There’s no need for any doctors

I’ve been dealing with a significant medical issue for the last ten days.

And when I say dealing with, I mean actively avoiding, pretending it’s not happening, and keeping my mouth shut about it, hoping it will resolve on its own. Because you know, that’s how I handle most things in my life. That’s how I was taught to handle most things in my life.

Medical avoidance is my norm. That is one thing I have carried on from my mother. She only took us to the doctor when it was required (because of school forms) or when I was near death. And even then, I was made to feel like it was some kind of burden on her for me to be sick.

Well before I was diagnosed with asthma at age 14, I kept telling my parents that something was wrong. I had to struggle to catch my breath. I felt like I was suffocating.

“It’s just allergies.”

Except it wasn’t just allergies. I suffered for a long time until my lungs filled up with so much fluid that I could no longer breathe. It wasn’t until then that my mother finally took me to the doctor. I probably would have died if she had waited any longer.

By then, the damage was already done. I spent the next 14 years in and out of hospitals, battling pneumonia and lung infections, living off of oral steroids and liquid Albuterol just to stay alive (and for those that may not know, oral steroids are simultaneously the best and the worst drugs ever).

I always waited until the very last minute to seek medical treatment. Concerned friends would tell me I was turning blue. “I’m alright, just cold,”I’d tell them. Then within the week, I’d be in the ER on oxygen. I wasn’t cold, I knew what was coming. I just was taught to think that I didn’t need medical care. I grew up believing that I didn’t deserve medical care.

And I’m still practicing that belief. I went to the doctor back in March, with my therapist, after her consistent prodding and encouragement. It was at that appointment that I was diagnosed with COPD. I haven’t been back to the doctor since. My prescription ran out, and I’ve been living unmedicated for months now.

I think I’m doing just fine, considering. My therapist is not as inclined to think so. We were discussing the impending hospitalization, and her reasons for wanting me to go. She mentioned me not receiving medical care.

“I don’t need medical care, I’m fine.”

“You have COPD, and you’re not getting treatment for that.”

“Yea but I don’t need it, I’ve been okay.”

“For now. But that’s not just something that can be put to the side.”

On a deeper level, I still feel undeserving of care. That ties into my even deeper belief that I am undeserving of love, and undeserving of life. Maybe I have COPD because I am undeserving of oxygen. Who knows.

I wasn’t even going to tell my therapist about my current issue. I had already endured enough of her semi-lecturing this session. But I found myself immensely tired during session. My therapist assumed it was related to not wanting to talk about the difficult stuff (which I admit, in the past, it has been). I kept telling her this was different, and she asked how I knew it was.

I finally told her what’s been going on. I knew it was just going to further prove her point about me needing to go to the doctor. Luckily for me, I squeezed in my admission right at the end of session, so I didn’t have to talk about it all that much. I’m sure I will hear about it on Thursday. Hopefully by then, the issue will be resolved and I can just say “see, I told you I was going to be fine.”

Or, it won’t. Either way, I’ll sit there and say everything is okay. I could be bleeding to death, and I’ll still tell you I’m okay.

That’s what I did in childhood. That’s what I do today.

9 thoughts on “There’s no need for any doctors

  1. Not deserving of care, a person’s time, love, attention. Give all that to someone else who really needs it…. Boy do I get that. I immediately go to the doctor bc my mother constantly took me or she filled me with vitamins bc she said I had illnesses I didn’t have. She said I was going blind. She said I has muscular dystrophy and put me in a wheelchair. The craziness didn’t stop.

    It’s all about them and their needs. What’s truly in our best interest isn’t anywhere on the agenda. It’s about what they want. I’m sorry to see this pattern in yet another survivors life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry about what she did to you.

      You’re right, it’s all about them. In some ways, even now that my mother isn’t here, it’s still about her. It’s difficult to break the pattern.

      Like

  2. I have struggled with this too. I have a nut allergy, and I have been very embarrassed to talk about it, to be insistent about knowing about ingredients in food. I have even been out to dinner with people, having a serious anaphylactic reaction but not doing anything about it because I didn’t want to call attention to myself or bother people. By the time I made it to Urgent Care, I was bright red, lobster red, from hives and could barely breathe. And even then I stood in line behind people with colds… I have since come to take this more seriously. I do ask waiters to check on ingredients, and if I accidentally get something with nuts, I treat it immediately with my epi pen and then go to the doctor. I hope in time you’ll also be able to say, “this is serious, and I will prioritize the care for myself.”

    The thing is, your mom had no idea what she was doing. She was blind to what a lovely, brilliant daughter she had. So just because she acted like it wasn’t worth taking care of you, don’t you believe it! You are so, so worth it.

    Side note:
    I also have asthma, not nearly like you do but at times it has really been a problem. So I know what you mean about oral steroids. At first they are GREAT–so much energy! I get all my closets cleaned out! But after a week or two, I’m exhausted and can’t rest and getting crabby. Not to mention puffy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, those steroids! Yes! I really try to avoid them now, even when they are suggested. In the long term, they are not good. They also make me extremely irritable. Ugh.

      Still working on prioritizing care. I have been back to the doctor since. Having to see a cardiologist now, and it’s been hard for me but I’ve been seeing it through.

      I’m sorry about your nut allergy. That must be difficult (and frustrating I’d imagine).

      Like

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