Rocky... Rollercoaster... Recovery... so many words beginning with 'R', and some are easier to face and say out loud than others.
On the phone this morning, while leaking from my knackered eyeballs like a burst water pipe, I just said a word beginning with 'R' to my GP. I can't believe I actually said it.
He's been our family doctor since I was 10 and has watched me grow, shrink, struggle, adapt, cope, fall apart, mend, break again, come back stronger and then melt into puddles of new catastrophe over the years. My family and I are very thankful that he's the opposite of a shite doctor, and my call with him just now has reinforced that.
Amongst all the physical and mental health issues he's supported me through, he didn't know about my past. He does now... just snippets using words I never thought I'd be able to say to him. The words just fell out my mouth like coffee does when a bit of it 'goes down the wrong way' and you can't hold the rest in when you cough. I phoned him because I was desperate for pain relief, but it seems my head was crying out to plead for more than that.
I feel strange now, like it's all just a dream, so I've turned to my online journal to throw my tumble of thoughts at my little phone keyboard and this valued AS community of understanding souls. Let me clarify... I don't, and will never, disrespect any of you by 'throwing' words at you - they're offered with gentle sensitivity for your own circumstances and trust for your ability to empathise in a way so many others can't.
My doctor wants to see me this afternoon (well...half of my face due to the stylish 'anti-covid' mask I'll be wearing) to talk about possible options for more help. I'm scared to death but relieved.
I've been quietly crying out for help for so many years and I think I've finally found a voice to cry out with a bit more confidence and self-worth. I don't want to burden NHS resources, especially with a global pandemic going on, but facing my past, accepting the fact that it actually was really crap, and being able to rewrite my story with a head that can now label experiences properly, has helped me realise I matter enough to be heard and helped.
It's the physical pain that's tipped me over the edge so often since my healing journey began, and that's what has happened now. Since my first diagnosis when I was 10, the connective tissue disorder deteriates, over and over again, and I adapt. Health professionals offer long-term management solutions (which I'm grateful for) but concrete answers have never been given because my voice has been too damn quiet, and I haven't felt I mattered enough to have them. I've just fumbled along, trying my best to cope with the impact of it all independently, with grief for the mobility I've lost, waves of terror for the unknown, but also pride for my ability to shed my skin and come out the other end stronger.
I'm not sure what help my family doctor will offer this afternoon, but if I can use this new-found voice with confidence I think I might be able to welcome him into my 'dream team' of trusted people who are helping me 'hold on tight' during the challenging twists and turns while riding this profoundly frightening (but rewarding) rollercoaster.
Update after my GP visit: My GP did indeed reinforce my confidence in him - he really is the opposite of a shite doctor. He's now getting the ball rolling for more help, and I now have a bit of hope for more support, concrete answers and the possibility that my pain could be managed better. It looks like an extra member joined my 'dream team' today.