You Know Your Body

by May 17, 2021

I say something similar to this to my littles ones regularly. When there’s some outside pressure to eat something and my child says they’re full, I encourage them to believe the signals their body is giving them. I will say, “Only you know when your tummy is full. You’re the only one who knows what it feels like to be in your body.”

When what you’re experiencing doesn’t add up to make the perfectly placed puzzle pieces, the person you turned to for help should not tell you that it’s not possible or doesn’t make sense.

When you describe feelings of pain and discomfort and are seeking help discovering the cause, being told that it’s normal is inappropriate. Common doesn’t mean normal. You’re asking for help because this isn’t “normal” for you. You are the only one who knows what it’s like to live in your body.

If you have had a reaction to a food or product, believing your experience should not depend on how common that reaction or any reaction is or if you’re the first person to ever react to that thing in the world. One of my lifelong best friends can experience anaphylaxis from one of the most healing foods; turmeric. Her reaction is not common. It’s not normal. And it’s REAL.

If any health professional or loved one has dismissed your account of an experience you have described of living in your body, they have done you a disservice. You know your body. YOU are the only one who knows what it’s like to live in YOUR BODY. The dismissal of symptoms is a form of medical gaslighting and it’s wrong. You deserve to be heard and believed.

Here’s a short list of responses from medical professionals reacting to experiences of my children or mine that I’ve described to them:
“That’s odd because that’s not a common reaction to ____”
“You keep getting colds because you’re cold.”
“Food has nothing to do with this.”
“There’s nothing else we can do. You have to take antibiotics and steroids again.”
“I’m going to refer you back to the ____.”
(Fill in the blank with alternative labs or treatments) *scoff* “That’s not reliable.”
“You’re too young to be in the pain you’re describing.”
“Well, your labs look great.”

You’re not crazy. I believe you. There is hope.