Babbles:Communication Challenges

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I was at my favorite paycheck donation center aka Target the other day and I was in the self-checkout line behind a mother and two children.  One child was an infant and the other was 2 or 3 years old.

The child was sitting in the cart, the seat part, and he was talking to his mother, who was scanning items for checkout.  As she scanned the items, she handed them to her son.  But something was wrong, and he was trying to tell her something, but was not able to get it out.  With her infant child strapped to her, she kept scanning her items and the young boy kept trying with all his might to vocalize what he was trying to say, getting all the more frustrated when he was not able to say what he wanted.  He finally kicked his feet and threw up his hands and said very clearly, “Mommy you are not hearing me!”

I nearly cried.  My eyes filled up with tears and I stared.  I had to snap myself out of the eye lock that I made with the child.  I was not staring because of the melt down that was now in process, but because, I could relate.  How often in life are we in a place where we are trying to communicate how we feel, or what we think to someone and either they are not listening, or we are not able to clearly explain what it is that we are thinking and feeling?

 

I have been working with various doctors, for a number of different medical conditions, for numerous years.  I have answered questions verbally about my symptoms, I have filled out written questionnaires, and I have drawn shapes on drawn figures of the human body to indicate where I had pain.  All in attempt to convey to the doctor how I was feeling.  And in each and every circumstance, there was still slight miscommunications between myself and the doctor, and cases where I wanted to yell “You are not hearing me!” as well, because well, they were not hearing me.

 

Recently, I sat down with one of my doctors and we had a very direct conversation.  It was a hard conversation to have.  I put on my big girl panties, and I pulled myself up by my bootstraps metaphorically, and I shot from the hip (again metaphorically).  I identified what we had done up to this point over the last 3-5 years, and what worked and what had not worked.  I explained what I found to be frustrating and what I found to be successful.  (I felt like I was doing a job performance review).  We discussed the challenges that we as partners faced and what the future held for us.  We set a six-month goal and monthly goals leading up to the six-month goal.

When I left the office I nearly puked.  I got in the car and my legs went weak.  I had not been that assertive and confident in YEARS!  That’s the way I had handled myself “back in the day”, in the days prior to the diagnosis, prior to the hysterectomy, prior to my world being up ended.  And when I got good and mad, good and pissed off, good and ready to re-establish control, SHE came back.

I fear that I may have offended my doctor with my behavior, but gosh darn it, I may be in the best place I have been in a year, or more.  And you know what, I did it.  I advocated for myself.  Instead of sitting there in a cart, belted in, kicking my feet and throwing my hands in the air yelling that someone was not hearing me, I sat with my horrible posture, in a 1950’s inspired dress, holding back the tears that really wanted to come, and acted like a business person with an agenda that included the success of my health.

 

I see her again in a month, and knowing me I will apologize, but I hope I won’t.  I took charge and as result, I am living a simpler, overall improved life.  I had a meeting today and it was observed that I am better.  Although it was not said, I know that I am getting the sparkle back in my eye.  I am still struggling with fatigue, but I am battling that like my life depends on it.  I am being strategic with what I do during the day and allowing for the more challenging items to be completed when I am more awake, and the easier items to take place when I am not as with it.

 

Communicating is hard, as is life.  It is easy to throw a tantrum, and we are all entitled to have one every now and again.  But oh the way it feels to have a victory when you communicate, and your voice is heard… not so sure much compares to that kind of a success.

Sprinkles and Cupcakes,

~Bella

www.bellasbabbles.com

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16 Replies to “Babbles:Communication Challenges”

  1. I can’t begin to express how much I love this post! I relate on every level. I’m so inspired by you, and the way you took the reins with your doctor! I wish I would do that instead of changing doctors all the time. I’m so afraid of insulting their often fragile egos. You did exactly what we all should do. Wow.
    I might add, I at first cracked up when you started out with “…my favorite paycheck donation center aka Target” 🙂 I have lots of those places and I want to write off those donations! LOL. Thanks for a terrific post!

    1. Thank you for your response, it made me smile! To know that I was able to help at least one person makes me feel like the blog was written for a reason and it served a purpose.
      I hope that your day is blessed and that you are able to achieve what you needed to achieve today in the fashion that brought you the most joy possible.

