The Levels of Healing, Part 1
It’s been about 6 months since I’ve shared anything on here, but after traveling for a year, I discovered my love for writing and how healing the process is for me. Sharing my words, thoughts and feelings in an open way brings me more comfort than you could ever know. So here’s a bit about my absence and my inward journey of health since last fall.
Shortly after launching my coaching business in September 2016, I was laying down after doing a bit of yoga and noticed a lump in my lower abdomen. It felt like the size of a softball and was in the lower right side of stomach. I was kind of freaked out but also slightly awed that something this size could be there without my awareness. For the next couple of weeks, I fretted about what to do, since I didn’t have health insurance (and still do not). At this point it’s become a personal choice not to have insurance, but more on that later…
I decided to research some of my options, which turned out to be:
- Get a gap health insurance plan with huge deductible (like $10,000+) and then enroll in ObamaCare for 2017
- Go to a free clinic
- Ignore it and hope it went away
As much as I wanted to pick number three, I knew that this was serious. I wasn’t in any pain but this was not something you’d normally find in a healthy body.
Upon some more research, I found the Good Samaritan Free Health Care Clinic in Price Hill.
I was hesitant to go. I had a lot of resistance I felt with asking for help for free, coupled with the distrust I had in Western medicine.
I felt guilty about receiving something for free. I knew could rely on friends and family for financial support if I really needed it. And yes, I was capable of getting a full time job somewhere with health insurance, but I chose to pursue my own business (again). Some people don’t have these options, so it was a feeling that I was being selfish. I also had fears that if I went it would keep others from getting care that they most likely needed more than me. In short, I felt underserving of getting something for free. I am young, capable, talented and used to doing things myself, but eventually my ego gave up. I really did need help. This lump wasn’t disappearing and I had about $300 in my bank account.
So I drove to the clinic to register as a new patient, but wasn’t able to get an appointment for 3 weeks. After weeks of fretting, I calmed my nerves as much as possible and drove to the clinic. It was sunny, cool Saturday morning in early October. Arriving at the clinic was a humbling feeling, knowing that I was about to ask someone to help me for free. I knew that they would be offering me a lot more than I could offer them at the time.
As I walked into meet the nurse practitioner, I explained my symptoms to him, which was not much when it came to my abdomen. I had some some stomach issues in the previous months, for which I had been partaking in a parasite and candida cleanse. But I had been feeling that those issues were resolved. As the doctor came to meet me, we discussed my recent travels and as she did an abdominal exam, I could tell her concern was beginning to grow. The shear size of this lump and its protrusion from my belly was an abnormality that she felt needed urgent attention. So I did some blood work that day, put in request to have a CT scan, thanked the doctor and nurse for their helpfulness and went home.
I was trying my best to stay positive, the doctor had mentioned that maybe it was a tape worm in my large intestine. That seemed like something I could handle. However, the call I received from the doctor after my CT scan was not something I thought I’d be able to handle. I remember time slowing down as the woman on the phone explained to me that there was not just one, but two lumps, fibroids as she called them – one in my abdomen and one in my pelvis. Each one was about the size of a grapefruit. They were most likely connected to my ovaries but they couldn’t really tell from the scan. And just to be safe they set me up with an appointment to see an oncologist.
At that moment, it felt like the earth stopped moving, for my world definitely stopped moving. Tears started to stream down my face. She explained that they weren’t sure that it was cancer but in the case that it was, then I’d be starting at the right place. I tried to say something, but nothing came out of my mouth. She asked if I wanted to come to the clinic to talk to a therapist. I instantly agreed. We set up a time for that afternoon.
When I hung up the phone, I just sat motionless. I definitely didn’t feel strong enough to go through this. I was just starting my coaching business, I was just getting adjusted to being back in Cincinnati, I was just starting to feel like I was finding my footing. And now this? I already felt out of place in my surroundings and now I was feeling out of place in my own body.
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