What your body wants you to know – working with your doctor
Deep inside, I believe that I must have had a mistrust of doctors. At this moment, I do not know why I have preferred to not go to the doctor. Perhaps I can blame it on a past life, where I was a healer, and we knew best (mmmm). Whatever the reason, like anybody that you work with it is important that it is a partnership based on setting boundaries, mutual trust, and respect.
Certainly my doctor experiences in the past are of being fobbed off with perimenopausal issues. In my search for answers, I tried many things, some successful, some not. Change of diet and learning about naturopathic nutrition was fabulous. Finding the most incredible cranial osteopath, Amanda Cook was life saving. The homeopath who I told never to tell me what he was treating me with because I knew I’d go and research what he was doing (another of my peculiarities) was another life saver.
During the time when I knew I needed some help, I had numerous blood tests, because something was niggling me. Each time I was told nothing was wrong. A radical diet change had the most profound effect on me. After two years of eating differently, I went to my doctor and asked him to go back through all of my blood tests with me. It was then, as I was being fobbed off (again) that he noticed that two years earlier I had an overactive thyroid, which was now completely healthy. He got my evil eye, but it wasn’t his fault, it was the original doctor who I believe was either overworked, and it didn’t register or was not aware enough to know that no matter how small the over activity it was still important to investigate. It matters not. I had sorted it.
It saddened me that I wasn’t able to create a partnership with any of my doctors back then.
By contrast in Spain, I pay for my medical care and the way that I have been treated on a recent well woman check up was refreshing. Every test has been explained, and I was able to walk away with my results for my medical file.
When you have listened to what your body wants you to know, self-treatment is one thing. However, science is also pretty cool and fascinating. Combining what the scientists and doctors know and what you know and your holistic practitioner knows, means that you have a much better chance to sort yourself out.
How to work with your doctor
Find the right doctor. Always try and see the same one (although a second opinion can be useful). Choose a surgery that promotes working with complementary practitioners; this will tell you something about their mindset and values.
Create a partnership. For me, it is energy medicine, other complimentary modalities, and science every time.
Be assertive. This is your body and health, not theirs.
Ask questions and be a good listener. Open questions will get a fuller response. Although sometimes a simple yes or no is needed.
Start your journey with a complete MOT. Many doctors have well-women clinics. Take the tests. I have had full bloods, tumour markers, urine analysis, smear and breast tests and a bone density test. If your family has a history of say MS, get tested early. With knowledge comes the opportunity to make changes.
Hold two-way conversations. Discuss with your plans and ideas with your doctor, ask what they suggest and discuss.
- Create a healthcare binder into which everything about you and your health goes in and always take it with you. Review it and look for patterns.
- Go to your doctor prepared with good open questions.
- Draw and write up everything and discuss it. Your doctor is looking for symptoms and patterns, helping them to know your body will support this.
- Scan your body mentally making a note of what comes up and also prod it. I could always tell when I had a kidney infection (the spinning room aside) as when I prodded the place where my kidneys are it hurt…
- If you have taken other tests outside of what your doctor does, take these with you. These might be hair analysis nutritional tests, for example.
- Take your supplement list and a weeks diary of your regular diet.
- Consider discussing the state of your relationships, lifestyle, and job, as these could be having an impact on your health.
- If you already do daily testing take these along. For example, I used to monitor my fertility signs, so these were immensely useful for my doctor at one time.
- Talk about things that you have tried, your results and observations.
- If you feel unsure, take a trusted friend or family member for support.
- If you want a second opinion ask. Also, ask about procedures, risks, and outcomes.
- Have an open mind, listen and ask for time to reflect before taking action.
- At some point, you may be given a blood result, diagnosis or surgery options and in these cases, I like to do research before I go back. I am mindful of the vast information on the internet and the many differing opinions. It is important to read and reflect, do not take things as gospel just because Dr. Internet says so. My research will also include seeking out friends with the same or similar, again what they are doing may not suit me, but it is valuable information to reflect on. If I need surgery, I will research the surgeon and procedure first. Take a review of your research with you.
Action plan process
When working with your doctor, you may want to talk to him/her about a process that would work for you. This is a suggestion.
- Ask your body, journal and reflect
- Nutrition (monitor what you eat and how you feel and reactions to your diet)
- Hormonal balancing (review blood tests and decide what and how)
- Reduce inflammation (go gluten, sugar, dairy and processed food free)
- Improve your digestion (stool analysis, changes in diet, probiotics, you will know what when you have looked at what you are eating)
- Energy (this will improve when you change your diet after the toxins leave. You may look at Reiki, Crystal therapy, cranial osteopathy, acupuncture, reflexology, etc.)
- Mind. Start with an open mind and remember to be mindful. Consider your stress levels, lifestyle and ask if you are tired all of the time (could be adrenal fatigue) but are not acknowledging it. Meditation and walking are very helpful.
- Always get an annual MOT.
- Look after yourself nutritionally at all times (yes you can have the odd cake with friends).
- The only way you will know if things are changing and improving is if you do things one step at a time and monitor what you do and how you feel. E.g. If you think your diet is at fault, eliminate the suspect foods, eat cleanly and then reintroduce a particular food.
- Your doctor is working for you and not against you. You are employing them and as such they cannot dictate to you.
- Make the healthcare (medical and complimentary) system work for you.
- Never give up, there is always an answer.
Obviously, there are some things that need other interventions. For these, you need to make informed choices and possibly take other radical action. This is still your body, your life, and your choice.
PS: be prepared to be thought of as a fruit loop if you talk chakras, meridians, five element theory, or anything spiritual unless they are aware and open minded…