Today, Jennifer plays a proactive role in managing her disease with her healthcare team.
“My role in the team is that I am the quarterback,” said Jennifer. “My Rheumatologist is the coach and the other specialists are special teams. I am the one that has to get in there and make the plays, take the hits, and I have to get back up and get back in for the next play.”
To help her prepare, Jennifer makes clear notes of what’s going on in her life from what’s working well to what’s not and she brings a summary to her doctor’s appointments. She makes sure that if she feels there’s something wrong, she raises the issue so that it can be addressed.
Having a support system around her also helps her stay healthy. If Jennifer could offer advice to other patients, it’s the following:
“I think it is really important to take the time to reach out to the people who are supporting you,” said Jennifer. “We know when we’re not feeling well, we know when we suspect a flare, and we know when a doctor is listening to us. Build the people and team around you that will help you to move forward, because you can get there. Pay attention to your gut and if you are not feeling well, keep pursuing the answers.”
Hear Jennifer in her own words: