Thursday, July 29, 2004

Throat Monster

It's funny how things change. A few months ago, if you'd asked me if I minded being around pregnant women and babies, I would have said, "Och, no. No problem. Yes, it makes me a little uncomfortable, but not so bad that I have to excuse myself from the baby shower or anything."

Today I went to see Doctor Best Friend. She's not really my friend. I realise I never explained how she came to be designated as such. You see, I like this woman. She's nice, really nice, and I might even have something of friend crush on her. She's been great about giving me all the preliminary tests as soon as I asked, she's a dab hand with the old needle, and she doesn't blow smoke up my ass about "just relaxing". After our first meeting, I decided that she was going to be my new best friend in the sense of getting me where I wanted to be in terms of treatment. And so she has been.

Doctor Best Friend asked me to come in for a sort of check up after all the thyroid carry-on and to make sure our referral to the Ass-Con Centre had gone ahead OK.

As I sat waiting, a woman with an adorable baby in a big pram came out. I helped open the door so she could manouever the behemoth of a buggy out into the hall. The baby stared up at me with big googly eyes. The mother snapped at me that she could manage. I sat down feeling superfluous.

Two seconds later, a hugely pregnant woman waddled past and took a seat for her appointment.

It's really odd when you can identify the exact moment when the bands that have been holding your heart and hope and courage in place suddenly give way. I felt an elastic pinging sensation in my chest.

Doctor Best Friend called me in. We chatted about the appointment in October, and she suggested E. get tested again. We discussed going private instead of waiting on the NHS, and she told me that the Ass-Con Centre gave good care, that they were good people. But we agreed it would be best to have E.'s swimmers checked out again before October, so he and I will have a clearer picture as to what we might be dealing with there.

Then, as we were winding up, she asked me about work. Work sucks right now, I said, and all of a sudden I got the worst case of throat monster- you know, where you nearly choke to death on the tears that are rising up on you, the lump in your throat swelling out of proportion, your eyes watering.

Maybe I'm just feeling sorry for myself, but I realised afresh how utterly miserable I have been lately- at work, at home, in my sleep. I looked into Doctor Best Friend's endlessly kind blue eyes, and I wanted to cry and cry and cry. Everyone around me is pregnant, everyone else gets to be a mother. I want it to be me, I want my turn, I want for E. to be a father, I want us to be a family.

My wanting is like a monster of its own. Now I come to understand that while it has grown quietly, it has grown. It has sharp teeth and strong claws. And it has slowly reached up and taken hold of my life in a vice-like grip. I am strangling on the force of my wanting things that I cannot seem to have. The monster has me by the throat now, and I fear it will be so hard, so very hard to ever shake it loose if things don't go our way.

I didn't cry. I didn't say anything about how I was feeling. I pulled myself together. I made some lame comment about that's life, and anyway I have a great support system on the Internet blah blah blah.

I really don't think she would have minded if I cried, but I hate crying in front of other people. I prefer to do it in the privacy of my own shower, or under the covers.

And I realised if I started, how hard it was going to be to stop. I only had a 10 minute appointment, but I already have enough tears inside me to last the rest of my lifetime.

18 Comments:

At 8:14 PM, Blogger JJ said...

I'm swallowing tears right long with you.

I know what you mean about the monster growing. I feel like mine has pushed the real me out and is walking around in my skin fooling everybody. I'm afraid one day it'll rip through my skin and gobble up some poor unsuspecting pregnant woman.

My monster is going to write a postcard to your monster. Perhaps friendship will distract them.

 
At 9:51 PM, Blogger E. said...

Ohhh, I am so sorry. I know what you mean about that bloody throat monster...you think you're doing all right and then it seizes you. Ugh.

And giant pram woman deserves to be kicked in the shins. With wooden clogs.

 
At 10:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was just what I needed to read -- I have just now returned from a doctor's appointment (where there were three pregnant women). I was sitting waiting for my (pregnant) doctor to come in to tell me the results of an ultrasound of my ovaries - and I was pretty anxious. She took one look at me and said I looked sad -- the throat monster just about got me then. The end results were that nothing is wrong with my ovaries - but that leaves me in the same mysterious place I was before. I have enjoyed reading your blog -- it has helped give me some perspective and some laughs and some sense of not being alone. Thanks!

