Being Your Child’s Advocate

Being Your Child’s Advocate

It’s funny an advocate is exactly what I was. Before children I would advocate for you, legally speaking. I was a lawyer and I would represent you in a situation where you couldn’t represent yourself.  Well I would actually represent companies, very large, very particular companies, but ultimately it was real people making the decisions behind that big ‘faceless company’.

The thing is I knew what I was doing, mostly. I spoke their language, I was always prepared, I was able to say when and when not to do something. Despite the nerves I had it sussed.

Now I find myself in a totally different form of advocacy. I have to be my child’s voice when they can’t. I have to represent them and their best interest. It sounds simple right? Surely good old Mumma Bear ‘fight for everything my child needs’ malarky kicks in?

Well you see my daughter has a medical compliant. It’s not serious and in the grand scheme of medical complaints it’s really not up there, but it is a complaint nonetheless. It is inhibiting, it limits aspects of her life, makes things difficult and unpleasant for her and it is doubtless uncomfortable and really bloody awful to ‘put up with’. In fact I know if it was my complaint  and I suspect if it was yours you wouldn’t put up with it and  would be back with medical professionals on the regular getting it sorted.

The problem with this courtroom of medical professionals is, I am at their mercy. I don’t speak their language and I don’t feel in a position to challenge their wisdom. When they told us, as they did 2 years a go, she ‘would grow out of it by two’. I took their advice and dutifully respected it.

She’s 3 now and it hasn’t miraculously corrected itself and it certainly doesn’t look to be getting any better. So we’re back with the consultant this week. Can you sense my reticence? I don’t want to be told things will sort themselves out or ‘give it time’. We have given it time. She is starting school next year and time I do believe is one thing we don’t have.

Yet I am not a doctor, I go to them for their expertise and who am I to second guess them? I don’t speak their language, it is their ‘court’ room and they are the ones giving out say so’s. I put my children and myself completely in their hands, and happily so. I have nothing but respect for anyone who has completed years of medical training and spend their lives trying to help the lives others. But what if you are not hearing what you want or what you think is right? Can you just disregard it, deem it wrong or in adequate because you are not hearing what you want?

My role of advocate here isn’t one of professionalism, it isn’t derived from years of study and gruelling exams, reliant on making coherent and rational decisions. It is from a different place entirely. Somewhere much more raw, and dare I say irrational, not to mention uneducated. I am guided by the love I have for my child and wanting nothing but the best for her.

Perhaps the best and worse grounding to make a decision on.

Either way we are meeting with the consultant on Wednesday. My newfound role of advocate will be put to the test, yet again. I’ll be trading Court Shoes for Ugg Boots and my pencil skirt for jeans but I am hopeful, if not  ambivalent. I am not sure what to expect. I don’t know what can be done but I hope ‘leaving it’ is not the outcome. Let’s hope I am not alone in this and that I won’t have to dust of my ‘I mean business’ suit for the occasion. If nothing else, I am not sure it still fits.

 

Have you had to be your child's voice when they haven't got theirs. Have you had to advocate for your children ? Are you able to stand your ground and fight for their best interest. A post about the unexpected challenge of parenthood.

Follow:

22 Comments

  1. October 23, 2017 / 6:35 am

    This is a great post. I know exactly what you mean. Not long after Molly was born I suspected she had a dairy intolerance but my GP was really dismissive of it and just kept telling me it was colic or reflux. It was very frustrating because, like you said, we couldnt just ‘put up with it’ because Molly was in pain. It was definitely inhibiting her life. Luckily I had an amazing health visitor who agreed with me and referred Molly to a dietician. I changed GPs straight away too. I hope all goes well with the consultant for you. It is very frustrating when they don’t see things as we do. X #FamilyFunLinky

  2. October 23, 2017 / 6:42 am

    When it comes to a not life threatening but limiting condition – medical professionals maybe not sure what exactly happening even – the wait for a diagnosis can be really long and knowing that your child is not getting the right treatment on time and might be loosing out is a terrible feeling. I too had to educate myself, learn and search a lot so I can support my stand when talking to medical professionals. #familyfunlinky

  3. October 23, 2017 / 9:00 am

    I’ve been lucky enough, so far, that mine hasn’t had any medical issues. But, I can imagine how you feel, I’m not sure I’d be very patient. #familyfun

