When I met Dr. L. 15 years ago, I was a young college graduate. I thought to myself as I left his office, “This is the man I want to deliver my (not planned for at the time) babies.”
He has always been kind, gentle and most importantly for the health care field he listened to me.
We found the right type of birth control and I saw him once a year for check ups. When I got married, we discussed how James and I were not sure if/when we would be ready for children. “You’ll never be 100% ready.” the father of triplets replied with a smile when I stated we kept waiting for the right time.
At the appointment when I told him James and I had made the decision to try he felt “something” and wanted to perform an ultrasound. At the ultrasound appointment, after stating to this Hospice employee it was a large mass. He sat in front of me, held my hands and stated, “I don’t think this is cancer. I think they are fibroids.”
But the Hospice worker always goes to the worse case scenario. “It’s Never Just A Mass.”
And he knew that. We weighed options and prepared for surgery. He called me after hours with information and gave me his home phone number (which I never used). “This is going to be OK.” He stated on a voice message.
Surgery was successful. Everything was clear and benign. Two large fibroids gone.
And then I went off on a journey of reproductive specialists. One was not so great. The other made me laugh at the first meeting.
I last saw Dr. L in December 2011. It was a few months before our successful IVF transfer.
Then there was the miscarriage (two week before I was to be released to Dr. L).
We were going to try again.
Mom was diagnosed.
My time was spent managing her care.
Mom died and Nanny was diagnosed and died.
I was tired.
I met with my primary care doctor for check ups, kept my dentist appointments and had my eyes checked. I received and ignored time to schedule appointment cards from Dr. L’s office.
I considered changing to a new doctor. Perhaps it would be better to tell my story to someone new. I fought worries of “what if I develop cancer.” Yet I still delayed making an appointment.
A few weeks ago, I made myself call and I was able to get in the next week.
And when I went I thought I could meet with him and share the story of the past two years without crying. I wasn’t upset but did feel a little sad at seeing the women in the waiting room with pregnant bellies. His nurse smiled as she came to check me in. “It’s been a long time.” “How have you been?” I was able to share with her what had happened. I even told her I had put off coming because I didn’t want to cry. She hugged me before I went to wait for Dr. L.
He was smiling as he came to the door and led me to his office. How does one answer the question “How have you been?”
The tears came before I could get many words out. Then he sat and listened and shook his head. “I wish I had known.” I shared that I am healing. He discussed the importance of taking this time. “You’ve been through a lot.”
Perhaps I delayed returning to Dr. L because I knew I would have to acknowledge everything I have gone through. Part of me wants to say I need to be further along in my grief but the other part needed the validation that I have been through a lot. In the midst of recreating my life, my coping mechanisms have been to focus upon the tasks at hand. Only moments have truly been given to the sadness of what I have lost.
The sadness and pain of grief returns to us at different times. I knew that there was no way I could return to Dr. L. without sharing these emotions. Going into an office which focuses upon bringing life into the world only seemed to amplify for me that my life recently has been about the opposite.
Although the wounds of my losses are healing they continue to be fresh enough that there are moments when the protective barrier has been ripped off. I needed the reminder that I am still a woman who is grieving. Grieving our baby, grieving the loss of my biological family and grieving the loss of some dreams. It was validation to hear from someone else that I have been through a lot.
Grief is a journey and there will always be times that are more difficult than others. Embrace those moments and know you will get through.
Sheryl is a transition coach, trainer and speaker from Lexington Kentucky. As the author of the blog How to Make A Life, she uses her own life and journey as a blueprint to help others find motivation, inspiration and hope for a healthy and happy life. About Twitter Instagram Pinterest