By William Laferriere
What does it entail?
How can I possibly do so?
I’ve just been diagnosed.
My first thoughts involve panic.
My next thoughts are dark.
I hear it’s a skill I can develop.
It starts with the ability to speak up for myself.
Surely I know myself best.
I trust myself.
I’ll do my due diligence.
I know that no one is perfect
I’ll be persistent.
And ask lots of questions.
I’ll take notes.
I’ll never give up.
My medical records are “mine”.
I’ll not invite or allow unwelcome people from entering my medical circle.
I’ll know my rights.
I’ll make educated decisions about which doctors,
And which procedures I prefer.
If by chance I’m unhappy with my medical team-
I’ll speak up
I’ll seek a second opinion.
I’ll know what the tests are for,
And why I need them.
And ask when I can expect my results.
I’ll ask about alternatives,
And whether or not this treatment will truly benefit me.
Same for medications.
I’ll ask of;
And know the side effects,
And whether another medication may be available and offer better outcomes.
I’ll learn to read my invoices,
And know the costs,
And ask questions if something appears wrong.
I’ll definitely learn to ask,
And to speak up as a Self Advocate.