Assertiveness: The New Me

The other day as I spoke with a friend, she told me,

“You know I’ve learned the hard way to become assertive, my doormat days are over”.

I made a mental note of acting with a completely new attitude the next time around I was admitted at a health care facility. My friend was making ground breaking changes in her new life and initially after my surprise, admiration came along the way.

via morguefile

My opportunity for test driving my assertiveness as my new ME came slamming at my door, (not literally though so don’t get too excited) when my neurologist told me on  the phone that he was sending me to the hospital for another round of immunoglobulin therapy for five days. To which I completely agreed due to the fact that very “pronto” I was heading towards a myasthenia crisis.

Now, let’s get back to the assertiveness thing going on.

It came handy after I went through the hassle of getting admitted in a local hospital facility pretty near to my house.  In Puerto Rico distance is relative really, because close for me is about a forty minute drive from a rural area where as  for any other folk that’s not close at all.

After I had signed, initialed and gave all my personal and medical information to the admissions officer, she calmly told me…

“Doña Maritza (which left me feeling 49 going to 80) or better translated Old Lady Maritza, there are no rooms available, and you will have to begin your treatment in the ER in an isolated room for the moment, until a bed comes up in a double room after an unknown patient is discharged.”

After my first response of a head nod (since hey, I’m the one needing a room in a hospital), my newly acquired skill came to the rescue as I replied with my newly acquired hospital assertiveness…..

“No, this situation is unacceptable for me,”

“I came in as a direct admission and this is what precisely is going to happen.”

To which she told me with a bit of an attitude that, if I chose not to go through the ER, then what would happen was that I would have to wait sitting in an adjacent room until a patient/client was discharged.”

To which I replied,

“I am going to have to defer, since you should have told me before hand that you did not have a room available for my admission.  I have an autoimmune illness and going through any high risk area will become harmful to my health.”

She told me,

“Why did the doctor not write this down on your order?” with a sorry, I can’t help you if he didn’t, voice.

Feeling very proud of myself in retrospect for standing up to this hospital bully, I replied,

“You do have a clearly written diagnose on your order, this facility should have codes for patients with certain chronic conditions. ”

Well, how did it end?

Simple, easy and very assertive,

I declined the ER and withdrew my admission to this facility writing on all the space available of the exoneration document,  handed over not so nicely, where I informed the administration of that hospital that they should set up policies that were helpful for the patient/client and their administrative people where they were clearly give not the hospital, but the patient enough information to make an informed choice.

Finally I ended up, in another facility where not only did they understand my condition clearly, but they were able to accommodate my needs within the hospital’s policies and my treatment began early the next morning.

So, you see my “dear amigos” being assertive helps in all situations where we just need to say no and move on to greener pastures in all what life brings us.

Please, never forget to keep believing in yourself and the good of life no matter what we find along its path, and remember assertiveness is not only my new me, but can become the new you.

See you around the corner.