How I Balance Advocating For Myself as a Patient with Avoiding Hypochondria

(Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and none of this is meant to provide medical advice. This is just my personal experience.)

I struggle with being my own patient advocate and not being a hypochondriac. I know that having OCD means that I have a tendency to catastrophize and this includes imagining worst-case possible illnesses or medical situations. I know when I’m at my most mentally ill that I can see an aneurysm instead of a migraine or some other catastrophic illness in a simple flu or cold.

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How I’m Listening to My Body and Making Progress to Get Medical Answers

For months I’ve been dealing with what the doctor referred to as vague symptoms, fatigue, sweats, headaches, numbness, and so forth. In a puzzle working backward from the symptoms, first, my doctor’s figured out that I have consistently really high platelet counts. This could signify any number of things. To figure out what was causing it, they then continued to test and discovered I have a really low iron count.

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Some Things You Cannot Do Until You Are Ready

There’s a lot of discussion in the world about “if you wait until you’re ready, you’ll never do it” or “don’t wait until you’re ready, the world is at the end of your comfort zone.” For many people “ready” seems like a dirty word. It’s an excuse or a limit to what you can do, a crutch. But crutches exist for a reason—to help you walk when you’re injured.

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