“So, are you going to put me under, or…?” I asked the dental surgeon.
I was all trussed up in my stylish dental bib, minutes away from an emergency root canal surgery.
“Oh, no,” he replied. “No need for anesthesia. The procedure really isn’t that painful.”
“Um, OK,” I said, while internally thinking, “Ninety minutes of dental surgery? Not that painful? Seriously? Hmm.”
But he’s the expert, I’m the patient, so I figure: he knows what he’s talking about.
Ninety minutes later, I left the clinic choking back tears, feeling nauseous, terrified, absolutely traumatized. Not that painful? I’ve given birth to two children, peed on myself during high-intensity Crossfit training, and I have to tell you: this was MORE agonizing that those experiences combined together.
“Are you giving me a painkiller prescription?” I asked the doc on my way out.
“Nope, you won’t need it,” he said. “Pop a couple aspirin if you feel that’s necessary.”
Several hours later, once the Novocaine wore off, I was in searing, blinding pain.
The dentist had assured me, repeatedly, “You’ll be fine, don’t worry, it’s not that bad.” And maybe for 99% of his patients, that is the truth.
But I knew, in my bones, that something was not right.
I hadn’t been given the care that I needed and I was in too much pain to sit quietly any longer.
It was deeply uncomfortable (literally: I could barely open my mouth) but I knew it was time to speak up.
I rang up the dental office and explained what was happening to me.
After a quick check in, they confirmed my suspicions — the area where I’d been surgerized (yeah, totally a word) was infected. They prescribed painkillers, antibiotics, the whole nine yards.
Finally: I began to get better.
This isn’t a story about a “bad dentist” (he isn’t — he’s actually very good) or “medical negligence.” Not at all.
This is a story about why it is VITAL to stand up for yourself and speak up for yourself. Even if it flies in the face of what the “experts” recommend. Experts are smart but your body is smarter.
If something is not right — in your body, in your home, at the office, out in the world, speak UP.
Don’t suffer needlessly.
Demand the care you need.
If you struggle to speak up for yourself, or if you’re afraid of seeming “pushy” or “annoying,” ask yourself:
“Would I sit back and allow [so-and-so] to treat my child this way?”
“If I saw [situation] happening to my best friend, would I zip my lips and just let it happen?”
Whatever level of fierce mama bear protectiveness you regularly dole out to others — give (AT LEAST) that same level of love to yourself.
Be your own advocate.
Sometimes “white knights” and “heroes” swoop in to save the day. But usually not. Rather than waiting to be rescued or fixed, it’s far more empowering to take a stand for your own health, happiness and success.
At the end of the day?
It’s your life, body, business, and destiny.
No one can speak up for you… except you.
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