|By Mars Observer|
Today's challenge was to find an image on Flickr for inspiration.
The photo by Mars Observer reminds me navigating the healthcare system when you are ill. There are glimpses of light and understanding but for the most part, the path is foggy and uncertain.
Autoimmune diseases create even more fog and shadows because they are difficult to diagnose and positive or negative lab tests may or may not mean anything significant. This fog, coupled with the fatigue and pain of the AI creates frustration and stress.
One way to cope with the stress of maneuvering the medical maze is to keep a health journal. Write down questions for your physician and document any and all symptoms. Keep copies of your labs, x-rays, MRI's, etc.
You can purchase a medic alert bracelet that has a USB drive built in. These drives are usually large enough to hold copies of quite a few medical records.
It's also a good idea to have a family member or good friend accompany you to all physician appointments. They may ask questions you don't think of and they may hear or remember things the physician says that your stressed, brain cannot absorb.
By planning ahead, it is possible to navigate the foggy healthcare road successfully.