A captain steering a ship through stormy seas.

Who's The Captain of Your Health?

I often have extreme lows. After about a week, the new routine I create to get out of my funk starts to catch on. There is no escape from doing the work. Whether that is physically to aid eczema healing or mentally to have the energy to push through. It has taken what I went through as an adult with topical steroid withdrawal and the confidence that I built going through that experience to accept the reality of my overall health emotionally, mentally, and physically. As I am currently at least 95% clear with my skin right now without medication, I can pay even more attention to every aspect of my health along with professionals.

Little trust in healthcare

While going through TSW, I did not see a doctor for two years, not even an annual check-up. I do not recommend that. That is simply what I decided to do because the healthcare system in North America has never helped me more than providing steroid creams. Also, with thorough research, I learned that when you are dealing with allergic hyperactivity, the blood tests and skin test will simply tell you that you are allergic to everything at that time. Well, I already knew that I was allergic to everything; my body was showing me. Plus, I’ve been through the process from past tests when very inflamed.

My first doctor's visit in years

My first doctor’s visit with my primary doctor was virtual and for the first time in years, I was not there to discuss my skin in need of a higher dosage of ointment and allergy medicine. I was concerned with other health aspects that I decided actually to bring to my doctor’s attention. I was attempting to create an open line communication rather than a medication exchange. This was truly new to me. I was intentional not to downplay any of my symptoms and use the words, “But I’m fine.” A doctor is meant to be there for all the times that you are NOT fine. There is no logical reason besides conditioning as a woman, especially a black woman who also has chronic health problems to downplay our pain.

Taking my healing into my own hands

No, I did not make my primary doctor my newest best friend from this initial visit. I honestly spoke on the not as alarming but consistent issues I was experiencing. What I did gain was resources, referrals. I accomplished the first steps to solving even more question marks for things I’ve overlooked for most of my life. Healing from TSW on my own has given me the power to take my health into my own hands no matter what it is and to DO THE WORK. If this means multiple appointments and different offices, it’s okay. As long as you stay on top of it and don't put all of the answers into the doctor's hands, no matter if they're exceptional or not, the feeling of loss of control should never exist. We are very capable of being experts in our own health. We live with our bodies 24/7. Modern medication is a tool to help steer, but you are the captain.

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