Or – difficult symptoms result in a diagnosis that leaves you stunned. You leave the doctor’s office remembering very little of what you’ve been told. Now you aren’t even sure what to do next.
Or – you’ve begun to find it confusing to keep track of all your medications. You’re concerned you’ll make a mistake. Which ones are you supposed to take with food? Or on an empty stomach? What about having that glass of wine at dinner – will it affect the medicines you are taking?
Next week you’ll be admitted to the hospital for knee surgery. You have friends who have acquired infections from surgeries – one even died. You can’t advocate for yourself when you’re drugged and in pain… who will sit by your bedside to keep you safe?
Your loved ones live too far away to be much help. Sometimes you just need a ride to an appointment, or someone to run to the pharmacy to pick up your prescription.
These are just a few of many scenarios that require us to find some assistance to be sure we get the best care and stay safe. Whether you have a debilitating disease, a new diagnosis, or you just feel so lousy that you can’t think straight – it’s time to call in a patient advocate to help you.
New patient advocates often find themselves having to explain what they can do to help a patient that a patient or caregiver can’t handle him or herself. Depending on the circumstances, having a patient advocate by your side can actually make – or break – your ability to heal, or even just cope.
Can you think of other scenarios that require a professional private patient advocate? Why not share them in the comments!