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.
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 Zocdoc 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.
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.
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 thyroid 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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Zocdoc has provided a $100 Amazing e-gift card for me to give away to one of my readers!!
The winner will be selected randomly and announced April 24th, 2018
Questions for you!
- When was the last time you visited a doctor?
- What is the biggest pain in the butt when it comes to making doctors appointments?
- Have you ever used Zocdoc?
This post was sponsored by Zocdoc, and all opinions are my own! Thanks so much for reading.