My Health Story + $100 Amazon Giveaway πŸ§˜πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

2018 has been one heck of a good year, physically and mentally.

I’m teaming up with Zocdoc (the #1 place to search, compare and book doctors online for free) today to share my health story, and talk about some of the struggles I faced and fixed this past year! I’m also giving away an Amazon e-gift card to one of my readers, courtesy of Zocdoc!
Last year at this time, I wasn’t feeling as good. I was a week away from lacing up for my first half marathon, something I had been working towards for a long time, but I wasn’t there mentally or physically. It only got worse for weeks to come. As my friend and I were training, I noticed that my body was not aligning with the amount of exercise and healthy eating that I was taking part in. My knees were super inflamed, my skin was breaking out, my energy levels were consistently low, my anxiety was at the highest it’s ever been, and I had stomach aches practically every single night. I knew something wasn’t right.Β 
During the tenth mile of my half marathon, a very sharp and familiar pain made its grand appearance. It didn’t show up at all during training, but apparently, runner’s knee was waiting for the big moment to creep in. Since I had two miles left, I trotted through the pain, and then my hip started tightening up because of the way I was babying my knee. I did make it to the end, but my body was wrecked. Both of my knees had stabbing pain, and my hip was so tight I could hardly walk. It’s crazy that part of me wants to retry this whole thing, but I’m still traumatized by the pain I endured during the race and the days to follow.

When I got home from New York City, I knew I had to see a doctor.

I rarely went to the doctor, so I had no idea how long it would take for me to find a doctor, and how soon they could get me in. I was worried I’d be stuck with this pain for weeks without a solution. As soon as I typed “Primary Care Doctor Charlotte” into google, I found Zocdoc. That was the first time I used the app, and I loved it. It took me less than ten minutes to find a highly recommended doctor in my area that took my insurance and had an opening that same week. I didn’t have to make any phone calls or talk with anyone. I did it all through the ZocdocΒ app.

I loved that Zocdoc provided reminders for the upcoming appointments. Life can get pretty busy sometimes, and I can get forgetful. I also uploaded my insurance card to verify plan details before arriving at the appointment. This saved a lot of time in the waiting room.Β 
My first appointment went very well. My doctor wanted me to take a month off from any high impact workouts and focus on stretching my IT band and strengthening my knee. I never had it confirmed, but he said it sounded like I had patellar chondromalacia, which can be treated with rest, and physical therapy within months. He said I could slowly get back into working out, but didn’t recommend running for at least three months.

I took his advice, and laid off the high-impact workouts and running. I left for Hawaii a week later, so it was a good break from the stress of it all. My anxiety and other health conditions were still there, but I put those on hold. I thought I could fix all of that by eating healthy and exercising, but sometimes that’s just not enough.

Once all the pain was gone, I spent the whole summer going to HIIT classes. If I couldn’t run, I would keep my endurance up by participating in HIIT workouts. I figured it would make me stronger, and a better runner in the long run. I was kicking butt in these classes, pressing weights I never thought I could lift, and feeling stronger than ever.

By the time September rolled around, I was up ten pounds on the scale, none of my clothes fit, my anxiety worsened, the stomach aches were still there, and my acne was at an all-time high. I also have endometriosis, so the pain of that was also excruciating. I just felt like I could cry all the time, and that is not normal behavior. I needed to stop googling things, and go see a doctor again.Β 
I logged back onto my Zocdoc app and began the search. I made an appointment with a new OBGYN and a new physician that was closer to my house. After reading the great reviews, I looked forward to the visits. If you click on the doctor’s profile, you’ll be able to read all the reviews from their patients as well as write reviews after your appointments.

After my appointment with the new physician, I left feeling so good. He put so many things into perspective, came up with new solutions, and we’ve been working together ever since to keep me on track to a healthy lifestyle. I talked my doctor up so much that my dad made an appointment for his yearly physical with him the following week.

The cortisol levels in my body were through the roof. I was stressing my body out by putting it through all the HIIT workouts. We talked about my struggle with anxiety, did multiple blood test to check thyroidΒ and several allergy tests. After months of appointments, I made several diet changes, traded the HIIT workouts for yoga and walking, and found a medication that helped my anxiety for the meantime.

