Friday, March 7, 2014

The Need for an Advocate

I've been meaning to get back to the blog posts I was writing about my surgery/hospitalization, but I've been swamped with things going on this week, so I haven't had a chance yet. In the meantime I will leave you with this short post:

My mom stayed with me the entire time I was in the hospital (including overnight). Even though she got her own bed to sleep in, the hospital beds are really hard, so it's really not the most comfortable for her, that's why I was so appreciative for her [continued] selfless service to me. You might be wondering why I need someone to stay with me when I'm in the hospital where I'm surrounded by healthcare professionals. You might thinking, "isn't that what the nurses are for?" The nurses on the floor are familiar with caring for able-bodied patients, not for someone who is physically incapable of doing anything for themselves. And even if they were familiar with caring for paralyzed people, they've never cared for ME and they wouldn't know how to position me the way that's comfortable for me.

Another reason why it's such a must to have someone that really knows me well stay with me in the hospital is because I need an interpreter. Honestly! That's what it feels like, anyway. I have a really quiet speaking voice to begin with, and then when you factor in how dry my mouth gets when in the hospital (a combination of the effects of anesthesia, antibiotics and the dry hospital air) that makes it even more difficult to speak than it already is. Much of the time during my hospital stay I either whispered or mouthed words. I literally had to call my mom over at times to interpret what I was trying to say to people. A lot of what I tried to say ended up getting lost in translation on the journey from my lips to other people's ears.

[It gets easier to understand/hear me once you've been around me long enough and have learned how I talk (since I have to pause and wait for my diaphragm pacer to give me another breath when I run out of air). But when people first meet me or if I'm in a loud/crowded room where my voice doesn't carry, an interpreter is a must! I know it kind of sounds funny since we're all speaking the same language, but it's the truth!]

I was so grateful to have my mom stay with me in the hospital because everyone needs to have an advocate with them (especially if they are in a vulnerable situation).

I promise there is more to come, but just be patient with me since I've got a lot on my plate. Have a nice weekend everyone!


Amy said...

When I read your title post, it made me think that we are all in need of an advocate. We all need the Savior Jesus Christ as our advocate to the Father. How sweet that you have such a wonderful mother as your advocate on earth, to help you, make you comfortable, and care for you! You always have such amazing insights. I love reading your blog!

Julie said...

I'm glad your Mum was able to be there to help you.

I hadn't realised before that people with spinal cord injuries would need someone to help with their care in hospital. Like you said tho, your Mum knows how to make you feel more comfortable etc.

Hope you're recovering ok.

Take care.

Lorraine said...

"...everyone needs to have an advocate with them (especially if they are in a vulnerable situation)." That's a great quote. I think it is true for anyone. I find I am able to endure more challenges and stretch myself in uncomfortable situations -- like when I attended the wedding of a niece on my ex-husband's side of the family! -- when there is someone with me who understands me. Thanks for posting. Your "voice" is coming through loud and clear!

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