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Hiring Health Consultants: Hiring, Firing & Self-Advocacy (008) Transcript

Audio Episode New

<voices overlapping, music in background>
Oh! Good morning — oh! Do we have to get up?
Keep it down; I’m trying to sleep.
Yeah, we want to make that recording.
What are we going to record today?
What? What recording?
You know, the one about multiplicity.
You know, the usual — we’re trying to make a difference in the world or something.
Oh, yeah.
Well — I just really wanna help people!
I have no idea what to say.
I’m sure there’s a lot of people out there who have really good questions, and need really good answers.
Why talk to them? It’s not like anybody gives a shit.
Well what makes us an authority?
I don’t really think it matters how long we’ve been multiple, or how long we’ve known we’re multiple — we’re multiple!
<Aliessa laughs richly>

So this is an episode that applies to everyone. It doesn't matter if you need a physical, mental or spiritual healthcare assistant. It doesn't matter if it's a doctor, a therapist, a dentist; they're all consultants. This episode isn't just for mental health, and not just for people who have dissociative identity disorder.

This definitely applies to you. I want to give a little bit of a credit to Maryann McQuillan from the Complementary Wellness Center in Middletown, New York because we had discussed at one point doing a presentation on this together. I wrote the articles, and this is entirely my content, but it's encouraging when somebody who has a license somebody who is a professional sees a need for something that you also see a need for. So thank you very much, and I really do hope to do a presentation on this with you in the future.

So the first thing to note is that modern medicine is a young science. And you don't have to agree with me on this, but there are some ideas that are relevant to the whole idea of what's going on in healthcare, to give yourself some more confidence when you go to a consultant, and this way you have a little bit of an idea a little you know, solidity behind what you might think so that you don't back down, and you don't cave in.

Medicine, as we know it today is a very young science. It's about 200 to 250 years old at best. And Western medicine has a broken history. It's broken by the loss of millions of medicinal practitioners during the witch hunts and the Inquisition. On the other hand, Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine have unbroken traditions, with about 5000 years of history. We've kind of been brainwashed into thinking that our healthcare system knows best, that they're better than other healthcare systems, that they're better at treating us, and that they're so very far advanced. But they're really very young, in terms of human history, in terms of even the history of the written word, and the history of science. Because really, Ayurveda, and Chinese Traditional Medicine are based on observation, they are based on their science. We've been brainwashed into this system of accepting modern Western medicine as the be all and end all. On top of that, we have the tradition of psychology. So modern mental health care is similarly limited. It's about 150 years old, at best, a little bit younger than modern medicine. So obviously, things have changed a lot in the last 250 years for medicine, 150 years for psychology. A lot has changed.

If you look back at -- here in the US anyway -- if you look back at our history, and you look at like Little House on the Prairie kind of medicine, you have your small town, nobody moves, people rarely travel, you have a doctor who lives there, they do house calls, that doctor not only knows you, they know your whole family, they know your medical history, they know which bones you've broken, they know what what medicines you're sensitive to. So there's been this massive change in culture since then. People started moving more. People separated from their clans, they separated from the doctor that knew their family. Not only did they just move that one time, you know, maybe got married, moved out of town. But now people move all the time. Every few years people move. So your consultant team changes when you move. These are physical in person people. If you move more than a town over, you may be changing who your healthcare providers are. So there's very little continuity of care.

Insurance is dictating who you see how often and how long the appointments are. Your doctor doesn't have time to read your records to remind them of who you are. They're seeing way more people than they should, they don't really have time to pay attention and do more than a cursory interview with you — and we still adhere to this doctor knows best mentality that we inherited from the Little House on the Prairie era, without really having any justification to trust the consultants that we're working with. And this attitude of trusting these authorities goes through all of the different disciplines. It's not just medical, we also do this with mental health care, no matter what this all applies, because it's a cultural attitude. And there are cultures in which it's a little more warranted. And then there's cultures where it's not. So in Little House on the Prairie land, it was perfectly acceptable, normal, natural to trust that doctor, but here and now it's not.

