The thing about chronic illness, whether you’re living through pain or debilitating symptoms, is this business of appearing normal. You portion out limited energy, some days, you can walk with ease and others just walking across the room you lose your breath. Living with chronic illness, be it pain or any other form, is a journey of grief, cycling through both accepting and mourning the reality of your limitations. There will be days you’re productive, confident and driven. Others where you are raging against those limits, stagnant, aching and sad.
At this point you may have spent a decade trying to connect the dots between conditions and finding specialists that actively listen, take your pain seriously, anticipate and treat the symptoms. Navigating the healthcare system can be difficult for anyone, from finding the right health care providers, to accessing their care, to coverage of services. You have to be proactive, prepared and assertive, which takes a lot of energy you may not have, just to be seen and heard. All the while you are fighting to appear normal and clear minded, in order to be an active participant in your healthcare.
On top of your illness you have to master your self-advocacy skills to be seen and heard!
Most people chug along for years, mostly seeing whatever doctor is available, seeking some answers, and some hope. How do you get beyond that? It is YOUR HEALTH! How do you get the right treatment for YOU?
Beyond being Proactive, Prepared and Assertive, build your team!
If you’re like most, you may have turned to friends with similar symptoms. Reached out in support groups for doctor recommendations and attended each appointment with the same questions and the same search for hope.
To advocate for yourself, by being in your own unique position, you need to be in observation mode. Interview the healthcare professionals as if you were interviewing them for the key role of treating YOUR HEALTH. Grade them based on: How long you had to wait, are they covered by insurance, what is their “bedside manner”? More importantly, you need to muster enough energy, with a clear head and assertiveness to observe, in order to ask the right questions, determine how and if this is a treatment option you value.
If this sounds like you and you are ready to move forward to take more control of your health, download the free guide below: 5 Steps to Your Best Health and Wellness. From there, if you’d like help around how to create your overall healthcare team, please book a call with our Clinic Director Denise. Links to both the free guide and booking a call are below.