When I’m asked, or in places such as my little book or the “About” section of this blog, I tend to describe my health as “3 illnesses overlapping in a Venn Diagram kinda way.” While visiting with Julie (of the blog Counting My Spoons) over email we talked about actually putting our diagrams down on paper. This morning I dragged this dusty pad of paper out from under a bed and made it happen.
Ten years into chronic illness, it was an interesting exercise for me, and I think it could be really useful for someone in the early years of their illness. My imaginary dream doctor would assign this as homework and then discuss it with me at the next appointment. And then they’d reward me with a massage gift certificate. Somehow I doubt Medicare would cover such luxurious and obliging medical attention. In the mean time, I will be my own health advocate, treatment coordinator and medical detective – roles most of us have learned to play out of necessity.
Don’t wait around for your imaginary dream doctor – get your symptoms as organized as you can. You’ll be equipped to ask better questions and make better treatment plans. But then tuck it all in a drawer and put it out of your mind – your symptoms are just that – they’re not you.