So to give a little more of an insight into the shifting roles in in psychology and psychiatry, I had a psychiatrist, which means the person went through medical school and then went through further education in psychology. So I had a psychiatrist in 1986. His specialty was adolescent psychiatry. He would meet with me and constantly — and this is 1986 — so he would be constantly asking me, you know, every three, four or five weeks, he'd be like, are you interested in integration. And I'd be like, "No…" kind of grated on us a little bit. But we still built a rapport with him, and we worked with him and didn't get a whole lot of anywhere with the people in our head that we know of — but you know, we got somewhere with coping mechanisms and other things.

We were discharged a few years later from outpatient care when we were seeing them every couple of weeks. And then in 2001, I was working on PTSD. I was really digging into my stuff. And I wanted some professional assistance, I guess, with what I was doing, how PTSD related to DID and where all the knots were and where things were tied together. And I wanted some help unraveling some stuff. So I go and visit him again. 2001. So I'm traveling as much as three hours to see him, I go to see him and he's got this 15 minute window type of thing going and people are just rotating into his office very quickly, and I have a longer appointment.

So I finally get there. I'm a little late because of traffic and whatever and, and he just looks scared when I'm talking to him. And it took me a while to realize why he looked scared. I realized he couldn't handle my agenda. I walked in as an empowered multiple, you know, all these people are still here. He remembered some of our names, that was great. And I said, this is what we need help with. And he just looked like deer in the headlights scared after I realized that the stress of getting there was too much and that he wasn't being helpful enough, and I talked to him about leaving his care again, he looked relieved. And I realized that he was always over his head. I found it helpful in 1986 and got stuff out of it, but that he really didn't have a plan, really of what to do with us. And it felt a little disappointing, like a little disillusioning. But also I realize that now, he was a pill dispenser, he may not have really done a whole lot other than prescribing pills for the last five years. So here I was looking for talk therapy and to like, lay my mental plans out in front of him and get some kind of sanctioning and some ideas and, and maybe some assistance. So I decided I had to stop seeing him and I didn't find another consultant, I went back to self-help and redoubled my efforts. And now I'm thinking about seeking a consultant again. And that brings me back to this issue of hiring and firing and being my own advocate. And I want to share that with you.

What I've come to realize that you know yourself best you live with your body, your tolerances, your symptoms, your side effects all the time. Your body has inherent warning systems, detection systems, that rival all of modern medicine's abilities to diagnose. And when you take your self knowledge to the doctor, they really need to listen to you, you kind of know there's something up, you can't know what part of your body it might be in. Just have to be able to access that knowledge and give yourself permission to listen to yourself and your with your body all the time, in spite of denial or dissociation or maybe using some mind altering substances, even caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, and any medicines that you might be on that would mask symptoms. You still are with you all the time and know more about you and your body and your symptoms than your consultants do.

You can go back one episode to episode 007 Re-associating With Your Body and you can work on renegotiating an alliance with your body to be more in tune with your symptoms, and the side effects of your medications, to be more present with yourself so that you can actually hear what your body and your mind are saying. I'm gonna give you these little little ideas, your with your thoughts all day and night. So that's why you know, your mental health issues better than the psychiatrist or the psychologist, or the therapist, the counselor, or the social worker, or pastor etc. Your consultants don't live with your thoughts. You could be in denial, you may not hear all of your thoughts, but you're the one with them. And when you're telling somebody else about them, it has to go through a language translation process, you have to find the right words, to convey it. And then they have to hear it and understand it the way you mean it. So by the time you communicate what's going on to somebody else, it's kind of already played the telephone game, when it comes out of your mouth. And when it goes into their ears, you know, you really know yourself better. And so you have to kind of take some control, and when you know that you need some help, even though you might not be able to be motivated to get it, you need to keep an eye on what kind of help people are trying to give you to make sure it's the right help, that they understood you, that they're giving you what you really need. So you can learn to be more self aware and pay attention and act on the signals that your mind and your body give you when there are problems.

