Last Tuesday I went to work for a few hours and abruptly dragged all of my kids out with me 60 minutes after we arrived because I felt like I had been hit by a truck and I was 99% sure I was having a heart attack. My chest hurt, my upper back hurt, I was having trouble breathing and I started sweating, just sitting there at my desk. The inner monologue raging in my head vacillated between berating myself for overreacting and managing how to write quick directions for the raising of children after I was gone.
Depending on your view point, either the reasonable or the overreacting part of me won out and I dropped my kids to a neighbor and got myself to the ER. Before you go crazy about me driving myself to the ER, know that I live about 3 blocks away so it was safe. Also, I’ve had an ambulance come and take my own mother away, and there was no way I would let that happen to my kids if I had any power to avoid it.
Long story short, the incredibly quick and competent people at the hospital ruled out any kind of coronary issues almost as soon as I walked in the door, and then nearly as quickly diagnosed this horrible pain as a gallbladder attack. After some more tests, and me putting two and two together and realizing that I’ve been suffering from these attacks (at much more mild levels) for two years, it was decided I should have surgery to remove my galllbladder. I managed to push them off for a few days so I could be home for Christmas and my Middle One’s birthday but surgery was scheduled for Monday.
Now, my Inner Health Coach was skeptical about removing part of my digestive system, even though everyone assured me it was no big deal. In the end though, the thought of eliminating the recurrence of that pain won out and I decided to go ahead with the procedure, even if it meant altering my diet going forward.
And now, in recovery mode where I am forced to sit on my couch and do nothing (ish) I have lots of time to sit and think. This is never good! What I learned is that maybe I need to push harder for medical solutions before I end up in the ER. I’ve been to the doctor multiple times complaining about this pain. I’ve been sent for chest xrays and cardiologist appointments but never once has the word galldbladder come up. Over time, I had just accepted the pain as a routine part of my life until the day it got so bad I didn’t even recognize it as the same.
At the hospital yesterday they just kept remarking on how “otherwise healthy” I was. They marveled at the fact that I was even in for this surgery for some reason. The surgeon took pictures to show us because it went so well. They sent me home very quickly after it because I was “healthy” enough to be better off at home.
I need to stop assuming I’m unhealthy.
I’m seeing that I let my weight gain literally weigh on me. I blame myself and accept any ailment as some sort of punishment for my bad choices and lack of self control.
Pardon my language, but how F***** up is that?!?
What’s even crazier is that I am just now realizing it. I have always been a pretty happy girl, or at least I try to be. My weight, while it bothers me, has never really stopped me from doing anything. After, all I just the day before my ER trip took my plus-sized self onto television. (More on that later!)
But over the last week, this medical deal and the perfect timing of two blog posts that were illuminating to say the least, all have me thinking about myself in a very different way. While my weight has never really stopped me from doing activities, it may very well have stopped me from treating myself well. Blaming myself for everything. Refusing to take care of myself because I clearly “earned or deserved” whatever pain or ailments I experienced. I accepted mediocrity as a way of physical life when I’ve made it my mission to refuse to accept mediocrity in any other area of my life.
So, this week I’ll take the doctors’ advice and go slow and rest and maybe, even try to begin the process of healing, not just my gallbladder, but my whole sense of self.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.