Back in 2012 and beyond, I suffered from debilitating hip and back pain.
I took it upon myself to become my own “health advocate” and search for a practitioner who could help me with the pain, no matter how long it took.
Over the span of two years, I visited over 9 different doctors, who for the most part, couldn’t find anything wrong with me.
I couldn’t walk or stand for more than a minute and needed relief from the pain I was enduring.
Being an exercise enthusiast my entire life, I was not used to being immobile.
After almost giving up, I decided to try a physical therapist that was recommended by a friend.
I had already gone to another PT, but was willing to try a new one because I still had a sliver of hope left.
I made an appointment and she looked over all my paperwork, MRI’s and X-Rays and did some testing on me.
After testing, she told me what was wrong with me. I had a weak core.
She put me on a core strengthening program and I put all my faith in her. I did exactly what she told me to do day after day.
Within months, I felt better and could walk, stand and exercise again.
It was a miracle!
Had I not searched for a healing solution, I would still be suffering.
Being your own health advocate means you must look out for yourself.
“Without doubt, communication is crucial to good health care.
When people take an active role in their care, research shows they fare better — in satisfaction and in how well treatments work. A passive patient is less likely to get well” according to WebMD.
Here are a few steps you can take in becoming your own health advocate:
Start out by making sure you understand what your health insurance covers and what it doesn’t.
Keep your insurance company’s number handy along with with your group number, because they will ask for it.
If you receive a medical bill and don’t understand it, call the insurer and possibly your healthcare provider.
You need to understand for yourself why you are being billed.
Write down whatever they tell you for future reference!
If you go the doctor and you don’t understand what they are telling you or why you need treatment, ask questions.
Bring a list of questions with you to your visit.
Here are some questions you can ask:
If you’ve seen your doctor and they tell you nothing is wrong with you, and you are still in pain, search for another practitioner who can get you the answers and solutions that you need.
Don’t give up!
To my surprise, I recently ran across a video by Susan Sly about being your own advocate.
Susan says in the video that no one knows your body like you do, which couldn’t be more true.
She also mentions that nothing will take you out of your “zen place” like getting sick and that people are walking around not feeling well, which is not normal.
I know this more than anyone, because now I’m dealing with hormone issues and menopause.
Luckily I have a wonderful Naturopath as well as a top of the line Nutritional Therapist.
Check out Susan’s very empowering and engaging video below where she addresses this and more:
Susan says you need to be your own health advocate and suggests steps you can take before you see a practitioner if you are not feeling well.
- Identify what’s really going on and write it down. Be very specific.
- Take responsibility and clean up your diet.
- Get exercise and make sure you are keeping your body moving every day, even a daily walk will help.
- Get enough sleep.
- Find a multi-disciplinary practitioner who combines many modalities to help with your healing,
I’ll say it again, bottom line, be your own health advocate! It’s helped me several times and it could help you too!
You can download the helpful “medical questions to ask your doctor in advance checklist” and print for reference.
Here’s the book I wrote about my experience with back pain and how I healed naturally!
Bottom line, be your own health advocate! It’s helped me several times and it could help you too!
Do you think it’s important to be your own health advocate?