Never Know When You Can Help Someone
Several days ago I was waiting to have a port surgically implanted – a “power port,” of course!! My nurse had some free time before escorting me to the outpatient operating room. She sat down, obviously concerned, and began telling me that her mother had just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Since I’m always talking unless I’m sleeping or under anesthesia, I began sharing information I recently learned while connecting another pancreatic patient to healthcare professionals who could guide her decision for future treatment.
You might assume that because she’s a nurse she knows exactly how to forge ahead for her mother. Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case. Most often, even though it’s an unfamiliar and frightening place for her mother, this nurse also needed some recommendations on how to move ahead.
The counsel she was in need of could be found in a support group. Those groups provide a great deal of information about the disease process itself, physician recommendations, possible financial aid through foundation grants and clinical trials details she might consider participating in, if eligible. All valuable, useful and user-friendly particulars that truly support patients through a very difficult, confusing and stressful time.
Initially, I was reluctant to join a support group. But, when I relaxed and opened my mind, I found these groups – local, regional and international – have a wealth of knowledge that they’re anxious to share. I have accessed all of the above mentioned and benefited greatly. Besides, sitting down with other knowledgeable patients who can provide little tips and tricks is extremely worthwhile in addition to the emotional support they offer. Nothing like talking to someone who’s been there and done that.
It seems I was in the right place at the right time. You never know when you can help someone. #whywait #theRealReina #patientadvocate #supportgroups #ask4whatuneed
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