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  • Writer's pictureCaterina Sullivan

I Haven’t Invested in my Health How I Should Have, and I am Paying the Price

I am proud of the supportive and loving following of people I have built over the last few years through my work, my blog, my social media and my videos. I respect each and every person who follows what I do, supports me, engages with my content and provides feedback and appreciate everyone so much.

This is the reason I really want to share what is happening in my life at the moment.

I am currently undergoing some really tough health battles. They have been ongoing since last year, before I was hospitalised in April 2018.

When I was first discharged, everyone close to me was telling me that I would get better. I didn’t have the most supportive medical team when I was discharged with GPs withholding information from me, making incorrect diagnoses, failing to refer me to specialists when need be. Thanks to this, I somehow let myself slip through the cracks.

I was so determined to be well again that I didn’t want to admit that the symptoms which I was experiencing were problems. I kept telling myself I could handle them.

I saw the impact my illness had on my life when I was first hospitalised in 2018 in my relationships with my partner, my friends and my family. I saw the toll it took on the people closest to me, and I didn’t want to keep impacting my loved ones. So I tried my best to pretend that I was well again.

After the first few doctors let me down, I gave up trying. The symptoms I was experiencing seemed so small and insignificant to me, and I thought I could manage them. But I didn’t realise they were actually indicative of something more sinister.

It wasn’t until earlier this year that I actually saw a specialist who conducted blood tests. By then, it was too late to keep hiding my symptoms for much longer… and everything has now come to a head.

I’m finally seeking medical assistance for my symptoms, trying to get to the bottom of what is actually going wrong. I have left it later than what is ideal because now I am facing a slower recovery than I would have if I had addressed everything last year.

My reflections of my treatment have also led me to think about some of the medical treatment I’ve received over the past 12 months. The core of the problem has been ensuring I have a good GP. A lot of my treatment has been left to me to be proactive in getting the right tests and the right referrals… which would be OK if I had a medical degree. But I don’t.

Quite often, the GP has asked me what I want from them, which I’ve often not really known how to answer. I was always under the impression you went to see the doctor with your symptoms, and they took it from there. It seems like now, GPs are being used as a way to get the tests, treatment and referrals that you have decided for yourself. I would rather trust the knowledge and wisdom of a GP than to try to WebMD my problems and work out what to do from there.

There are a few lessons in this story. Firstly, find yourself a good GP. They are essential to getting the best treatment possible. Research to find out where you can find such a GP. Ask friends, family, colleagues. Google it. Someone somewhere along the way will have a recommendation.

Secondly, if there is something wrong, don’t pretend there isn’t. Illness catches up with you eventually. You cannot think yourself out of being unwell, no matter how hard you try.

Lastly, take time to research by using reputable sources. Governments around the world have rather comprehensive information on their health websites about different conditions and symptoms, and this information is trustworthy. Follow their recommendations about what you should say when you see your GP - just in case you can’t find a GP to give you their recommendations.

I appreciate the support and understanding of my followers, colleagues, friends and family during this time. I hope I have good news for you all soon about my recovery!

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