As a personal trainer I often encourage women to advocate for their health after hearing many stories from clients aged 40’s or older, where they’ve felt fobbed off by their doctors or their preferred health professionals. Their health and wellbeing concerns are brushed off as something they don’t need to worry about and they don’t feel heard or seen.
These scenarios frustrate me so much and they sure as hell frustrate my clients! When they ask for my advice, I tell them that it’s time to stand up and to be their own health advocate.
I mean, they are already feeling rubbish and are questioning their sanity on a daily basis… leaving them to continue to think that it’s all in their heads after all is really unfair and minimises self worth even more.
What can you do if this happens to you?
Well, you need to become your own health advocate. Find the courage to stand up for yourself and refuse to be fobbed off, or given advice or a diagnosis that doesn’t sit right with you. That intuition of yours… it’s ALWAYS right and you need to trust it.
And how do you actually do this whole health advocate business (’cause it sounds kinda complicated, right)? Stay with me, because it’s really super easy.
I’ve pulled together three (3) powerful but super simple steps you can start taking today and boom, you will have become your own health advocate.
Start a health journal
Start a daily journal that documents everything you notice, any changes you see or feel in your body – mentally, physically and emotionally. This data collection of symptoms and signs is super powerful. Sitting down at a Dr’s appointment with the data you’ve collected puts you in the drivers seat. And it makes it harder for anyone to fob you off.
Become your own Nancy Drew!
Prepare your questions in advance
Prep, prep and prep some more. Write down ALL questions you have, before your appointment. Show up prepared, with a list of questions and the data to back them up… and BOOM. You are advocating like a queen and they will have no choice but to take you and your midlife concerns seriously.
And if they don’t? The next step is for you.
Don’t feel heard? Time to advocate and move on!
Not feeling listened to, or feel like your concerns have been minimised? Is that gut instinct still sending you strong signals… honey, like the queen you are, it’s time to move on.
Because only YOU get to make choices about your body, you know exactly what feels right, and what doesn’t. Please trust yourself and know that you have the power, and the right, to seek out another opinion (or two), if that’s what you need.
Find a Doctor or specialist that has experience and is up-to-date with women’s health, someone who is empathetic, educated and open to working with you. Ask friends to recommend you to their Dr’s, nothing beats a personal recommendation.