Molly Weisgram’s husband’s nine month hospital journey led to writing a book about finding your voice and making meaning from crisis.
Do you struggle with finding your voice? Molly Weisgram is the author of The Other Side of Us: A Memoir of Trauma, Truth, and Transformation, a beautifully crafted story about a young family that faces the unimaginable, a sudden and traumatic health crisis. Within days of a health diagnosis, Molly’s husband became a quadriplegic on a ventilator, with no promise of a full recovery. When it seems all is lost, they begin the eventual climb to a new life. The Other Side of Us is her debut book. Molly Weisgram lives in Fort Pierre, South Dakota, with her husband Chris and their four children. She believes life is not about disease but about recovery.
In this episode of the Woman of Value Podcast:
- Molly’s tragic story of her husband’s sudden health crisis
- The key learning and growth after his near death experience
- The importance of finding your voice, and how Molly found hers
- How crisis can transform you
S3 EP3: Molly Weisgram – Finding Your Voice
WHAT DOES ‘WOMAN OF VALUE’ MEAN TO YOU?
Every woman has value. My core value is authenticity. When you show up as yourself, you add tremendous value to everyone around you. Being brave enough to be authentic. It’s trusting my gut.
HER ‘AHA’ WOMAN OF VALUE MOMENT
In 2019, we were adjusting to the arrival of our fourth baby. Valentine’s Day, my husband got strange tingling in his hands and feet, which set us down a completely different route. He was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré Syndrome. His body attacked itself. He couldn’t move. The severity is not common. Within five days, he was on a ventilator and paralyzed, like a frozen statue. Even his eyelids wouldn’t blink!
They told us he might be like that for weeks, months, or years. We had no idea how long we’d have to wait.
He was transferred to an amazing rehab center. He was ventilated fifteen weeks, until his mom came to take over. He began a slow recovery. It took nine months to recover.
WHAT MOLLY LEARNED
I learned who I was in crisis. I was good at separating from my emotions. I went to what I could control. Paperwork. Getting home. I am a risk manager. I wanted to know all the bad things that could happen.
In managing what was happening, I refused to feel sad. I refused to be a victim. I did find myself being numb and unavailable to others. When I’d feel something, it turned into anger. I engaged in counseling to work through it all.
It’s still hard for me to connect to my emotions, but I’m working on it.
THE PROCESS OF FINDING YOUR VOICE
My husband literally couldn’t speak. I knew what I needed to say and do at the beginning. Advocacy helped me learn to step up and speak up. I had to make tough decisions, and I wanted to make educated ones.
It was elongated trauma, and the continuity of care was so important, as he was transferred several times. I cleared my voice and clarified, standing up physicians. I felt called to do it. And I was respected for creating a powerful voice.
When I started narrating our life for everyone else, including loved ones and business associates, I had to find my voice without sounding like a victim. Caring Bridge is a website to share your healthcare journey. I resisted it at first, but so many people expressed care. I needed to have a place for people to check in while I was away with Chris.
Caring Bridge became a life jacket for me. I wrote the reality of what was happening and the learning. I got so much support, which helped so much.
I wasn’t writing just about a health journey, but about perspective and wholeness. It awakened something in me. It helped me sort through what had happened. It helped me get it out of my body and onto paper to gain a new perspective.
THE LIGHTNING ROUND
- I used to think I wasn’t good enough.
- What was the #1 thing holding you back from becoming a woman
of value? Fear.
- What’s the best advice you can give to a woman who wants to
become more empowered? Listen to your silence.
- What advice would you give to your younger self? You look good, girlfriend.
- What’s something people get wrong about you? Being labeled shy vs. wanting deep connection.
- How would you like to be remembered? As long as my kids remember me in a way that they know their perfection, that’s most important to me. I want them to think they’re good enough.
CONNECT WITH MOLLY
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