Readers know that my blog is intended to not only share my personal story but to offer inspiration and help. How can my numerous triumphs over tragedy offer some valuable life lessons?

When you are expectantly dealt a life crisis, it can be difficult to cope. This is especially true if you are thrown into a completely “foreign” world that you are both unfamiliar with and unprepared for. For most of us, during our lives, we are fortunate to be spared the ordeal of navigating the “foreign world” of the healthcare and insurance maze, whether it is for ourselves or a close friend or family member. However, when fate deals us this card, it is like hitting a brick wall at 50 mph. Imagine that that minor health issue that you were having turns out to be a major life threatening aliment. Or, that a freak accident one day changes the course of your life. It happens all the time. Most people are caught by surprise and are numb with shock.

There are so many questions….

Do I need a 2nd opinion?
Do I need to be referred to a specialist?
What are the options regarding treatment?
What type of recovery, recuperation or therapy is needed?
What is my long term prognosis?
Bottom line – what is the best plan of action for ME, given my unique circumstances?

These questions and many more can be overwhelming, frightening, and often confusing for novice patients. I know firsthand that this is true. If it were not for the guardian angels that appeared in my life on a couple of occasions, neither Bryan nor I might be here today. I was lucky – to an extent.

Patient Advocacy

Today, there is no need to rely on luck to determine your fate and your outcome regarding a serious medical diagnosis. Instead, you can literally take matters into your own hands by consulting with and hiring a Patient Advocate to guide you.

Patient Advocates have been around for years but, unfortunately, I was not aware of them while I was had my numerous medical crises. Today, even a patient who is well versed in medical lingo can become overwhelmed by the complexity of the healthcare maze. This is exactly why many people are hiring a Patient Advocate for help.

A professional advocate can help with:

  • Accompanying you to doctor appointments
  • Researching treatment options
  • Exploring 2nd opinions
  • Working with your insurance carrier
  • Crafting a follow up plan post treatment

The advocate may also have knowledge of and access to specialists that the patient is unaware of. Today, some lawmakers have argued that improving the coordination of care for a patient is an excellent way to both improve patient care while possibly reducing unnecessary, costly treatments. Many employers now added patient advocacy as an employee health benefit. If you have employee benefits, call your company’s HR department and ask if they offer this. If they don’t, suggest that they investigate how this might save the company in long term insurance costs.

Betty Long of Guardian NursesPerhaps Betty Long RN, MHA, a professional and seasoned patient advocate, could have spared me some distress many years ago. As my book reveals, the HMO that I was a member of hassled me mightily regarding care for both Lauren and myself. Their pressure for control and cost containment exacerbated our problems many times.

How I wish that I had known Betty years ago! After 25 years in nursing, Betty clearly saw the need to help patients. She was inspired to launch her Guardian Nurses advocacy agency to help people achieve a more personal and effective platform of health care when in crisis.

Guardian Nurses - Patient AdvocatesHer corporate logo explains her motto – “Lighting Your Way Through the Healthcare Maze”. Her mantra is:

We are long time nurses.
We know how the healthcare system works.
We’ll make it work for you.

Because of her outstanding work, Betty has been recognized with a Women of Distinction Award. She has also been called on by various media venues as an expert or a resource for news pieces about healthcare and advocacy. Betty says that the highlight of her media career was appearing on the Dr. Oz show recently as a guest. Betty Long on Dr Oz

This modern day Florence Nightingale also tells me that there is a new documentary film coming out. This forthcoming documentary is about the many, complex roles that nurses play in the healthcare field. Several times my book has illustrated that it is the hospital nurses who are a key link to your healthcare needs.Click here for the movie trailer of “Nurses: If Florence Could See Us Now”.

Oh, how I needed her help years ago….

I had an informative meeting with personable Betty recently. I encourage you to visit and bookmark her website because, as mentioned, we can’t predict when we will need and want her very valuable services. Perhaps there is someone that you know that needs her services now for their medical needs? My meeting with Betty was an eye opener about self advocacy and why you need guidance to help you achieve your best chance of recovery in a medical crisis. I hope to not have the need to call her for myself for a long while, as I have had my fill of navigating the medical maze. But if the need does arise, she will be at the top of my call list.

The Guardian Nurses Website is

Betty’s office phone number is (215) 836-0260 x100
Her email is