Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Role playing

Today was my visit with my new primary care physician. Since starting the whole fertility diagnosis/treatment journey, I haven't prioritized seeing anyone to talk about my general health. Partly due to the assumption that that would come after treatments resulted in pregnancy; partly because my life was already filled with enough doctor's appointments. Once Grey and I made the decision to stop treatments, I knew it was time to see someone. The drugs have taken a huge toll on my body and it's time to be monitored by someone who is going to look at more than my uterus.

The appointment was a quick one: the patient scheduled before me was a no show and because I had arrived early, they decided to see me right away. First came the usual routine of getting basic information: weight, height, blood pressure and an update on current medication. Following the whole TCM blowup with Grey, I decided to bring the herbs with me to talk with new doctor. After a few more questions, the nurse left me to grab the doctor.

Dr. M is a younger physician with a great bed-side manner. One of the reasons I picked her was because she had done some extra training in osteopathy and it was clear when she entered the room that she was going to work with me to help me meet my health goals. What was also clear is how quickly information passed on to the medical staff can be misconstrued: when asked for a reason for the appointment, I said that I had finished fertility treatments. Dr. M came in the room prepared to talk about what one needs to do to start that process. So when she took one look at me, I think she was prepared to have her work cut out for her.

Once it became clear I wasn't there to talk about IVF, but instead recovering from multiple failed rounds of IVF/FET, she immediately settled into helping me generate a plan. We talk quite a bit about the adoption process and how important it was to keep her in the loop so she could help provide medical information for the process. We also talked about diet and exercise to help me recover from the physical tolls of treatment. In addition, she looked at the herbs and declared them "safe" for use, though was quick to add that she couldn't guarantee any benefit. But she suggested that I give them a try.

Finally, as we were wrapping up, she told me something that made me do a double-take. "I want you to live like an expectant parent." I think the look I gave her betrayed all the pain and sorrow I had been living with, because she quickly pushed herself back from the computer and faced me to explain. "I'm not saying that if you improve your health that you'll magically become pregnant," she said, "but if you continue on their journey to adoption, you will need to prepare yourself, both physically and mentally, for your child."

I think she could tell I have my doubts about the mental piece. For me, I've closed the door on the idea of ever being able to become pregnant and carry that pregnancy to term. 2.5 yrs, 3 failed IUIs and 3 failed rounds of IVF/FET solidified that one. But she encouraged me to try. "I'm not suggesting that it will magically happen overnight, but it's amazing the power of the mind."

On the drive home, I thought so more about this conversation. The importance of being well for the upcoming process completely makes sense to me. But mentally I'm still struggling. After so much pain, it's hard to envision a future that's any different from the one now. Logically I know things can change, but I'm not fight the logical part of my brain. As I thought about this, I thought about Mo's post too. And I thought about my recent sessions with David and Dee; how mentally I could be sabotaging any path to a child based on my inherit belief that I don't desire to be a mother.

What I wonder is if the universe is telling me it's time to put away these destructive thoughts and to start playing the role I want for myself and my family. I see the signs and am reading the message, but what I've fought is believing that it's possible. In short, maybe what it's about is finding the courage to once again dive blindly into the abyss that we call hope. To open myself to the chance of being hurt all over again.

21 comments:

  1. Get this book: adoption - sound choice, strong families by Patricia Irwin Johnston. Yes, live like you are expecting. Assuming you and grey pursue adoption, you are going to have a baby in possibly less than nine months. Absolutely time to start making this real!

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    1. Actually, I already did. I read the 1998 version, but haven't had time to crack this one.

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    2. Keep on churning all of these thoughts ... they are necessary on the road to healing. The best is yet to come.

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  2. Another amazing post. :-)

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  3. Now I understand your comment on my blog about signs. That last paragraph makes me so happy. Big happy Hugz hon! Holding so much hope and faith for you.

