- Misty was 35 and concerned about fertility
- Doctors discovered (and operated on) endometriosis leaving her with brain fog and extreme fatigue
- Medication and more surgery were suggested but she was told that her symptoms were normal
We Americans tend to trust our medical system despite statistics that show a failing system. We feel lost when a doctor tells us something is fine when we know in our gut it’s not. We don’t speak up when we’re told our symptoms are normal and that we should just get used to living with them. We ignore our instincts because we believe someone who’s been educated must know more about our bodies than we do.
Misty’s experience is all too common. She was given few options and dismissed. She was told that because her labs were ‘normal’ she should get used to these symptoms. When more mysterious symptoms showed up and were dismissed (like a 45 lb weight gain) Misty knew that she had to fight for her quality of life.
Since then, she’s not only become her own health advocate and solved many of her unexplained health issues, she’s also become a champion for others struggling with a medical system that’s failing them.
Misty isn’t just a case in Health Mysteries Solved. She’s also the creator of Healing Rosie a resource website for women who want to get to the bottom of their concerns by becoming a health self-advocate. She’s passionate about helping people stand up for themselves and demand both answers and a quality of life. Misty also facilitates an online community where women can share their stories and knowledge as they navigate their way to better health.
Doctors Don’t Have All the Answers
While medical doctors do have a great deal of knowledge and play an important role in diagnosing conditions and finding treatments, we can’t assume that they know everything. Anyone wanting to become their own health advocate must get comfortable with questioning their doctor, finding answers elsewhere, and not accepting the doctor’s opinion as final. It’s okay to keep looking even when a doctor says that ‘labs are normal’ or that you have to get used to living with certain symptoms or limitations.
Women Normalize Suffering
One of the biggest reasons that we fail to get to the bottom of our health issues is that women accept suffering as part of the female condition. Our mothers, other women, and doctors have trained us to believe certain sufferings are ours to bear – especially around menstruation. And, all too often, we put others’ needs before our own. We are culturally programed to take care of our children, our spouses (and sometimes our bosses or employees) before we take care of ourselves. We simply accept that it’s normal to be tired, have brain fog (especially after a certain age), gain weight, be irritable, and deal with chronic pain.
We have to stop accepting suffering and start expecting to feel good.
Set Health Goals
Even as health self-advocates, we need doctors to help us navigate the medical insurance industry. One way that Misty recommends getting doctors on board with your quest for good health is to discuss health goals with your doctor. This makes your requests less about whether your labs are normal or if you should be accepting a certain symptom as unavoidable. Instead, it gives the whole process an outcome that the doctor can get behind.
Personalize Your Health Goals
Every person is going to have different goals for their health. Misty offers 10 basic health expectations but each individual has to prioritize their own list. Some of her goals include having a regular and pain-free period, maintaining a healthy weight that is under 30% body fat, having energy for your day, getting great sleep, having a healthy libido, and having good digestion. All 10 health goals are discussed in this episode.
Find the Right Doctor
Sharing your health goals with your doctor is a good way to determine if this is the right doctor for you. If your current doctor is not receptive to assisting you with your health goals, you may want to find a different doctor. This can be a time consuming process so Misty suggests having an initial consult with a potential doctor before going through the process they have for becoming a new patient – which can take months.
It Takes a Team
What many women fighting for their own good health need to know is that it takes a team of practitioners to get results. Misty suggests having a doctor (who is onboard with your health goals and willing to request labs needed to support them), a functional medicine doctor and a nurse practitioner.
Affording Good Health
All of this can seem out of reach financially for many people, especially if their insurance is limiting. Misty provides some great tips on how to get as much as possible covered and to do a certain amount of work on your own to decrease out-of-pocket expenses. This includes communicating with your insurance company to gain clarity on how to get certain labs covered. Or, it might be leaving the country for inexpensive procedures like dental care in Mexico. Her community has also proven to be a great resource for people looking to be savvy with their health dollars.
Good Resources are Available
One of the first steps in becoming a health self-advocate is educating yourself. Misty recommends multiple books for various conditions and suggests that most women will want to heal their gut first and keep an eye on their thyroid. But most importantly, don’t settle for poor health and a compromised quality of life – get to the root of the problem and be your own advocate.
Eliminating Health Mysteries
Misty was able to really dig in to find the root cause of each issue despite the complicated collection of concerns. She continues to fight for her own quality of life and empowers others to do the same. Could standing up for yourself and becoming your own health advocate be what you need to reclaim your health? Perhaps you know someone else who needs to become their own health advocate? Share this episode with them.
Healthy Gut, Healthy You by Dr. Mike Ruscio
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