Advocacy for Loved Ones
My mother will tell you I
entered the world with “my voice fully engaged,”
the politically correct term for “screaming at the top of my
lungs.” I will tell you that I entered the world announcing
my mission – advocacy. Over the years I have had many
opportunities to describe and refine that mission. Why, then, did I
internally stumble several weeks ago when a radio host
asked me to define advocacy? Was it because I was still too raw to
discuss it as it relates to my husband’s illness? Was it
because I now realize this is an “evolving”
definition? Was it because my definition has subtly changed?
The answer to all these
questions is, “yes.” However, that still does not
resolve for me the reasons for my tightening gut, the lack of air in
the room, the anxiety behind my answer. Llewellyn just released my book
on advocacy, Hospital
Stay Handbook. Since Llewellyn published my book, I
suppose I am
“some kind of an expert” on this subject.
A recent Google search of
the word “advocacy” produced 52,200,000 hits.
However, I am but one voice that can still claim to be an expert. What
made me one? 225 days in four different hospitals working with
thousands of healthcare workers, watching hundreds of machines, and
witnessing hundreds of interventions, all focused on keeping my husband
alive and for which I was present 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
What I realized in this
humbling epiphany is that:
- I am an expert only in my own form of advocacy;
- I know how to advocate only from my own frame
- I learned how to represent only my
While all these
“opportunities” (that I wouldn’t wish on
my worst enemy…) to “practice” advocacy
(because it IS about practice, not perfection…) give me a
“voice” in the community of hospital advocacy, it
is but a single voice. The reality is, we all need to find our
“own” voice. We also need to define the type and
extent to which we will serve as an advocate for another. And, for each
person, for each situation for each person, the picture of advocacy
will look different.
Being an advocate is hard
enough, and then we are asked to silence our own fears and desires
about outcome on behalf of an injured or ill person. During the course
of seven and one-half months of full-time, intensive advocacy on behalf
of my catastrophically ill husband, I left the hospital and went
outside into nature many times, this done to clear not my head but my
heart. My heart moved me to speak and act occasionally in ways that may
not have produced the desired outcome. As I have become more distant,
and hopefully, more objective, about our experience, I have come to
realize that there is another component to advocacy, that of acting not
only on behalf of another’s wishes but acting in a manner
that honors that person’s path through the world.
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the full article.
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An Interview with
Jari Holland Buck, author of Hospital Stay Handbook
is in your background that made you write this book?
feelings converged to prompt me to write this book:
When I felt helpless, I
didn’t take the necessary actions on Bill’s behalf
because I didn’t know what to do. The things I learned to do
made a BIG difference in my husband’s recovery but then, I
had almost 8 months to discover them. Most hospitalizations are
considerably shorter. As a result, I wanted to “jump
start” other advocates by letting them know what they can and
should do when family or friends are hospitalized.
- anger about my husband’s illness and
set-backs, the major one of which was caused by an infection
contracted in the hospital;
- frustration regarding the problems we had
experienced and how unprepared I had been to address them in
- despair regarding the medical system coupled
with the denial of many to actually face the issues of their loved
one’s illness/injury and treatment.
Explain what you mean by
preventing medical mistakes.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics projects a shortage of one million nurses by 2012, a
situation that was already evident within every hospital that cared for
Bill. Because of “managed care” as dictated by
insurance carriers, doctors are required to see 2-3 times more patients
in order to achieve the same financial return. Hospital administrators
are held to the same profitability goals that drive private sector CEOs
since today, hospitals are businesses. And, let us remember, we are all
human and make mistakes, even doctors! As a result of all these issues,
everyone is vulnerable within hospitals today.
there a big problem with medical mistakes happening in hospitals?
Here is but one example of
hospital mistakes… In an AARP article
entitled, "What to Look Out For to Avoid Hospital Mistakes," the
following reveals our vulnerability with regard to medications
administered in a hospital setting.
hospital with 100 patients who take four different drugs four times a
day, with 10 possible places in the system where things can go wrong,
there are 480,000 opportunities each month for an error to occur
somewhere in the medication chain. Doctors can prescribe the wrong
drug. Pharmacists can misinterpret a doctor’s handwriting,
supply the wrong drug, mislabel it or mix it under unsanitary
conditions. A nurse can give the drug to the wrong patient.”
Bill would have been victim
to medication mistakes at least ten times without my presence and
did you use prayer, and spiritual healing with your husband?
Click here to read
the full interview.
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How to Enchant a Man:
Spells to Bewitch, Bedazzle & Beguile
How to Enchant A Man is an entertaining
and enjoyable guide into
the world of loving enchantments, romantic spells, and
witchery. Designed for both single and married enchantresses, this is a
fun and pleasurable book that invites you, the reader, into the world
of personal improvement. Reclaim your feminine power, focus on your
captivating abilities as a woman, and bring more romance, laughter,
love, and magick into your life!
Horoscopes: A Guide to Composite Charts
Man is a knot into which relationships are tied, according to Antoine
de Saint-Exupery. It’s true that most of us, though certainly
not all of
us, need to connect with someone; when that connection is made, how can
the energy created be interpreted? With Valentine's Day right around
the corner, can relationships (both negative and
positive) be understood?
Love Spells: Find,
Heal, and Nurture Love
Regardless of how you spend Valentine’s Day or even if it is
simply meaningless to you, everyone needs help with their love life
from time to time. And whether you are looking to begin a relationship
anew, mend one on the rocks, or forget the pain of loves past, love
spells are a great aid in moving your love life forward. Ileana Abrev,
author of White Spells for Love,
teaches how the simplest of things can create the most powerful love
spells on your way to finding, keeping, and nurturing love.
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Love Spell to Find Your
Colored Candles for Love Spells
An Imbolc Celebration
to Enchant a Man: Spells to Bewitch, Bedazzle
Horoscopes: A Guide to Composite Charts
Love Spells: Find, Heal, and Nurture Love
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