 
At 10:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am glad you have a doctor who looks at you with kindness. What a gift. You are obviously strong and dealing with a lot. There is no shame in letting the difficulty show sometimes! A few gallons of tears-the hell with those who don't get it. As for the grumpy mom who pushed your help aside, she was probably thinking of you as one of the voices in her head who are telling her she isn't doing the new mommy bit the right way. We are all doing our best.

 
At 11:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I taught you that phrase! I'm so proud to see it used. I too am getting baby throat monster all too often. This summer it seems that I have one baby shower every weekend. I'm a pro at buying the gifts at BRU. I hate that place. It makes me feel like a failure. Yeh, that's why I hurt. I feel like a failure as a woman, to me and especially to my DH.

I know you are dealing with an autoimmune thing. The book about curing endo through diet (I forget the exact name) is all about inflammation/autoimmune stuff - educates you on foods that heighten our inflammatory and autoimmune responses and which foods get our prostaglandins out of whack. I know you don't have endo, but you might want to check it out. Trying this diet has been a good distraction for me (except today with the tea!). It's hard - no wheat/gluten, no alcohol, no caffeine, no chocolate, no dairy unless organic, etc... I do have my one glass of wine per night as well as my cup of coffee in the am. -cleo

 
At 12:42 AM, Blogger chris said...

Don't let the snotty stroller lady get you down. Most moms are grateful when someone helps them. Sorry.

 
At 1:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, how I understand. I'll go out, be having a good day and even smile at all the babies out there and then suddenly, they will swarm me and it's just too much and I will start to cry. Thinking of you.

Emily
scrambledeggs

 
At 2:10 AM, Blogger KLF said...

I live on a street with 20 houses and 9-10 babies, and another due soon. It sucks and today when I started my period...its just too much. Know that we all here for ya, battling the same monster.

 
At 3:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry that you had a rough day. The throat monster gets me too more often than not. Thinking of you.
Nina

 
At 4:25 AM, Blogger Jen P said...

Sending you love and support BM. I too hate to cry in front of other people and I think that atroscious woman with the pram should get a flat tire and have to CARRY the poor child home. Hoping there are brighter days ahead.

 
At 6:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ohh, how it can grow. It's an evil, evil monster.

You did better than I did when the throat monster hit me one day. A nurse asked me "Are you okay?" Well you can imagine what my response to that was. She tried to give me a number for counseling and seemed surprised when I told her I already had a shrink. oh well.

patricia
http://laf.typepad.com/

 
At 2:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, sweetie, what a good way to put it. Isn't it funny how the monster seems to go on a rampage most often when we're exposed to kindness? We are so used to pain, sinking ever deeper into that scarred landscape, that kindness just opens the floodgates.

I am so glad you found an empathetic doctor.

Menita

lifesjestbook.typepad.com

 
At 2:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, what a post. The throat monster is my constant companion these days, but I never knew what to call him until now. Wishing you the best of luck. --Brooklyn Girl

 
At 5:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know that monster. . . he can't wait to get his claws around my throat too.

Thinking about you.
BabyBlues
(thinkingback)

 
At 7:32 PM, Blogger Pazel said...

I remember when I went to see my OB/GYN in November. I had just finished being 2 weeks late for the first time since Janie was born, but of course it wasn't a pregnancy just my PCOS creating a long cycle. The waiting room was filled with pregnant women, especially young ones. By the time I got into the exam room, I was barely holding it together. Then my beloved OB/GYN walked in, about 7 months pregnant. She asked me how I was and I couldn't talk. The monster had me.

I'm sorry that you're going through this. It is so painful. I hope you take care of yourself today, and allow yourself to hate that evil woman steering the pram. What an ungrateful bitch!

 
At 2:23 AM, Blogger Katie said...

Oh, Barren Mare. I fight with my throat monster all the time, too. I also can't let anyone see me cry. I just pretend I'm fine and when I'm at home or alone somewhere, I let the tears flow. I don't want to let them know how much this is affecting me. I guess I don't want them to pity me.

But I know when the throat monster gets too big, he will come out wherever and whenever he wants and I won't be able to do a damn thing. I just hope I'll have my sweet, little baby before that happens. And you, too.

 
At 9:13 PM, Blogger Willow said...

Omigod. I just came across your site today and I know exactly what you mean. Blessings!

 
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