I have been with my care team for 12 years now. The same clinic staff, nurse and doctor have seen me through 2 pregnancies and births, an abusive ex boyfriend, depression/anxiety and of course, the now chronic pelvic pain.
They are like family. Nah, they are family. This same team takes care of both of my biological children as well as my inherited teenage daughter. To say they know me is an understatement. These people have seen my privates more times than I have. In most cases I suppose it’s a great thing to be so comfortable and close with your care team. In other cases, I find it almost does detriment to our communication. Worrying what your PCP might think of you on a personal level is not always the best way to spend your time. But here I am, worrying about what the hell happened during my 35 minutes at the clinic.
Like normal my nurse called me from the waiting room and we stopped in the little area for weight and height. Noticing I had gained 3 pounds since my last visit (3 weeks ago) I said “whoa, I gained weight” immediately trying to figure out where I picked up 3 pounds. To which my nurse replied “Yea, that’ll happen when you stop working and sit around at home.”
You know how your brain does that thing where it thinks a bazillion thoughts all in about 2.5 seconds? Yea.. that’s what mine did. It went something like this: “Does she think I sit around and do nothing all day? Was she kidding? She had to be kidding. She didn’t laugh or smile. Oh crap, she wasn’t kidding. Wait a minute-she doesn’t know crap about what I do all day, does she think I am lazy?………… Maybe I am just bloated?” All that came out of my mouth was “I suppose bloating could cause that?” she murmured something along the lines of “I guess so. If you’re retaining water.” to which I so wittily replied “I do yoga”
Writing that now I can’t stop giggling at myself. “I do yoga”. Which is true, I do. But I find it funny that I felt the need to defend myself so strongly that I even said it out loud. I mean, I know that I am not lazy, why did I care so much if she knew it too? I still don’t have an answer for this other than I don’t like feeling judged, and my dear friends, I felt judged.
During my appointment with my PCP we discussed my Shingles diagnosis and my symptoms. She didn’t think my rash was a Shingles rash, but had no other explanation for the pain I was having in my neck/arm/shoulder/collarbone area. It was an odd sort of conversation where she went back and forth from, this is Shingles related, to this is not Shingles related and then back again. I pointed out that most often the oddest versions of illnesses manifested in me. We have joked on more than one occasion that if it’s a weird, unlikely symptom or side effect I will be the one to get it.
We discussed adding in a medication to help with the remaining nerve pain, and then decided to wait on it. Then decided to check in via email if things didn’t improve within the next week.
Then she looked at me and said something along the lines that I always have the weird symptoms, she stood up to grab some papers off the printer and, in a tone probably used for friends or a spouse exclaimed that she was “sick of it! Just sick of it.” My first response was to tell her (sarcasm font used here) that I was sorry for presenting with weird symptoms and would be sure to be the normal type of ill next time we met. Instead I just said “Yea? Me too!”
The next second she was sitting again and we were finalizing plans to deal with the maybe-Shingles and when to schedule my next check in. She had the door open before she was even done speaking to me and practically ran out when she was done.
What. The hell. Was that? I think I was in some sort of shock until I got home because in the middle of making myself a shake for lunch (a shake instead of a sandwich since you know, I sit around all day. Gotta watch my weight.) I started to cry. There was no holding it back. I walked myself upstairs, shut my bedroom door and cried. Like a damn baby. Why was I so upset? Was I frustrated because once again my body was misbehaving? I wish that were it. But no, it was more personal than that. My feelings were hurt.
It’s one thing for me to feel the frustration of my condition and its effects on my life. It’s okay for me to feel that my condition effects my husband and my kids, my relationship with my friends. But my doctor? I just don’t know how I am supposed to feel about that. Am I so difficult to treat that I have exhausted even my doctor’s patience? And even so, what in the hell am I supposed to do about it? I have yet to find the magic wand that fixes all the hurts in the world. (by the way, does anyone know where it is?)
I mean, I suppose it makes sense. Doctors are people too (PSA anyone?) She isn’t just another person in the world, she is the lady who got me through 2 pregnancies and 2 births. She has watched me go through all of these procedures and she has been just as baffled by my condition as myself. So I suppose it makes sense that she be annoyed by my newest weirdness. Or maybe it was just a case of the Mondays all around? Who knows.
I suppose it’s fair to say that I am not the only one who is tired of this constant pain and all the fun it brings along with it. But I am not so sure it’s fair to make me feel bad about it.