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Listen and Use Your Inner Voice

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Wellness related image Photo: Getty Images

Since my misdiagnosis, I’ve told the story many times. The surgery, the tests, the conversations with doctors, in particular the arrogant one, and getting the results of my third opinion. Often I am asked, "How did you know you didn’t really have cancer?"

I just did.

There were so many disconnects! I was told, most defiantly, "Two labs have determined your diagnosis. You have a rare, aggressive lymphoma, and you will die within six months without chemo".

But then my intuition kicked in. That little voice inside me represented a chasm between what I "knew," and what I was being told.

We all have that inner voice – intuition, instinct – call it what you will. Frequently I hear from other patients about their frustrating attempts to key in on a diagnosis, their possible dismissal by a doctor saying "it's all in your head," or their feeling that for any number of reasons, they just don't have the right diagnosis. Their frustrations are often triggered by their inner voices.

Other patients "hear" an inner voice, but it's not that they think something is wrong. It's that they don't like what they've heard. They find it difficult to distinguish intuition from wishful thinking. We all wish a frightening diagnosis would be incorrect!

But there is a way to use intuition, and to make sure it's not just wishful thinking. Here are some steps to take to help you distinguish between the two, and improve your outcome:

Recognize it:

With or without blatant symptoms, you may have a "feeling" there is something wrong with your body. Perhaps your doctor has provided a diagnosis and suggested treatment, and you just "know" something isn’t right. Maybe your doctor is telling you there's nothing wrong, but you are afraid she is wrong. The temptation may be to ignore the feeling because it’s not obvious enough, or because you are in denial. The feeling may be one of fear, or you’ll feel yourself trying to push it away. Just knowing it's there can get you started in this process.

Acknowledge it:

Add a Comment3 Comments

Thank you, Trisha! I still struggle to do it as I sometimes think it is just my wishful thinking or hope.............THEN I learn the hard way that it was my intuition (after NOT listening to it and doing the opposite LOL). But I'm getting better at listening now. Just wish I'd realized/learned decades ago. Better late than never though I say!

June 16, 2011 - 2:56pm

Good for you, Linda - that you can tune in to your intuition so well. It will always serve you well.


June 15, 2011 - 11:19pm

Thank you for this piece! I so believe in that "inner voice" and am learning to tune into it more and more these days. In looking back over the years, I've seen many times in the past when I listened to that inner voice and didn't even know it. I just knew then that I was in disagreement with the doctor or whomever about whatever the situation was.

I also know that inner voice speaks to me constantly, about everything, not just my health and my body. I married a man I really didn't want to marry, but just "knew" I had to. When my son was born 3 years later, I knew they "why" for that feeling of having to marry him.

I've had many instances of that "just knowing" in my life. I'm just glad that I now recognize it and am learning to listen better. Your instincts will never lead you wrong.

Thanks again.

June 15, 2011 - 4:03pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.