How to Take Ownership of Your Health (Instead of your Chronic Illness)

by Laura

Do you ever get the feeling after visiting your doctor that you could have very little to do with your healthcare future unless you stand up for yourself? Did you know that you CAN make choices and get involved beyond what your doc is telling you to do? It could mean the difference in how you feel, as well as how you heal.

It’s all about empowerment. Here’s a little exercise:

Say these words out loud:

“I want to learn new ways to feel better and manage my fibromyalgia pain”


“I am empowered to take ownership of my health, well being, and medical care, because I am in charge of my life”

How did that feel? I would venture a guess that you noticed the phrase “my fibromyalgia” was weaker and less empowering than ” my health, well being and medical care”.

When I was first diagnosed, doctors were purely guessing. My body was literally freaking out as I went from one Neurologist to the next. I honestly think they didn’t know what to tell me. This went on for almost 2 years. After numerous tests, spinal taps, MRI’s and more they “clinically” diagnosed MS. Because my symptoms were progressing so rapidly, they told me I’d likely be in a wheelchair before long. It was very upsetting to say the least, but some little voice inside me said “this is not the whole story”.

I went to one MS support group, and on some level I knew I did not belong there. I walked out of there and said to myself “This is MY HEALTH and after 2 years of being bounced from doctor to doctor, it’s time for me to TAKE CONTROL of my body, and do everything I can to get well”

I rarely mentioned MS and tried to leave it out of my consciousness. I sought out healthy alternative treatments and did all I could to manage the pain. 9 years later I went to be reevaluated at a prominent MS research hospital, and got a “probably not” diagnoses. Shortly after Fibromyalgia became more well understood, and I was diagnosed with that . I realize others with Multiple Sclerosis are not so lucky.

Your body is your own, as are your health decisions. Taking your “case” into your own hands can be very empowering.

**Note** I am absolutely NOT saying to ignore your doctors orders.That is not what this is about.

What this is about is finding additional ways to feel better, that can be discussed with your doctor, staying well informed about your condition, eating a healthy diet, and exercising to whatever capacity you’re able to. Many times you will astound yourself with all the empowering ways you can manage your health, and live WELL with fibromyalgia, lupus, CFS, or whatever you have.

Remember it’s your body, and your life. Don’t let your doctor push you around! Stay educated and make choices based on it. Remember as well to watch your words like “my fibromyalgia”. Your body responds to that, at least that’s what I definitely believe!!


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