Over the weekend I learned my friend, who is battling cancer, had see a specialist in Miami. Since COVID she has been seeing most of her doctors virtually, but because she has had a new lesion, the hematologist wanted to see her in his office.
She is weak, suffering from shortness of breath and is unable to sit up for a long time. I knew the appointment was going to turn into a disaster as she is not coping well and would have no one with her as the hospital is not allowing family members to accompany the patients.
I was unsure what to do so I tried to think of people who I knew who might be able to do something to help my friend. I thought of a few people who I knew has some influence and sent them an email over the weekend asking for their help.
I got answers back right away and was glad to hear that my connection were going to see if they could get an exception and allow my friends daughter accompany her to the appointment. They also said they would meet her when she arrived, take her up to the doctor’s office and let the staff know she was there so she would not need to wait a long time. This was such a relief as I knew she would be safe and more comfortable.
As a result of my intervention, she went to the appointment safely with her daughter who is her caregiver and advocate. They were able to talk to the doctor, ask questions and come home with a plan of care to address her complex condition.
The daughter was relieved as she also knew her mother was so fragile but did not think they had any recourse.
I hope this post shows you that it is important to go the extra mile when you have a fears for yours or a family member’s safety. Please go the extra mile – do not hold back. Utilize the people you know when you have concerns or know something is not safe.
I am grateful I was able to help and turn a tough situation into a positive experience. This is what advocates do…..
Have a good week!
Well said, Anne! When we put in the effort, we can impact the outcome for our clients, friends and family. Advocacy often means going that extra mile to make something happen that wouldn’t otherwise. Thanks for that heartwarming reminder!
Thank you Anne. Not every patient will reach out for assistance either. They may be too frail, too tired, too overwhelmed at that time. We need to be advocates for patients and consider their needs, as you did, and plan for them.
I agree with the comments above and would like to say that
Going the extra mile for someone else is like administering a shot of adrenaline for the “provider” and the “receiver”.
As Ms. Berger states not every patient will reach out for for assistance–this is when our skills of observation are key–simply noticing a persons behaviors and frailties helps us to offer gentle intervention and offer support. When a person feels cared about it is more likely they will be more receptive to advocacy.
e around you goes who appears lost, and asking if they need help
Way to go Anne! You never know until you ask, right? It can never hurt. I find that most people really want to help, but often we hold ourselves back from asking. As an Advocate, I’ll be more inclined to reach and seek help on behalf of someone else who’s facing challenging times, but rarely do I do that for myself. So, I guess that’s a good lesson for all of us to learn. Ask for help no matter who it’s for as you never know who will show up and serve.
Anne-your friend is so fortunate to have you intervene through your network of resources. Our unique skills as advocates, case managers, and other healthcare professionals impact people every day. For my CM practice, it’s the non-clinical needs like pet care, yard work, or mileage reimbursement that offer piece of mind to my patients/families/caregivers.