Now, how is it that you control this consultant relationship, permission to really own it, and take control. The big clue is you hold their access to getting paid, they really are your consultant, even if you're on health insurance, if you don't show up, they don't get paid. You're in charge; you can go or not go to appointments, you can change providers, you can cancel appointments, and make appointments with someone else within the confines of how your consultants get paid. I mean, in some cases, there are gatekeeper people who you have to visit and get permission.

When you start taking the reins, you'll find a good consultant will give them to you. They're probably a little fed up with people not taking enough control, rather than afraid of somebody who's going to take too much control. And we'll get to that issue in a moment.

When you trust that somebody else knows you better than you do, when you give that away, it disables some of your own internal health and healing process, your own internal symptom, your ability to detect things within your own body, and it invalidates you on an unconscious level. You know, when you're not in control of yourself, and you hand that over to someone else it's dis-abling on some level, not disabling like you're in a wheelchair, or you need medicine to function, etc. but dis-abling as in dis-hyphen-able, it takes away some of your ability, it takes away some of your autonomy. That's a better way of putting it kind of like putting a nuclear bomb into your autonomy and blowing it up and saying nope, nope. Other people control my stuff.

So the more you take charge, the more you question, and the more you enforce your control, the better you're going to do. I'm convinced the better you're going to do. Surveys have not been taken yet. You need to be a partner or an educated consumer of your healthcare. And you are the gatekeeper to whether or not a consultant's suggestions get taken or not. They call it "compliance" on their end, they give you a prescription, you don't have to fill it. If they tell you, "hey, go home and do these exercises" you don't have to do them. On their end they call it compliance. On my end, I say you choose what you're going to do, regardless of what they say. They can suggest all these things they think are wonderful. And you go I'm not going to do that. So you just nod and smile and walk out of the office. Right? You take the scrip, the prescription, you take the scrip and you walk out and you never go to fulfill it. Or the pills sit at the pharmacy if they phoned in the order and you never pick them up. That's because you control your health care. They don't. So it's important that you say to them, "I'm not interested in this. I don't want this." so we'll go into that too.

So we can't afford to give away our personal power to other authorities. This goes equally for mental health care than medicine. There's been enough changes in psychology and psychiatry, mental healthcare and insurance in the last 25 years to make anyone's head spin. We have to take on the attitude of being a client or a customer for our mental health care and become our own Case Manager, because that's really what's in our best interests. We are the only ones that really know what's in our best interest. So we're going to talk about hiring consultants as a resource in managing your health care.

I call them consultants because they're giving you information and options. They're making suggestions about your treatment plans, but they should be submitting those plans to you for your input and opinion, your approval, your questions, your modifications, okay? Because really, at the end of the day, you are the one that has to quote unquote, comply with the treatment plan. It's not a plan, if they hand it to you and you're supposed to execute it. That's like, they're delegating your health back to you because they control it, they're going to give it to you to take over now. No, no, no, no, you're always in control of it, they never are. And they're there to make suggestions. It's really up to us whether or not to execute those plans. So we should be in on planning them to not just execution.

So how do you deal with a consultant as your own advocate? How do you bring this kind of an attitude to your appointments? First, I would suggest bringing a list of your issues that you want to address to every appointment with your consultants. I think you should decide in advance your limitations on what a range of acceptable treatments or options might be. Are you willing to take medicine? Are you absolutely unwilling to take medicine? What types of medicine what type of side effects are you okay with? So go in knowing in advance what you're willing to say yes and no to once you've made that decision, it will be easier to say "no" than it would be if you didn't decide.

You need to ask about side effects. And whether there are alternatives. As long as it's your decision. That's that's where I'm coming from, make it your decision.

Ask whether the treatment that they're suggesting, or the treatments will interfere with treatments that were suggested by other consultants or other things that you're doing. Be willing to draw the line in the sand and say, No. And when you say no, make sure it's No, that's a that's a biggie, don't equivocate, don't be mushy about your Nos. If you have to, if you are DID have somebody front, who's a guardian who's able to say, Nope.

