By Savannah DeGraaf | 1.29.23
It took me a long time to finally figure out that I had a tumor on my left lung. Like a really long time. The whole process was frustrating and I honestly thought I was crazy most days. If you are feeling crazy or think your doctor might not be listening to you, find another doctor or get a second opinion. A second opinion changed my life.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
If something doesn't feel right - tell the doctor. If the doctor doesn't listen or offer a few alternatives, find another doctor. You are the only one who truly knows your body. If something feels off or if you are concerned about something, then you should probably listen to that sign and talk with your doctor.
GET ANOTHER OPINION
I feel strongly about this. I know so many people who have a similar story. They were living with pain or discomfort and really didn't feel heard by their doctor, so they got a second opinion. I know a lot of people are worried about what their current doctor might think, but at the end of the day this is your body and your life. A second opinion can really change your life. We are all so different and unique, so finding the right doctor for you is important. You only have one life to live, might as well live it as well as you can.
Who else has gone to the doctor and had no idea what they said? Medical jargon is hard to understand. If you don't understand, ask questions. Ask. Ask. Ask. Clarify with your doctor to make sure you understand and are on the same page.
I was never one to bring a notebook with me until I went through the discovery process. There was so much to absorb in such a short time period. I was still grasping the concept of having a tumor and having to undergo surgery let alone all of the other specifics my doctor was telling me. Note-taking came in handy - I was able to easily refer back to the notes from the visit. My stepmom was really the one taking the notes during my appointment which leads to my next point...
Ask someone you trust to attend the appointment with you. I was only 22 when I went through this and I was so thankful to have my parents by my side during these appointments. They took detailed notes to reference back to. It was also comforting to have a familiar face with me during the appointment - someone to give you a hug or hold your hand.
Trust yourself - you are the only one that can feel the pain or discomfort, and it's up to you to advocate for yourself.
- Breathe Deep -