In the early 1980's, film-goers were shocked and moved by Shirley Maclaine's performance, in Terms of Endearment, as a mother who's daughter was dying of cancer . She won an Academy Award for her portrayal.
The scene which garnered the most attention was one in which a frantic Maclaine demands timely pain medicine for her daughter. Slamming her fist on the counter of the nurses's station, she relentlessly fights for help and medicine to ease the suffering of her adult child. The basic humanity and raw honesty of this scene is still full of insight and impact to this day.
Loved ones who help survivors survive often are faced with moments like these. Moments where they have to speak up and fight for the person they love, to ease their suffering and get them the help they need.
Sometimes you have to "Go Terms of Endearment" to get people to pay attention and provide you with the help you need, to help the people you care about survive. Especially during times of pain, when timely treatment may be delayed, overlooked or underestimated.
There is no need to be belligerent or hostile, but...
You have the right and the responsibility to request help for someone who might not be able to properly ask for the help themselves.
You have the right and responsibility to keep asking and demanding assistance if no help comes.
If a nurse can not help, ask for a doctor. If that doctor can not help, ask for a different doctor.
If someone will not listen, do not stop speaking up. Make noise until someone hears you. Keep making a ruckus. Do not be silenced or cowered. Be brave and be loud.
Surviving is hard. Sometimes, the survivor has to focus every part of who they are just on breathing in and out to survive to the next moment.
People who care about those fighting to survive have the equally daunting task of witnessing the suffering and being an advocate for the survivor.
Speak up. Speak out. Ask for help. Demand help if no help comes.
It is our job to help get help for those we love when they can not ask for help themselves.
Make a ruckus when you need to. Survivors need help to survive. Give them your voice when their voice is too weak to speak for themselves.
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