think about the millions of women out there who do not know better, they don’t know how to advocate for themselves regarding their health and it’s not their fault, either. They trust whatever the doctor has to say, and sadly continue to suffer in silent.
My experiences with conventional medicine has reinforced the knowing that we need to become educated and empowered on how to communicate with our health care providers. I often coach my patients on this topic. I advocate for my patients to have a harmonious relationship with their doctor and other health professionals they work with. When I see a patient who has ‘“fallen through the cracks” of the conventional medical system, I feel it is partially my duty to help them be taken seriously and taken care of properly.
I had a patient recently with pretty bad chest pain and elevated heart rate, which caused a bit of concern. They made a trip to their family doctor as I suggested they do as soon as they could, and unfortunately the doctor did not request the patient have any cardiac tests done, no blood work, no nothing! When I hear things like that I feel pretty outraged.
This patient should have been referred to a cardiologist right away.
The patient in this scenario did not know how to step up and insist that his doctor investigate his potentially life threatening symptoms. Health care budgets are being cut left and right, which contributes to patients not getting the proper tests and care they need. It’s your responsibility to learn how to stand up for yourself and your health!
Health care advocacy is truly a passion of mine, quite honestly it sometimes gets me “fired up”!
Here are a few basic suggestions as to how to advocate for your health.
- Ask for multiple opinions! Unusual symptoms? Your doc has no idea whats going on? Life threatening diagnosis such as cancer? Get multiple opinions from 3-5 or possibly more specialists before undergoing any therapies, treatments, or procedures
- Ask questions! Asking the right questions is key for you to determine what your next actings steps will be regarding your situation
- Informed Consent! Permission granted in the knowledge of the possible consequences, typically that which is given by a patient to a doctor for treatment with full knowledge of the possible risks and benefits. You need to know all of the possible risks and benefits!
I help people get what they need, I help them understand what their options are, what the best options are, and help them feel empowered to transform their current situation.
I would love to hear from you, do you feel like you need a bit of help when it comes to advocating for your health?
To your greatest well-being and empowerment,