Ask for a second and third opinion, when you don't get acceptable answers. That's what you do when you have a consultant, you knock on the door of another consultant, you say, hey, I need another opinion on this. If it's not acceptable, if it's not within the boundaries of what you said would be acceptable, and you say, No, you can go and get another opinion.

And then asked for time frames also — I mean what's the rush? You go into a doctor, you have something, whatever it is, you go into a consultant, you have something they make a suggestion and say, Well, this is what we think you should do. Let's say they are respectful and say it that way. Hey, you know, we think this is what you should do. Here are the side effects, you know, this bubble, blah, blah, blah, ask for a time frame say, "Well, how long do I have to make a decision? And what are the likely consequences of delaying my decision?" And make another appointment in a week or two, and say, you know, "Can I get back to you on that?" Because there doesn't have to be a rush. Or, you know, they can you can say, "Well, I'm not sure." And they can hand you the scrip for something and you can decide and implement it later. So you know, whether it's meditation or whatever it is, they can talk to you about, "well, I think this is what you should do. And this is how often you should do it." And you could say, "Well, I'm not sure I'm gonna have to think about this. What do you think if I make a decision in a week, and then start? What what would happen if I delay for a week? What do you think?" And they say, "Well, yeah, that's, that's reasonable. I think, you know, if you if you decide to do it, you can start at any time." Or they can they can say, "Ooh, no, you know, like, you're really in danger here. The signs are really bad. And I think you need to start this immediately. And here's why." And they can explain it to you. And you can say, oh, okay, you know, now that you've explained it to me, I accept it, or I need a second opinion. You know, it's like, either you accept it. And you can always say no, you know, I still don't think that's acceptable. In spite of these, I'm gonna have to ask someone else and get another opinion on that.

I want you to understand that that life is finite. And a shared life is multiply finite, you know, and so we only have so long to live and we don't want to let our our consultants hold us up from our relationships. So guide your sessions, according to your health plans, your goals, your homework, and don't allow the consultant to lead your sessions with senseless questions. I love this one. Okay, so since, in psychology, you get, you know, X number of sessions, say eight session packages that are approved from your insurance. They also sometimes dictate how often those sessions can be because they don't want you renewing too soon. They say, Well, you have eight sessions over the next 16 weeks. So basically every other week, right? So then you go into the consultant, and the consultant leads the session with a senseless question like, "So, how have you been over the last two weeks?", like you're going to be sitting down, you know, just having a little idle chit chat and a cup of coffee or something. If you don't have a plan in place, then there's nothing for your consultant to check on, then there's a few things you can fall back to, okay. Otherwise, you should be going over your homework going over your plan. You know what, what your accomplishments have been in the last two weeks, etc, it should really be much more defined. If there's a plan, then there's a plan to check on progress. But if not, let's say you don't have a plan yet.

So I have three things, maybe four, that you can write down right now, and bring to your next session, as you know, and prepare in advance so that you have something useful to bring to your session, if your sessions are kind of wishy washy and stalled, and you don't feel like you're making progress.

So the first one, what was your biggest health challenge since the last appointment? What was your biggest health challenge since the last appointment, preferably in the field that you're dealing with this consultant in. So if it's a mental health consultant, then it would be something about your mental health, but it could also be interrelated, because we are a holistic system, and our body affects our mind and our mind affects our body. If you're in pain, it causes emotional distress, etc, etc. So just what was your biggest health challenge since the last appointment?

Do you have any new symptoms or areas of concern? or issues that they need to be appraised of? I'm sorry, let me say that again: Is there anything new (the idea behind it): new symptoms, new areas of concern, or new issues that they need to be appraised of?

