How do you avoid energy vampires?
“Be strong,” I kept telling myself. “Don’t cry. You did nothing wrong, and you don’t deserve this disrespect. You apologized for that which you could not have any control over, and there is nothing that can be done. You have the power to not let this affect you. Just take a deep breath and let it go.”
This is how I dealt with my last patient of the day one day last week. I was on the verge of crying because of how this a-hole was treating me for running 15 minutes behind schedule, and did I mention it was at the end of the day? He’s lucky it wasn’t longer! The patient that was before him is quickly declining with dementia and needed extra TLC, just like I’ve given him for his extreme dental anxiety for the last some-teen years. He insisted I still see him when I offered to reschedule him if he’d prefer, but then he blindsided me with uncalled for fury and offensively harsh words. I barely held back the emotional rollercoaster that was racing its way to my tear ducts after such a verbal attack, and after an internal battle to decide whether or not to bite my tongue or say what came to my mind, I decided to confidently blurt out that my doctors have made me wait 1 1/2 hours before, and although it may not be convenient, I could respect that because I know they spend the necessary time listening to and addressing their patients’ needs and concerns, including my own. Then I politely explained to him that as hard as I try to stay on schedule, I cannot control what happens in the hour(s) before his appointment that may slow me down, and proceeded to tell him that I would not be offended if he wanted to go somewhere else, or he could schedule at a time he would be guaranteed not to have to wait in the future. Life is challenging enough without having to deal with energy vampires like this!
Like most others, he has no idea of the internal hell I’m going through myself, and the stress I’m under, trying to keep myself working in spite of the inhumane pain, fatigue, and myriad of other things I deal with on a daily basis in order to pay the bills, keep a roof over my head, and have food in my belly. He had the audacity to whine about how he loses money to come get his teeth cleaned, while being ignorant to the fact that he had cost me lost wages several times over the years when he missed his appointments, and caused other patients lost opportunities to have those appointments in my tight schedule simply because he was not courteous enough to call to reschedule ahead of time. I wanted so badly but withheld giving him a piece of my mind and explaining what it’s like for me, having to provide everything for myself, having a mountain of medical debt, no spouse to help like he has, and pushing through with pain levels that would have had many others seeking disability long ago. Every day I feel like I’ve been beaten, bound, and then tossed down a long steep hill and left to fend for myself. But no matter how much it hurts, I get up again.
I guess my point here is that there will always be negative, ignorant, and energy draining people or situations we have to deal with. As “Spoonies”, our energy is too precious to be wasted on things that are not in the best interest of our health and well-being. We must make every effort to avoid those draining people and situations, but when we can’t, we have to learn to take them with a grain of salt, or in the case of POTS sufferers such as myself, more like a bucket of salt, LOL!