  2. You go, GIRL! I have the “you aren’t hearing me” moments quite often, but I had one particular doctor who was always trying to talk over me, whether about bipolar, blood pressure, epilepsy or pain. My big moment with my doctor ended with me sobbing my heart out, trying to tell him why I did not want the anti-anxiety drug he was recommending. He never got the point, but he did bring in the resident psychologist who didn’t have time to talk to me… (no kidding). I can laugh about it now – and I didn’t take that drug, either.

    1. Thank you for your support, this means so very much to me.
      I know that doctors know a lot. They are the experts in their fields, right? but we know a lot too!
      But, i know my body and i know my body very well. and in this case, i know that we can push my body a little harder and we need to focus more on hormones at the moment and less on psychiatric meds to get me to balance out. So, I went with it, spoke my peace and now three weeks later, I am pretty stable, and that is so incredibly refreshing. Puts a big smile on my face.

  3. I have a difficult time speaking up about my feelings. When my boyfriend asks me about how I am feeling or acting a certain way, I don’t respond. I am too afraid to because I feel like what I am feeling doesn’t matter

    1. Hi.
      I can relate to what you shared. I have felt the way you expressed and there are days that I still do.
      What I remind myself is that I do matter, and that YOU DO MATTER. And with that, you includes all of you, you as in your whole body, your mind, your thoughts and your feelings.
      At times it can be hard to articulate how we feel, feelings are tricky as are emotions, and it is hard to get them out in a way that is understandable. (I trip over my tongue oh so often).
      Perhaps try different ways to express yourself. Writing is my go to, as is painting, even if it is just doodles. At times it can be helpful to just put colors on a page. Today I am feeling (add a color). For me I would add purple as I am feel worry as I have a friend who is sick, and I feel like purple describes the color of worry for me.
      But, I would encourage you, to encourage yourself with affirmations.
      I AM WORTHY
      I AM WORTHWHILE
      I AM LOVED
      I AM LOVEABLE
      I AM GIFTED
      I AM BLESSED
      Read them, say them out loud, read them to yourself in the mirror. Know that they are the truth and that you matter.

      1. I try to use affirmations in my head. Saying them out loud is the hard part

  4. I love this post! After my mother died when I was 12. It was hard for me to express myself because I wasn’t allowed to. Some people thought I was seeking for attention (if that makes sense) Now that I am an adult I been finding it difficult to talk about my problems…I’m still learning.

    1. Thank you for reading and for leaving me a note. I think learning is a really amazing gift that we have been given. There is so much that we can receive within it that just keeps giving. Each time I learn something new, I feel a bit stronger and a little bit more confident. As I increase my confidence, then I am more encouraged to learn. And each item feeds the other item and before you know it, I am standing up to doctors about my health and well being.
      I am also a big advocate of taking things one bit at a time. Small pieces, one at a time. It takes a bit to get there, but in time we do and we have a stable foundation beneath us and we are able to accomplish much due to all that we have gone through and the foundation that we have built.

  5. I love this post. Thank you for sharing this. I myself also struggled with expressing how I really felt. I was always afraid of what someone would think so for the most part I would only share what I thought someone would want to hear. Sad- but the truth. The really disgusting part is when I did start opening up, was honest, and willing to be true to what I needed and what I felt. I also was not heard. Self-advocacy can be challenging; yet, overtime it gets easier. My life changed when I deeply understood that I do have a choice and that I could change that choice as often as I need to maintain my mental health and wellness. Thanks again.

    1. You are welcome. I have been on my journey for this medical condition for nearly 5 years and it has been filled with ups and downs and “riding things out” and finally i had enough. I am happy i stood up, although I still question myself and weather I did the right thing.
      As you mentioned, its the learning about having a choice and then embracing the choice and standing firm behind it.
      I hope that you continue to stand up for yourself and your health and well being.

  6. Sometimes even the most trivial incident in our daily life prompts such reflections. and you are right. I was that child in the cart – literally and metaphorically. I had several problems as a child other than my mental illness. I was continuously drinking water every five minutes and my family brushed it off as nothing and scolded me for it. I repeatedly told them that my back hurt and my legs don’t straighten out completely. Again the same reaction. Later when I grew up, the conditions were diagnosed as Dyspepsia ( Continuous drying of the throat) and a spinal deformity. and if I start talking about how my mental struggles were ignored, this comment will never end.

  7. Thank you for your wishes. Strength is not a destination that can be achieved once and for all. It is a struggle;like a roller coaster, some days are harder than the others. Which I am sure everyone on this blog can relate to.

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