You don't need to be an M.D. to take charge of your own diagnosis in this way, but you do need to be patient, persistent, and knowledgeable enough to share the right information and ask the right questions of the right medical partners.
This interview almost did not happen. The morning that I was supposed to speak with Kam Perez, a contestant on the reality show Whodunnit? where each episode plays out like CSI with contestants scrambling to figure out the "murder" of the last eliminated contestant, my computer appeared lifeless.