Why do you need a patient advocate?
17 Aug 2017
Why do you need a patient advocate? Lately, I have come across a number of real life stories that help answer that question.
I know a woman in her late 20’s. She “knew” that she had fibromyalgia, but she couldn’t get her doctors to take her seriously. She was “too young” to be sick. I worked with her and attended doctor’s appointments with her. She was finally diagnosed formally.
I heard about a young man who was in college. He got horribly ill. His mother kept taking him to the emergency room where they kept telling her he was a drug addict and not sick. She kept insisting he was ill. He was finally diagnosed with spinal meningitis.
I know a 60 year old man who went to the emergency room in extreme pain all over his body. Thankfully, his wife was with him to answer the doctor’s questions.
I know a 50ish man who suffered from extreme white coat syndrome. Just walking in to a doctor’s office caused his blood pressure to spike. With me at his side, he now has good doctor’s appointments with normal blood pressure.
My last example is me. I recently was very ill. I went to the emergency room. I had extreme pain in my lower chest. The PA on duty told me I had bronchitis, an upper respiratory issue. I knew I had been misdiagnosed, but I was too sick to fight. I was back in the emergency room three days later and finally got a correct diagnosis.
Patient advocates are here to help. Doctors and nurses are great, but they’re not perfect. Another set of ears and a mouth can be very beneficial. Don’t hesitate to call!