Self Advocate Pt. 1
I have avoided social media for the last couple of weeks, for no other reason than I have been overwhelmed. (Believe it or not, this is a wonderful form of self-care!)
I was overwhelmed with the fact that I have been asking doctors since the age of 12 to listen to my symptoms of fatigue, IBS, weight gain, anxiety, etc. just to be told: “you’re too young to have hormone problems.”
Over the past 10 years have researched nutrition, elimination diets, I’ve done two rounds of Whole30 (I believe the first helped us get pregnant the first time!) Paleo, AIP diets, gluten-free, dairy-free, processed sugar free, toxins in the products we use and are exposed to - it got to an unhealthy level with my postpartum anxiety, and I was even contemplating not going forward with our house purchase (even though it was already in escrow!) because of how close it was to a transformer.
It wasn’t until the age of 22 (10 years after I first started having symptoms) that I demanded my doctor to refer me for a colonoscopy. The reason? She has told me to take Miralax for my “occasional constipation”. What she considered occasional was, in reality, me going two weeks - 14 DAYS without a movement and this was my normal.
The results of the procedure came back that nothing was wrong, but I would need to be on medication for the rest of my life to be “regular”. The problem aside from the obvious was that this medication said clear and loud on the label that it would be fatal to a fetus. Every doctor I spoke to at this point knew we were trying to get pregnant, but here you go, take this pill..... Needless to say, I did not fill the prescription and looked at diet change which ultimately fixed my problem.
Fast forward to 5 years later, I was exhibiting signs of postpartum mood disorders but no one looked below the surface level. Again, I saw several doctors during this time from OB’s, midwives, & pediatricians all who should know the signs but no one noticed or even asked. I expressed how I was feeling and what I was going through, only to be met with “this is motherhood”.
This year I took my health back - MENTAL & PHYSICAL. I was tired of no answers and passive “care providers”. When I came back to them with my lab results (that I had to pay for out of pocket and arrange because they wouldn’t order them) they were shocked with the results. “Oh! You weren’t exaggerating, you should be feeling how you feel based on what I’m seeing in your labs. Well, this would explain your miscarriage.”
Now that I have an official diagnosis I’ve been seen by 7 different specialists since July, and each of them has a different plan of treatment. Thus the overwhelming last couple of weeks. Shoutout to Nest + Bloom for helping me navigate through this and being the calm I needed!
YOU are the best advocate you have. You need to play an active role in your life and not let it just happen to you.
YOU KNOW YOUR BODY. You know it better than any healthcare professional and if something doesn’t feel right with you, TRUST YOUR INSTINCT! I am the least qualified to treat my symptoms out of all of the doctors I’ve met with, but I am the one that gets to live in this body. It is ultimately my responsibility to care for my body and feel confident in the decisions I choose to make based on a doctor’s recommendation. Don't blindly trust professionals. Do your due diligence and research, learn as much as you can about your symptoms and have a two-sided conversation with your care provider. You owe it to yourself to be in control of your health, and your life.