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!