And the third one is, what progress or realizations have you made since the last appointment? There could be things that you forgot that happened four weeks ago. There could be something that came to mind: "Oh, yeah, you know, I forgot to tell about this pre-existing condition." So you could come in and say, you know, I broke my leg when I was two, you know, something that you forgot that's relevant for some reason. Or maybe you realize that something that happened to you correlated with the change of medication, you know, whatever it is, so what progress or realizations Have you made since the last appointment? This will help determine if your meds need adjusting, or if there's something new that you thought of that they need to know.

So those are your three questions. What was your biggest health challenge since the last appointment? Do you have any new symptoms or areas of concern or issues that they need to be appraised of? What progress or realizations have you made, since the last appointment?

Between appointments, you should be making notes and make sure to bring them with you. Because otherwise you're wasting your time during the actual consulting session, which could be as little as 15 minutes. You could be spending time, that precious time, thinking, musing, figuring out what's relevant, trying to dig back into your memories. Just do it all before the appointment when there's less stress and there's more time, and bring a list to remind you Oh, yeah, I want to talk about this.

Now all that said, it's assuming that you have something decent going on with your consultant. There are times that you may need to change consultants, or you may need to fire a consultant.

I mean, these people are important in your life, they should really be on track and on target for you. So what are the signs?

Sign #1: they really do not have your best interests at heart. They're in it for the money or the recurring paycheck. They're in it for kickbacks from Big Pharma. They're always in a rush, whatever it is — they don't see you as a person. They're too interested in something else: their own agenda.

#2: they've got too much of their own crap being put on you. So they bring you know — they're bringing their own baggage to the sessions. They've got preconceived notions, they're blaming you, they're labeling your behavior. They're denying your experiences — or in some other way, they're disempowering or disabling you.

#3: if your consultant has not caught up with modern times, if they don't know about gut bacteria, if they don't know about modern practices in whatever their field is — that's not not a good sign. They have little incentive — if they're in practice for a while — they don't have much incentive to expand their knowledge beyond whatever continuing education is required to keep their license. So if they're not reading up on new findings in the industry, if they're not up on new medications, or they don't know about new thoughts in biology and psychology, then they probably aren't the best consultant in the first place.

#4: if they treat you as a patient, not as a client, and they're angry that you give them pushback on their "decisions" in regard to your care, they shouldn't be making any decisions in regard to your care without your approval. If they have that kind of a mindset, you might not be able to change it.

#5: if your consultant is not open to working in concert with you and your other consultants. For example, if their ego is too fragile to handle you having power in your own life, it's not a healthy consultant relationship and get the heck out. If they fall apart, you know, because you have another consultant if they fall apart, because they they don't have the power and control in the relationship. Just don't even look back, you might be better off on your own. Sorry.

#6: they're not willing, or they lack the incentive to work hard. Make them earn their money, it's okay to ask them to do something like homework, you know.

#7: this last one for now, the consultant did something untrustworthy. Whoo--whoo--whoo, this is a biggie, okay, and I'm seeing some people complaining about this. If the consultant does something that's not trustworthy, they have broken the bonds of rapport and trust with you. First, okay, you know, those of us with mental health issues, in fact, everybody — we should probably do a little check in and make sure it's not just paranoia that, that it really did happen, that they really willfully did something wrong, not accidentally, or that they really did break trust with you. And if you can't bring yourself to trust them, you can in no way see yourself, getting to a point of trust with them. And this goes for even a new person who hasn't betrayed you, if you can't see yourself ever trusting them, move on, find someone else. Because that's an enormous barrier, you have to be able to trust your consultant. That said, there are consultants who are gems, they're really good people, they try, they care. But you could be with them for a number of years, and then they could be — they could become drained. So you have this really good person who tries and cares. And then they're getting drained, they become susceptible to burnout, not just because of your case, which may be very difficult, but also because of other work, their own personal issues, and so on, or just being there, like frustrated at the system for years, and trying to work within it and stuff. It can frustrate people, it can, it can definitely lead to a lot of internal barriers for a consultant. You could also have problems where you have a consultant for too long and they become too comfortable. Things get into too much of a routine. And you have to reassess the consultant themself. You know, even if you've made a lot of progress with them in the past, maybe you've hit a wall, maybe there's a limit on how much they can help you. Maybe you need to be referred to someone who has a fresh perspective and who could take you further. On the other hand, just simply taking control of your healthcare back from them, like we're talking about in this episode could refresh and renew the relationship! If you come in and you have an agenda, they might be like, "Oh, wow, you mean I don't have to figure that out anymore?" And they might be relieved. And that might take some of the burden off of them. Because they're going to feel responsible for your progress. And if they see it stalling, that can really, you know, encourage that burnout, feeling like, I've hit a wall. I don't know what else to do. I don't know where to go from here. So you could come in and say, hey, look, these are the issues I really need to tackle now. And they could go, "Oh, I could have had a V-8! I know how to help you with that. I didn't even realize; I was so close to it, I didn't see it anymore." Roll up your sleeves go in, you know, try and refresh that relationship and see whether or not you can recharge it by changing the direction and giving them a new perspective on what's going on with you.

