Fight or Take Flight?

Emotions are a funny thing. We have this great gift of logic, but we generally overuse it. We think ourselves out of situations instead of feel our way out. This leads to many disjointed ways of life and unhappiness as our souls are confined by our logic. Or, maybe that’s just me….

I am an abuser of logic. I organize, pat myself on the back when I act in a rational way, and sometimes (oops!) even judge others for being their irrational selves. How dare they react with emotion?! Well, today was another humbling of my being, making sure everything out there that’s visible and invisible isn’t tricked into thinking I am completely healed from my trauma.

Today, or for the last few days, I’ve been trying to get a simple prescription filled with my pharmacy. I have my loathed obgyn office and a wonderful general practitioner I’ve started seeing for the adoption medical information and updates required. (See how I am logically valuing them, even now?!) Well, this simple thyroid drug I’ve been told I need to stay alive has been filled in the past by both, so I wasn’t sure where the prescription would come from this week.

So, the pharmacy I use contacted my (old! never going back!) obgyn office and I got a prescription approval update on a medical app I have on my phone, but the pharmacy was saying the request was denied. Deciding I could handle a little email to my dreaded obgyn office through the app to get this solved, I bucked up and did just that, but felt the familiar fear and irritation that is present in moments when we have to get something done by collaborating with someone/some place we resist.

Caught off guard, I see a vaguely familiar, local number on my phone and decide to answer it. Surprisingly, I hear a familiar voice on the other line. This voice has told me at least a dozen times what my hcg number has fallen to, when I need to come in for more blood work to confirm my babies are dying sufficiently, and – when they don’t die sufficiently – this voice has told me to “hold still” and “this will hurt a little” when administering poison (methotrexate shots) to kill what cells are left of my fetus…and also totally wipe out any other cells delivering healthy immunity to my body.

Put in those terms (after some time to think), I can see why this conversation freaked me out. When this voice told me that she really needed me to come in for a PAP smear and annual visit, I couldn’t decide whether to fight or to take flight. Do I angrily come back with all the horrific medical “practicing” they used on me? All the times I caught their mistakes? Remind her of the many instances where I had to advocate for myself, do my own research, and double check their assumptions that turned out to be wrong because of being uneducated or just plain lazy?

My good old logical side kicked in. I flew as fast as I could in a calm manner.

“I hear you. Thank you. I already got my thyroid medicine refilled by my general practitioner in the meantime.”

“No, she doesn’t also do my PAP smears…”

“Well, after everything the last few years…I am taking a little break from my yearly exams…”

“No, no, I do not need to be transferred to reception to book an appointment.”

I hung up at the appropriate time. Then, I lost it.

Just a little thing like refilling such a flimsy, (necessary, I suppose) benign medicine and I am reduced to sobs. Logic cannot outrun all our emotions – not even after almost a full year without hearing that voice.

I probably will never be “all better.” My fight or flight response to certain stimuli surrounding my losses, my deepest pain, will probably always crop up from time to time. It’s always going to happen when I least expect it (otherwise I could logically prepare for it!). These instances hardly happen anymore, but it’s shocking, sad, and a little bewildering when they do. There is a large part of me that has moved on so I am always surprised by that vulnerable place that is still hurting and that demands to be recognized for its loss.

To those of you reading this that know this type of moment too well…I am so sorry. I am sorry you’ve had something happen to you from which your soul cannot quite fully recover. But, there really is beauty in that pain. There is an awareness that there, once, was a treasured thing…something so valuable it will not be forgotten. Whether that valuable thing was a person – or maybe just an idea, like hope for another outcome – there is beauty in recognizing that it was there, and that (mostly) you are functioning okay without it now. To repeat one of my favorite phrases heard most Sundays of my life: peace be with you. That is my greatest wish for you.

7 thoughts on “Fight or Take Flight?

  1. I felt every thing as you wrote as if it were me in your shoes. Oh my gosh, I cannot believe you had to answer a call from them and deal with them again. I think my heart would literally stop for a few seconds if I saw my old fertility clinic’s number on the phone. I’d have the exact same response, and I know it would end with me in tears questioning everything we went through at their hands as they “practiced”.
    I’m sending you love and i hope you can find a different clinic to get your check-up done at. There is just no need to go back there and feel victimized and hurt all over again.

    • Thanks, lovely. I know you understand all too well! I definitely will never go back. I have done some research on guidelines and I should be able to take a break from yearly appts and not have health consequences. The actual guidelines are like every three years so it actually kind of makes me mad, too, that I hear from them when they want to make some money from an appointment…and that they didn’t seem to hear the terror in my voice! 😜

  2. Ok so I seriously despise your OBGYN office. I know a lot of it is emotional not rational but they sound awful and incompetent and not very empathetic. Hope you can totally cut ties and lose their number. So happy you can take moments of beauty from these times of pain. You are amazing.

    • They are pretty incompetent, I have to agree. I always wanted to tell them (actually one time I did)…emotions aside, they weren’t doing their job – medicine and communication – very well. It was not all about my biological troubles. I actually am not going back because of their terrible treatment. Anyway…I almost feel like I need to remember the number so I don’t ever answer again! I was happy that it looked vaguely familiar – that counts for some distance since being “in it” with them! You are so compassionate! Thank you for always being so warm and loving!

      • Good for you for sticking up for yourself! I am so glad you are on a different path and don’t have to go back there. Hope you are feeling good today. Xo

  3. Such a touching story of acceptance of all angles of yourself. I’m sorry you had to go through that though – all of it.

    And, although you perhaps didn’t experience it this way, it seems as though you harnessed both fight AND flight – now that’s balance! I’m in awe of your firmness with that voice on the phone in what was such a vulnerable moment.

    Hope it’s not presumptuous for me to say “I get it” as far as being triggered by such things. Though I notice some intensity waning for me here and there, scenarios like the one you describe became my normal.

    I’m taking with me (and you gave me a lot from which to chose:-) the much needed reminder that these parts of ourselves “demand to be recognized”….in my practice to not judge my fear, anger, hurt, etc, I tend to forget that they also deserve reverence.

    • Reading your comment first I was chuckling and by the end of it I was in tears…good chuckling and good tears. To have this connection and support from those I have never met means the world to me! Thank you for getting IT. For getting ME. For not thinking I am just dramatic and writing to hear myself whine. Much love and strength to you today and along this journey. Xx Thank you so much for your comments.

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