Sunday, November 3, 2013

Advocacy

It's a funny thing advocacy. How it changes you; changes your thinking. Advocacy is a buzz word amongst heart mamas. "Advocate for your heart warrior." "Be their voice."

I never thought we would have to advocate to the point, that we do. I assumed it meant firmly asking the old lady hacking up a lung, to kindly not lean over the stroller and touch my baby. Or teaching some future elementary teacher indicators for heart failure. 

No. Advocating has to now become a personality trait, second nature. It doesn't matter that it doesn't come naturally to me or my husband. It's the only way to get a pharmacist to fill a prescription, that his schooling has taught him contrary. 

It takes advocating, to the point of screaming to get a pediatric ER doctor to not lift our heart baby, under her arms, pulling at her chest.

Today, I advocated. I enraged a set of sleep deprived new parents, in the process. In Israel, they have special centers specifically for well-baby visits, check ups and vaccinations. I walked in without an appointment to have Tehilla weighed. In all fairness, they have not answered their phones for days. But I walked in, without an appointment. Seeing only two parents with small infants, I was prepared to sit and wait until they had their appointments. But then, three more parents walked in with congested, sneezing toddlers and small children and suddenly the waiting room had over ten people and became a bacteria-filled danger to Tehilla. So, I quietly went up to a nurse and explained that Tehilla was post heart surgery. 

G-d bless the kind nurse that took us seriously and disregarded the screams of the other parents. And to those parents, you were right and I'm sorry. 

But I was advocating, wearing my new raincoat of rudeness and defying social appropriateness. And I will do it again, and again. I remember being in their place, frustrated by the unjust appointment thieves and wasters of my precious time. 

So, in advance, I apologize to all those I plan on inconveniencing. I'm advocating and being a big pain in your- pumpkin. 

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