*This is our final week of NHBPM blogging which has been a real challenge to us! Despite vacations and business trips and holidays, we have stuck with it and hope you will continue to read. That being said, things are busy, and our posts may be shorter!
How have your goals as a patient evolved?
My goals as a patient have changed over the years. For a long time, my treatment goal was to just find a set of doctors who were all female. Since I was suffering from a chronic illness that was personal, I didn't care who treated me as long as they were female. This could not be further than my view now. My goal and priority is to have a treatment team who specializes in my illness, has both the intellectual strength and people skills, regardless of gender. This was a big shift for me, and happened gradually over time.
I also vividly remember being petrified of surgery. I would do everything remotely possible to avoid it. I wouldn't say that now I am excited to pursue surgery, but I look at quality of life differently and am less scared to try surgery if it will restore my quality of life. I have a great surgeon who I trust, and am open to working with her in the future if needs arise.
One last goal I have as a patient is to give back. I have always loved connecting with others who have chronic illness and various friends and acquaintances have connected me with people they know who are recently diagnosed. After talking with so many people like this, it lead me to a career of being a therapist who gets to do this for my job! It feels very empowering and humbling to get to walk alongside people who are new to chronic illness and welcome them into a huge community of supportive people I have met.