Yesterday I was sitting in the waiting room at the Vitreous Eye Center. I was diagnosed with a case of Macular Degeneration about a year ago. Every 6 months I need to get a series of medical tests, to look at the progression of the disease. The MD who sees me, Dr. Gonzales, spends about 5 minutes with me, at the end of my nearly two hours of testing.
As I waited, I was gazing in a half-stupor at the centers large aquarium of brightly colored fish. It was strange. Though Hawaii is not my home, I was missing it terribly.
I’ve discovered that I hate doctors. Every time I see one it reminds me of all of the pain I endured through childhood with needle sticks, horrid medical tests, and hospitalizations.
I’d avoid them completely if I were able to. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been possible given my health issues.
How I wish I were snorkeling with turtles on Maui, or on the Big Island! Much preferable to being stuck repeatedly by a stupid technician attempting to find a good vein. I nearly burst out into tears yesterday, when she accidentally jabbed me so hard that I jumped a foot from my chair.
It seems that a big part of my life’s path is to be ill, and to cope with this as well as I can. Maybe I’m learning something important?
So much anger came up for me yesterday because of the pain I’ve endured. I wasn’t only dealing with physical pain, but psychological pain. So many difficult feelings came up for me around spending 2 hours being poked, and having ridiculously bright lights shined into my dilated eyes.
Especially feelings of rage, and an intense sense of the injustice I’ve had to deal with throughout most of my lifetime. Doctors knowledge is limited. They don’t care to admit that, but it is. Most often, they have not themselves experienced the nightmare of living with any kind of life threatening illness. And it shows, in the manner in which they communicate with their patients.
I struggled with tears and with anger for the entire afternoon following my appointment. I wanted to crawl in bed, rock back and forth, and soothe myself. I decided instead to go to the local park which is gorgeous, and soak my feet in the cold creek water. It was like the flow of the waters got my emotions moving, and I could not hold in my feelings any longer.
I cried by the edge of the creek for quite a while. I felt slightly embarrassed by my tears, but I knew they had to be shed.
Most people, including MD’s who should know better, have no idea of how terrifying it is for a child who is seriously ill. Not only is the disease itself uncomfortable and a struggle to cope with, but the medical tests and the lack of empathy from technicians make it unbearable.
This recent appointment reminded me of how terribly wounded I’ve been by my past dealings with the medical field. It brought up a sense of devastation and loss, that struck me at my core.
It made me remember the powerlessness of being a child who is subjected to misery with little comprehension of why.
It also reminded me of how many of us carry hidden scars within us which are never exposed to the light.