She is Determined to Make Patients’ Voices be Heard

Meet Patient Worthy’s newest contributor!

Nikole is a mom with a background in education and incredible insight to the realities many chronically ill patients face. Diagnosed with Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, she considers herself lucky to have had her doctor take her seriously.

“My family is full of people in the medical profession and, because of that, my doctor had worked with family members and was so much more willing to listen to me.”

Her kids were young at the time but she was relieved that motherhood wasn’t brought up as reasoning for her exhaustion.

“They took me seriously; most people don’t have the privilege of that experience.”

Even so, Nikole had been experiencing symptoms for roughly 9 years before being diagnosed. She was without any explanations or any physicians investigating the cause behind her symptoms before she herself went on the determined pursuit of answers.

“It’s so heartbreaking that people experience the detrimental effects of not knowing what’s going on physically. I wish somebody would have looked into it when I first started experiencing weird symptoms.”

Nikole now has a blog where she starts conversations and writes on topics relatable to many in the rare and chronic illness community such as the difficulty for patient’s concerns to be validated.

“It’s really important that we’re listened to as patients; I think that’s such a struggle for so many of us. Our voices should be heard. I was so grateful when I was heard and diagnosed. “

Nikole believes that her family helped her reach a diagnosis by encouraging her to write down every symptom she was experiencing before she went to the doctor. She otherwise would have assumed that some of her symptoms didn’t matter and weren’t worth mentioning.

“You think some of them are just off the wall, they don’t make sense. I thought I shouldn’t bring them up because who would care? It’s important that we’re confident. You have to be, with something like this. It’s so easy to second guess yourself; an emotional struggle is part of this.”

 

Nikole
Keep an eye out for thought-provoking, relatable articles from Nikole! Check out her blog by clicking here.

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