Saturday, September 11, 2010

Be Your Own Advocate

This past year I feel I have had more friends and family in and out of the hospital. Western medicine has certainly come a long way from bleeding someone thinking it’s the cure for the common cold. Still, Western Medicine is not perfect and can’t be the end all or be all. With that being said neither can Eastern Medicine. There should always be a balance of the two. Both have helped myself, family and friends. Everyone is different and there is no universal cure.

I have a family friend that had a small pencil tip mole that appeared on her lower right facial cheek about a year ago. She had a feeling that something wasn't right. She made an appointment with her dermatologist to which the doctor said there was nothing to worry about. Still my friend felt there was something not right and decided to get a second opinion. This doctor said the same thing as the first doctor. My friend, whom always follows her gut decided to get a third and fourth opinion. The fourth doctor said there was nothing wrong but decided to take a biopsy just in case. Turns out that little pencil tip of a mole was melanoma, the most dangerous of skin cancers. Since, my friend was her own advocate and followed her instincts she was able to potentially save her own life.

The best thing you can do for you or your loved ones is be an advocate. Ask lots of questions, follow your gut, do the research and if needed be get a second, third or fourth opinion. Sometimes if we have a gut feeling that something is wrong, something is wrong and it is better to be safe than sorry. Just because someone tells you the sky is blue doesn’t mean it’s true or that you have to be a believe them. So ask what ever questions pop into your head. Sure some of them may feel like a stupid question to ask but it is better to have the answers to your questions than to have something linger in the unknown reeking havoc on your emotional well being.

Be your own advocate, you have my permission.

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