It Should Never Take A Decade To Get A Diagnosis

It Should Never Take A Decade To Get A Diagnosis

It's hard to take your health seriously when even your doctors don't.

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I started experiencing problems when I was only nine. Horrific cramping, unexplained fevers, excessive bleeding, nausea, pain that left me unable to move...My periods were miserable. When I no longer had breaks in my cycle, simply periods of time where I was bleeding less than other times, my parents rushed me to the doctor. By middle school I was on birth control, but I was still always in pain. But I was told it was normal, so it must be fine.

When I would listen to people complaining about IUD insertion pains, I would laugh. That stuff was nothing! I needed to sit for a few minutes, then I went straight back to work and school! My cramps were so much worse! But come on, my cramps were normal, right?

At 14, I started complaining more about the pains. Then 16. Then 18, 19, 20. I had to fight with my doctors even after they found significant hormonal imbalances - after the painkillers didn't work as well as Aleve or Ibuprofen, after I was curled up in bed popping prescription anti-nausea medications. No matter what the doctors said, this wasn't normal.

I'm 21. I have an appointment to talk about surgery for endometriosis, something that should have been treated when I was a preteen. Despite my complaints, I was ignored until far too late. I will likely never have biological children, I need Botox injections every three months for related migraines, and I still have no idea whether or not I'll feel better after this surgery.

It took 12 years for my doctors to take notice, but my story is still far better than some others.

It's estimated that approximately 40% of diagnoses were either incorrect or completely missed—meaning that 40% of the things you complained about to your doctor may have been prematurely brushed aside or misdiagnosed. If we're talking about a cold misdiagnosed as allergies, this typically isn't a big deal. Unfortunately, colds aren't the only things being misdiagnosed. According to a study by the Mayo Clinic, 20% of people with serious medical conditions seen in their research facility were misdiagnosed before seeing them, and a whopping 12 million people will be misdiagnosed annually.

Sometimes these mistakes lead to tragic consequences. On 17 December 2017, 12-year-old Alyssa Alacraz died of what her parents were told was the flu, but her autopsy found something horrifying—Alyssa didn't have the flu. Instead, Alyssa had died from cardiac arrest and septic shock, the most severe form of blood poisoning called sepsis. While life-threatening, she would have had a fighting chance if she had been hospitalized immediately.

Instead, she was sent home with ibuprofen and died three days later.

You may ask: as patients, what can we do?

The answer is simple. Be the squeaky wheel. Speak up, demand results, and don't be afraid to change doctors if need be. Doctors are excellent, but sometimes it takes some time to find the right one that will listen to you and properly address your problems.

Don't be like me. Definitely don't be like Alyssa. Speak up for your health.

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Tanya Gold, Your Fatphobic Article Is Uneducated And Arrogant

BREAKING NEWS: Women come in all different shapes and sizes!

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Just recently, Nike released a plus-size mannequin at one of their stores in London that showed off their plus-size leggings and sports bra. And, because we live in a world where being fat or overweight or obese is somehow the worst thing in the world to some people, this has sparked a lot of discussion.

Tanya Gold wrote an article for The Telegraph saying that this mannequin “cannot run" and is “likely pre-diabetic" and “on her way to a hip-replacement." Not only is Tanya's article uneducated and poorly written, it's completely fatphobic and embarrassing.

What I would like to know is this: why can't plus-size women work out in Nike clothes just like a size 2 woman? People want to scream from the rooftops that plus-size women are fat because they don't exercise and when companies FINALLY start catering to plus-size women with clothes they can EXERCISE IN, people lose their minds and think that they're promoting obesity.

What are plus sized women supposed to work out in if they can't even wear Nike leggings without being fat-shamed?

Would you rather them wear jeans? Overalls? A parka, maybe? What about a garbage bag?

Let's also discuss the fact that being overweight doesn't equal being unhealthy, just like being at a “normal" weight doesn't make you healthy. Did you ever stop to think that some women have diseases that make them gain weight that they, in return, can't lose? Some women can eat salad for every single meal, seven days a week and they still can't lose weight.

Let's all say this together: SIZE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH FITNESS. Being thin doesn't equal being healthy and being overweight doesn't equal being unhealthy.

Everyone (and yes, I mean EVERYONE) should be able to be comfortable in their own skin AND in their clothes.

You can't sit and pout saying that fat people don't care about their health and then when they want comfortable clothes to wear while they're EXERCISING, hell has frozen over and how dare Nike cater to people who aren't a size 2.

Tanya, be honest with yourself. You aren't anywhere near a size 2, either, so where is all of this coming from? Are you self-loathing? Do you have some kind of internal fatphobia?

Pick a side, Tanya. You can't hate people who are overweight because you think that they aren't exercising and then when they do exercise and they get clothes that cater to them, it's all of the sudden wrong and horrible.

We are damned if we do, damned if we don't. As if women (and men) weren't already being shamed enough for being plus size, we're now being made to feel bad because a brand caters to our size so we can wear the same clothes all of the other sizes can wear.

Thank you, Nike, for making your brand more inclusive for all shapes and sizes so we can ALL feel confident in our clothes.

I think it's worth mentioning that Nike released their plus-size line in 2017 AKA 2 years ago... Why weren't you mad then?

Oh, and, Tanya Gold, you might want to stop smoking since you're all about being healthy, right? You don't want to get lung cancer or anything, do you?

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