Over the years I’ve blogged about everything except one thing: my personal experience in the healthcare system. I’ve preferred to make this site about YOU, the reader, rather than about me. But of course, my passion for this business comes from a very personal place, so perhaps it’s time to share my own story.
I was fortunate to have one of those blissfully wonderful childhoods except for one thing: I didn’t feel great. For as long as I can remember, my “tummy” hurt: a lot. Initial visits to the doctor didn’t reveal much, so I was told to “relax”: essentially I sucked it up. But things got worse as I got older, and by the time I was in college I was admitted to the hospital several times. I lost tons of weight, stopped eating anything that wasn’t easily digestible, and basically toughed it out.
Finally, after one more hospitalization, I was referred to a GI doctor who was willing to dig a little deeper, and after a couple of months of testing, he showed me an x-ray that kind of changed everything: I had been suffering from an undiagnosed chronic illness that could be treated. I was started on new medications and for the first time in my whole life, I felt better.
Recently, I witnessed an even more serious medical snafu that hit very close to home: my daughter was one of the unlucky people whose “routine surgical procedure” went very very wrong, and although she’s doing fine, she’s living with a pretty significant injury from that event. But that’s her story to tell, not mine.
My point in sharing all this is that when clients come to Pathfinders because they need an advocate, I want them to know that this is personal, and that I understand, not just as someone who has seen the best of healthcare, but also as someone who has been personally let down by it. I truly know how frustrating it is, and I understand how difficult it is to stay positive and move forward.
Fortunately, I also know that there are tons of caring, wonderful healthcare providers who will move heaven and earth to help their patients. In my time in this profession, I’ve seen amazing care provided by the most competent, dedicated people around. And I’ve seen how the medical profession has let the providers down too, and how hard it is for them to maintain their dedication in the face of a broken system.
So I understand on a deeply personal level that the best care possible happens when we connect clients who need good care to the best people who can provide it: THAT is what a good professional advocate can do, and what is at the core of our mission here at Pathfinders. Yes, this is a business, but it’s also my passion: I want to turn my own medical challenge into something positive for others, and I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to do it with all of you.