So that said let's say you have to fire somebody, whether they're new, whether they betrayed you, whether they're a precious gem that has helped you come this far, but you really feel like they're done. They're either done because of burnout, or they're done because they just can't get any further.

So how do you fire them, you have so many choices, right? as many choices as you could possibly think of. But here's a few suggestions:

One is you can ask for a referral, and thank them for their time, and then just not see them again. Especially if they're new, that can work very well, you know, there's not an investment for them to feel bad about, it's just, I don't think this is going to work with you. I'd like a referral, thank you for your time. And just don't make any more appointments. In many cases, it can be as simple as cancel your next appointment, and don't make another one. They're probably not going to take it personally, unless you've been with them for a very long time. You can if you feel a little more like there's an investment in the relationship, you can go in for your next appointment, explain to them in person, you know, what you didn't like about the relationship or your reasons for not working with them anymore, what mistake they made, and so on, so that they can take that for personal improvement. You can also do that in a letter or an email, if you don't feel like you can see them in person, for whatever reason, just keep it very simple. You can be as dry as you want, or go into details, that's completely up to you.

And if you've had a really long and good relationship with someone, but you need to move on, you might extend them the courtesy of a follow up email or voicemail message every now and then like every six months or so, just to let them know how you're doing with your new path. Just like a little touch saying, hey, everything's going okay, and I've been working really hard and making a lot of progress, and I want to thank you, for all that work that you did with me that that allowed me to get to this place where I could work with someone else and get further. You know, whatever it is, you really don't have to give them a lot of detail. You don't owe them anything. But if you feel like you have trust and rapport with them, and had a good relationship, and you feel like you need to move on, you can extend the courtesy, I mean, I'm sure they care about you, it is nice to just give them that little bit of a touch to remind them that you're still around and that everything's okay.

This also goes — you know, this reminder thing goes even when your professional retires, let's say if they retire, they move on to a different field, and so on. You can say, hey, you know, do you want me to give you a check in every six months or so? You know, do you want me to let you know if I'm doing all right? They'll say yes or no. And they can give you a private way of contacting them. And be respectful of them. If they're no longer working. Don't ask them to do work on your behalf, except maybe asking for a new referral, if you have a problem with the person they refer you to you could say, "You know, that didn't work out. Could you give me another referral?"

Now in some cases, you have to negotiate terms with your consultant, there may be only one game in town, there's one consultant, or you like them, and they honestly want to help you, but they're just not equipped. Or in another case, maybe you're in mandated treatment, and for whatever reason, you can't request a change of consultant, maybe you've done it too many times or you know they're unwilling to change who's working with you or nobody else works in the facility you're in and you can't change your consultant.

So when your consultant is not equipped to handle you and your goals, you can request that they get equipped for what you need, that they get some training they get, you know get to reading something, that they study, etc. You can ask if they can help you manage your goals or direct you to resources that will allow you to achieve your goals. So you can leverage the consultant to be a better case manager for yourself. So they become a consultant for your case management skills rather than than consultant for your health directly.

