Is It Really That Bad?

Yesterday before bed I told The Hubs that I was most likely going to head out to the Urgent Care Clinic with the intent to be there before they opened so that I would be in and out quickly. I had been experiencing an increase in pain that was mostly explainable by normal triggers but the odd sort of excess of pain was beginning to be too much.

Mostly, my girl parts were hurting something fierce and I was no longer willing to just wait it out, and sadly my attempts to get in to a clinic were shut down by the holiday weekend. I explained that I wasn’t overly concerned, that I mostly was sure I knew what the issue was, but that it needed attention stat. He looked at me and asked “Is it really that bad?”

EEEEEERRRRRRRRTTTTT! (<— That’s the sound of tires squealing to a stop, okay?)

Did he just? Oh come on, really? Oh, but he did.

Look through pretty much any “What Not to Say to a Chronically Ill Person” post anywhere and it will tell you to never, ever, ever, EVER ask the question “Is it really that bad?” It’s like eating chocolate pudding without Whip Cream; you just don’t do it.

Now, before you get all excited and come for him with pitch forks and torches (fellow Spoonies I am talking to you) I will tell you that we had a little bit of a conversation about this today while doing our coffee run.

*Before we go any further here you need to know that we Spoonies hate the Urgent Care/Emergency Room scene. Their primary function is to slap a band aid of sorts on what ails you and send you off to your primary doctor for follow up or admit you; whichever is appropriate for your situation. The thing in common here is that these situations are usually acute. Chronic issues are a different breed; we come with files the size of encyclopedias, narcotic agreements, and scan after scan after scan of the same damn body parts and an imaginary sticker that says “Do not touch with 10 foot pole”.  We also tend to end up educating the doctor on staff about our conditions or have to repeat ourselves a dozen times, or end up defending our reason for even showing up in the first place because they assume all you want is medications.*

With this nugget of wisdom in mind, The Hubs was probably thinking man, I hate that place.  We wait for hours, explain way more than we should have too and usually leave with no progress being made. It’s not our favorite place to hang out. Of course I had already been down this road in my mind and decided that I did, indeed need to take this trip. But he didn’t know that. So I asked him if he meant “Is it really that bad?” as in “Are you sure you hurt that much, maybe you’re over reacting and we don’t need to go sit in the waiting room for six hours.” Or “Is it really that bad?” as in “I seriously can’t tell there is anything hurting you right now because you hide it so well.  And also, wow, that sucks that it is really that bad.”

He did clarify that he was not second guessing my decision, but that he was unable to gauge, by looking at me, how much I was suffering. So today while I was getting ready for the day I was thinking to myself that I was able to sit upright in a chair while I applied makeup. Also, I was still willing to apply makeup. So was it really so bad? I was caught between being rather impressed with my ability to move on with my day and function despite how much pain I was feeling and wondering if maybe I should hold out since I was, indeed, still functioning.  I started wondering to myself “Is it really that bad?”

What an evil weasel this question can be, no? I spend so much time teaching myself to listen to my body, trust myself to know when it’s time to say “enough” and when I need to stand up for myself. And yet, with one simple question from a concerned spouse my mind is flipped upside down wondering; could I be inflating this beyond what it is? Is it possible that I need to simply suck it up and push on through this and it will resolve? Or is there really something that needs to be addressed?

Once I had decided that I could wait one more day before I headed in to the Urgent Care Clinic I started to think about the day’s agenda: a birthday party. (Spoonies everywhere are groaning, but that’s another post.) Maybe I could give this one more day to resolve on its own, but that didn’t necessarily mean that I was fit to sit in a room with adults and kids crazed on sugar for 4 hours with a smile plastered to my face. I knew in my guts that I should decline the invite, send The Hubs and A to represent the family and park it on the couch for today. But people get so touchy when I don’t show up for these things. For all the explaining in the world, it seems that I still manage to offend some people when my pain takes over my schedule. (Sigh, this is yet another post)

So then I start to wonder again is it really so bad? Do I really need to skip the party? You’re not climbing the walls in pain, or crumpled up on the floor, so why not go?  I did go, and I made it about two and a half hours before the pain won out and we needed to leave. We missed dinner…and cake.

… I love cake.  I could smell the frosting….. mmmmm frosting……

*shakes head* sorry!

As I was saying. I am glad we went because it was nice to see family if just for a short while and I think The Hubs was pleased I ventured out of my safe circle with him this time around. But as I write this I know that I will not be able to hold off for another day. Tomorrow’s plans are pushed to the back burner until I can get this checked out. It’s always odd to wish for test results or an exam to be positive for something but in my case it’s always good to be told there is something off. It’s nice to have to something to back me up when someone asks “Is it really that bad?”.

2 thoughts on “Is It Really That Bad?

Add yours

  1. Wonderful post and so well said! My husband and I are always arguing about how sick I really am at any given moment, with him saying he can tell I’m hurting and me with my hands over my ears pretending I’m fine so I don’t have to go to the doctor! It’s sad how all of this makes us crazy over time, you know?


    1. It is sad. Hard to be so sure something is wrong and question it at the same time. I think, in my personal situation mask my pain so well (not bragging, I honestly think it’s a wall I put up) that he honestly can’t tell. Unless I say something, and even then my body language doesn’t always match my words. It’s frustrating.


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