Be Your Own Advocate

I was talking to a family friend who is going through some serious medical treatments. He’s a very matter of fact person and also very smart. When he found out he was sick, he did a lot of his own research. This is always a big internal debate of mine: do I look up everything the web has to offer on this topic or do I let my doctors provide the information I need to help me decide my course of action?
I think there has to be a happy medium, but I also think you have to know yourself to answer that question. I know another individual who will drive himself crazy with worry researching every awful worst case scenario and stew over it, essentially making himself more sick.
But then again, the aforementioned friend likes to be very much in control of life in general and that includes his treatment. In fact, the one time he let himself off the hook and didn’t double check what a nurse was administering, they messed up and gave him a concentrated dose of medication 5 times more powerful than he was supposed to have.
When my oldest was born, the baby nurse we had help us for two weeks told me, “You are your baby’s only advocate. She cannot speak up for herself, it’s your responsibility to speak up for her”. It is so true and in this case, as an adult, I am my own best advocate.
For me, I think doing research helps me ask intelligent questions that I prepare prior to my appointments. I forget everything in the heat of the moment. I’m one of those people who hates confrontation because I don’t have witty comebacks or good recall on the spot. Our pediatrician, who is or dear friend, jokes with me that with each checkup and each subsequent child, the lists on my iPhone get shorter and shorter. Whether I’m more laid back or just have less time to prepare is debatable. But with such a serious, irreversible surgery ahead, I’m going to have to find the time to prepare and advocate for myself.

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