Advocacy

Your Best Advocate – Part 1

Advocate is defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary as one who pleads the cause of another; specifically: one who pleads the cause of another before a tribunal or judicial court. Also, one who supports or promotes the interests of a cause or group. As an example I’ll say, You are your best advocate.

Yes! Nobody is going to advocate for your or your children well being as you would. I have learned it the hard way.

Part 1

When my son was in third grade he had a bad sore throat. I took him to the ER. There, I felt like I was being an inconvenience to the doctor and his nurses. After asking what the routinary questions, they came back with the “He has a sore throat”. Brilliant, I knew that before I came in but over the counter medicine was not working and he was in pain. They proceeded to give him a medicine for which they asked me if he was allergic to, I said: “Not that I know of”. He was given two oral medications. After that, they send us in our merry way with a prescription.

By the time we got to our home, he was feeling sleepy and tired. Thirty minutes later, he was screaming in terror. Turned the lights on just to find my precious baby boy looking like a monster. He was having an allergic reaction to the medication. Immediately called 911. The fire department was around the corner so it took them a hot second to get to our house.

The paramedics went above and beyond for my son. In their own words, they came just in time. My son was not breathing and turning blue, not to mention his face was swollen to a point you couldn’t recognize him.

I’m telling you this story, I should have been my son’s advocate. Looking out for him, for his well-being. Because if I would have been more “challenging” to what the doctor and nurses were doing, probably my son wouldn’t have gone through that. I used to be quiet and think that they know what they were doing. Now, I am an informed mom, that speaks her mind and if something doesn’t seem to be right I say something. Like I should have made them test if he was allergic to that medicine. It is the recommended procedure by the way.

Not a nuisance

As a parent, as a mom to my precious babies, I have the responsibility to take care of them – in all aspects. Our healthcare system has its flaws, we can agree on that. So when I take them to see their doctor, I do my homework and try to learn all I can and to the best of my abilities, all about the topic in that moment. Not because I think they are wrong and I’m right, but I’m trying to understand the do’s and don’ts, the in’s and out’s concerning my children.

I believe that we have to take the driver seat when it comes to the health and well-being of our children. As parents, we live with them, we know them. We know their eating habits, the way they do things, how they act when they are getting sleepy or hungry. It’s not difficult to understand that we will know if something is not right with them.

I am not trying to be a nuisance to the medical team, but I think they would agree with me that an involved parent can be of great help when determining the best treatment for a child. We have been lucky to have found good specialists for our children that are supportive and listen to our needs and cares for our children. One of them, Dr. Phil goes all in for my child treatment, his words: “We will figure it out together and he will be good in no time.”

On the other side, we haven’t had good luck to find a pediatrician that feels the same way.  We are not giving up. I have the confidence that somewhere out there, there’s a pediatrician that does not have his head high up there and puts his ego first instead of the welfare of the children.

My recommendation

Do your homework. Research as much as you can about the illness that affects your children. The more you know, the better you can help them. Read books. Join support groups – online or in person. Join an organization, like JDRF or PDK Foundation to name a few.  Talk to your doctor, explain your concerns. Try to get an answer for your worries. If you don’t get a good feeling about it, follow your gut. Most of the time is correct. Don’t be afraid to change doctors.

Any similar experience you would like to share? Leave me a comment below or send me an email. Also, remember to subscribe to my blog for more of my shenanigans. 😉 <3

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(1) Comment

  1. […] In Part 1 was about our children, the importance to advocate for them. Now, in Part 2 is about ourselves. Yes, sometimes we forgot ourselves. We, that take care of our children’s or other’s, put their needs firsts and then our needs come in last (if there’s space). […]

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