Why I Advocate: Erin Bubb
I have worked in healthcare for over a decade in administrative and clinical roles. I have had years of training navigating insurance, and the ins-and-outs of how medical practices work.
This training also helped me recognize something wasn’t quite right with my 5-year-old son. He was “starving” after we just ate, had a thirst that no amount of water could quench, and he kept wetting the bed. My Mom-sense was triggered. I did research, then more research. I couldn’t believe what I was reading, or didn’t want to believe. I knew I had to act, it was the weekend so his doctor wasn’t available. So, I drove to the pharmacy and picked up some urine glucose sticks, the kind you use when you are pregnant to check for sugar in your urine. I was looking for answers to disprove what the research said. The results? They Confirmed that the research was right. I knew what I needed to do, so we headed to the hospital.
In the Emergency Room the nurse was nervous to tell me his diagnosis. I told her, “I know, it’s Type 1 Diabetes.” She shook her head yes, confirming my fears. The doctor comes in and says, “You caught this very early, his organs have not suffered any damage and he is not in Diabetic Keto-Acidosis.” My son was transferred to a larger hospital that was more prepared to deal with his diagnosis. Then started the training, the head spinning, so much information training.
Once the “dust” settled, I realized that my years of experience would be helpful in navigating this new world of medical supplies, insurance, DME companies, and creating relationships with his healthcare team. The experience helped, but I felt as if my knowledge was lacking. There was so much more to learn.
I now had to learn how to advocate!
My son did not know how to fight the insurance company when they wanted to switch his insulin because there was a “cheaper alternative”. He did not know how to make sure he received all of the medical supplies he needs to just stay alive. He doesn’t know how to write a 504 plan to make sure he receives an education that allows him to thrive while fighting Type 1 Diabetes. He shouldn’t have to do any of this, not yet. That is my job as his mother, his nurse, his nighttime sugar checker, his shield… HIS ADVOCATE!
I advocate so my son, and all those who have to fight daily, just to understand how healthcare and insurance works. We should not need to have a PhD in insurance just to have a fighting chance against this disease.