My body had a total reset, and I’m finally feeling like myself again.Β I honestly haven’t felt this good in a long time. My acne is gone, I rarely get stomach aches, my clothes fit again, and I’m no longer taking medication for anxiety.Β 
A couple of months ago, I used Zocdoc again to make an appointment with my OBGYN. I was ready to talk with her about a new game plan for my endometriosis. When I was reading the reviews for this doctor, I noticed a lot of people mentioning her holistic approach to endometriosis and I was super intrigued. Instead of opting for surgical removal, she came up with a new approach. She recommended several foods to add and take out of my diet, suggested more yoga and massages, more tea and less coffee, suggested acupuncture, and found a medication that I can turn to if the pain gets too bad. So far, I see significant improvements. I haven’t tried acupuncture yet, but I’ll be searching Zocdoc for a good acupuncture recommendation this week.Β 
Zocdoc also has a Well Guide, and it recommends appointments that you should have done. I’m overdue for a skin screening, so I made an appointment last week. I’ll be getting screened when I return from my trip in late May.

You can find many different types of appointments on Zocdoc. You name it, you’ll find it! Use the search box, enter your location, a date that works for you, and your insurance provider. It’s great that I can use it anywhere. I’ll be going to Hawaii for two and a half weeks next month, and I’ll be able to use the app to find doctors nearby just in case I roll an ankle playing tennis, or hurt a leg while hiking. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen, but you never know, and it’s better to be prepared!

I even made an eye appointment through Zocdoc, and finally got new glasses last week! My vision had gotten worse, and I had astigmatism in both eyes. Zocdoc has put me on a healthier route this year, and that was my goal. I love finally feeling like myself.Β 
Eating healthy and staying active is a great way to keep your body on a great path, but sometimes it’s not enough, and we have to lean on doctors. That is what they are here for! If you’re struggling with anything, I encourage you to lean on your doctor for help. Head to Zocdoc and get started by downloading the Zocdoc app for free so you can find the right doctor instantly.

**GIVEAWAY DETAILS**

Zocdoc has provided a $100 Amazing e-gift card for me to give away to one of my readers!!

How to enter: Simply head to Zocdoc, download the app, sign up, and email me a screenshot to simplytaralynngiveaway@gmail.com!

The winner will be selected randomly and announced April 24th, 2018

Questions for you!

  1. When was the last time you visited a doctor?
  2. What is the biggest pain in the butt when it comes to making doctors appointments?
  3. Have you ever used Zocdoc?

This post was sponsored by Zocdoc, and all opinions are my own! Thanks so much for reading.Β 

 

Comments

  • Mira

    I love hearing your stories about your health journey! It makes me feel like I am not alone and there are natural ways to get yourself out of a funk. I recently started a new exercise and food plan and I am hoping it helps πŸ™‚

    Reply to Mira
  • Annette

    I think the last time I went to the doctor was August or September. I cancelled one in October, but need to reschedule. I’ve never used ZocDoc, but downloaded the app and look forward to exploring it. What I dislike most about making appointments is usually having to wait a long time to get in.

    Reply to Annette
  • Sara

    You’ve talked a lot about having endo. I just myself had surgery for diagnosis and excision. I think it would be helpful to your readers if you talked about what your surgery was like. I think a lot of people think they can be diagnosed with endo just based off of symptoms when the only way to confirm is through surgery.

    Reply to Sara
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I’ve actually been working on my endo story post. I had my laparoscopy about three years ago and the surgery was very minor and a quick recovery. I’ll have all the details in that blog.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Sara F

        I’d love to know more about the diet changes your doctor recommended to help with your endometriosis! I’m excited to read your endo post. I was diagnosed 10 years ago and have had 2 surgeries. My husband & I are planning to try to start a family soon, and I want to address my issues as holistocally as possible during that time!

        Reply to Sara F
  • Lauren Buda

    When was the last time you visited a doctor? I actually have an appointment on Thursday with a new primary care doctor – I’ve found it hard to find a PCP that I really feel comfortable with! Zocdoc may be able to help me with that!
    What is the biggest pain in the butt when it comes to making doctors appointments? I typically try and plan them around my work day, say on my lunch break, so I’d have to say time spent in the waiting room is definitely a pain!
    Have you ever used Zocdoc? I haven’t, but look forward to trying it!

    Reply to Lauren Buda
  • Zoe

    I have been a lot recently. I had been having pain in my wrist, and I went to an orthopedic doctor who stuck a needle in my wrist (after examining of course! Lol) to remove some fluid in a cyst that had formed. I hate needles so bad. I spent the rest of the day trying to convince myself I didn’t need to throw up (eventually I took a nap and was much better after. )

    I’ve also been seeing (another) new ob/gyn for trying to normalize my periods. And the ob/gyn I saw last year left, and the medication she had put me on was making me have “periods” two weeks a month instead of one. Which was annoying, to say the least.

