Jan 2021

9 Ways to be Your Biggest Advocate

  • By: Samantha Denäe

Out of everything that comes with receiving an Endometriosis diagnosis (or any diagnosis for that matter), the hardest issue to tackle is how to advocate for yourself. Getting a doctor to believe your pain enough to look deeply and genuinely into it, is why women, especially African-American women and women of color struggle to receive a diagnosis. Even advocating to your family can be an issue when no one truly believes your pain. 

Below are nine ways to be your biggest advocate:

  • Create a list of symptoms: Writing out a list of symptoms you experience will aid in your doctor’s visit. As patients, we’re nervous when speaking with our doctors, but if we create a list of pain issues prior to, it’ll help the appointment go smoother.


  • Have a strong support team. It’s important for your team to believe and understand your pain: It sucks when no one believes what you’re experiencing, so it’s extremely important to have a supportive team that believes you. These people are in your corner and want to see only the best from you and that includes you being healthy. 


  • Keep no secrets from your doctor. Some other pains may be related to whatever it is you’re advocating for: As human beings, it’s easy for us to not mention certain habits or ailments we’re experiencing in order to maintain a level of privacy, but not revealing everything to your physician can prolong a diagnosis. Some pains are related to the disease and mentioning those issues that don’t appear to be related, can help your physician piece it together. Be more open with them.


  • Take someone with you to doctor’s visits: Having a loved one or friend with you at the doctor’s office can offer support in more ways than one. They can assist in answering the doctor’s questions and may be remembering certain issue you’re having better than you can. They can also help in keeping up with what you’re needing to do to manage your pain as well as tell you if you need to seek help elsewhere. 


  • If your doctor isn’t listening, get a new one: Finding a physician who listens is tough, so if yours isn’t listening enough to your standards, opt for a new one. 


  • Keep track of all of your medical records and scans: When you’re seeking answers, it’s important to know and have all of the facts. Typically in this game of Endo, we have to refer to more than one physician so having a record of your medical history will surely aid you more in your journey. 


  • Ask, ask, ask: It’s important to ask as many questions as possible to your doctor and/or the physician’s assistant. If you don’t understand, ask. 


  • Get more than one opinion: Although we may have our regular physician, it’s still important to get the insight and advice from another physician in the field. You never know how another physician can offer advice or piece together symptoms to answer an ongoing issue that you’re personal physician may not. 


  • Be your biggest advocate, even when no one is listening. Only you how you feel. Don’t let anyone diminish that: Plan and simple, you are not crazy and your pain is making you feel exactly what you are feeling. Use your voice, don’t let it drown in defeat. 

If you’re struggling to receive a diagnosis or to be heard on any issues you’re facing with Endometriosis or another disease, remember these tips to help you journey to your healthiest you!


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