I'm not the kind of girl that sends the food back.
I think humans are split up into two groups: one group sends the food back, one group eats the food as-is. I'm in the latter group. It's not that I'm complacent, I'm just the kind of person that would rather eat cold food, or the wrong food, rather than bring on the awkwardness that I feel accompanies "making a fuss" at a restaurant. If I'm brought the wrong order, I honestly believe - in the moment - that it will be easier on everyone if I just suck it up and eat what I get. In theory, I know that telling someone they brought the wrong tray won't break their inner psyche, but in practice, I feel as though I'm making their world crash down if I say, "Excuse me, but I asked for a vegetarian sandwich, not a bacon wrap."
Why am I bringing this up? Because it's not just about food, although that's probably where it is quite noticeable, it's about every aspect of life - especially when it comes to health and health advocacy. I have never been a strong advocate for my health, both mental and physical. I also come from a stoic Scottish family who refuse to ask for help, so the odds are against me.
I didn't ask for a time line of how long it takes for the fertility clinic to book an appointment after a referral is made. I also asked my shrink a month ago for another referral to reproductive psychiatry, and he has not got back to me. Another doctor said he was going to ask a colleague a specific question about a specific medication I'm on, and he forgot to mention it last time I saw him, and I didn't bring it up. I don't want to be pushy about things, because that's just not what I do, but I'm realizing that for this journey that Devon and I are embarking on, we need a voice. Devon has been a really good advocate for me in the past, especially when it comes to my chronic pain that I've been dealing with, but I imagine (I know) that it becomes exausting for someone else to be the constant fighter, when you don't do any fighting for yourself. It's not really fair to ask.
With a mental illness, it's twofold. Your self-worth takes a hit, and that's why there are so many people with mental health issues that aren't getting help - unless you have a fighter close to you, you won't get the help you need, because you certainly aren't going to ask for the help yourself. All those years in hospital, I always thought that I was the most despicable patient in there, who was making nurses go out of their way to "treat" me, but in retrospect, I certainly wasn't a shit disturber, in fact, I was hardly asking for a thing. Despite being suicidal, I was actually really quite lovely. Figures...
I don't know whether TTCing is suited for people who don't fight. There will be lots of appointments, lots of doctors, lots of questions, and I'm not good with any of those. I had to get 7 vials of blood taken from me today to go through the fertility blood tests, and I couldn't even ask the lab tech whether she could take it from the other arm (knowing that it's near impossible to find a good vein in the arm she eventually took the samples from). I just don't know how to stick up for myself.
I envy those people who can just say what they mean, when it comes to service, and medicine. Those wonderful characters who can grab a waiter over and say, "Yeah, sooooo not what I ordered, so go get me the right meal, and just so you know, I'm not paying for it". Although they make me cower in shame if I'm with them, I do envy them... but I know there is a happy medium in there somewhere.
I just want to be respected through this journey. I don't want to wait for calls, but the alternative is not enticing: calling a clinic to ask how long they take to set up an appointment? No way! That's not what they're there for! They're there to make babies for worthy people! (I know, it sounds silly, but that's the dialogue that goes on in my head). I want to feel in charge of my health through this fertility journey. I'm so glad I have Devon to fight for me and us, but I need to be conscious of what I'm giving towards our advocacy.
It is my uterus, after all.