I believe women are the cause of one of the biggest problems in our own health care in the United States. Before you start to argue with me, hear me out.
As a women’s health advocate, I believe one of the biggest problems we face is our own unwillingness to take care of ourselves. Sure, we talk about big picture issues like research and funding. We rally around causes like breast cancer research and protest when the care available to us doesn’t match up to what is available for men.
And when it comes to our family’s health, we are fierce and aggressive about finding the right doctor and getting the best available treatments.
So why don’t we do that for ourselves? Why don’t we take ownership of our own health? Here are 4 symptoms of this health care epidemic that we need to recognize and avoid.
1. Not telling the truth
Have you ever left the doctor’s office only to realize you forgot to tell the doctor something that might be important? How about deliberately leaving out details or altering the facts just a little bit, like reducing the number of alcoholic drinks you consume each week?
These may seem like minor issues. But your doctor needs every bit of truthful information to take the best possible care of you. Your doctor is not there to judge you. So don’t let “white lies” or missing details reduce the quality of your own health care. Tell the truth every time you talk to your doctor.
2. Embarrassed to talk about it
Some people can talk about anything while others start blushing at the idea of saying something personal. And let’s face it. Some topics like sexual problems or a leaky bladder are just hard to talk about! But your doctor can’t help solve a problem if you don’t mention it.
So consider the doctor’s office to be a safe zone where you can say anything. If you know you won’t be able to get the words out once you are face to face, write it down and hand over the note.
If even that is too hard, send your doctor an email or letter a few days before the appointment explaining what’s going on and that it is hard for you to talk about.