Weighty Matters

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Self-Advocacy

on March 18, 2017

I have a mega-ton of respect for medical professionals. Doctors, nurses, therapists, et al work very hard. They devoted years to their education and training and put in long hours in dedication to their patients. 

I will admit that I also have high standards to the level of care and professionalism that I expect from doctors and nurses. What can I say? My parents, brother and sister-in-law set a high bar. 

Here’s what I believe to be a core truth in medical care. Yes, the hours are long and hard and even so, there are expectations that need to be met. When they aren’t the patient or someone with them must advocate and get the care they deserve. 

There were a few snafus and problems post-surgery. Some miscommunications and omissions happened that shouldn’t. Nothing that put me at harm, but that messed with my pain management a few times. That is not something you want to experience after knee surgery. 

So, there were a few times when my sister-in-law or I had to get things straightened out. That’s the lesson. In medical care as well as life in general, we need to empower ourselves to speak up. 

This doesn’t mean turning into screaming harridans. There are ways to be firm, direct and forceful without bitchiness. The goal is not to make the other people feel like shit, but to resolve the problems. 

Thankfully, I have learned to self-advocate and I also had the support and leadership of my S-I-L. We got the issues corrected and that raised the level of care to where it needed to be. 

Don’t get me wrong. The problems were not across the board. Overall, the care at this hospital is great. There were just a few areas or situations that needed adjusting and when they were brought to the attention of the people, they corrected. 

Just take the lesson that speaking up for yourself is a good and necessary thing. 

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