A doctor talks to a patient, and the doctor's speech bubble reaches an arm out to lovingly hold the patient's speech bubble which hearts appear within the bubbles.

How To Be Heard With AxSpa: Doctor Edition

Have you had a doctor make you feel like your pain wasn’t real? Or maybe they simplified your treatment by saying something like “this is going to be easily managed with diet and lifestyle changes.” Maybe you weren’t feeling heard, or maybe they are sending you out the door with a prescription you don’t know much about. They may have gone so quickly that you even know less about the disease you're taking the meds for!

Well if you answered yes to any of these, I’m really sorry. We don’t live in a world built for sick people and my AxSpa has taught me just that. Fortunately, I’ve picked up some tips and tricks along the way and I’m going to share them with you.

Facts are facts!!

You would be amazed by how times flagged test results fall to the side and may even have misinformation or even a mistake. I keep a copy of all my blood tests, and there have been times doctors have told me everything was normal, until I share with them where I’m seeing things flagged. It can be hard to stand up to a doctor, but facts are facts. If they have missed something don’t be afraid to speak up!

Mental health talk

Being vulnerable can be a really hard thing to do. Especially during times of COVID, where some of us are only seeing or meeting our doctors through video and phones calls. It can be hard to share the details of how your disease is disrupting your life. I have found in sharing that the personal side of the disease has helped me get access to more support. It also helps doctors see us as a whole person, and in my opinion, that has mostly lead to better care.

Be confident!

Ok ok, I know. This is one takes trial and error and can even feel really scary! But you must always remember that you live in your body every day. You understand the patterns and connections, and most importantly, you deserve to be heard! You are an expert on your own body.

Remember that doctors spend their lives helping others, and things like burnout (especially during current times) are something that happens to our fellow humans. Mistakes happen, and knowing that we are our own best advocates can make a huge difference!

Be frank, and kind!

If you feel like you have done all you can as a patient, and you are not being heard, have frank conversations about your main concerns, and what you would like your outcomes to be. Having a conversation laid out in black and white can sometimes help iron out any miscommunications that might be had!

Well, there you have it! The next time you feel you are not being heard by your doctor take a deep breath, and remember these tips!

Share any tips you may have for advocating for yourself at the doctor's office below!

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The AxialSpondyloarthritis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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