December 6, 2021

Hey Doc, Are you Leading with Love or Fear? Because I’m already Vulnerable.


View this post on Instagram

I read an article a while back regarding periods changing after the vaccine.

Well, I’m one of those gals.

Unfortunately, the changes kept happening, and I’m currently going into my fourth month of clotting and pain. I won’t bore you with the details. However, as someone who is now regarded as a second class citizen here in Aotearoa (New Zealand), unable to shop freely, have my hair cut, go to the gym, or any events, I wanted to share an email I recently wrote to our HDC (Health and Disability Commissioner).

I wanted to express some of the hardships I am facing as an indigenous woman in my 30s who is raising children and now seems to have grown polyps (small tumours) throughout my womb in the last three months, and also to ask those who are reading this: What are you leading with? Love? or fear?

To whom it may concern,

I recently got a face mask exemption due to my disability. I have diagnosed complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and the masks cause me to struggle taking a breath in.

Today, I went to a specialist appointment at my gynaecologist. I wasn’t aware that they would be taking my temperature on entry, which I abided to, and then was asked to wear a mask (which I explained I had an exemption to due to my disability). I also shared that I had a mask with me in case I would be offending anyone. The receptionist seemed cheerful and unworried.

The receptionist then went out of the room and informed (who I assumed was a nurse) quietly regarding mask refusal, and they both harrumphed loudly to each other.

I was called in by this lady I had not met before. She stood in front of the doorway requesting I put on a mask. “Um, you’ll need to put on a mask when you come in here,” she said. I explained that I had an exemption, to which she replied, “That’s beside the point. You are required to wear a mask in here.” I didn’t quite get the rest of what she said but it was along the lines of I’ll make her sick.

I placed the mask I brought with me on and suffered from intense anxiety, which made it difficult for this lady to understand what my answers were. She suggested I put on one of her masks that “were easier to breathe through.” I explained it was not the mask itself rather it was my condition, as I was a rape survivor and the man held his hands over my face. 

She asked how old I was when it happened and I shared that I was 12 years old, but there were a series of incidents, and unfortunately, when you do counselling, you tend to remember things after the therapy. After this, I asked who she actually was. She informed she was the specialist I was meant to be seeing for the consultation.

I felt too shy and anxious to simply walk out, so I endured the full appointment, even suggesting she does the biopsies in this appointment. As I absolutely never want to come back.

I wasn’t sure what to do, or if I should make a complaint. I remained feeling quite upset about the whole experience.

Arriving home, I marvelled at the fact that my voice had disappeared from fear of the authority questioning me. A basic right that keeps me feeling safe was taken in an instant.

Whatever side of the fence you’re on, please consider leading with love, always. Someone could be already in a vulnerable position and you don’t know it.


Read 3 Comments and Reply

Read 3 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Emmy Bidois  |  Contribution: 7,875

author: Emmy Bidois

Image: dust to dust/Instagram

Editor: Farah Hany

Relephant Reads:

See relevant Elephant Video