Chronic Health — Taking back control
“……….. is something I have, it is not who I am!” [insert your medical condition]. While I still hold this to be true, yesterday I had an epiphany. My error was in my perception of my illness as an irritant that I begrudgingly have to overcome to get on with the things that are important in my life.
Without my body, I have no mind. Without my mind, there is no me.
While my physical and mental health does not define me, I no longer see them as something I have to balance with everything else in my life that I value. I now realise that my mind and body are the foundation upon which everything else in my life is built. Without them I have nothing.
I realised something else that made me sit up and ask myself some soul searching questions. At some point, I abdicated responsibility for my health to third parties, my doctors, specialists and allied health professionals. I do what my doctors tell me to do, take the medication they tell me to take, go to the next specialist they tell me to see. I mean let’s face it, I’m not a doctor, and my poor health is not where I want to focus my attention.
When did I become afraid to ask too many questions?
When did I lose the confidence to advocate for myself with my medical team?
When did I start to feel that I don’t have anything of value to add to the decision making process on my healthcare?
So I have made a decision. No longer will I be a passive participant in my health care.
I will facilitate accurate sharing of information between my specialists and allied health teams.
I will remember that the quality of the information I provide on my condition, treatment and symptoms determine how effective my doctors can be.
I will keep in mind that while I trust my doctors and they have my best interests at heart, they are human and fallible.
I accept that health care professionals are dependant on “Electronic Health Records” which are not always accurate and don’t always show a clear picture. So I need to be able to provide the right information and to ask questions.
~(For an overview on some of the issues experienced with Electronic Health Records I recommend reading Penn Sociologist Tackles Electronic Health Records, Cybersecurity and Passwords by Michele Berger.)
I have decided to create a health journal. A journal that empowers me to take back ownership of my health and wellbeing.
I would love to hear from those who are keeping a health journal or who are interested in trying to keep one. As I complete the template for each section I will upload a link for download for those interested, once complete providing a free printable health journal template for personal use.