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.