"I routinely convince myself that I am dying of Lupus, MS, ALS, cancer, and whatever else! What's a person supposed to do?" ~Anonymous
When I went to medical school every time I learned about a new disease, I immediately developed many of its symptoms and within a short period of time found myself convinced that I was suffering with a case of that particular disease.
Speaking with my fellow medical students I quickly learned that most everyone else had the same experience.
Eventually most of us got over this scary, emotionally draining and certainly useless reaction and settled into a balanced belief that everything we read does not have to apply to oneself.
This is exactly how I feel about the glut of information available on the internet. Don't allow yourself to be guided by fear. While it's good to be knowledgeable it is certainly not good to allow information to control you.
And while it’s great to have so much information at our fingertips don't take everything you read too seriously.
What do I mean by that? How can I say this when you are not feeling well, your doctors are not listening or if they do listen, they are not offering the solutions you need?
Here are some of my thoughts:
- Just because the information you are reading seems to fit you, doesn’t mean it really does.
- Before you decide to go at it alone, find a doctor (preferably conventional/integrative) who cares about you and is willing to partner with you in your search for information with the shared goal of getting you healthy. Don't stop until you find this individual. And when you do, remember that you are ultimately responsible for your own health. Don't for a moment think that when you find a caring doctor you can unload your bad habits and excuses. Partner with your physician to find your personal healthy balance.
- If in spite of good care your condition is worsening, by all means go to the doctor with the information you think is pertinent and ask for help. The doctor should be willing to read the information you bring to him/her and explain what does make sense and how the information you brought in applies to your particular condition. Condescending, superior attitudes are NEVER acceptable!
- If you are not feeling well in general and have undergone a basic battery of testing without a solution or diagnosis, you may not need a diagnosis, you may need to evaluate your lifestyle, diet, exercise regimen and relationships along with the medications and supplements you are taking.
- Work on eliminating the need for a diagnosis. Instead of falling prey to the conventional medical system’s hunger for more tests and more specialists’ involvement in the search for a diagnosis, challenge yourself to become more self-aware. You are reading this blog so you must be on a search for a different approach. Go with it.
- Avoid giving into the need to go to extremes in the attempt to learn as much medicine as possible. It is not a reasonable expectation and it is also potentially destructive to your entire life.
Spend some time outdoors with the people you love instead of frantically searching the internet for the answer. The answer lies within you.