Last week I sat with my husband in the surgical area of our local hospital as he was being prepped for a double knee replacement. I listened to all the instructions with him – another set of ears to aid in understanding and question making. I sat with him through some brief physical therapy, silently listening and watching. What else should I be doing, I wondered? We heard from nurses, doctors, therapists, and social workers as his plan of treatment was presented, then changed, and one night away from home stretched to two, then three, now six nights. At one point someone reminded me that I needed to act as his advocate. Those few words helped me to better understand my role in his care.
Advocacy is something that has come up quite a bit recently. Over the last several weeks I have written more letters, sent more emails, and made more phone calls to public officials than I ever have in the past. True, I have always supported various education causes and written the occasional postcard when asked, but somehow now it feels different. I feel the sense of urgency to support causes I care about in many different areas of my life. I am motivated and encouraged by those who are not afraid to take action and raise their voices. Although I have been disappointed in some of the responses I have received, I know that the answer is to keep going and not give up.
Being an advocate extends throughout all areas of life. We can’t be afraid to speak up and take action when it involves friends, family, causes we care about, or truths we believe. Advocacy is more than just political action. It is ensuring that our world becomes a better place for all.
And my husband? He was sidelined briefly with a medical issue which is now resolved, therapy has resumed, and he should be home within a day or two (that is what I am advocating for).