Friday, August 18, 2006

Self-Advocacy...

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...

Lessons Learned:
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.

4 comments:

Redlefty said...

I agree! Having your own records is very comforting and via HIPAA you should be able to have it (I think?). When we finally decided to have a plan (other than daily office visits that included a CBC), I asked for Jack's records from this summer and I felt much better, so that if we ended up in the ER, we would be equipped.

It also helped when they wanted to RE-catheterize (sp?) him in the hospital...I had already provided the results...so I got to say my firm but serious "Mama says NO." Then they looked at what I had brought and decided to agree with me.

Jack had more blood tests this a.m. to determine if his liver is being overpowered by the Rifampin (antibiotic) and another CBC. I would say we have seen NO difference since being on the meds, so I am not sure how this will all turn out.

We'll just keep our prayer circle going.

Your sis,
Jamie

p.s. you boys never cease to amaze me how funny you are about your "boys" :)

FishrCutB8 said...

Keeping you guys in my prayers....thanks also for yours.

Belarus said...

Hey, I'm proud of you !!!!!!!!!!!!

FishrCutB8 said...

Belarus...

Not sure who you are, though the list of possibilities seems rather restricted. Let me know, if you'd like (though it's more than okay if you don't). Just like to know who's pulling for me...

Thanks for your kind thoughts...