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Surviving Hospital Visits When You Have Endometriosis

Surviving Hospital Visits When You Have Endometriosis

Unless I’m sleeping, I am in some kind of pain. Whether it’s a dull ache in my corners to sharper stabs shooting from my pelvic area or an intense burning sensation that spreads across my butt and thighs, it is always there. Even though this is my reality, navigating the health care system with a chronic illness can be exhausting for anyone. Here are tips for getting through those appointments:

Know the best way to get your appointment

When you need to make an appointment with a doctor or other medical professional, it’s important to know how best to navigate the system. The first step is to call the hospital’s main number and ask for the appointment department. Once you have this information, here are some questions that will help guide your choice of doctor:

  • What are their hours?
  • Where are they located?
  • Do they take my insurance? If so, which one(s)?
  • How much do they charge out-of-pocket for services rendered?

Download our 12-page free endometriosis self-care tracker down below:

Do some research beforehand

When you visit a hospital to see a doctor, there are some things you can do to make the experience as smooth and safe as possible.

  • Look at the hospital’s website and find out about the facility itself—what services it offers, who is on staff and what their credentials are, where it is located and how long of a drive it will be from your home.
  • Look at the doctor’s website (if they have one) and find out about his or her specialization in endometriosis care; ask if he or she has any particular expertise in treating women with endometriosis.
  • Research any resources that might be available at the hospital beforehand: patient handbooks, patient rights guides, patient safety guides.

Keep your medical history organized

Maintaining an organized medical history is a vital component of your overall health care. It’s important to keep all of your records, including any letters from previous doctors, as well as information on medications you’ve tried, symptoms you’ve experienced and tests you’ve undergone.

It’s also important to keep all of these records in a place where they are easy for others—yourself included—to find and understand. If somebody else needs access to the information, it should be clear where those records are kept.

There are many ways to organize your medical history: One method involves separating out everything into categories such as “Doctor Visits” and “Medication Regimens.” Another method involves keeping all related documents together in one folder or binder with tabs that indicate what type of document falls under each tab (e.g., “Lab Reports”). Whichever method works best for you is fine!

Request an anti-inflammatory or painkiller

You may be asked to wait to see the doctor so that you can discuss your symptoms with them. While you’re waiting, be sure to request an anti-inflammatory or painkiller prescription, as well as a muscle relaxant, sleep aid and/or sedative.

Make sure that you also request an appointment with a gynecologist as soon as possible. These appointments are for women whose reproductive organs are affected by endometriosis; they include fertility specialists who will help determine if your condition is affecting your ability to conceive.

If you live in the United States and have health insurance through Medicare (and possibly Medicaid), ask your primary care physician about getting covered by any special programs available from their office or hospital setting.

Download our 12-page free endometriosis self-care tracker down below:

Make sure you have someone with you

One of the most important things you can do is to make sure you have someone with you. This person can be a friend, family member, significant other or anyone else who will be able to help out during your hospital stay and make it more bearable.

If you’re not able to find someone to accompany you on your first visit (or even if they can come every time), ask if there’s an available volunteer who would like to help out at the hospital. Volunteers are often much more willing than coworkers or friends because they don’t have any personal ties with the patient in question—which means they won’t need as much preparation time before coming into contact with them

Be prepared to say no if you feel uncomfortable with a treatment option

  • Be prepared to say no if you feel uncomfortable with a treatment option. You’re the one who is going through this, and sometimes doctors can seem very pushy about what they think is best for you. If you don’t agree with their treatment plan, then ask for a second opinion or seek out another doctor that might be more willing to work with you on finding other solutions.
  • You have the right to know what is going on! Doctors aren’t mind readers and they can only do so much research of their own in order to help treat your condition (if they even know how). It’s important that they keep you updated on all aspects of your care so that way both parties are on the same page regarding expectations and goals at every visit.
  • Ask questions, lots of them! Most doctors have tons of experience treating endometriosis but not many have personal experience living with it themselves—which means information may get lost along the way between multiple doctors visits over time or from misdiagnosis early on when symptoms first started showing up…etcetera ad infinitum until finally reaching someone who actually knows what’s going on now after years upon years spent suffering silently through countless treatments only making things worse instead improving much needed quality-of-life improvements needed during such stressful times like trying getting pregnant after unsuccessful attempts over many years which ultimately led up until today where nothing seems promising unless taking matters into own hands via self-treatment which requires faith & belief from both partners working together towards common goal(s) despite setbacks along journey…

Know that it’s ok to feel frustrated or sad, and don’t be afraid to take a break from being responsible for your health care.

There are times when you’ll feel frustrated or sad, and that’s okay. It’s also perfectly fine to take a break from being responsible for your health care. Sometimes, it’s just too much to handle on top of everything else going on in our lives—and that doesn’t make us less worthy of care. Don’t be afraid to ask someone else for help or tell them you need a break; they’ll understand!

  • Don’t feel guilty about needing help
  • Don’t feel guilty about not being able to do everything you want to do

Conclusion

Remember to be kind to yourself, and don’t let anyone bully you into doing something you’re not comfortable with. You know your body best. If it’s a good idea for you to take a break from advocating for yourself at the hospital, do it! Your health is most important, and we’re here for you whenever you need some support.

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