How do I become my own advocate



I know you hear over and over, "be your own advocate". Okay, great so how do I do that? In this post I will tell you one way to accomplish being your own advocate.

Use your voice. What does that mean? When I was first sick I went to my doctors office several times a week, I called them constantly. Just recently when my pain was unbearable I called my doctors daily asking them to fix me. This was being my own advocate wasn't it, NO! Even though I was using my voice & asking for help I was not being my own advocate. Unfortunately doctors think they know it all. They have already figured you out within the first couple minutes of visiting you and anything after that is just you being emotional or sensitive. They stop hearing you so even though you are using your voice you are not being heard. I have been fighting for my life for the last year and a half and I just recently learned how to be my own advocate.

Call your doctor anytime you need them. I don't care if its Saturday at 8 am or Wednesday night at 11. Doctors have pagers for a reason so get over it and call them. I can't tell you how many nights & weekends I sucked it up in horrible pain because I didn't want to bother the doctor or thought they would think I was annoying! The only person I was punishing was myself. Doctors get paged all the time, its part of their job, so don't even waste one second worrying about what day or time it is. If you are in pain, need a doctor or just concerned call them. Don't think, well im not that sick or it can waitif you do that you are being a FOOL!

If you know what will make you feel better tell the doctor. For me the only thing that works is Hydromorphone. I have a nice supply of it. Before I would wait until I needed it to ask. Then it would become a huge problem because I would be in pain and desperate. Don't be afraid to tell your doctor you need something. That you need it for the future. You should always have a supply of whatever medications you need. We tend to forget how bad it can be when we are feeling well. Be aware of what you need if you start feeling sick so that you are always prepared.

Finally, tell your friends and family what things help you stay healthy. Maybe you need to eat certain food, sleep certain amount of hours, exercise. Tell them to remind you what it is you need to stay healthy. For example, after this surgery I didn't rest for a week like I am suppose to. Instead I went back to school within 48 hours. This did not help me get better. I told my boyfriend and friends to remind me next surgery how bad I felt this time. Sometimes we need a reminder in order to avoid getting sick again.

An addition that I didn't originally include in this post but that is super important. One of the comments kindly reminded me that I forgot this one. If you are not happy with one of your doctors FIRE them and do it sooner than later. I had a terrible urologist. I talked about this in my last post. I tried to make it work b/c he was suppose to be soooo great but he was not great for me. I suffered for a year in pain, incontinent, bleeding etc...Once I fired him and got a new urologist (in July) I started feeling soooo much better. If you are not happy with your doctor, if you are unsure, have a gut feeling etc...look for a new doctor. Its your life, future & dreams so you are the one who needs to take control and make the right decisions. (Thank you Pseudonymous High School Teacher)

Stay healthy everyone and enjoy your weekend!

xoxo

21 comments:

Obsessedwithlife said...

Thanks for reminding me-thankfully I slept in today after the craziness of the past 2 weeks. I might even take a nap later too :).

Rach

Joanne` said...

You left a comment on my blog yesterday. I just spent a great chunk of time reading through your pages. You are remarkable and courageous....I'll be back

oº˚ Anissa ˚ºo said...

Congrats on being a saucy blog! Love your lay-out it so pretty! Much Love

April said...

very inspiring blog - and as the daughter of a doc, i totally agree. if you need something don't hesitate to call!

dad's always commenting at how people don't seem to realize anymore that you can call your doc on weekends and evenings, you don't have to suck it up or go to urgent care or an emergency room.

also, congrats on being a saucy feature :-)

Ruby Red Slippers said...

I wandered in through another blog, and so glad I did! (So glad you kicked cancer's ass!!!)
I pray you have a HEALTHY LIFE and that God continues to bless you-You are a strong woman! When I was married six months, I had abnormal cells in my cervix. I was so scared- and my hubby became a basketcase for a while...His sister died of ovarian cancer...I had some treatments, and am fine today, but that was a very scary time in my life. I am so inspired by you. Keep kicking ASS!

EmmaP said...

i like all of your reminders. I haven't ever had to deal with cancer or anything like unto it, but I was sick with Endometriosis, Adenomyosis, Congestive Pelvic Disorder (vericose veins in my uterus), and Ovarian Cysts. These were all simultaneous, or maybe perhaps one triggering the next, they are not sure. But one thing I DID learn from a friend of mine (who conquered Breast Cancer) was to KEEP A JOURNAL of your illnesses. What I didn't know was that my mother suffered from similar issues. I found out AFTER my surgeries. I think it is good that you are documenting all of this. It is not only a great way to be heard about your illness, but a great resource for future generations, sibs, cousins, etc. Sorry thisa is so long... wanted to also say thanks for visiting me over at my blog. appreciate all of your comments!

Erin said...

You are saucy! Congrats on being so kick ass!

JourneytoFamily said...

That's excellent advice! My dad is a doctor and has always said the same thing (be your own advocate and call your doctor whenever you need them). (visiting from SITS)

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Great post. I would only add that if your doctor won't listen to you, find another doctor. I "fired" my first oncologist between chemo and radiation treatments. The first one would not listen to or remember a thing I said. I love the oncologist I switched to. She listens. She also talks to me like I'm intelligent.

AngiDe- Nana's Box said...

Hey! I just wanted to tell you to check out my blog, I gave you a Brilliant Weblog Award!! because I just love your blog and what you do so much!
CONGRAT'S!!!

Angie
www.nanasboxnonprofit.blogspot.com

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

You're welcome and right back at you. I'm so glad I found your website.

Keeper of the Skies Wife said...

YOU'RE SAUCY!!!!! YAY!!!

Mrs. S said...

Thanks for stopping by. I think your blog is beautiful & super inspirational.
I know that for my son, I advocate (I do for myself, too when I need to). I'm not afraid to call the hospital at 3am to see if something is "normal." I've been doing it since he was born!

Shruti said...

You are very brave!

Shruti

Swirl Girl said...

I just got here from Nana's Box - I read your whole journey...

All I can say is: you KICK ASS

KDLOST said...

thanks for stopping by my blog fellow law lover and SITSa! i am staying at home w/ my daughter...for the time being at least! i am kind of itching to once again use the degree that i slaved over, however.

looking forward to reading more of your blog- stay saucy and keep kicking butt! :)

Pennies In My Pocket said...

I totally agree. Sometimes I feel like I'm worrying too much about 'issues' and think I'm overreacting. You must always put your health first. Better to be wrong than be too late.

Awesome post. You're amazing!

Congrats on being SAUCY!

~melody~

Dustybug said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

This was a very great post. I have several relatives that have had cancer, including my mother(who also had cervical cancer) and watched them be worried to bother someone else with their pain. It is wonderful to remind people that it isn't a bother. It's their job! Kudos to you! I'm off to read more of your story!

~alison said...

I love YOUR blog! You are an absolute inspiration.

Thank you for coming by my blog! I will be checking back here often!

Kathy said...

Meaghan! Thanks for stopping by the blog! Your story and your blog is amazing! (I love the name of your blog as well:)

I so appreciate you dropping by...blessings my friend!

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