A message from the founder.
In February of 2004, my sister Terry was diagnosed with kidney cancer. She succumbed to her disease in August of 2005, but in those 18 months of her illness, we took the roller coaster ride together.
Aware of Your Care™ was born from all we learned about navigating our health care system. I've been on every side of the exam table now, and find it has provided unique insight about being an advocate for ourselves or for the loved ones we care for - without conflicting with the clinicians who round out our medical team.
Even though I'd had a clinical background in respiratory care, I was initially ill-prepared to handle the stresses and confusion of caring for my sister. Late nights spent surfing the Internet for help and information yielded little more than tidbits of insight scattered here and there. So I really had to "wing it" - just muddling my way through the maze as I went. It didn't take me long to realize that her doctors benefitted from my having copies of certain records at my fingertips, and coming to appointments fully prepared. So I expanded on that over the course of the 18 months, and eventually figured out a system of caring for my sister that was easy for me to maintain, yet seemed to offer tremendous aid to her clinical care providers. I knew I was on the right track when her new neurologist proclaimed undying love for me when I presented her information in a concise packet on our first visit. A little more fine-tuning resulted in doctor appointments that went like clockwork, a truly drastic reduction in unecessary tests and costs, and a well-organized care plan of which we felt very much a part.
In preparing this program I interviewed everyone in the health care industry who would talk with me. Doctors, nurses, therapists, insurance reps, billing clerks - anyone who interacts with patients. I can't express enough gratitude for their candor and insight which continues to help me to help you.
You don't have to face a life-threatening illness to realize the benefits of taking part in decisions that affect your health and your care. Our clinicians are only human... they can't possibly know everything, and they certainly can't be expected to spend their entire day treating only one person. They are indeed experts, but they are busy and could use the benefit of our cooperation and participation. We need to give ourselves permission to ask questions, offer opinions, and to play a role in that which affects us.
It is with that philosophy that Aware of Your Care™ is committed to sharing what we've learned before, during and since that "roller coaster ride." We continue to research and investigate, and to bring you only the best information we can find to help you navigate the health care maze as well.
Photo by Ellie Timms