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008: Searching for a Diagnosis with Dayna Schaaf

Uninvisible Pod

008: Searching for a Diagnosis with Dayna Schaaf

Join us as we embark on a series of interviews in search of a diagnosis. Dayna Schaaf is an entrepreneur based in Phoenix, AZ. She started having symptoms a few…
February 6, 2019
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008: Searching for a Diagnosis with Dayna Schaaf

Join us as we embark on a series of interviews in search of a diagnosis. Dayna Schaaf is an entrepreneur based in Phoenix, AZ. She started having symptoms a few months ago and has early possible diagnoses of rheumatoid arthritis and/or lupus SLE. What does the search for answers in the invisible chronic illness world look like? How has it affected Dayna’s day-to-day? What about her access to healthcare? How has she found clinicians and community? What are the pitfalls – and the wins – of being on the hunt for a label? And should she allow that label to define her personhood as she gathers information? 

Listen in as Dayna shares…

– how she had an extended “summer flu” before she realized something more was going on 

– that she thought initial physical pain symptoms were related to her favorite workout: boxing 

– how she didn’t start exploring a deeper diagnosis until she found a lump in her armpit – which wasn’t cancerous, but seemed reactive (and which, in classic Dayna style, she has named…Nora the Node) 

– why she recommends you bring a friend or advocate with you to your first mammogram 

– that she has an aversion to doctors because of an early diagnosis of IBS, which she never felt was taken seriously 

– that former guest and autoimmune wellness coach Sascha Alexander is part of her support system 

– why she advocates for keeping a medical history file; Dayna keeps a medical notebook and brings it to every appointment, using it to track symptoms 

– what indicators she has for lupus and for rheumatoid arthritis 

– a detailed analysis of her blood work and x-rays 

– the struggle to adjust her lifestyle as an active person with chronic fatigue, brain fog, and pain 

– why working from home actually delayed her response to her symptoms – although it’s a saving grace that she’s able to dictate her own schedule as she seeks a diagnosis 

– how she has to become deliberate with her time and energy during a flare 

– the rush to meet the deadline to sign up for a comprehensive healthcare plan as she upgraded to cover her needs more effectively – and how much work it was to gather information and make a decision 

– the key piece of advice that got her a doctor’s appointment right away despite a weeks-long waiting list: asking for the doctor’s cash rate 

– that she believes in western medicine and science, but is also aware of her position as a customer in the rubric of American healthcare 

– why she sought a functional/integrative practitioner to treat her symptoms and diagnose her 

– her current doctor’s advice: “don’t get attached to your diagnosis. Just because you don’t have a clinical diagnosis doesn’t mean your symptoms aren’t real.” 

– that, in order to get a clinical lupus SLE diagnosis, patients have to meet four of 11 total criteria 

– her fear that people will think she’s faking it 

– how gratitude journaling has helped her shift her mindset 

– that nobody knows more about your body than you do: so take all advice you receive with a grain of salt, and remember any doctor on your team is a team member – but YOU are the CEO

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