The 3 words that saved my life and could possibly save yours one day.
Self-advocate. You must advocate for yourself. You owe it to yourself to educate yourself, make the extra phone calls, get the second, third and fourth opinions and keep going until you find the truth. When you advocate for yourself, you are taking ownership of your life. When you advocate for yourself, you call the shots.
Empower. Give yourself authority over your own life. When you empower yourself, you take the decisions away from others and instead, you decide what is best for you. For example; you choose your medical treatments, you choose whether or not more information is necessary, you decide if you want to see a traditional medical doctor or a Naturo-path doctor. Or when you bring your car to a mechanic and you are told it needs a ton of work. If you disagree, regardless of your knowledge of cars, choose to empower yourself and be confident enough to get a second opinion.
Instinct. I can not express enough the power of trusting your instincts. The feeling in your gut when you know something is or isn’t right. When faced with decisions out of your area of expertise or in situations you aren’t already knowledgeable on, you may push your instincts aside. Do not do that any more. Something inside of you is telling you to get another opinion. Something is pushing you to keep searching. Something is gnawing at you to look over your shoulder. At the very least, I urge you to take a step back and listen to what your instincts are saying.
How did these words save my life? I trusted my instincts when multiple doctors told me I did not have anything physically wrong with me. For months I advocated for myself by going to see many other doctors, specialists and even dragging myself to the emergency room a few times. Every time I explained myself, my symptoms, my pain,my anguish…and every time I was sent home with no answers. Until one day, one doctor told me I had post-partum depression and anxiety. I did not believe this was the culprit of all my suffering. Although I had never experienced post-partum, I knew what it looked like. I also knew that it looked different on every woman. Still, in my gut, I did not believe this was the problem. After months of being mis-diagnosed, wrongly medicated and basically dismissed by many doctors, I had hit rock bottom. The pain was unbearable. The physical and mental suffering was torture. The way I saw it, I had 2 options. Give up or trust my instincts and fight for my life. I chose to fight. I researched like a mad woman. I spoke to anyone who would listen. I asked everyone questions. I finally created a list of about 10 things I had not been tested for that fit my symptoms. I pleaded with the doctor to take more blood. Finally, reluctantly, he did. He was certain that I did not have any of the ailments on that list. Imagine his surprise when that list came back with half of those ailments positive. That was the beginning of my recovery.