Be Your Own Advocate

I have some really great notes from Bible study last week. Don’t get excited yet though. Today was my procedure (I wrote this last night) so not many thoughts are getting through the pain I’m feeling at the moment. I’m hoping by tomorrow afternoon I will be feeling well enough to think through the pain. But last week’s lessons were on Peace. WOW! God sure has perfect timing, doesn’t he? He knows what we need when we need it. The only thing about that is that this week’s lessons are on Patience. Uhhhhhhhhhhh – I don’t wanna need this lesson right now. Know what I mean?

My favorite doctor - Dr. John Nwofia

Today’s procedure went much better than the right side I had done 2 weeks ago. When I was wheeled in I told her (again my regular doctor wasn’t in my office this week) that we are gonna have to have a LOT more lidocaine this time. I told her that when Dr. Nwofia did this procedure last year it didn’t hurt nearly as bad as it did 2 weeks ago when she did the right side. So, I said, this time we’re gonna use a WHOLE LOT MORE LIDOCAINE! She said Yes Ma’am. I’m sure she didn’t like hearing that kind of thing. But I know what my body needs and I have learned to speak up about it. And honestly it is empowering to be able to walk into the doctor’s office and tell them exactly what I need. I know that Dr. Nwofia appreciates that relationship. However, he’s in his other offices so much now that I have been having to see other staff members. But I’m continuing taking control of my medical care with my Fibromyalgia/Chronic Pain. I figure I don’t have a right to complain if I am the one that told them what I need. I am not one to speak up for myself. But the last 3 or 4 years I have really learned how to do that. I have a lot of great support and a wealth of access to other Fibro patients via Twitter. So, I have learned a lot. I see how other people are suffering by not speaking up and that has challenged me to take control. I also saw a big change in myself concerning dealing with medical personnel when my dad was so sick. I learned to speak up for him and advocate on his behalf. That taught me the skills I need to do the same for myself. So if you are a patient with any kind of chronic illness SPEAK UP! Be your own advocate! Don’t let the medical world run over you. Stand up and put your hand out to stop them. Tell them what you need. Worth WITH them instead of being a doormat (which I was for so long) and catering to their egos (some of them have VERY BIG EGOS). Do your research, write down what you want to ask about or what you want to try and then talk to them about it. I’ve found that they respect me a little more when I go in armed with knowledge. Of course learning how to SAY/ASK about those things is a completely different matter. But a little practice will teach you how to go about talking to your doctor. I have a friendly kind of relationship with my doctor so we just sit down and chat together. If you have a doctor whose EGO is bigger than their heart it’s time to find a new doctor!

Be your own advocate! If you aren’t then who else will be!

See you in a few days with a Bible study entry.

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