How to Be Your Own Advocate

how to be your own advocate

No doubt you’ve been there before.

The doctor walks in, goes over your symptoms, listens to your complaints, nods, and says, “There’s nothing wrong with you.”

The internal struggle begins immediately. You just know that something is wrong, yet here is this expert telling you that you are fine.

It is in this very moment that you need to make the choice to be braave and be your own advocate.

Being Your Own Advocate

It’s tough. Very, very tough. I watched my wife go through this time and again, that very scenario above. Hell, even I couldn’t figure out what was wrong and I was guilty of thinking she was fine.

Friends, co-workers, family – everyone.

All alone, she had to forge through or else she would have never been given the correct diagnosis of endometriosis. Here’s what I watched her do and what we’re now here to help YOU with.

1. Trust Yourself

The struggle of being your own advocate stems from not being confident that you know more than the doctor treating you.

It’s a fair struggle too. You respect his position, all his study, and you think that maybe you’re just over thinking all this.

But, it isn’t about knowing more than him. It’s about knowing yourself more than he does.

So trust that feeling.

As women, you possess one of the most real super powers to ever exist – your intuition.

It is a very real thing. If you feel it, if you just know it, then trust it.

2. Get a second opinion

I’d get like 5 opinions, in a perfect world.

I’ve been to a dozen or more doctors in my life, all over the midwest, and no two have the same philosophy, which means their approach to treatment is completely different. No two are the same.

Realistically though, don’t be afraid to move to another physician or find one that specializes in what you feel you have.

3. Do your own research

Check out our endometriosis resources section, those are some of the resources that helped Shawnda. Search your signs and symptoms. Reach out to Facebook groups like Knock Out Endo or Endo Warriors or the Braave Facebook page and get support from the communities there.

Don’t listen to people who may poke fun at you for being an Internet Doctor. All you are doing is educating yourself. The more educated you are about your signs and symptoms, the more accurately you can communicate what is going on with you. Which leads me to…

4. Learn the lingo

As you are researching, learn the lingo, learn the vocabulary and the med-speak. Learn the parts of the body that are hurting and what that could mean. Study how parts and systems of the body tie together and work together.

Not only does this help you communicate more clearly with the doctor, it helps you better understand what he tells you.

5. Don’t Give Up

I know, easier said than done. You have to keep chugging along though. No one is going to swoop you up and make it all better. I mean, yes, once you find that person they will, but in the meantime, you have to find them. They’re out there, trust me.

Over to you. Have anything to add? What advice would you give to sufferers of endometriosis on how to be their own advocate?