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  4. They say if you smile, you'll feel happier. I don't believe that my mind has the ability to make me fertile, but I do think that pretending can help get me to a better place mentally. Even with small things...in the midst of a long cry last night BG looked at me and said, get up and come help me make dinner. You'll feel better if you're not laying on the couch. And he was right, of course. Just behaving like I was feeling better did help me feel better. It didn't make our problems disappear - but not feeling depressed about them is important too.

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  5. Wow your doctor sounds amazing. I wish all doctors were as thoughtful as yours. I feel like so many times people in the medical profession focus so much on the physical part and completely neglect the emotional/mental side. That is such a big part of this whole process. It is nice to know that there are still some doctors out there who care. Your follow-up thoughts are so spot on too. This is an all around lovely post. Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. There's been a big move recently for training DOs (Doctors of Osteopathy) as we're finally beginning to except that disease is usually a systematic problem. It's been really refreshing to interact with physicians who have this mindset, as pharmaceuticals and procedures are not being pushed as much while self-care is.

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  6. Your doc sounds great--wish mine was so interested in what's going on other than of my general physical condition. What she said about adoption and behaving like an expectant parent was powerful. I'm not sure how to get there, and I think you should give yourself some time. You've been through so much just in the past several months.

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  7. Wow, I can't believe a regular PCP would have the insight to say something like that. They usually seem so focused on the immediate. She sounds awesome and I'm so glad and proud to see you moving toward a positive path for yourself and your health, firstly, and also for yourself as a future mom, however that becomes a reality. Huge hugs to you.

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  8. There is so much to be said about acting the role before you have the part. Just like Sass said, if you smile it can lift your mood even if the circumstances remain unchanged. I am so hopeful for you still that someway somehow you will have the family that you and Grey dream of! *hugs* and love to you both.

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  9. Hi Christy! I found your blog via Stirrup Queens and was interested to see that we are in the same city and seem to be going down a similar path. I look forward to reading more!

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  10. Hope is such a mixed thing... powerfully magical but also heartbreaking sometimes. Hang in there... you're doing a great job with all that you're going through. I've always found you to be such a positive and hopeful person... so compassionate and giving. You already have it in your heart. Thinking of you always xoxo

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  11. It sounds like you have a really good doctor. I actually tell myself this often. Just because I will never be able to carry a child, doesn't mean that I won't have to get myself physically healthy to be able to take care of the baby we adopt for a long time. I actually should get myself to the doctor and do this ASAP.

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  12. Your GP sounds great, and I think she is right about living like an expectant parent. It sounds like a healthy way to live, even if it also does sound hard.
    Don't worry about finding your courage; you're already one of the bravest people I know.
    ~Keisha~

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  13. "I want you to live like an expectant parent."

    Wow, wow, wow. Chills. This post is going to stay with me.

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  14. Love this whole post.. It's so nice to see someone who has a GOOD Doctor!

    Couldn't have said it better than Sass - I'm getting over a rough patch myself, and trying to.. fake it until I make it, I guess.

    Hope is like someone's annoying Mom, I think - she can be a real bitch, but she's also the one that makes sure you're fed and functioning.

    Good on ya for being so brave.

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  15. Awesome post. I love that you have a DO. I went to my moms doctor once who is a DO and realized that is what I need in a GP/PCP. Someday I hope. I am really happy that you are moving forward! Hugs.

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  16. Cristy, sorry I haven't been commenting as much, I just never know what to say. You and your husband have been through so much and I just keep waiting for the day life lightens up for you if even just a little bit. I think of you all the time and hope this doctor has instilled a little bit of hope in you. Sending big hugs...

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  17. I love this post. Hope is a double edged sword. I battle it every day. For me hope trumps everything, including reality. However without hope, what's the point? So it's a tug of war of emotions. Wishing you the best. I think hope is a good thing.

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  18. What a wonderful Doctor. She seems to really want to help you. I know how scary it is to embrace hope and retrain your brain to think you can still have your wish come true. I am still struggling with that. It will take a lot of work. But taking the first steps and trying is the beginning. You can get there my friend. I believe in you.

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