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Flexibility in Advocacy

Last Thursday I packed up my kid and a couple of bags, a stuff animal named Sally, a med list and my charging cables and headed to our children’s hospital.

We’d been scheduled to be admitted because my son was having some tests run and it required him to not eat or drink anything much for a couple of days. Since we had a kidney rejection scare because of dehydration, I asked them if we could admit him for fluids during the process. It was the right call for sure.

So, in we went. My husband was traveling and I needed to get one kid to school and let me tell you, I was on it. I was organized, well-rested (for me), lunches packed and I even got school work ahead of time and preplanned final exam make-ups he would miss during the two days he was going to be out. Remember? This was Thursday and Friday.

We arrived when they said, at 8:00am. We registered and waited. They’d be calling down as soon as a bed was ready. By 8:45am I knew something wasn’t right and sure enough, the hospital was full. I wasn’t upset because the hospital was full and we’d have to reschedule because let’s face it, when my kids have to be in and the hospital is packed, I don’t want my kid pushed out because of a procedure that can be moved, but maybe someone could have called…the night before? The morning of?

We headed back home to get a call from our apologetic doctor trying to figure out what to do; do we salvage the day, get him in for fluids in a holding room that he’d have to be out by 5:00pm for and hope a bed was ready?

No. Too risky. I wasn’t about to take that risk, so we made plans for a late Saturday admit and Sunday of fluids and Monday morning scopes. That is exactly how it worked.

I won’t lie, I was mad that we weren’t called and I let the nurse on the floor and our doctor know it. That is my right as a consumer of their services. But I know it was right for them to turn us away and try for something else. The risky checkin that day? Nope. We did find something that work though and for that I was grateful.

I feel like sometimes I can be too rigid in my advocacy for whatever it may be and this was a good reminder that even in fighting (which we call advocacy) there has to be flexibility. In this case, my kid’s time wasn’t wasted ┬ámore than that one day (he went to school on Friday) and it showed him that there was a way to get it done without putting him out more than was necessary. Plus, I’d wanted him to know that sicker kids come first because there will be a day when he is the sicker one, of that I am sure.

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