“No sea sapo”

“Don’t be a toad.”
“No sea sapo”

“Knowing how complaints can be sticky, as well as picky, she gave herself instructions not to complain: “I told myself to shut up. I told myself not to talk, not raise questions and just be invisible.” When you have something to say but realize it would be costly to say it, you have to keep telling yourself not to say it. Institutional passing can be the effort to maximize the distance between yourself and the figure of the complainer. You might try to pass not because you identify with them or wish to be one of them but just because it is safer not to stand out.” (Ahmed 2021: 155)

I am a doctor, and I believe that complaining is for the brave. Because when we complain, we need to expose the situation we are complaining about repeatedly. In a case in which we have been violated, we have felt insecure and powerless. We must tell our story, hoping to be heard and hoping something will change. 
During my undergraduate internship in obstetric medicine, I was amazed by some mothers’ mistreatment when having their babies. The system dehumanizes doctors, leaving them with no more energy than they need to deliver a baby as quickly as possible. 
First, the shifts are so long that you don’t care who is on the other side in the end. You want to finish fast. There the system wins. A patient is just another number. Never mind that it’s the big day when the nine-month wait is finally over, and you finally see your baby’s face. It’s just another number. 
Secondly, the position in which mothers must give birth is not the right one. Many indigenous cultures give birth in a squatting position because gravity helps the baby come out easier, and pushing is not as painful. The system won. Doctors are used to pain. 
Third, there are so many women in the delivery rooms that it is impossible to provide an excellent service to all of them. The important thing is the “product,” the baby. The important thing is to get it out as quickly as possible in the best possible conditions. Cesarean sections have even been performed that was unnecessary because the breast took too long to dilate. Women have to say yes because they are not 100% informed of what is happening at that moment. The system won: How many babies per minute? 
Humanized childbirth is a concept where that kind of thing doesn’t happen. The mother has total control over her labor. The decisions she has to make are informed. The point is that there shouldn’t even be a “humanized birth” because all births should be like that. We women have been taught that life is not easy and that we should not complain. Because besides, if we complain, nothing will likely happen. 
The system has completely drained the will of doctors; everything is numbers and money. Anyone who complains about the system is a toad, that is, someone who “talks too much,” but not being a toad has led us to perpetuate an inhumane system. It has shown us to have medical appointments where the doctor cannot take his eyes off the computer. 
The skepticism of complaining has accustomed us to the fact that it is easier to put up with it than to complain and carry out a process within the institution. 

This story was told in a meeting between two friends on the 13 of November 2021.

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