"I am afraid you may have Interstitial Cystitis and Vestibular Vulvodynia."
"Honey, I need you to urinate in this cup to see if there is any blood in your urine."
I was 23 years old sitting on the OBGYN table by myself with my doctor staring at me holding out a cup and declaring my diagnosis after hearing the list of complications I was suffering from on an almost daily basis. The only problem was as soon as I heard the word "interstitial," her voice turned into Charlie Brown's teacher's voice. "Wah waaah waaah wah," was the only thing I heard while the room started spinning and I began to have hot flashes. So much so that I left a puddle of sweat on the white paper they put under your bare bum for you to sit on.
She handed me a cup and said she would be waiting for me back in the room when I returned from the bathroom. I slowly got up from the table and made sure to hold on to the wall as a guide to get me safely to the bathroom. As soon as I hit the toilet, I put my head between my legs. Taking deep breaths I told myself not to freak out just because the name of my so called condition was super long and sounded foreign... I mean, it didn't mean I was going to die. In fact, I had no idea what it meant. I just knew I didn't like that something could possibly be wrong with my body. My body that I take care of. My body that I rely on daily for work and play and.... all the things.
Since then I have been on a long journey of trial and error, medications, doctors, flare ups and all that jazz.
And ever since that one appointment, I have had a hard time going to any doctor. The internist, dentist, my specialist, all the baby check ups, the chiropractor... you name it... I dislike it so incredibly much. It is apparent when I am white knuckling the steering wheel, taking shallow breaths and checking to see how much sweat my arm pits produced during the short (or long) ride it took to get there (there meaning any doctor's office). It became apparent to my husband during the beginning of my pregnancy that I for sure had an issue with doctors. He wanted to try to make all the check ups with me and would get in the car like any other day, laughing and asking me questions. When I would respond back with short snippy answers, he knew something was up. Softly he put his hand on my back and asked if I was ok. I think the way I was acting reminded him of the first time we were waiting in line to ride a rollercoaster together. I was standing in line extremely quiet, scared and slightly nauseous. I didn't talk to him, nor did I acknowledge he was there. I was too busy talking to myself and easing my loud mind. Thankfully from my non-answer he allowed me to do my thing, but still stayed present for me when I needed a rub on my back.
Because I have such a hard time going to doctors, I used to schedule my appointments as far apart as I could possibly get away with. However, for the baby, I didn't have that choice. Thankfully this has been great practice for me (it has forced me to face many blood draws, ultrasounds, etc for myself and another living being!). After many check ups, I am almost back to my normal self previous to eleven years ago. I thank this pregnancy journey as it has helped me become stronger in more ways than I would have thought. Because I am going to be a mommy, I am vowing to turn 2019 into the start of regularly scheduling doctors appointments- for normal checkups and if I ever feel as though something is off. This is a form of self love I was lacking in majorly. I speak about filling up your own cup to clients and friends through journaling, meditation, exercise, etc.... BUT this is a whole different level of self love. Maybe one of the most important. When you have your health you have everything.
What type of self love will you be vowing to this year? I urge you to just start. Practice and force yourself to do something you are scared of or have been putting off. You mostly like will realize the hubbub you built up in your head is nothing compared to what real life will bring you. And if it is, you will become stronger in the end. xo