I had my first self-advocacy moment yesterday and it went really well. One of the things I have been told by my friend Bev, is that you should be sure to get copies of EVERYTHING for your own records. That way, if you have to get second opinions, follow up tests and the like, you can take them to the appointment. Often enough, these things get lost in transit from labs to docs, or from docs to docs. Having them in-hand alleviates a level of concern in an arena where all you have are levels of concern.
So, I called to get a copy of my chest x-rya and evaluation from the imaging center.
"Our policy is to release it to the doctor and let him release it to you," said the woman, when I called.
"Is there any reason you can't release it to me?" I asked.
"Our policy is to release it to the doctor and let him release it to you," she replied.
"Okay, but is there any reason you can't release it to me?" I asked, again.
"Our policy is to release it to the doctor and let him release it to you."
"Listen. I understand your policy. Here's what I'm saying: I need this for my own records. It's really important to me. Can you make a copy and have it ready at the front desk for me to pick up in half an hour?"
"Just a second...name?"
And it went forward from there. I had it in hand within half an hour. All in all, it was a very calm conversation, and I kept my cool through the whole thing. I wonder how many people give up at the first mention of the policy? Or how many people would have unloaded on her like Shirley McClain...
1) Be polite, but also be firm
2) Ask for what you want, demand what you need
3) Don't accept "No" for an answer. Not the first time. Not ever.