This is the fourth blog in the series You Can’t Pour From an Empty Cup
When you take care of your family, and your job, and those around you that you care about, it may seem like that’s enough. And many women, especially those that manage to pull it off, may seem like it comes easily to them. Simi was one of those women. I had known her for many years. She raised a son, ran a business, and seemed to have a great marriage while maintaining her independence. And despite little sacrifices she made to ensure her family was taken care of, life moved forward with little to be concerned about. I would see Simi once every six months, sometimes more often if she came in with her son when he had his check up. She seemed strong and calm at the same time and I never thought we would be meeting again under different circumstances.
It was a car accident. Someone went through an intersection and hit her car at an angle. She thought that maybe whiplash but weeks later, when it didn’t seem to get better, and she still couldn’t bite down properly, she called me to make an appointment. Her bite was off. Her jaw was clicking. Her midline was off. Her muscles would spasm every time I touched them when she tried to clench. When I asked her to move her jaw to the left, she had a shooting pain so she started to learn to avoid putting her teeth together at all. She would say, “that’s ok, I can just eat soup”. Really??? Simi, I can help you. “No, it’s too much money; and my son is going to college so that’s more important”. So we managed. For a while. But as she put her son through college and deteriorated further, it became clear that something had to give. “Simi, you need to take care of you first”, I said. Women do this too often. We sacrifice ourselves so that we can give to our children or spouses. But in the end, they are the ones who suffer if we don’t take care of ourselves first so it does come down to that anyways.
Simi found a way. Not all of them do but her career depended on her being strong and able to speak in public so she managed to move forward and treat her condition. But so many women don’t. They suffer; sometimes in silence, other times not so much. They think that sacrificing of themselves will help their loved ones. But in the end, it ends up costing them more.
Read all of the blogs in this series