Ann Steinfeld PT - October 2017 (714) 556-1600 October 2017


Advocacy for Better Health How You Can Make a Difference in Your Own Health

Thanks to the internet, information is more readily available than ever. Through websites like WebMD and Wikipedia, people can research a variety of health and medical topics, for better or worse. On the negative side, this type of research may lead to an inaccurate self- diagnosis. Many medical conditions come with similar or overlapping symptoms, making it incredibly easy to make a mistake. That said, let’s consider the perks of having access to this trove of information. While it’s tempting to self-diagnose, a lot of people are using the information they find on WebMD, Wikipedia, and other sites to ask better, more informed questions. They are taking their questions to their health care providers and specialists, including myself. At my recent workshops, I heard a number of great questions. When you can ask informed, detailed questions about your health, you get better, more thorough answers. These answers enable you to take action to improve your health. In today’s information-rich world, you can be your own health advocate. One unfortunate reality of health care today is that doctors are busier than ever. Advances in the medical field mean that they are required to knowmore than ever. They don’t often have time to mention physical therapy as a conservative option to solve your problem or address your pain. Fortunately, you can serve as your own advocate and really work with your health care provider to get the answers you need to take that next step. You may feel you could benefit from physical therapy, but if your doctor doesn’t say anything, what do you do next? In short, you have the power to say something and make the suggestion. There may be instances where you need to be an advocate for not just yourself, but for a loved one. There was a time when I served as my mother’s advocate. When it came down to it, I was a point guard for her health and made sure nothing slipped through the cracks so that she got the level of care she needed. I also recently had a friend who took his health into his own hands. Last year, he came down with a cough paired with cold-like symptoms. At the time, he didn’t think too much of it. He thought it would pass like any cold. When it didn’t, he

got checked out and learned he had lung cancer. I knew him as a super active and healthy guy. The cancer spread despite treatment. He wanted to know exactly what he could do about it. So, he took

his future into his hands and researched cancer specialists around the country. After extensive research, he landed on MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Now, he’s set to entrust his care to some of the best cancer clinicians in the nation.

I’ve made it my mission to bring together a staff that’s prepared to give you the best answers to your health questions. If we don’t have the answer — and sometimes we don’t — we can then refer you to someone who may be able to help. Either way, our clinic’s priority is to find answers for you and your health.

One of the most common questions we hear is, “Will I ever be normal again?” This is a tough question to answer. It represents a day-to-day struggle for a lot people who want nothing more than to move on with their lives. In the coming months, I’ll explore this question further and get into what it means to our patients and what it means to me. - Ann Steinfeld PT, OCS (714) 556-1600 1

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