Tuesday, April 24, 2012

This Patient's Denial, Connection, Acceptance, Hope and a God wink

pics on Sodahead

So ...yesterday ... tears kept flowing during most of my consult appointment. No ...NOT uro and NOT serious ...THANK GOD! Although ...it is a fact that there are inherent risks to all surgeries. And it is a fact that I could have more risk than than some. And in all likelihood ...I would be fine. I do not feel anywhere near as afraid about this as I did with the uro surgery. Yet ...I have concerns. That being said ...I am not there yet. Just closer to acceptance than I ever was ...although after today ...I am wondering .."What if? Since today is already so much better ...what if I continue and somehow ...I can avoid it? What if?"

Wouldn't I just make you CRAZEEEE if I was your patient? Of course ...I am the one suffering the longer I delay. But ...I just cannot help but to come back to, "What if?" And ...I know a lot of people put this off.

Anyway, I haven't talked about it much at all. Denial runs deep. Okay ..you know what? Yes ..I will say why ...but don't want to go into much detail now.

I have been mostly silent about it for two reasons. Both ...are probably silly.

1. False pride (I am not proud of this line of thinking and I know I am wrong ...but I can't help what I feel and yet I know I have to rise above ...and certainly ...I would be supportive of someone else going through the same things.)

2. I do have concern that because I have written so much about my personal medical experiences ...and you never know who is reading that can connect the dots to identify you ...and who knows who ...even if you do write anonymously ... which is no big deal ...because my life is my life ...except that I would hate to have any potential employer see some of these things, concluding that I am a health risk for hiring and then get shuffled to the bottom of the pile. OOPS! In the shredder! (Yes I know that was a run on sentence. :)

Okay ...back to the appointment. I have a history with this med professional. He is the sweetest, most supportive man. And a real good listener. I love how he makes eye contact. He definitely connects. Although, his eyes seem to penetrate down into my soul and so there was no way I was going to conceal all the frustration, discouragement, fear, and even embarrassment that has been building within me over time. Denial was out the window. My overflowing tears betrayed the strong emotions that I was trying to keep down.

Eye contact is very important to me. But, this was embarrassing and even when I was on the exam table and looked down or away ..to collect my thoughts - myself ...he leaned down to look up into my eyes or leaned around to the side to connect with my eyes ...with me. There was no getting away from what I was truly feeling at that point. So I gave up and just let it all spill out ... tears ..words ..the dam broke. I wasn't sobbing ..but, I just could not stop the tears from streaming down my face. He closed the door to the room we were in, I looked up without wavering eye contact ...and told him everything relating to why I was there ...why I finally just gave in and came in. And I had planned to ...but, then ...I let more time go by then I had originally planned to.


HE was totally into the conversation with me and boy did I feel heard. Not ..only did I feel heard ...but his empathy and concern caused me to feel validated and cared for. I admit ...I have felt so alone in this ...because while people can empathize ...unless they have walked the walk ..they just cannot know. It's not their fault. It is just the way it is. I know that. I've even experienced being left behind ...by my clueless ..otherwise empathetic friends and family. Then when they realized ..they'd apologize.

So, validation is so very important to me because I feel my experience as I relay it to others is subjective and so I always feel I have to keep explaining (to those close to me, yet they say I don't, although ...I feel I do) So as my story poured out ..the tears flowed. So EMBARRASSING! Then I felt guilty when I saw someone with something so seriously wrong with them ...far worse then my experience and I am sure that person would trade places with me in a heartbeat ...grateful to only have my challenges. I commented about the other person's physical situation versus mine and apologized for my apparent weakness and he made it clear that my concerns were important.

He was empathetic and encouraging. And now ...I am finally ready to listen and to commit.

He also said "You WILL be having this surgery." And believe me I understand and am so tempted. But, I have other goals to surpass ..or so I feel I should. But, I also don't want to get into that now either.

He seemed baffled when he said, "I don't understand. WHY haven't you gone for this surgery?" I explained my reasoning and concerns ...that go beyond the obvious denial, prayers for healing that have not happened yet. I don't want to get into that now either.

Anyway ...one of the things I expressed that not only was I frustrated ...but I felt embarrassed at how I looked regarding something. Of course he said I shouldn't be and I do know better. I really do. I even said I know it doesn't matter what people think. (I just hate the feeling of appearing compromised in any way ..some days worse than others and the worst days are the ones that upset me) And Yet ...I have not acted on what I could to remedy the situation. Although ...it is not a black and white decision ...not for me because I do have another consideration and so when I see the physician connected with this I am going to ask a very specific question. then I am going to ask another physician I know. And beyond that ...I am also going for a second opinion in this specific field of medicine. It's entirely possible that my concerns are erroneous and the best thing I could do would be to act on this now. Don't you just hate when you are in the middle of having to make big decisions that you just do not want to have to do in the first place? And yes ...I know ...life is filled with, "Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.", situations. But, as previously stated ...these decisions are not black and white for me and sometimes I have felt I am resisting ...to protect my life. Even with this seemingly less surgery ...which isn't exactly a day at the beach either ...although I KNOW that for the reward it promises ...I could so bite the bullet and totally get through the post surgical pain. Absolutely ..I could. So ...that is not why I resist.