    The worst part about making appointments is the phone system. I call and I end up on hold for 10 minutes. And then I have to talk to someone I can’t understand (I am hard of hearing) and then hope that I understood it all right. Lol

    Reply to Zoe
  • Amy D

    The last time I visited the doctor was because I was having some “female issues.” It turns out, I had a fibroid the size of a golf ball on my uterus. So, I just had surgery to remove it a few weeks ago. While they were fixing that issue, they also repaired me so that I don’t pee myself anymore when I workout. I know this is TMI, but I am excited to be able to run again. The biggest pain in the butt about making doctors appointments is finding a doctor that I can trust. It is also hard to make these appointments because I have a toddler and a pre-schooler, and need to work around their schedule. I have never used Zocdoc, but I downloaded the app and will be checking it out.

    Reply to Amy D
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Amy! I know how AWFUL! that is. Actually had the same happen to me!

      My mom actually had the same procedure because she couldn’t control her bladder! She feels so much better. Glad you went and took care of all the issues!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Cassie

    I have been feeling that way recently. For the last year blood work shows my cortisol levels are through the roof and the doctors dont know why…my hair is thinning and i lose a lot of it. I’m dizzy all the time. I have times where i pass out when i wake up in the morning. I’m not diabetic or anything and I eat sooo much because i do bodybuilding and powerlifting. My anxiety has gotten so much worse over the last year as well. I work in a stressful environment but dropping to PT in a week so hopefully that helps my stress and anxiety levels. I want to start doing yoga classes and i’m slowly making swaps for foods that make me FEEL better! i see an endocrinologist but hes booked til June πŸ™ Hoping to find some answers soon! I’m going to recommend my providers sign up for the app so it makes things easier for patients! Thanks for sharing girl and i am so glad to hear you are feeling better. I’m sorry i just spilled my life story haha!

    Reply to Cassie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Wondering if it’s the stress of your job and the stress of working out that could be causing your cortisol levels? Maybe something to bring up to your doctor! Hang in there girl. I hope you figure it all out soon! I know it’s frustrating!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jennifer

    Back in January for my annual physical!

    The worst thing for me is my doctor is always full for like 3 months out, and then sometimes they’ve even had to reschedule me after I book 3 months in advance!

    I’ve never used Zocdoc! I just signed up, but there is nothing liked around my suburban area near Minneapolis πŸ™ Hopefully they will be able to expand it soon!

    Reply to Jennifer
  • Liv

    It’s fantastic to be able to find a doctor that takes a holistic approach. Speaking from experience they are really hard to find. Last year I saw an integrative practitioner because I was having fatigue issues/high cortisol and it cost an arm and a leg because my insurance wouldn’t cover it. I knew that going in but I like that you can use this app and simplify insurance verification. Awesome find.

    Reply to Liv
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Yes I agree! Having the ability search all doctors by insurance is so awesome! I hate calling to see if they take insurance or scrolling through their endless list.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Nicole

    Can you please share the diet recommendations by your doctors? I stress eat from graduate school and I’ve been gaining weight, feeling fatigued, inflamed, etc. I tell myself each time that this is the last time… but I’ve been doing that for a couple years now. Thank you so much!

    Reply to Nicole
  • Emily

    I can relate with you on runners knee! It is awful! I do a lot of youtube videos to stretch my IT band.

    Reply to Emily
  • Susie @ Mile High Dreamers

    I actually really LOVE this because I sometimes joke with people that I won’t go to the doctor unless I’m dying, but it’s the truth because I’ve had so many crappy experiences with Dr’s that have zero time to listen and always prescribe another pill without truly understanding what’s going on. The fact that you can find so many doctors WITH reviews, and make booking easy, that makes a huge difference to me!
    I also like that it’s not just traditional doctors but holistic ones too.
    I’ve been putting off scheduling Ben and I to go to a dermatologist for a full body check (we’re both past sun worshipers and I need the peace of min) but now I’m going to download this and book it. No excuses!
    Thank you!

    Reply to Susie @ Mile High Dreamers
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I totally feel you! It’s so frustrating to go to a doctor and leave with no answers or solutions! The reviews make ALL the difference! I just scheduled my skin screening test because my last one was like three years ago! Maybe longer?

