Waiting Room Drama

Waiting at my OB-BYN’s clinic for almost five hours today sent my mind reeling with so many emotions resurfacing since the first time I ever sat in her waiting room eight years ago.

Looking around the room at the twenty and some women, some with husbands in tow, I couldn’t help but feel the seemingly palpable mix of emotions. It felt overwhelming and yet I felt distant from it all, lost in thought.

Eight years ago, I sat in that waiting room brimming with anxiety. Like a lot of couples in the room then and now, infertility and the uncertainty it brings was really daunting. I felt some of that when I looked around the room today. I felt sad for those who may never be successful, like me.

Seven years ago, I sat in that waiting room numb with grief. Follow-up visits after a cesarian section was painful but even more so when you don’t have a healthy infant to show for all the pain and heartache that came with it. We lost our first and only child five days after birth to complications. The sight of glowing expectant mothers then was not an enjoyable sight. Today, there were quite a lot of them in the room. I felt genuinely happy for them.

Two months ago, I sat in that waiting room filled with fear and apprehension. I was anemic, surviving on pain medication and dreading the orange-sized fibroid tumor growing inside me. I couldn’t focus on anybody else in the room. I dreaded the inevitable… going back to the operating room for total hysterectomy.

The waiting room… eight years of anxiety, fear, and grief. It can be such a daunting, depressing place. And yet, today, after seeing my doctor smile as she reassured me that I am going to be okay, I felt something new.

OPTIMISTIC. Ironic that I feel that now, just when my abdominal cavity has lost one gender-defining organ forever.

I may have lost my uterus but I gained a new life devoid of crippling pain.

I feel so free! Free to get back on the road of an uninterrupted fitness regimen. No more panic trips to emergency rooms and drugstores. No more careful planning of trips around estimated pain-filled weeks of the month. No more blood tests and hemoglobin monitoring.

Best of all, I closed the door on that cycle of hope and painful acceptance about the possibility of bearing another child and going through more of those waiting room drama.

The waiting room… what used to be a daunting claustrophobic room is now just a room to sit and wait for my turn.

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
– Soren Kierkegaard

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4 comments

  1. Winnie

    Excellent, Rica. For a while there, I thought I was reading a published article. It’s so good, I felt everything right along with you…Anxiety, disappointment, detachment, and acceptance. When I read the part about the removal of the gender-identifying organ, natawa ako, though I know nothing about this is funny. Why? This thought crossed my mind — bakla ka kasi 🙂

    • Thanks Winnie! Writing about this eight year journey from pain to acceptance gave me closure. I am finally ready to step into the new door that’s been opened for me. And yes, I have actually been joking about the bakla angle! LOL. But, to my surprise, people didn’t seem to know that it’s okay to laugh about it. I’m grateful for all the compassion. I guess I have to spell it out… IT’S OK TO LAUGH WITH ME! 🙂

  2. No one knows how to treat anothers’ pain without that permission…your laughter can give it to them.
    This is a great post, on a lot of levels. Wishing you great joy as you step through that door.

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