“There’s just so much wrong with you” a rheumatologist once told me. Finally, I thought, we are getting somewhere. Yes, we were. He dropped me as a patient.
And it was freeing, at first, believing nothing could be done when there is just so much wrong. Some aspects of my health–diet and lifestyle–improved, but what was wrong would never be right.
No supplements, nutrition, meditation, acupuncture, or yoga would return me to a life that had left, much like the rheumatologist. Life may bend back around but it does not return to a previous state.
Every time we look away, thinking there’s just too much wrong and nothing can be done, we set ourselves up for more of the same.
I think about that rheumatologist a lot, these many years later. He looked away. I looked away. And it did not serve either one of us. He got the boot from his practice, in a style similar to the one he offered his patients.
As for me, I ignored the signals my body was sending. Oh, it wasn’t that I did not acknowledge them, pain and loss of function get attention. As do hands and arms that stay “asleep”; as does grabbing for walls to break a fall.
All of those had nothing to do with rheumatology and everything to do with neurology. In time, the two would conflate, and I would be totally unprepared for the moment that happened.
So now, no matter what an MRI, x-ray, or blood test reveals, I do not look away, and I hold the gaze of every physician for as long as I need. New experience, new life lens offered, to look or no.
As much as I might want to pass up what really is an opportunity for change (although it never feels that way), I know life bends back around, like a boomerang.
I run through the rheumatologist scenario regularly, in one iteration or another, not because it’s some kind of lesson but because I hear myself saying “there’s just so much wrong” with the world.
I want to look away but I am wary of boomerangs.