Women’s Health Month with Attorney Nicole Wipp – WJBK


May is Women’s Health Month, and
nobody can be a better advocate for your health than you, yourself, no one should care more about your
body than you. Right? Joining me this one is
Nicole Wipp. She is founder and lead attorney of the Family and Aging Law Center and she’s here to really talk about
how we can better advocate for ourselves with health
professionals. And Nicole, welcome, first of all, thank you for being
here. You have a tremendous, unfortunately tremendous, personal experience with this. Yes. What happened? So, in 2014 I was experiencing a lot of just weird symptoms and I knew something wasn’t right. And so I was going to my doctor and I was telling him, you know, something’s wrong. I don’t feel right. There’s definitely something wrong with me. And he kept saying, you know, basically, “It’s all in
your head.” You’re having anxiety. All these things but I knew though
that I wasn’t really having anxiety. I’m a mother, I own a law firm, of course I have all these things
going on, we’re busy people, but I felt like
this isn’t anxiety, but he wouldn’t take me seriously. Then in January of 2015, I ended up in the hospital, I was there for 30 days, and I got diagnosed with a rare lung disease and I almost died while I was there. So, it was a long journey that led to this really, crucial moment. Do you feel that if you could have
been… And we are seeing some of the video that you took during this painful journey, it took you almost a year to get
diagnosed. So, your goal is to tell other women, we have to be assertive,
and there are things, do you feel like along the way you could have done things
differently to get an earlier diagnosis? Oh, absolutely. You know, I always say there’s
basically four things that we should be doing and some of which I didn’t do, for example, even though I’m an attorney, so you know somebody that’s
naturally trained to be more assertive, and knows how to speak up, I did what so many people do, which I sort of, you know, I didn’t want to be troublesome. I didn’t want to cause a problem. I was not trying to push back at the
doctor when he was telling me something. I was trying to respect his expertise. So, you’d just sit there and listen? That’s what we do. Yeah. And so, I wasn’t listening to my own body, and so that was something that I wish I would have done
differently. I wish I would have been assertive
which is something that I tell people you really need to be. What does that mean? Be assertive. You’re not going to argue with the
doctor. No, no, no, no. It’s not about being aggressive. What we’re talking about is speaking
up for yourself. Really articulating there is
something wrong. I know. I feel something different. These are then the symptoms that I’m experiencing and this is the difference it’s
making in my life. This is the difference from
what I felt like before versus how I am now. And that really tees up perfectly be
prepared because if you take some notes, even if it’s in your phone,
I feel like, if you’re getting a symptom or feeling funky, whatever it is, put down the date and write it, write it in some kind
of record. And then when you show up you can
say, “No, this is what happened to me on
Tuesday and Wednesday,” Right? Exactly, like saying,
“This is when I started noticing it. These are the different things I’ve
seen over time. This is the difference and how it makes me feel,” so that you can really be specific and you have sort of this evidence and a record of what’s happening. You should bring others with you to these appointments? Well, if you are having a problem being heard, one of the most
effective things that you can do is bring somebody with you that can also
advocate on your behalf and also can state to the doctor or whoever is there, “Yes. I’ve seen these things as well. I’ve noticed a difference in
my loved one or this person that I care
about, and this is not just in their head.” I was going to add to that sometimes the translation is good. Sometimes, maybe the way you’re saying something, the way that the doctor
is saying something, it’s good to have a third party
there to say, “I think what they mean is this,”
Right? Absolutely. To help with the translation. Get a second opinion. Should you always get a second
opinion? Well, I think that if you’re not
getting the answers that you feel you need to be hearing, or that you don’t feel are
appropriate to what you’re experiencing, then absolutely you need to get a
second opinion. And that doesn’t need to be
something that’s adversarial. It doesn’t need to be like it’s a
fight. It’s the right thing to do. It’s what you need to do for your
health. Yeah, and a lot of doctors would
encourage you to do that. Absolutely. It should not be insulting at all. Not at all.
Good information Nicole, thank you. And where do people find you? You can find me at Nicolewipp.com,
or at Miestatelawyer.com. And really has turned into a great
advocate to help women find good health care and figure it out. Thank you. Thank you.

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