I don’t have control over a lot when it comes to my health. I can’t choose the surgeries I will have, and I can’t predict what my physical symptoms will be like day to day.
Although so much seems out of my control, there are certain things that I do command. I take pride in being an advocate for myself and for others. I have also learned that I shouldn’t settle when it comes to my medical care.
My current medical team has certain qualities that make it top-notch, including:
- Personality: My care team is the perfect combination of serious, compassionate, sympathetic, and humorous. They are serious when they talk about and treat my health conditions, but aren’t afraid to find the “light” in a situation. It’s important that my doctors are compassionate and sympathetic — and a sense of humor doesn’t go unnoticed. Being able to laugh lightens the mood and keeps my mental health strong.
- Honesty: I take my medical team’s opinions seriously, even when I try to fight their recommendations. My doctors are not afraid to give an honest opinion. I need to be called out when I’m being stubborn. My doctors have given me a wake-up call when I needed it the most.
- Strong advocates: I can’t be the only one to advocate for myself. I am lucky to have doctors who will do what is best for my health. I respect medical professionals who are willing to call other specialists to ensure I am receiving the best treatment options. Being an advocate means finding doctors who will admit when they don’t know something and will help point me in the direction of someone who does.
- Open discussions about mental health: In the past, members of my team have hesitated to bring up the topic of mental health. My current team discusses mental health with me without minimizing or dismissing my physical symptoms. It’s crucial to treat the mind and body together.
- Encouragement and motivation: I love having doctors who recognize my strength. It takes a lot to persevere through adversity, and the ones who recognize how hard I fight help me to push forward.
- Reassuring: After feeling invalidated for so many years, I make sure that my care team supports my physical symptoms. My physical health and symptoms should never be dismissed as an overreaction. Doctors must take the time to listen to my concerns, hear what I’m saying, and take action.
- Tenacious: I love knowing that my medical team fights for me when I don’t feel like fighting for myself. There are times when it is easier to say, “I don’t want to do this anymore.” My doctors know when I need a break, but they don’t let me give up.
When I reached my mid-20s, I began to realize that relationships either hurt or helped my physical and mental health. I have learned to speak up for myself and use my voice to let others know my needs and my boundaries. When I started to believe I was worthy of the best types of relationships, I stopped allowing negativity in my life.
Just as there are certain qualities I look for in my personal relationships, I also look for traits in my medical team. Because I deserve only the best.
Note: Pulmonary Hypertension News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Hypertension News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary hypertension.