BE YOUR OWN HEALTH ADVOCATE
In my line of business, I often find myself reassuring clients that it’s okay to ask for a second opinion, that they don’t have to take the first answer as their only answer. In this day and (digital) age, we are more informed than ever - and we should act on it.
Recently, a girlfriend told me the story of how she researched an off-label medication that had worked well for others with her specific condition. At first, her doctor was hesitant. But the literature she had studied greatly supported her beliefs and because of her due diligence, she was able to get a second and different opinion.
Point is - YOU know your body better than anyone else, better than your doctor, better than your friends, better than your dietitian nutritionist. If you have questions, ask them. If you have concerns, voice them.
Here are a few other ways that you can stay on top of your health and be your own advocate.
- Show up prepared…this is your body. Your only temple to live in. So, write down your questions and bring them in! Ask and inquire about your concerns! If one of your other doctors or clinicians mentioned a certain blood test and you don’t understand it… ASK. This will also help you find out how open, patient, and interested your clinician is in your health.
- Trust your GUT instinct. This is a two WAY relationship between you and your health care provider. Just because someone went to school to be a Doctor, Physical therapist, Dietitian or PA doesn’t mean you will like them. So find a clinician you mesh with; and if your gut feeling tells you “this person isn’t listening to me” or “I think there is something else going on”, LISTEN to your gut. Go for another opinion.
- Keep your own records. ASK FOR YOUR BLOOD WORK. Get a copy. It is your right as a patient so keep a copy. You never know when you might need it; to bring to another clinician or maybe you can see changes yourself and ask questions at your next appointment. History is important, and your health history; one day it will be priceless.