  4. October 23, 2017 / 10:34 am

    Best of luck and I hope you get everything sorted #familyfun

  5. October 23, 2017 / 1:41 pm

    I hope you get everything sorted. It must be extremely hard to be in that position. Sending hugs x

    #familyfun

  6. October 23, 2017 / 4:51 pm

    Patience is a virtue, except when it is our kids that pay the price. I hear you! Best of luck with the consultant and I do hope things work out for your little girl! Go get ’em! #familyfun xo

  7. October 23, 2017 / 6:28 pm

    The “I mean business” suit is so vitally important to us moms. Not just for dealing with our kids but, like you say, also for speaking for our kids. It can be hard to tell when the suit is jistified though, especially when you’re not sure if you’re out of your league.
    #familyfunlinky

  8. October 23, 2017 / 6:38 pm

    Sorry to hear this. I hope it does correct itself or they can do something. #FamilyFunLinky

  9. October 23, 2017 / 9:29 pm

    One of my friends has had to really push for her child and he had quite a serious issue. Mother does know best and if you aren’t happy make sure to seek further advice #familyfun

  10. October 24, 2017 / 2:53 am

    I can feel your frustration, we do have to be their advocate, they don’t have the words or the power, and even if we feel we don’t know the language we have to push to get where we need to go for our children. Keep fighting lovely and good luck #FamilyFunLinky

  11. October 24, 2017 / 12:06 pm

    I feel your frustration. It is hard and we have to keep going. Keep your head up and good luck xx #familyfunlinky

  12. October 24, 2017 / 7:26 pm

    Urgh! I know what you mean. I have to go and see the dietician again next week for J and I am expecting some battles. I am considering going in battle dress but have swimming lesson prior so not the most practical outfit situation to be in! Good luck! Will be thinking of you and hope all is well x

  13. October 24, 2017 / 10:20 pm

    Beautifully written. It’s so hard to balance the “mom intuition” with medical professionals and all other situations. I say follow your guy, and take everything with a grain of salt. You know your child best. I sincerely hope you get this sorted before school starts up for you little one!
    ~Jess
    #FamilyFun

  14. October 25, 2017 / 6:17 pm

    Oh it is so tough and frustrating sometimes to feel this way. Good luck and I hope you get some progress #familyfun

  15. October 26, 2017 / 10:20 am

    Sorry to read that you are going through this and I hope that your appointment with the consultant will at least show some progress. Patience is a virtue, but I’m not sure I would be as understanding if I was in your shoes… Good Luck! #FamilyFunLinky

  16. October 28, 2017 / 12:00 am

    When I first became my son’s advocate when he was 4, I had very little clue what Autism was but there I was, being a mom and knowing that no matter what they tell me, I know my kid. I also had to switch pediatricians because the first one wouldn’t help me at all. Thankfully, the second one did and he has been my boys’ doctor for a long time. I wish you the best of luck with the doctors and wish the best for your daughter:)

  17. October 28, 2017 / 12:05 am

    And I forgot to say I’m coming from #FamilyFunLinky Thanks so much for hosting!

  18. October 28, 2017 / 12:22 pm

    I hope everything went ok for you on Wednesday. It can be so hard when you’re up against doctors and don’t always know whether to trust them or your instincts. They may know their medical knowledge but at they end of the day they don’t know you’re child like you do, I’d follow my instincts every time xx

  19. I hope everything went ok for you and your little girl. Been there a number of times with doctors and specialists not saying “what I want to hear”. I actually think that if they’re not able to allay your fears, or at least listen to your concerns, then they’re not doing their job properly. I once had a consultant dismiss my oldest son’s extreme exhaustion as “normal” when it was in fact caused by sleep apnea, for which he needed tonsillectomy.
    #FamilyFun

  20. October 29, 2017 / 6:41 pm

    It’s understandable that you want the best for your little one. Keep voicing your opinion to them and if you are feeling you are not being listened to ask to speak to someone else. Keep going and I hope you get your answers. #FamilyFunLinky

  21. October 29, 2017 / 7:32 pm

    Reading this after Wednesday – I hope it went well for you & you got the outcome you wanted! #familyfunlinky

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *