I really hate dealing with medical stuff. It is inconvenient, not to mention expensive, to go to the doctor and have test after test. When one test comes back normal, I retreat sheepishly, convinced that I made all of my symptoms up anyway. I apologetically go back to normal life, trying to function like the chest pain, blackouts, fainting, headaches, deep bone pain, and a dozen other symptoms don’t exist. I would hate to be that obnoxious hypochondriac that the doctors dread getting another call from. I make it a few hours in my shame-filled hole of self loathing for reaching out for help, and then I have another episode. Again I think, “there’s no way I’m making this up. I feel like I’m dying.” Then, a few hours later, or the next day, I feel a bit better, and I hate myself again for being such a pathetic self-indulgent neurotic.
This is why finding out what is wrong with me is so difficult. I can’t seem to allow any of my experience to be valid. I passed out? I bet I imagined it. The blood pressure cuff recorded a really drastic drop between sitting and standing? Surely I held my arm wrong. I can’t sleep because my whole body is throbbing? I bet everyone’s body feels this way. I’m just being a baby. I have this internal monster that seems bent on me being the least reliable source of information on the face of the planet.
So I see a cardiologist next Wednesday. I am praying that they find something, anything, so I can have some validation and perhaps some relief. This cycle of experience followed by vehement denial is painful and exhausting.
I was reading a blog post by someone who experienced similar symptoms to mine and finally found a diagnosis. She was true to herself and honest about the brutality of the symptoms. She talked about the whole process being an agonizing trial and praying for relief. I wish that I could validate myself enough to recognize this struggle as a health crisis and accept the help that I need. I wonder what it would take for me to take myself seriously.
Or maybe I’m just making it all up and am already taking myself too seriously.