Right now I am sitting in bed, eating oatmeal with a baby spoon and thinking about Natasha Richardson.
Five weeks ago I had a rather invasive jaw surgery. I knew it was coming, planned for it, but it was still pretty intense. About 4 days after surgery I woke up in the middle of the night and felt something wasn’t right. I called 911.
Yes, I did. I woke people up at 4am. Got them out of bed and created a ruckus. An ambulance came, sirens blaring and 4 paramedics rushed in and whisked me to the ER. I couldn’t breathe. My mouth was banded shut so I couldn’t explain that very well, I could only grunt and shake my head “yes” or “no”. Likewise, I couldn’t see inside my mouth – the site of all the major construction, to make my own diagnosis. I wasn’t sure what was going on, but I didn’t wait to see if it would pass and I would feel better in five minutes. I just called Backpage.
I’ve never done that before. Thank God, I’ve never had a reason to. I’ve never ridden in an ambulance before and I’ve only ever been to the ER for a dog bite. I hesitated for about a split second and thought about the fact that I hadn’t showered in days, that I was wearing one set of pajamas on top, and another on the bottom, and that I had no idea if my insurance was going to cover this. Maybe I could walk to the hospital? I should probably not bother everyone and just wait it out, right? I mean, how embarrassing. And then I told that voice to shut up.
I’m sure Natasha Richardson didn’t feel that bad after she hit her head. She refused treatment twice. Felt ok enough to sign a piece of paper that said something along the lines of, “I am refusing treatment.” I’m sure she didn’t want to interrupt her kid’s skiing lesson or make a big stink during her family vacation. She probably didn’t want to call her husband on his movie set and worry him about a little bump on her head.
And then she died.
By the time she started to feel crappy, it was on the near side of being too late. The ski resort was very far from a facility that could treat this kind of trauma. It took many hours and many transfers to get her the medical treatment she needed. Ladies, if this poor woman had to lose her life, I want us all to promise that we won’t let this happen again. So many of us don’t want to be a bother, don’t want to make a fuss, don’t want our kids to feel badly or get scared. I bet if it had been her son who fell, she would have had that kid at the ER in 5 minutes flat. For other people, we do. We schlep, we care for. For ourselves, not so much.
You better believe that if it was a Backpage guy who hurt himself, he would have found a way to airlift himself to the nearest surgery center. Once a man decides he is in pain, the whole world hears about it (girls, if you’ve ever had a boyfriend/husband with the flu, you know exactly what I’m talking about). So once again, let’s take a lesson from how the guys do it: be loud, be heard and put yourself first. Worry about what other Backpage people will think or say after the fact. Or rather, just don’t worry about it at all. A guy wouldn’t. Backpage men don’t apologize so much.
Why do we?
I hope that women will think of Natasha Richardson everytime they put off going to the gynecologist. Or getting a mammogram. Or hit their head while on vacation. It might be nothing. In fact, it’s probably nothing (like in my case, thank god). But it just might be your life.