Well ...he was incredibly encouraging and he came up with a plan, which I began today. Already I can see the light at the end of the tunnel ...no matter which way this goes. I was getting depressed over it. More depressed than I realized ...until the tears spilled out. I was feeling like I was giving up. Although ...not consciously ...but ...more a matter of accepting the status quo... and doing less and less ...because it was easier. Insidiously easier. And counterproductive to my overall health ...which I felt I was going to lose if I didn't act soon.

But ...now I have taken action and am steps closer (no pun intended) toward achieving my goal ...in this situation.

I also want to add ...that because of circumstances in my life ...a lot of my frustration has also come from what I feel have been roadblocks preventing me from just doing what I really want to do. I don't discuss everything in this blog. Life is not black and white. Ha! I don't WANT to do the things I may have to do and I just want to do what I want to do, but ...I may just have to do what I don't want to do ...so I can freely do all that I really want to do. Maybe this holding pattern that I have been in is because I have refused to acknowledge and act on these things.

Anyway ... call it a coincidence if you want to ...but, I call it a Godwink. Remember I said that I was feeling embarrassed to be seen sometimes?

Well ...there I was ...driving back home ...tears filling half way up behind my sunglasses ...to the point that I had to raise my sunglasses to let the pooling tears out so I could still drive. I'm KIDDING! ;) Tears were still falling from under my sunglasses though. I happened to look up and there was this sign that my church always puts a message on, different messages on each side. I didn't even notice the sign on my way to my appointment. But, now I happened to look up and while I didn't catch the last sentence, the beginning said, "Don't worry about what others think of you", and I honest to God felt like it was a message direct from Him to ME! It could not have been more timely and immediately spoke to my heart. It not only reassured me regarding what is most important ...but it also felt like a Godwink ...telling me I am on the right path and to keep going forward with the plan and the direction it leads me in.

I know that probably seems crazy to some. People put that message up and thousands of people probably see it during the week. But, God talks to all of us in so many ways. It's a matter of whether or not we are receptive to hear. It's been my experience that I will just have this inner knowing ...a green light in my spirit ...a peace. (I'm not always right ...but usually am) That happened when I saw that message on the sign, which was specific to my concerns and subsequent comment I had just shared with the medical professional and then there I was ...reading that sign. And my tears cleared up instantly ...because I truly felt in that instant ...that God was aware and rooting for me. (I know this is true for all of us ...but in that moment I needed to feel it. :)


I don't think so.


I believe it was. :)
I find the concept of Godwinks to be so fascinating and I do believe they happen in all of our lives. I enjoyed the book and have since passed it on to a friend. Here is an excerpt from the author, SQuire Rushnell on his website: When God Winks:


A godwink is what some people would call a coincidence, an answered prayer, or simply an experience where you'd say, "Wow, what are the odds of that!"

What do godwinks mean? Think about when you were a kid and someone you loved gave you a little wink across the dining room table...Mom or Dad or Grandma. You didn't say "What do you mean by that?" You knew. It meant: "Hey kid, I'm thinking about you right now." That's what a godwink is too: a message of reassurance from above, directly to you, out of six billion people on the planet, saying "Hey kid...I'm thinking of you! Keep the faith! You're never alone.

In times of UNCERTAINTY what we desire more than anything else is CERTAINTY. Certainty that our families are safe. Certainty that we won't get downsized or that we'll have enough in the checkbook to make it through the month. We crave certainty when we get a scary medical report. And we long for certainty in our relationships.

It's during times of uncertainty that we especially need to get connected to our faith. We need to believe that our lives are not random like twigs floating on a stream to destinations unknown. Instead, we need to know that we all have a greater purpose; that someone really is up there watching over us and we're always on an incredible GPS...what I call God's Positioning System™...never alone. To me, the best thing about godwinks is that they are TANGIBLE SIGNPOSTS along our way, giving us hope, replacing uncertainty with a genuine feeling of CERTAINTY that everything is going to be okay!"


StorytellERdoc said...

Hi Seaspray,

I am so impressed with your posting. I love the thought that the eye contact between you and your doctor expresses more to him about your current situation than any of the words you may have chosen...a good doctor, for sure. I'm glad you have someone like that in your corner.

The Godwink is so cool. I thought of Garth's song, Unanswered Prayers, while reading your words on Godwink...kind of a similar passage.

I hope this finds you and your family well, friend.


SeaSpray said...

Hi Jim!

Boy, you are exactly right about the eye contact! It was powerful and spoke volumes ...that we were reading each other ..seemingly soul to soul at that point.

I think I erroneously used words med professional when I should've said Physical Therapist. ? I was wrestling with whether or not I want to go into specifics, but have already begun a second post going into detail. I was thinking the PT profession involves working with patients and so thought of him as another medical professional.

I have to tell you ...that you seem to have a knack for leaving such a positive comment about my writing ..just when I wonder if anyone reads my blog and I question my writing ..whether or not it is interesting. Seriously ..your timing is uncanny.

I'm glad you enjoyed the Godwink part. Godwinks are cool. :) And thank you for sharing about Garth's song and I will check it out when I come back tonight.

Thank you for your kind words - they meant a lot. Timing incredible. Oh wait ...a Godwink? :)

And last but NOT least ...YOUR'E BACK!!!! I'm so happy to see you are out in medblgdom again and now I am going right over to visit and see what you posted.

I hope you and your family are well too and enjoy your weekend. :)