Trust your instincts.
Know your value.
I recently moved due to my health (all my chronics), and due to some additional health issues that resulted after a car accident that totaled my car. I am a chronic pain warrior, a mental health warrior, and by training a special education teacher, early interventionist, tutor, and Certified Fibromyalgia Coach (and other chronic disorders too). Due to my chronics, I had to stop working in 2012. I also stopped working then as my supervisor was incredibly abusive and I wasn’t being backed up by the administration. I had my first in-person job in June of 2019 at one of the best, most supportive preschools I have worked in, with the most amazing staff, and I’ve worked in many. I was in a new city and things just kept happening to me. I was injured multiple times, burned by scalding water from a bottle warmer, and the ultimate was on June 10, 2020. I was in a car accident and there are parts of it I didn’t remember how I got from where I was to the crash site (which wasn’t a far distance at all but still scary).
Thank G-d, I have an amazing mom who hired someone to drive the 10 hours from where I lived to where she was. She found doctors who could help me better than anyone I had been to in that city where someone of the top healthcare workers reside. With G-d's help, I’m healing and found a permanent residence here, a place I never thought I’d live again.
I want to get back to my two points above. Trust your instincts and know your value. I had to switch insurances living in a new state and not only had difficulty finding one for me but once I did, I found very few who took it. I had an initial Telehealth appointment with a doctor and he nearly turned me into a blubbering mess. I’m on meds for my various conditions and he lectured me on that. He told me the treatments I was doing were of no use and that I should have stood up for myself. All of this over Zoom and I couldn’t say anything but “I’m sorry” over and over. I felt like I was being disciplined by a parent which (in real life) didn’t happen often because I was and still am a people pleaser. I got off that call feeling worthless, stupid and so much more.
I then reached out to my support system who helped me realize that I wasn’t wrong, that this man was, and he clearly did not know me nor my body, to make the drastic changes he wanted me to make. After several discussions with friends, family and healthcare providers, this past saturday night, I sent him an email highlighting what he did to me and how it made me feel. I then canceled our next appointment and asked never to be contacted by him or his staff ever again.
And now I’m looking for another person that took me 2 months to find and am hoping to change my health insurance as well.
As fellow spoonies, I imagine you have been in similar situations or even worse. Do not doubt your knowledge of your disorders and do not let your medical professional berate, break you down, and destroy you. Have your information and enter that meeting strong and confident. Only you gets to choose how you want to care for your body. Only you can choose the doctors and other professionals in the healthcare field that are best for you. People can help guide you (like me! - shameless plug ;) ) to help get you into the right direction.
I’m working hard every day to continue to strengthen myself from the inside out. When you grew up with a parent who was often disappointed with you because you had an LD that was not diagnosed until the summer before 12th grade, being lectured like that stirs up some major PTSD. I’ve grown a backbone, for the most part, but this “doctor” stripped me of it for a short time.
Why just a picture of my eyes? Well, someone once said that your eyes are the gateway to your soul. I'm not sure how I feel about that statement. But, I strongly dislike having my picture taken and while the photographer was taking pictures of me and my family, I allowed him to only show my eyes. I am very expressive even in a nonverbal way. I believe when you look into those/my eyes, you can see how I'm feeling.
I’m not/never looking for pity.
Remember, no one has control over you but YOU. Do not let anyone make you think you are less than you actually are. Work on being proud of what you are and what you can do. I work on that daily. If you need help with this, please reach out.
I’m Kate Straus and I’m a Certified Fibromyalgia Advisor. I help Jewish women feel confident in their ability to practice their faith while navigating the ups and downs of fibromyalgia. I’m using the disease that at one time knocked me down, to help support others live life to their fullest.