So, we are supposed to use this UK website that generates “Keep Calm…” posters. I guess it was along the lines of US wartime posters – “Loose Lips Sink Ships” and stuff like that.
It took me awhile to get a feel for what I wanted to say. I browsed the UK site. I browsed the WEGO site and looked at others’ posters. Again – I am not the “rainbows and sunshine” type. I firmly believe that being a true health care “activist” (or advocate) requires a certain ability to tell it like it is – to expose the bad – to give kudos when it is truly deserved – and to advise others how to help themselves.
At age 16, I knew there was stuff wrong with me that the docs weren’t catching. I spent years in libraries (back in the olden days, before the Al Gore invented the Internet) reading medical journals and medical texts look ing for answers. I had well-honed research skills by 17, and figured out I had “something autoimmune” and migraines – and I knew what medication would have helped me. After years and years and years of misdiagnosis, getting “brushed off,” ignored and being treated as if I was making up my symptoms (in spite of weird blood test results and oddities in my MRIs), doctors FINALLY started listening to me and looking at all the research I was producing when I was in my late 20’s. Now – with the Internet established as a widely accepted source for information (well, there are still a bunch of Luddites out there that don’t believe anything truthful resides “on THAT INTERNET”), and medical journals and other bona-fide medical resources available for free, what I bring with me to my appointments is no longer ignored.
I know I am good researcher. I know what sites to trust. I know where to start my research, keeping in mind who sponsors certain well-publicized websites and staying away from those as my primary source of information. I know when to stop researching. I know I can find the answer to almost any issue I have, in about fifteen to thirty minutes. Armed with that info, I go to the doc, and then (hopefully) get the appropriate tests ordered, wait for the results, then use those to continue my research. You would be amazed at what doctors have missed completely, even with test results in front of them. And I don’t mean a PCP – I am talking about specialists!!! Scary stuff.
So, faced with a mystery that the docs don’t want to investigate – I now know: Keep Calm – and Google It Myself.
Check out my official poster here: http://bit.ly/IyxjBA