I'm pretty forthright about my health issues. I'm sure a lot of what I share falls into the TMI (too much information) area. I don't share gross details. I don't share to freak or gross people out. I don't share because I want sympathy. I share because I thinks I think knowledge is power and I want to empower people with what I've learned along the way. I think it's important that people are taking care of their health and guiding the healthcare they receive. When I had surgery a few weeks ago, it was my second time the the rodeo. I had growths on my left ovary that had to be surgically removed. After two years of feeling great – and no issues – something changed. The growths were back, this time on the right ovary, since the left one was gone. I have made it my mission to listen to my body and as things started to change, I could quickly go to my doctor and take action. My family has a history of female cancers, so it's been important to me to stay on top of this sorts of issues. But even for those of you who have no such family history, you too should be the master of your own health.
As you're taking charge of the destiny of your health, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Know your body. Pay attention to how your body works. Do you have quirks or rhythms that are unique to you? Note those things and pay attention to what makes your body yours. I have migraines. I can set the clock based on my hormonal headaches. When those change, I know something isn't right. Make sure you know your body, so you know when something changes and could be cause for alarm.
Take notes and document your issues. When you're having issues or if your body has changed in some way, write it down. Take notes so you can present them to your doctor. If I don't write down all my issues or changes, I'll surely forget something and that something might be a super important detail my doctor needs to know. If you think it matters, write it down.
Listen to your body. If you're paying attention and listening to your body, then you know when something changes for good or bad. Treat your body with love and kindness. If you're listening then you'll know what your body needs: more rest, more exercise, more water or maybe a trip to see a doctor.
Ask questions and research. Don't take everything your doctor says at face value. Ask questions. Ask a lot of questions. Go to reputable sources to research your issues (think the Mayo Clinic not Facebook). No question is a stupid question. Never be afraid to ask your health care provider questions about your health. It's your body, so ask.
Be your own advocate. If you don't speak up for yourself, no one will. Be your own advocate and make sure your health care providers know what you need, how you feel and how they can help you.
I'm almost two weeks post op and I feel really good. I'm trying hard to follow my doctor's orders, but I'm definitely ready to get off my butt and move a little more. My FitBit stats are pathetic at the moment! Slow and steady, right? I;m constantly having to remind myself to take my time and let my body heal.