When it comes to my health, stubborn could certainly be a word used to describe how I approach my own well being. I am a strong believer in enabling the body it to heal itself by providing it the tools it needs. I am a strong believer that conventional medical doctors don’t always know best. I am a strong believer that we should be persistent in our own health, seeking the root cause of the issue at hand rather than masking the symptoms. I’m firm on these beliefs, and it takes an especially unique and dire circumstance to sway my opinion.
There have been too many times in my life where I have felt disappointment in the conventional medical system to not feel compelled to take as much action into my own hands as possible.
And I have found a lot of success in doing so. Being proactive about my health and seeking opinions and advice outside the realm of my family doctor has benefited me largely. The more I study natural nutrition, the more I read, the more I expose myself to alternative methods, the more feasible and realistic it seems that we really can influence the health and vitality of our bodies.
So what am I getting at here?
Over a year ago I developed what my doctor has called Overactive Bladder Syndrome. Not the most glamorous of topics, I know. For a reason unbeknownst to me, I all of a sudden developed the feeling of really needing to pee, but not actually needing to pee at all. Conveniently, of course, I only struggled with this at night. No, I never peed my pants. It’s kind of the exact opposite problem. I have the urge to go, but simply put, can’t.
Enough of the awkward, semi embarrassing details.
I went to multiple doctors to help me try and understand why this was happening and how it could be solved. I did all sorts of tests. I’m currently awaiting a specialist appointment that is months away, and have already been waiting months. I even spoke to my nutritionist for her opinion, who suggested my issue might be due to severe internal inflammation causing pressure on my bladder.
I attempted various ideas, including tweaking my diet, essential oils, natural herbal remedies, and so on. Nothing that I entertained seemed to be offering me any sort of relief.
This issue was causing me to lose sleep. I couldn’t fall asleep because I couldn’t ignore that my body was telling me I needed to do something (even though I really didn’t.). I couldn’t stay asleep either. It’s been miserable. Sleep is such a fundamental part of your entire day. The loss of sleep was really starting to affect my day to day life. Every aspect of my life in some way big or small was affected by this frustratingly inexplicable issue.
All of this leads me to my burning question. At what point do you personally decide to give up on alternative, natural medicine and seek help (in my case, a prescription for muscle relaxants) from a medical doctor?
On one of my doctors visits I was offered a prescription for a muscle relaxant, which, initially, I turned down. I have a hard time accepting what I believe to be a mask for symptoms rather than finding a solution for the root cause like I mentioned above. I wanted to know why this was going on. After many a doctor visit I had to conclude that this was probably something I was never going to be able to figure out why I was struggling with it.
Sometimes I have to swallow my pride (and perhaps a muscle relaxant, too.). Months later, still struggling with this issue, I returned to my doctor and accepted the prescription.
I will always urge everyone to seek natural ways to take care of their bodies and achieve optimal health and vitality, but when a medical issue becomes debilitating and impedes on your day to day life, sometimes putting your stubborn views aside isn’t perhaps the worst thing. It’s been a lesson to me that I can’t do it all by myself, no matter how much I wish I could. Yes, I absolutely hate that in taking a muscle relaxant I will also have to deal with the potential side effects, but the ability to fall asleep and stay asleep without multiple trips to the bathroom is perhaps enough to justify accepting a medical prescription this time. I am still hoping for some sort of revelation from the specialist come February, but until then I will do the best I can with what I’ve been given.
Below I’ve written some tips that I follow to be proactive about my health:
- Seek the root cause of your symptoms as opposed to looking to treat your symptoms.
- Go to more than one doctor to get a second (or third!) opinion.
- Ask questions and be adamant about getting answers.
- Seek the opinion of a health professional outside of the medical field. Nutritionists, Naturopaths, Dieticians, Massage Therapists, Reiki … The list goes on.
- Choose whatever help will serve you best. You know your body better than anyone else. Sometimes, just like in my case, it might mean deviating from your ideal approach.
Where do you draw your line with seeking medical help? Do you have any tips to add to my list? I’d love to know below!