Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Speak Up. You Matter.

In a book somewhere, written by some Dr. or other, there is a time line of when babies do things. Apparently my children smiled extremely early compared to this. One of my babies went ahead and set the record straight at a follow up appointment when she was super wee. I can't remember the week count, but it was low and the Dr. asked me was she meeting this and that milestone. I said, "Well, she smiles which is great. I really needed that." He said, "Well, no, she isn't giving you a reactionary smile. She is just moving her face." I blushed at the challenge and said, "I really think it is real, but..."

He gave me a kind smile and stood behind me as I was holding Evelyn tight to my body, her chin on my shoulder- a fave position as she felt herself wrapped up in me. He looked at her face and said his coochie coos and she beamed one at him. An Evie smile. He said, "Huh. That sure seemed reactionary." I said it had been going on for a week now. He made eyebrows at me again and then went behind me and gave another shot at the coochie cooing and I could feel the headlight of her smile hit him. He sat back down and said "Huh." And he smiled and he wrote it down. This was the same place that told me babies don't have colic. (All y'alls know that. some. do.)

I was going through some off and on stress periods that at times were unhinging. When I confided in a friend, she understood completely what that could do and said I should talk to my Dr. because I could maybe get a Rx for a when- I- need- it- pill. She had one and it was so helpful. I went to my Dr., something I don't do often, and I talked to the person who saw me about it. She said I could go to a therapist or I could take an every day pill. I said, no, I just want something for when I feel it coming. Like a migraine Rx when you feel one coming on. Just a nipper in the bud something. She said no. All or nothing. And I left. My husband was furious that in the few Dr. appointments I make about something driving me to the brink in pain or stress, that I come home with nothing. As a female, I am very used to this. I have often been told I was depressed, I was effected by weather, maybe it was hormones, I should do dishes by hand so the warm water would soothe my joint pain, that something seemed strange but they shrugged. And not just this one place, this is since graduating college and things for me or for what I am explaining about my kids....

This is not an attack on the medical profession.

For all the demands I put on my friends and my kids to advocate for themselves, there is just something about a woman that won't. We assume the people with the stethoscope are right and we are being silly, getting old, are being hormonal. I just recently had a wake up call. 

Someone I love very much was in pain. And she put off making an appointment for a while because she is a mom, works, a woman in general. When she finally went they did a,b,c, and found nothing. When she went back they said they would do a,b,c and she said, "You did that. What about d?" And they said, no, d wouldn't be what they needed to do, go into the room and get ready for a,b,c. She did when a nurse came in and they chatted about her symptoms. The nurse asked, "a,b,c?? That sounds like you need d!" and the Dr. was consulted. The right test was done and the wrong thing was found. Cancer.

I love that nurse- whoever she is. I love the nurse that pulled me into standing position in stirrups to get Colleen out of me. I love the nurse that told me my son was fine when the Dr. insisted he wasn't getting enough food. I love the nurse that rolled me on my side when the Dr. rolled me on my back and said I should stay there even though I kept passing out. I love these people, and yes, it has always been nurses in my experience, who listen to us women who do not complain much. I don't know if the Dr.s have too much on their plates? Or are so knowledgeable that they forget the person. And I am certainly not saying all Dr.s are like that. 

It is just that when we talk women's rights, we must start with ourselves because those nurses aren't always there. We have to put our foot down and push and say we need just one more look, one more minute (since we gave you 45 in your waiting room) just one more listen to what we are saying.

Speak up. Speak up. You matter.

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