Last week I went to the doctor and found out my hair’s falling out. That was fun.
I mean the guy practically threw me out of his office.
When they don’t tell you to make a follow-up appointment after giving you 50 injections in the scalp, it might be a sign. But when you ASK if you should come back in 30 days (as is typical) and he says ‘if you want, but you should see Dr. X for a referral’ you know you’re in trouble. When does a doctor ever tell you that you can come back if you want, especially after you’ve been a patient who has had successful treatment for almost two years? Don’t they want my money anymore? I guess I should have seen it coming when he and his assistant couldn’t stop nervously glancing back and forth at each other with horrified looks after getting a glimpse of my bald spots, but isn’t this their job?
Here’s what I’ve learned about doctors the past few years: they’re either telling you you’re going to drop dead and prescribing a ton of pharmaceuticals, or rushing you out of the office before you can ask too many questions. Neither is particularly useful when all you really want is some bedside manner, a few answers
and a flask.
Cut to Saturday and it was go
to bed time when my friend Nancy texted me a high five for pinning this one:
I met Nancy at a Bible study so decided I’d better call her in case she was having heart palpitations from my eff words. Turns out Nancy’s got cancer. She’s been battling that thing for over two years and the doctors told her that now that she’s finished radiation ‘what you get after 18 months, is what you get’ in terms of healing.
Is this phrase something they teach them in medical school? Because my doctor said the same thing to me when she handed down the prognosis after the stroke: ‘What you’ve got at the end of a year, is as good as it’s going to get.’ When I told my acupuncturist (who is a former OB/GYN) that, you know she said? ‘What?? Don’t you listen to her. She doesn’t know that. Every person is different. No, no, no you don’t listen to her. You focus on healing.’
And you know what? SHE’S RIGHT.
So when Nancy told me what her doctor said to her, it really struck a chord (and pissed me off). I immediately dismissed the idea and passed on what Birute had said to me adding, ‘Don’t give up on yourself. Don’t do that. I’m not giving up on myself and I am sure the hell not listening to any of the limitations they try to place on me. Nope, not happening.’ She was quiet for a second and then whispered, ‘Yes, that’s a good word.’
You know what, Nancy? You’re right, that IS a good word because it’s the truth.
Yesterday the accountant who did my taxes told me her mother got diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2009. Not only did she survive, she is alive and thriving. After the team of doctors removed the tumor, they told her she was a living miracle and had no idea how she’d pulled it off. HELLO!
A person’s will to live is something that can’t be measured and no one knows what we’re capable of. Frig, as I’m sitting here now I can say I’m pretty sure that I don’t even know what I’m capable of. Who knows? Maybe all my hair will fall out, maybe it will. But maybe it will all grow back, too. You can bet I’m doing everything in my power to make that happen: traditional medicine (if I can get some), Chinese medicine, prayer, meditation, earthing, diet, exercise (but not too heavy or it might trigger a headache that could trigger a stroke mmkay). Whatever I can do I’m willing to try, and I’m doing my best to stay positive and believe those good things are fueling my physical body and mind in the healing process. Don’t I owe myself at least that much?
So I guess what I’m saying to you is: don’t give up on yourself, no matter what you’re going through.
NB: I swear I didn’t mean for this place to become a bible on my ailments and issues, but oh well. I guess you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit doesn’t exactly fly over here.