I am the girl who orders a steak and they serve me fish. I say thank you, push it around the plate with my fork, and tell them it was delicious.
I am the girl who says thank you when I do something for someone else, or sorry when someone is in my way.
I am the girl who is in excruciating pain at work, teaches a class through it all, and drives myself to the emergency room.
This weekend, I landed myself in the hospital. This time, it was for me.
After several tests, ultrasounds, cat scans, blood work, and questioning from the medical staff, we are still perplexed by what exactly happened. But, all seemed well and I was ultimately, released.
I was told by the doctors that I would be discharged at a certain time, but I sat in the room, for hours on end (well beyond how long I should have), and quite agitated by the lack of communication about whether or not I would be going home.
Yet, I just sat in my room. I didn’t speak up for myself and even joked with the staff about having time off from my parenting duties because I didn’t want to seem like a difficult patient. But inside, I was annoyed and just wanted to get home to my husband and children.
Hospitals are short staffed, and the medical field is hurting right now. Coming from a family who works in medicine, hospitals, and knows the complexity of it all, we know that there was no blame to be placed on anyone. In fact, we are so grateful for the medical care that has been provided for my family and for me.
But, put simply, my anticipation to break free and return to “normalcy” was driving me crazy.
One of my friends told me that I should advocate for myself, like I do my family. They said I need to speak up and ask them more information.
I didn’t want to “bother” them.
I realized, in those moments, how easy it is at times to become complacent in your life and forget about yourself.
I would do anything for my child. When my daughter was in the hospital, I was questioning, ensuring she was being seen, asking for things that she needed, and making sure that her care was top notch. But for myself, I was almost unrecognizable.
I am not the girl who speaks up for myself when I am mistreated, feel wronged, or disappointed by someone.
I am not the girl who speaks up for myself.
I AM the mother who makes sure that her family is safe, healthy and secure.
I AM the woman who is learning to put myself first sometimes. I am learning that in order for my children and husband to be happy, I need to make sure that I am taken care of as well.
Although this weekend, I did not speak up or advocate for my own needs, I did realize that I need to start doing so.
And that lesson within itself is so important and valuable. Make sure not to lose yourself and give yourself some grace.