In “real life” I work as an Advocate for severely wounded, ill and injured Soldiers who were medically retired as a result of their service connected injuries and conditions. I wear a lot of hats in this job, but one of my primary duties is to make sure that the medical needs of the Veterans I work for are being addressed and they are receiving the care they need. I will do what it takes to make sure the voice of the Veteran, their spouse or caregiver, is heard by medical professionals responsible for their care. Even if this means sitting in a medical appointment to ensure the Veteran has a chance to give feedback and ask the questions they want answers for.
I am often amazed at how annoyed and short the Doctors are with their patients when they try to share how medications they are on have increased symptoms, not helped, etc. For those who struggle with memory loss related to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) they often take a little longer to formulate their questions and this seems to frustrate some Doctors which increases the anxiety of the patient. If I am in the appointment I can help the Veteran remember the questions they have so they are not rushed out the door. I am professional and respectful in my work, but there are a few Doctors who avoid eye contact with me in the halls following these encounters. I choose to take this as a sign I’m doing my job for the Veteran. 🙂 This isn’t my experience with all the Doctors I work with, there are many who are very dedicated to their profession and to the population they serve.
All this to say, it is no surprise to me that many thyroid patients report struggling to find Doctors who will listen to their health history and symptoms and are willing to examine the link between many common symptoms (like depression, anxiety, unexplained weight gain, fatigue) and thyroid and autoimmune disorders.
Recently, I was invited by ThyroidChange.org to join a community of bloggers who are sharing their health journey. I made contact with the founders to make sure they understood that at this time, thyroid issues had been ruled out in my case, but they still wished to include this blog on their “Member” page.
You can read more about the mission of ThyoidChange and different thyroid patients experience here: patientexperience.com
I am also including information from the ThyroidChange website:
ThyroidChange, a web-based initiative, unifies the international thyroid community (patients, organizations, groups, blogs, websites and physicians) and mainstreams the voice of thyroid patients who are left symptomatic and not being assessed or treated with current options. Our global network will empower the individual patient with access to credible, current knowledge. Our success will increase thyroid disease awareness and future research.
ThyroidChange supports existing and future thyroid advocacy efforts with the strength of a united global thyroid community. By informing members of current initiatives within our community, it stimulates mutual collaboration for our shared common goal for change. Individual patients will find support and opportunities to self-advocate.
ThyroidChange facilitates the achievement of our goal: increased thyroid patient access to current assessment and treatment options and therefore, optimal thyroid health. Thyroid dysfunction affects 1 in 4 individuals, and can begin at any time. Our advocacy will encompass hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, autoimmune thyroid conditions, thyroid cancer and other thyroid issues of concern to our community.
I am honored to be included among the list of other Members. My motivation for changing the focus of this blog was to put my experience out there in case someone found similarities to their own health issues and it helped them find the treatment they need. I hope that this platform will get my story out to more people who can benefit from it.
You can find my blog, bluebirdthriving, on the Members page at ThyroidChange.com. While you are there, please read and consider signing the petition.