Benefits of Working with a Patient Advocate
Do you or a loved one…
- Feel overwhelmed by chronic illness and don’t know what steps to take next?
- Worry that your doctors don’t understand the impact of your illness or have enough time to help you?
- Feel frustrated with the lack of understanding from family, friends, or colleagues?
- Wonder if you will ever feel healthy again?
- Struggle to stay motivated in keeping up with your daily medical “to dos”?
As a Private Patient Advocate, Amy Stenehjem, M.D. can help. Being both a physician and a patient with chronic illness, she is able to provide a unique perspective and understands the many challenges that can be associated with chronic illness. There are many strategies, tips, tools, and resources she wants to share with you and she can help you navigate your healthcare system by:
- obtaining a thorough medical history and reviewing your medical records to determine possible next steps to consider
- serving as a “medical detective” to uncover possible missing links in your health
- explaining complex medical conditions to help you better understand your health issues
- helping you find the healthcare providers that best fit your needs
- reviewing doctor recommendations to help clarify complicated medical information
- teaching you how to prepare for your medical appointments and organize your thoughts to more accurately explain your symptoms
- identifying essential questions to ask healthcare providers to assist with decision making and to avoid miscommunication before consultations, tests, and/or procedures
- reviewing medications to identify potential issues that could affect your health
- identifying complementary medicine treatments that may be an option for you
Besides providing information about how to connect with the appropriate healthcare providers and ways to maximize the care you are receiving, she can also share insight on how to more effectively manage chronic illness, including:
- ways to understand your body and how to better prevent and control flares
- how to stay motivated despite the daily frustrations of chronic illness
- importance of energy conservation and pacing, and strategies to conserve energy while doing daily tasks
- potential nutritional and environmental aspects that could be making your illness worse
- the cycle of chronic illness and why food, stress, and sleep affect it
- how to improve the quality of your sleep by making small changes to your sleep environment and nighttime habits
- gentle stretches to improve flexibility to help prevent future musculoskeletal complications of chronic illness
- subtle postural changes to better support and reduce stress on the spine
Also, she can help you create a more joyful life despite the challenges of chronic illness. Some of the topics include:
- how to talk with friends, family, and colleagues about chronic illness so they better understand its impact
- how to strengthen relationships and expand your support system
- how to combat the loneliness and isolation often associated with chronic illness and to create joyful moments despite your daily health struggles
- low-energy activities to help you calm and refocus the mind
- how to restructure and refocus life goals to redefine your self-worth and purpose