It’s the Sugar cookie lip gloss I notice at the work station. We are early enough that only one woman is at the front desk for check in.
Amid this giant place, I notice lip gloss.
The signs on the walls say things like “fibroid” and “menstrual disorders”. Pelvic floor disorders. Infertility. Yes. This is the place.
I look up and see sculptures of plants and trees. Metal coated in white. Hanging like a chandelier.
I am nervous. My belly is churning. Feelings I’ve had so many times. I know I need to breathe deeply and settle myself from the inside.
Doctors have been dismissing me for years. Most of my life really. When that happens often enough, you start to dismiss yourself.
I gave myself a pep talk in the shower this morning. Remember why you are here, that 4 other doctors think you need surgery.
Remember. Remember. It is my body, I know something is wrong.
“I’ll trade you a uterus for a pizza,” I joked to someone recently.
I have been dealing with food allergies and chronic inflammation for years. This resulted in some years where I ate nothing fun or good to eat; not cake on my birthday, no cookies at Christmas, nothing fun at all. I subsisted on pea protein smoothies and chicken and vegetables. I soaked my nuts before I ate them for reasons I can’t even recall. I made bone broth including skimming the scum layer off the top (ick). I spent an insane amount of money on food and even brought my own food to weddings in a cooler. It was difficult, embarrassing, expensive and it made me feel like a “pain in the ass” as I was once called and I hated having to ask for special treatment.
When I started to experiment with food again, it was a 50/50 shot if it would go OK. I also started to realize I was the one holding myself back out of fear. More often than not, I could have a lot of the things I had been restricting. Other times, it was the same old story - intense reactions, sneezing fits, GI trouble, rashes and hives.
When it was thrown around earlier this year that I might have undiagnosed endometriosis, and I learned that so many of my symptoms are associated with that, I got mad. Mad is always Sad’s bodyguard, so eventually I got sad too.
Fast forward to the Sugar Cookie Lip Gloss on the desk of the woman checking me in for my appointment at the Cleveland Clinic. This was to be my 5th opinion and it was the deal breaker for me, no matter what was said because none of the previous doctors fully agreed on diagnosis or approach. All agreed that something weird was going on, the rest is up for grabs.
I still don’t fully understand what, if anything, is wrong with my body. Tomorrow I have yet another test which has required me to have a very restricted diet for today. Had I known this was part of the test, I might not have agreed to it because restricted eating is deeply triggering for me after all the years of limitation.
This story doesn’t have an end yet but I can tell you that there has been deep learning for me amid my health matters. I have learned to ask for and advocate for what I need. It still isn’t easy but it is something I have learned to manage. Like any muscle, the more you use it the stronger it gets. I am an expert in self care and stress reduction techniques even if I don't always employ them.
The downside of being sensitive, is being sensitive, in all the ways. This journey has also led me to the work that brings me the most passion and joy, my work with energy healing and spirit.
Stay tuned, there is more to come!