Fear causes contraction & other health lessons

I got a clean bill of health last Thursday. One doc said, “You have boring lab work and boring joints” while another said, “We use a scale of 24 and you are a 2.”  

I’m so happy to be boring!

After I celebrated, soaking in the Spring feeling of my good health news,  I also celebrated handling the fear and uncertainty beautifully. And then… I started wondering about the false alarm nature of my health issues.

What could I learn about this chain of events? What wires had gotten crossed?

Pick up the phone!

If I had called my primary care doc after she told me I might be seriously ill, instead of emailing her through the secure portal, I might have learned my lab tests were .5 (!!) over normal and the chance of me being sick or getting sick was minuscule. Hello, fact checking! And hello, doctors who communicate clearly.

Ask questions!

My other health scare was prompted by comments from my oral surgeon (I’m getting an implant) over the last year.

I asked him some questions about what he was seeing on my x-rays, but I could have asked more. Why didn’t I? Because asking questions pushes me up against my fear of arrogant men and so I shut down. I’m very glad I checked out his worries, but oh it would have been so good to stop him and say, “I need to know more.”

I am the person I am.

I’ve become so much braver when it comes to asking medical pros questions and standing up for my health; oh yes I have. And sometimes the good girl in me still operates my mouth. Oh well, she’s a lovely part of me and I’ll just remind her next time something comes up that being good in certain situations doesn’t help us. “You’re great at a cocktail party but not so much with mansplaining docs. Let’s let another part of us handle this.”

What story do I want to tell?

It wasn’t just my doc’s miscommunications; I clearly have stuff going on with my body that’s not optimal. But now that I know it’s nothing “serious,” I’m released back into the spacious place of loving and welcoming my body, and listening to what it needs.

I fell into the fixing model, the idea that someone else is going to fix what ails me.  There’s an answer and once I find it, whoosh, all will be well.

This fixing model fantasy is my favorite and I will always be tempted by it, in all areas of my life. But “something is the matter and someone has the answer” is obviously such a powerless place to live.

I have a wonderful physical therapist who, besides being very gifted and experienced, always reminds me I’m healthy and strong. He addresses my fears and shows me how I’m okay by checking my body. Then — this is so big! — he reminds me that fear causes contraction and from there, we get all sorts of physical bugaboos.

I’ll be focusing on writing a new story; one in which my body, mind, and spirit are the best of friends and we all keep talking to each other about what’s best.

Yes, we’ll get wise outside input from pros, and I will always discuss things with Bob, my husband, who’s excellent at logical decision making, but then I settle down with myself. Get quiet.

Sink into gratitude and love.

Remind myself I’m safe.

Check in with what I need, what I want to try, what the next simple step is.

And keep letting go of the idea that there is somewhere perfect to get to, and instead get up from this desk right now and do some neck stretches,  stare at the clouds, and then make a lovely breakfast.

Thanks for being here. I am so grateful!

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sandy - May 6, 2019

I’m very happy you got wonderful report after the health scare. It was wonderful to read and understand how your coping skills worked to support you. But I have to say, I’m a little more than irritated with a dr. who would send out a fear-based message like the one you received. That sort of behavior seems reckless to me and I personally would be looking for another dr. who was more grounded and had a more ethical sense of how a health message should be delivered. “First do no harm” comes to mind here. Glad you’re quite well, and none the worse for the wear and tear on your emotions. Best to you always.

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