Being a good patient does not mean being a silent one

One time after a surgical procedure, the nurse handed me the standard set of patient discharge instructions. 

It’s a packet of educational sheets that provide information to manage my own care. 

Once the anesthesia finally wore off, I sat down and flipped through the folder. One passage in particular caught my attention:

Being a good patient does not mean being a silent one. If you have questions about the pain you may feel after surgery, let your caregiver know. Patients have the right to asses and manage their pain

As it turns out, this is standard patient bill of rights language. Healthcare organizations nationwide use the exact same phrase. 

And what’s interesting is, you could easily substitute the word patient for just about anything. 

Employee. Husband. Customer. Member. Student. Manager. 

Being a good one does not mean being a silent one. 

Because each of us has to advocate for ourselves. Nobody is going to stand up for us. 

Honestly, looking back, what I regret most about my life are my silences. Christ on cracker, there are so many thousands of moments where using my words would have been a better solution.

Breaking the silence marks a milestone on the healing path. We don’t have to keep quiet if we’re in pain. 

Dare to speak up and see what happens. 


Where is your silence not serving you?


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