If your treatment has been taking too long, okay, in the case of DID, we'll come back to that because that's what this podcast is generally about. In the case of DID, there's nightmarish long timeframes. Some PTSD veterans have this issue also, where health care can take 10 - 12 years between getting properly diagnosed and getting health care and actually getting someplace — it could take a decade. So if you really personally feel that your treatment is taking too long, you can ask your consultant to help you with assessing your treatment itself.

So first thing to find out would be whether you're making more progress than you give yourself credit for and get some examples. If they're falling over themselves trying to prove it, prove their worth to you, then that's different. But I'm saying like in case you're blind to how much progress you made, they may go, oh, yeah, you remember, like six months ago where you were doing this, this and this? Well, now, you're that, that and that. Or they can show you past medical records and say, "Yeah, you know, your blood pressure was at this six months ago — and now with the meds, it's over here. And this, this helps you in these ways…", they can show you the progress you're making, so that you know if it's worth continuing a treatment, or if it's worth continuing with a consultant.

You can assess whether your goals are unreasonable or unattainable. You may have a weight loss goal, that's not attainable. You may have treatment goals: "I wanted to be healthy in a year." "Well, I'm sorry, most — the average length of treatment, mental health treatment, for DID is at least six." So one year might be very unreasonable. And they can help you assess whether or not that's reasonable or unreasonable.

They can also help you assess the techniques being used techniques, treatments, medicines, etc, to see whether they are being ineffective or even counterproductive towards better health. So you can actually go over what is being done. And maybe you can say, "Oh, yeah, I keep forgetting to take that pill," or, "Oh, yeah, I forgot that you recommended that I do meditation, and I haven't been doing it…" or "I did it for six weeks and then I forgot…" or, you know, and just look at all the techniques that are being implemented, and make sure that they're all being effective, that you're being compliant with things you've agreed to do, and so on. So, go back over the plan, make sure the plan is actually being implemented. And it's okay if you have setbacks and you have to revise the plan itself and say, "Well, that obviously didn't work for me, what can we do that would have the same effect?" — a different way of getting the same results…

Here we go final rundown:

It's okay to want help.

It's okay to be frustrated when you can't find the right consultants to help you. So hang in there.

Never ever, ever settle for substandard help, or help that increases your stress levels, that disempowers you in some way.

Trust your inner wisdom, trust those inner voices. Some of the help you need is right between your own ears. So sometimes what you need from a consultant is a witness or encouragement or feedback. You can make sound decisions for any aspect of care that you need, including choosing your consultants.

Look for unconventional assistance and consultants. You never know who complements you perfectly, and it's not dictated by a piece of paper on the wall or letters after their name, how much they charge, whether they accept your insurance, etc.

If you find the right consultant, maybe there's some way you could work something out.

If your consultant is pushing you to do something you don't want, make sure your "No" is clear. Use the word no. Pause, so they hear it. And then explain; be clear. I don't find that acceptable. I'm not going to do that. I've already decided that's not an option. Don't be steamrolled. You're the authority on you.

Now, I had mentioned earlier in the episode, I'm pretty much ready to go and get myself a new consultant. And I plan to make my needs very, very clear. And I said I was going to interview a consultant. I'm 100% serious. I'm going to interview my consultant. And I'm going to shop around if need be. I've got a few names, but one one looks really good. And if a consultant wants to pretend they know what I need better than I do, they won't be a good fit for me. I need their expertise, their knowledge, their answers to my questions, and I would really love their their suggestions, but I make the final decision.

So I'm hoping this empowers you to make your decisions for your health care. And I hope it helps you find, hire and fire your consultants with authority in your life. Thank you. And please take good care of yourselves.

Thanks for joining us for this episode of Many Minds on the Issue. Your Patreon support will keep this podcast coming. You can find more information, resources, and our Patreon link at K-I-N-H-O-S-T-dot-org