Most women are very in-tune with their body. It is only after years of the medical professionals telling us that we are wrong when it becomes more difficult. Here are some helpful tips in how to trust your body which can help when trying to describe your condition to a health professional and pacing.
Create a symptom diary
A symptom diary may help you find common patterns of symptoms in your condition. You might find that you experience more pain or fatigue at certain times or when or after you do certain activities. Are things better or worse at times of the month. Are there things that make your condition better? Write it down.
Some symptoms are hidden, some are not. Take photos of inflammation, redness, rashes, bumps ect. Having a symptom photo gallery can be helpful when describing your condition, when showing disease progression, and showing improvements.
Learn and use simple laymen and medical terminology
Practice and learn to be better at describing your symptoms and illness. At first it seems difficult pinpointing where a symptom is coming from and how it feels, but practice makes perfect. The more specific you can be the better. It doesn’t always have to be in medical terminology but using some medical terminology will help with describing. An example would be, instead of this: “my left leg is so swollen”, “The lower part of my left leg below the knee, including my foot, is swollen with oedema. It is painful to touch and the skin feels tight. It is very uncomfortable and I have difficulty walking and sleeping.”
Sometimes we don’t feel like we can trust our body when we feel like we are the only one experiencing the specific symptoms. This can feel like we are alone with our conditions, especially when we don’t have a diagnosis yet. It is important to find other women that are the same boat as you, this of course is difficult. One way is to talk about your experience, this can be with family or friends or on social media. More than likely other women who are either feeling similarly or have a similar experience will reach out and make it known that you are not alone.
Many websites about chronic conditions also provide links to support groups.