I'm Sick and Need Help - How to Keep Searching for the Right Doctor
"I Don't Need an Ornithologist"
I was recently telling my stepmom about the strange symptoms I've been experiencing daily for months now, and how no one is certain of what it is yet. In the last four months alone, I've been to my family doctor multiple times, a cardiologist multiple times, an endocrinologist, and an opthamologist.
I was trying to relay to her the latest research I had done, and I erroneously told her that I didn't need an ornithologist, but a different kind of doctor. Yes, I know an ornithologist is someone who studies birds, but that's just the word that popped out of my mouth. We both got a good laugh out of that! After all my searching for the right doctor, maybe I should add that to my list, just to make sure I've covered all the bases.
It can sometimes feel that way. When people ask if you've seen this or that type of doctor, your automatic response is pre-set to yes, because you sometimes feel like you've seen every specialist known to man and still don't have any useful answers.
Try Just One More
When suffering through something you know isn't normal or "right" about the way your body feels, pay attention! Your body will let you know when things aren't right if you'll listen to it. I've been told multiple times by doctors and by ER staff that all my lab work is fine, and I have a perfect heart rhythm. Yeah, tell me that now. I may still have perfect lab values, but my pacemaker I got last summer sort of answers a question about my heart.
I've learned to listen to my body, to be able to help the doctors with a diagnosis through how my body handles itself and reacts to certain stimuli. You can do the same. It's your health and your body; be in charge of it.
When you feel like no one is listening to you, or that no one believes how you feel, don't lose hope. Throughout my life, I've tried "just one more time" for what feels like a million times. Have I failed at some things? Sure I have. Who hasn't? After all, Albert Einstein is credited with saying, "A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new." If Einstein failed, I can too, and not feel too badly about it! So try just once more. Just one more time.
Be Positive Polly
What does being positive have to do with finding the right doctor for you? A lot! If you are negative about things, your body will react to that and will prevent your feeling better as quickly as you want. If you are positive in your outlook, it may not heal your body overnight, but you will enjoy better mental health.
I mentioned I had a pacemaker placed last summer. I had actually already been in the hospital for six days before that happened. I spent last Memorial Day holiday in a cardiac hospital with heart problems that weren't reacting to the medications the way the doctor and his nurse practitioner expected. I'm not complaining about the care I received; it was above par. But who wants to spend the biggest summer kick-off weekend in the hospital, unable to go outside or at least open a window? Not me. I wanted so very badly to just stand outside and feel the wind in my hair! I could see out the window, but I couldn't participate, and for someone who loves to be outdoors, that was a killer.
One afternoon when I had been in the hospital nearly a week, my darling husband took me for a wheelchair ride, and as long as we stayed on the 2nd floor as we promised the nurses, all was fine. I was good with that deal! As I looked out a large window overlooking the front of the hospital, I focused only on the treetops, and I told my husband the craziest imagined story of how we were camping on the river and were within walking distance of a beautiful bluff that overlooked that river. I described the scene I had imagined in detail, even different forest smells I identified. He must've thought I was losing my mind, but he smiled sweetly at me and told me how proud he was that I was trying to be positive throughout everything.
Don't Allow Yourself to Give Up
Don't give up. Even if everyone around you has given up the fight, don't succumb to that temptation. Someone out there can help you. Keep doing your own research since you know your symptoms better than anyone else. Keep at it! Cardiologist? Check. Endocrinologist? Check. Do you need a nephrologist? Find one who you can see. Have you seen a neurologist? Maybe that's exactly the doctor you need, the one who has the answers to your unasked questions. If you quit now, you'll never know. They could have the knowledge to help you live a better life, both physically and mentally, but if you stop before you try one more time, you'll be missing out on feeling better.
I know it sounds a little too "fluffy" or a bit too much of that Positive Polly. You may say I need a serious reality check. You all may have to remind me to be positive sometime if I can't find a diagnosis. That person who can help is there, we just have to find them.
And if you want to talk to someone who loves to watch birds, call me. I'm not an ornithologist, but I have a great bird feeder!
© 2017 Diana Majors