Healing is a complex dance of biological, psychological, social and spiritual elements in your life that are unique to your situation.
My Manifesto of Patient Advocacy
Your healing path is yours. You are in charge of it, not doctors. When you invite medical professionals into your journey, they are there to inform you, educate you and guide you on your own journey of healing.
It can be emotionally overwhelming and intellectually bewildering to learn that you have a diagnosis that you may never have heard of and don't know how to solve yourself. It can feel like a loss of control. Or feel like you have to do what other people tell you to do. There may be quite a few people in your life who have strong opinions.
Everyone deserves to have their own process.
That means you get to take the time you need to feel feelings, educate yourself, ask for help or be by yourself.
If you invite me to participate in your process, there are a few things we should be clear about. My ego has no place in your process.
Let's say I am invited to your doctor's appointment to assist you in understanding a diagnosis and asking informed questions about diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. My primary role is to listen deeply and speak only when my voice will contribute to a more thorough understanding of the challenge and how to work with the medical system that has been called in for solutions.
1) I will never "take control" of your process or impose my will on you. (Likewise, I will notice it out loud if a doctor or a family member takes the "locus of responsibility" with a "just trust me" statement, instead of another effort to help you understand.) Supporting your self-determination includes also supporting your decision to share or give responsibility to someone you trust, when that is your choice.
2) I will support you in whatever direction you choose, regardless of my personal opinions about it.
3) The resources you engage with (conventional, allopathic, holistic, pharmaceutical, herbal, homeopathic, whatever it may be) need to be what make sense to you. Your healing relies to some degree on your belief in the solutions.
4) Your process of discovery and decision making is one that you create with your family and your doctors, and I support and facilitate. I do this by providing information, emotional support and research.
5) I will even support you in your choice to NOT pursue treatment. This is also a valid choice.
6) There are a great many gifts of psychological and spiritual completion that can come from a healing journey. Restoration of the physical body is not the only parameter of success.