You're probably thinking, what's reflective about a giant stack of paper?
I get it. It's a little odd for an article that's supposed to be reflective.
Here's the thing. That's not work.
What you see is all of my medical files from 2008 onward, neatly organized and ready to go for when or if I have new meeting with doctors and specialists.
It's been a hell of a long road and I've learned so much along the way about medicine, health and hormones. But, possibly just as important, I've learned how to 'play' the system.
Now, I don't like to generalize at all. The world is a unique and beautiful place, but if there is one thing that I can share with others regarding my experiences it is this.
Pretend like every doctors appointment is a job interview.
NEVER assume that they have your file or have taken the time to read it. You have to make them care. Come prepared. You have to show them that you are serious about your #health and that you are doing the necessary steps to get better.
You have to be your own advocate. I always type a list of time-lined symptoms, medications & supplements (type, dose, duration), current diet and training program, and QUESTIONS for them. It may sound trivial but this has proven to be SO crucial in my many years in the system. It allows me to keep calm, focused and ensure that I don't forget anything.
My personal background, education and research, as well as having a mother who is deeply embedded in the medical system as a hospital administrator/nurse practitioner/nursing school instructor has lead me to these insights.
Research shows that when people take an ACTIVE role in their care, they have a greater sense of satisfaction - and yet, research also shows that many patients don't speak up for themselves or communicate effectively with doctors.
By sharing my story I hope that I can help others navigate the sometimes long and unpredictable journey back to health.
With love & gratitude,