      Love that you’re taking control!

      xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jennifer

    When was the last time you visited a doctor? Last year for a regular appointment. Also last year for my OBGYN. I also went to the dermatologist last year.
    What is the biggest pain in the butt when it comes to making doctors appointments? Sometimes I think anxiety is the worst part. Even though I am not ill, there’s something about someone seeing/knowing about all of your personal issues. I am also a nurse working on my doctorate in anesthesia school, so it’s hard for me to know when I actually need to go to the doctor because I am aware of many health issues/conditions.
    Have you ever used Zocdoc? I have not, but I am very excited to try it!! Thank you! πŸ™‚

    Reply to Jennifer
  • Hannah Schwartz

    1. I visited a doctor just last Tuesday. I am working with a dietitian and need to get a checkup and blood work done. Never fun but got it done with!!
    2. I recently had to switch doctors because I turned 18. It was tough to get a doctor who was accepting new patients! They all seemed to be full. I am very happy with my new doctor though so it all worked out!!
    3. I haven’t used it, but I downloaded it and will definitely use it in the future if I need to.
    I don’t know if I mentioned this to you yet or not, but you should check out Jessica Murnane and her new site knowyourendo.com. It is all about Endo and how she has managed it with a plant based diet. She is one of my role models. Amazing women!!

    Reply to Hannah Schwartz
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Hannah!

      Yikes, that is the worst part of going to the doctor (for me!) I can’t handle bloodwork! I physically passed out last time.

      Glad you found a new doctor that you like!

      My gyno said I should look into a plant-based diet, but I don’t know if I can do it! I will take a look at her site.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jessica

    Thank you for speaking about your experience with endo. They said it affects 10% of women but I bet it is much higher than that, but not everyone feels comfortable talking about it.

    If you’re looking for more holistic management of your endo you could also try pelvic floor physical therapy! It has been shown to help with endometriosis and the many symptoms that come with it.

    The last time I went to the doctor was for my annual early this month. As a pelvic floor PT (what I mentioned above), I try to stay on top of that stuff but it can be hard with a busy schedule.

    Good luck to you!

    Jessica

    Reply to Jessica
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Jessica!

      I agree, and a lot of people are left undiagnosed!

      I’ve actually heard of that. I’ll look into it!

      Thanks for all the suggestions!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kasey

    Im currently going through being diagnosed with endometriosis and PCOS and needing surgery now. It’s such a long road and chronic daily pain is so debilitating and can make you feel very alone and depressed. It’s taken me 5 months to find a good doctor who looks at a more holistic solution and gets to the root cause rather than just prescribing birth control and that’s it lile my last gynocologist. I’m so glad it’s not just me that feels that way!

    Reply to Kasey
    • Taralynn McNitt

      OMG, I agree, Kasey! every damn doctor tried to put me on a new birth control and then 100000 other problems started happening. I’m so happy you found a doctor that is willing to work with you and go the holistic route! xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Muge

    Hi Taralynn!

    You know it resonated with me so much as it has been really crazy lately and I am going INSANE!!. I am breaking out like I never have in my life, I am getting all puffy and gaining weight and I am always feeling tired. Oh, I have a runner’s knee too! Now, that you are mentioning all these things I am wondering if I have high cortisol levels too. But, I cannot afford to go to the doctor. So, I was wondering what exactly did you do to overcome this. Any tips?

    Thank you!

    Reply to Muge
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Muge!

      I had to cut back on the extreme HIIT workouts and long runs, make diet changes recommended by my doctor, cut back on coffee, and start walking to relieve stress, doing yoga, and honestly more relaxing.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Danielle Peterson

    I love your blog!

    Are you located in Charlotte?

    Reply to Danielle Peterson
  • Jessica

    I’m so happy to hear that you were able to get your health back on track! Dealing with those symptoms can get really frustrating.
    I haven’t used this ZocDoc before but I will need to check this out! One of most annoying things about making doctors appointments is finding the right doctor. I’ve had the worst luck with doctors and have some issues such as my migraines still unresolved. It will be great to be able to see the reviews in this app! Hopefully that will help me find the right doctors in the future. I just recently went to to the doctor, but it had been about a year since I had gone before that.

    Reply to Jessica
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I agree, Jessica! & thank you!

      Ugh, Migraines are NOT fun!!! I used to get horrible migraines back in 2011 when I was using artificial sweeteners all the time! My doctor prescribed me this medicated that I had to snort through my nose (tasted awful) but the migraine went away instantly. My migraines were so bad that I lost vision!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Krista

    It’s *probably* about time I make a doctor’s appointment.. thank you for the reminder!! πŸ™‚ The biggest problem for me when going to make appointments is just being able to take time off. I have a hard time getting time off from work (it’s just me in the office most days), so I guess it’s time I find doctors who are available on weekends!!

    I have astigmatism too! It makes contacts pricier, but it makes such a difference to get the proper ones.

    Reply to Krista
    • Taralynn McNitt

      That is the great thing about this app! You can search for doctors with your time availability in the search filter! Saves so much time!!

      I can’t do contacts anymore haha I feel like i just see blurry the whole time!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Olivia

    I haven’t been to a doctor in over a year! Thank you for informing us about the app and sharing your health story!

