Today I want to finish off our week-long series by looking at what we can do when this happens to help ourselves or our loved ones heal.
What happens when we can't prevent the procedures and experiences that we know might be potentially traumatic? When individuals and caregivers deal with lifelong disabilities or chronic illnesses, some portion of our lives is spent doing really hard things. Sometimes we get so 'used' to these things that we start to think of them as 'normal'. But no matter who you are, we each have a threshold over which we start to feel like it's all too much. Today I want to look at protection during potentially traumatic procedures and experiences that can't be avoided, and I want to look at protection through the avenue of support.
Advocacy is a bit of a 'buzz-word' in many circles, and that is definitely true when it comes to disabilities. But anytime you have buzz-words, you also end up with a lot of confusion about what advocacy looks like and how it works - especially when you are dealing with people who are vulnerable either because of their disabilities or because of the precise circumstances they find themselves in.
Today I want to tell some stories of my own medical trauma, to help those of you who haven't experienced this to start to wrap your head around what medical trauma might look and feel like and how that might impact someone, and to help break the silence for those who have experienced medical trauma as a patient or caregiver.
Today is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. So this week seems like a good week to get back to writing and to think about some of the issues that go hand-in-hand with disabilities. Today I want to touch on a difficult topic for a lot of people, and that is the issue of medical trauma.
I was sitting with a friend the other day and she asked me, "Heather, what exactly is a life coach? What do you do?" And I figured maybe she wasn't the only one who was uncertain...
Sitting with requires that we allow ourselves to feel the feelings of loss and grief, fear, rejection, being silenced or abandoned. It's difficult, but difficult isn't the same as impossible.