Do you hate going to the doctor or clinic? I did for a long time and boy, did I pay a price. Or was it a blessing in disguise? While my cancer journey has been quite the whirlwind for nearly a decade now, I just want to put something out there. Black and brown women deserve to be as healthy as the next person and beyond. Between fearing the worst, lack of resources, and constant misinformation, we often find ourselves at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to learning about health care alternatives.
The Internet Isn't Your Doctor
While sites like Mayo Clinic and WebMD are some of the most reputable for giving basic information, that disclaimer at the bottom of the page is the truth. Your symptoms may be what they appear to be...or something else. My condition fell under something else that was atypical for the demographic I belonged to. Long story short, don't use the internet to diagnose what may be a serious condition.
Do Alternative Medicine with a Licensed Professional
At first, I thought taking supplements, ACV, or anything that didn't come from a mean-old hospital or clinic would do. It only made me go to the bathroom faster or suppressed my non-existent appetite further. Every day, I read articles by some legitimate (as in well-researched) publications but of course, none had a cure for my condition.
Even worse was reading of celebrity blogs, which occasionally veered off into general subjects. The most bizarre suggestion (or treatment) for my ailment was to chew a half-dozen black grape seeds whole every day. Yes, I was told that chewing undigestable seeds was better than modern medicine.
Never, Ever Be Afraid to Get a Second (or Third) Opinion
According to a 2016 article by Johns Hopkins, medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the States. Sometimes, this can be a learning curve because some chronic illnesses (like cancer) take time to properly diagnose. In these instances, you also may not want to wait for something to go wrong before looking elsewhere.
If something isn't right with your body, seeing a licensed professional should be the first step in care. When something is out of their scope, they can make referrals based on their findings. For those who may be looking at a long-term ailment, this is probably the best time to get in touch with people who may have been through a similar problem.