    Reply to Olivia
  • Emmy

    I loved this post!

    It’s inspired me to go see a doctor for my thyroid!

    Reply to Emmy
  • Katie

    Girl glad to hear you made all those appt and are taking care of yourself! <3 I need to do the same! This app looks great for find docs/making appts!! I cant wait to give it a try!!! πŸ™‚

    XO, Katie | http://www.meshkomoments.com

    Reply to Katie
  • Danielle

    I love Zocdoc! I use it for all of my kiddos.

    Reply to Danielle
  • ashley

    I am terrible with making doctors appointments for myself! I havent been to a normal well check since probably 2016 πŸ™

    The biggest pain for me is being a working mom I am always making appointments or running kids everywhere that I rarely (practically never) make any appointment for myself.

    I have never heard of ZocDoc but currently downloading it now to check it out! (and of course enter in the contest!) I am in the process of working on “finding” myself and trying to be happy again, for me and for my family!

    Reply to ashley
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Oh no! You better get on it, girl!

      I know having kids is so much work, but remember to take that time for yourself!

      So proud of you for working on YOU! You deserve it! πŸ™‚

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Mallorie

    Entered the giveaway! I haven’t been to the doctor in YEARS, literally years. I’d guess the last time was before I started grad school four years ago, and that was just a physical and vaccine appt. Before that I hadn’t gone for about another four years, even though my undergrad provided us with great health care. I avoid doctors because it’s just so impersonal and as a therapist, I thrive on patient-doctor connection. I hate feeling like β€œjust another face”. I really do like that ZocDoc has reviews and I’ve already made two appointments based on their multiple reviews of being friendly and caring! Thanks so much for this, Taralynn.

    Reply to Mallorie
  • Caleigh

    What is one thing you did to lower cortisol?

    Reply to Caleigh
  • Alyssa Connolly

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time. I just moved out of state and I was struggling to find new doctors. I am so excited to use this app! Thanks so much!

    Reply to Alyssa Connolly
  • Kelsey

    I felt like I was reading about myself! I currently have been having issues with acne, stomach aches, fatigue and serious anxiety. I’ve been putting off starting medication, but I think it’s time. What medication did you have? I’m so relieved to see that you were able to eventually get off of it happier and healthier than ever!

    I actually visited a doctor a couple of months ago to check different levels to rule out thyroid issues and PCOS. They didn’t find anything wrong but I’m still having awful issues, so I’m prepared to revamp my diet completely. The biggest pain when making appointments is doing just that–making the appointment! I’m looking forward to trying Zocdoc to help make the process easier.

    xo Kelsey

    Reply to Kelsey
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Kelsey!

      I don’t want to share which medications I’m on because we are all different, but I do recommend you talking to your doctor about what works best for you and your anxiety! They’ll be able to recommend one for you!

      I think you’re right that making the appointment is always the hardest part and that’s why I genuinely love using Zocdoc!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Shannon Parker

    The last time I visited a doctor (physician) was probably May of 2017… I see a counselor regularly though.
    The biggest pain in the butt when it comes to making doctors appointments is finding one that fits into my schedule. I work 8 hours a day (with only a 30 minute lunch break) and spend an average of two hours a day on the road. Most doctors are closed by the time I could make it to an appointment after work or do not have weekend hours. The other biggest thing is anxiety about doctors and health issues (catastrophic thinking).
    I have never used Zocdoc, but am excited to give it a try. Hopefully it will help me find a doctor who understands my fears and works through them with me instead of telling me to stop being a baby and get over it.

    Reply to Shannon Parker
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Shannon!

      I bet that is hard! I totally get the catastrophic thinking, but that’s why it’s good to go! Just to put your mind at ease πŸ˜€

      lol I hope you NEVER have a doctor that tells you that!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Erin

    I love using Zocdoc!

    Can I still screenshot the app on my phone and send it to your email? I have used it for a year.

    Reply to Erin
  • Linda @ the Fitty

    I’m so sorry you had to go through all that stress, Tara! Because of that, would you ever attempt a half marathon again? Also, how did you feel energy wise going into the half marathon? Were you feeling energized or weak?

    Reply to Linda @ the Fitty
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Linda!

      I’d like to, but right now I think I’ll just focus on running for the joy of it again πŸ™‚

      I was very energized and was not physically exhausted. I could have ran and ran and ran, but the pain in my knees and hip were the issue. My endurance was up!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    I’m glad you took the time off for your body to rest. You deserve it! ❀️Any time you don’t feel like working out, just know that it’s fine to take a step back. πŸ™‚

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

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