I am visiting right now in order to try to help sort out a complicated health situation going on with one of my nephews.  He has had a major surgery and is preparing for at least one more. He has spent over 2 months of the last 3 in the hospital and his mom and dad have been there with him 24/7 to advocate for him and make sure he is getting adequate care.  There have been lots of issues and problems and gaps in his care that have been very dangerous and stressful.  He has needed his parents to advocate for him over and over again throughout his ordeal.

Because I am in the midst of this situation, and because I can’t get online with my own computer right now, my post about ’s work with water will have to wait until next week.  This topic is even more important anyway.  If you are ever hospitalized, I urge you to bring along a family member or trusted friend to help advocate for you to make sure your needs are met. Try to always have somebody there to help you navigate the maze as best as you are able.  It can be complicated and it requires constant vigilance to get the best possible care.

and nurses do the best they can to help people, but most of them are overworked and overwhelmed with patient management.  They are running from life threatening crisis to crisis all day and tend to minimize the less life threatening issues other patients are experiencing.  When you are the patient experiencing a non-life threatening side effect or minor issue, you may be ignored unless you have somebody there to speak up on your behalf and make sure your needs are being met.  Don’t wait until a minor problem becomes life-threatening.

Even if you are not hospitalized, it is still totally OK to bring someone with you to any doctors appointment to help you make sure all of your questions get answered and your needs get met.  Nurses can advocate for patients as well.  Ask for help and be assertive. Don’t hesistate to have a friend or family member help you with this.  It could save your life someday.

Margaret Philhower, ND