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How To Self Advocate

Updated on April 13, 2010


Taking good care of yourself begins with you! When it comes to talking to your physicians it is so important to make sure you are clearly understood of why you are visiting the doctor.  No one knows our bodies better than we do, and if you have a gut feeling something is wrong please follow through on it.  I wanted to write this hub because of my most recent experience with getting the doctors to listen to me.  It began a year ago when I started having chronic constipation, at first I didn't think much about it.  I soon became sick of it, and changed my diet, I stopped eating meat, and became a vegetarian.   Changing my diet did help, but the problem did not completely go away. I keep having the feeling something just is not right.  I used Activa everyday which helped for awhile, and then it stopped working the same old problem came right back.

My First Visit to The Doctor

When I first made a complaint to my doctor I asked for a colonoscopy because I knew something was wrong.  The doctor diagnosed it as IBS Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and said no you do not need a colonoscopy, and you are not old enough yet for this exam.  I left the office, and sought out for another physician, I asked the second the doctor for the same exam.  His answer to me; "those are expensive test, and I need good cause before I can order a test like this for you".   I could not believe the answers I was getting to get the test I knew I needed. Some time had pass before I looked for a third doctor. During this wasted time one morning I passed a blackish looking clot with my stool. 


Do Not Stop Until You Get Help

Anyone can imagine I was horrified by what I saw. I ran to the computer and began combing through Rush University's website. I knew black colored stool meant blood. I found a doctor's phone number, and called the office for an appointment, the doctor gave me a consult. We discussed what my problem was, and what I had experienced. The doctor had me to hop up on the table to examine me. He pushed, and polked around on my stomach. His expression really made me nervous. I heard him say under his breathe "something ain't right". He looked at me, and asked have you ever been told you have a large liver? I said n--o--oo. I looked in the computer to look up my last test results to see my liver enzyme levels. Because I am a patient at the University any doctor can access lab results ordered by other doctors within the me University Medical Center.

He said well your liver function is normal. He spend a considerable amount of time writing up new blood lab order forms, and writing up a order for a C-O-L-O-N-O-S-C-O-P-Y.   Am I scared? Hell yes! There are so many other patients scheduled for the procedure that the earliest he could get me in is May 28th.    So here I am writing a hub trying to relieve a little anxiety until my test date comes up.

The Talk

The doctor spoke with me stating the positive side of things about this test we can treat whatever we find, because it is still early. The only point I want to make here is to learn how to advocate on your own behalf. Our health is the most important thing, protect your health by going in to see your physician if you feel something is not right.  I wish I had been more agressive in the beginning before it even got to this point.  


Submit a Comment

  • adrienne2 profile image

    Adrienne F Manson 7 years ago from Atlanta

    Hi Deborah, yes we must learn to speak you, and speak out on our on behalf. Thanks for sharing.

  • Deborah Demander profile image

    Deborah Demander 7 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

    It's true, you are your own best advocate. Thanks for an informative hub.


  • adrienne2 profile image

    Adrienne F Manson 8 years ago from Atlanta

    Hi Sandy, It is a bit of a wait, I am on pins and needle. I am trying to stay positive while I wait.

  • Sandyspider profile image

    Sandy Mertens 8 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

    Good luck with your colonoscopy. Though it is a long wait. I really don't think much of doctors. BTW, funny cartoon below.

  • adrienne2 profile image

    Adrienne F Manson 8 years ago from Atlanta

    Hi Winsome, Thank you it is awful the way our healthcare system works. I also deceided to go right back to the first doctor I saw in the very beginning, and let her know "yes" I really did need the test, and it is scheduled for May 28th. I encourage anyone to stick to their guns when it comes to your health.

  • Winsome profile image

    Winsome 8 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

    I totally sympathize with you. I think doctors are discouraged from ordering expensive procedures with instructions something like this: "Patients are always exaggerating and the rule is--they are liars until proven honest" I recommend an apple a day and strawberries before bedtime. =:)