By Tracy Becker
Who are the women in healthcare? The list is so extensive that I fear I will leave out a job, talent, responsibility, skill, and commitment. Yet, first, I think of mothers who care for disabled children or any other loved one.
Women that go to people’s homes; women that work on the front lines in emergency care; women that answer the phones and talk to desperate people; women that translate for medical personnel; women that may not have any sick or suffering patients or clients, yet they must read and review charts. I also think of women who are retired from healthcare but know deeply the suffering that is being experienced. Women that doing healing work and let the wounded release their fears into their arms. These are the women I know, and this in me. In this case, I can only speak for myself and the stories I hear from these women I know.
Here is what we are saying: “It is hard. It is scary. The sleepless nights are real. Waking up in terror and a knot in your tummy that is the size of a bowling ball is a regular occurrence. Bursting out in tears for seemingly no reason is happening daily if you can get away with hiding it from your family and peers. It is exhausting; I have neglected my friends; I have not laughed in months. I cannot think of anything that I want to do or have other than a few moments of peace, and knowing that everyone I love will be alright.”
They are also saying: “I will not give up. I still have some fight left. I need some help, for someone to notice I need some help. I need a back, shoulder, and foot rub more than I ever have in my life. I need to look for miracles. I need to do better. I need to get myself back on track. I need to stop being a sissy. I need to toughen up. I need to love my kids more. I need to be nicer to my spouse and other people in my family. I need to reach out to others and see how they are doing. I need to breathe deeper and trust more. I thought I knew what I wanted, but now I am not so sure, which scares me even more. I feel so guilty, but why? Nothing makes sense, and I feel so broken and vulnerable that I cannot fight anymore.
Yet, tomorrow we will. We will put on our armor in its many forms, and we will walk through the day, ignoring our needs and being a servant to others in hopes that we are and continue to impact others’ lives positively. We do this while we secretly pray for a deliciously good night’s sleep that makes us feel rested and happy to greet the next day.
You got this!