Right. I mean, the people who call me are absolutely drowning and they are often in tears. There is help out there. There are other organizations. There’s a patient advocacy foundation. I would say one word of caution to your listeners, and that is there are a lot of people who are hanging out shingles, calling themselves patient advocates who don’t know any of this and actually, I’ve had several cases referred to me after someone who called themselves a patient advocate, really messed things up.
So when you, especially if you’re going to hire a patient advocate, please make sure that they have the background to do what it is you need them to do. If they’re a nurse, good, if they’re a lawyer, good. If they’ve never done anything else before and they haven’t had any training, boy, ask a lot of questions before you spend that money because not only are you going to have to pay for your health care, but you’re going to pay on top of that for a patient advocate who may not have the tools they need to guide you.
But, see Richard, I think all of this isn’t, it’s not rocket science. It takes reading, it takes taking being a patient very seriously.
Computers are absolutely essential for people with chronic illnesses. If you can’t afford to have one at home, you go to the public library and you use one. You have to read, you have to educate yourself. Before you go to the doctor’s office, look up your symptoms, look up medications, see what kind of side effects they have, see what you think might be a good idea, bring something new to your doctor's attention. It may be something they haven’t thought of that they would be very happy to work with you on. Doctors will respect you if they learn that you are taking this seriously. That’s the way to really forge a good relationship with your doctor.