A Lesson From the ER on Being Your Own Advocate

I want to share a story with you today about why we have to be our own advocate…

I dislocated my shoulder last week.

It was actually the second time it happened in a little over a month. So quick recap….

I slipped in new Bombas socks. On hardwoods. Tried to catch myself on the dining table and ripped my shoulder out of socket.

Now fast forward 5 weeks or so and I’ve done it again (apparently once this shoulder thing happens, it’s a lot easier for it to happen again).

This time though all I did was reach back in barre class.

So back to the ER I went…

Different ER, different ER doc though, and this one goes to me…

“We’re just going to put you to sleep for a minute and pop it back in.” 

I said, “Do you mean give me anesthesia?” 

He said, “Yes, just a little bit, you’ll only be under for a minute.” 

I thought: F*CK NO.

I said, “Is that really necessary?” 

He looked at me like I was crazy to want to try this awake…

I thought: shit. he must not be very good at this.

Then in so many words I basically told him the last doctor made it look easy (he definitely didn’t like me now).

He said, “It doesn’t always work, but sure, we can give it a try.” 

I wanted to run.

I didn’t (ha, I couldn’t!). Long story short…

I didn’t get anesthesia. My shoulder’s back in the right place. And all the drugs they gave me have finally worn off so I can put two sentences together to email you about it. 🙂

The morale of the story….

WE HAVE TO BE OUR OWN ADVOCATE.

If there’s something you’re not comfortable with…
A medication you don’t want to take…
A surgery you want to avoid…
If there’s something that just. doesn’t. feel. right.

Listen to yourself.

There’s probably a reason it doesn’t feel right to you.

Speak up.

This is what it means to be your own advocate.

Because if we don’t, no one else will.

This whole experience of going through the exact same thing in two different ERs, with two different docs, nurses, x-ray techs, two completely different strategies to put me back together (meds, procedures, etc.) was a reminder there’s no one right way.

There’s only what’s right for us.

And we get to decide that.

Not anyone else.

Also, nothing like a dislocated shoulder to show you how miraculous ER docs and pain meds are. Thank God for both of them.

Oh ya, and whatever you do, Me just put your socks and shoes on at the same time, OK?

Megan Adams Brown

P.S. Helping folks advocate for their own health is what I do. From requesting specific labs (and knowing why so you can have an informed convo with your doc) to working with your physician to wean off medication, we take a collaborative approach to your health, putting YOU in charge so you can truly feel your best. Ready to take the next step? Let’s chat. Grab some time on my calendar here.

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