Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.



Last Saturday our plans to sleep until noon to recover from all the sleep lost during OSCON were dashed by an early morning call from my Mom, phoning from ER. She'd spent much of the night with terrible chest pains and her husband had taken her into the closest hospital. By Saturday afternoon she was back at the hospital associated with her health care group and we went up to see her.

Here's where it goes weird.

Through some miscommunication my Mom believed she had been given a firm diagnosis of stomach cancer. That was back in February. I assumed that they'd done a scope, some blood work, and all those usual things to diagnose something like that. But they hadn't.

On Sunday morning they performed the scope and saw some spots that looked like ulcers that had likely been bleeding. These were cauterized and a tissue sample was taken for biopsy. On Monday some abdominal and chest x-rays were taken and nothing suspicious was found. We're still waiting to hear the results of the biopsy, but as of this moment it appears that Mom never had cancer.

Mom is furious that she was lied to. No mention of a "diagnosis" from a doctor appears in her charts anywhere; Mom sees this as a conspiracy and is certain records have been deleted. On the advice of her naturopath I've mentioned that she should make sure that all her records, even things marked as "sensitive" be evaluated. Mom is more concerned about having to tell people she was wrong about having cancer than she is happy to be freed of this burden.

CK and I believe that there was very possibly not a firm diagnosis. Mom was referred to an oncologist, but never went. She also had been told that it would be 8 weeks to get her in for the stomach scope and possible biopsy. She also never went. We feel that there probably was the suggestion that the digestive distress she'd been experiencing could be a recurrence of stomach cancer. Upon hearing that Mom went into her consistent behavior of reacting from fear and impatience, deciding that she did have cancer.

After a second Sunday visit CK said to me in the car on the way home, "That's what you grew up with?!"

I am first and foremost thrilled. On the other hand I'm furious with the way Mom spins stuff. I'm frustrated with her continual impatience and her drive to try and control everyone else while refusing to take care of herself. In trying to just offer sympathy at listening to her irritation I've been accused of belittling her.

Today we had a long phone conversation and she was much more rational to talk with. When she went off about her husband not taking care of himself I told her to let it go and take care of herself instead. She doesn't like taking care of herself and would prefer to think she's in control of everyone else so she doesn't have to think about her own needs. She also prefers to let other people take care of her and angry when they don't "do it right".

In a big moment for me setting boundaries as to what is acceptable I asked her to stop sharing a childhood story because for me it is a very painful, traumatizing memory. She hurt at hearing that this incident causes me nightmares to this day but wasn't defensive. She agreed to never talk about it again and made additional overtures in accepting that many times she did not make the best decisions for my well being.

All this and an incredibly intense EMDR session yesterday. Last night's sleep was frustrated by nightmares. CK reminded me again this morning that I need to "give in" and take Xanex when that happens. I'm about to head off to see my acupuncturist and hopefully that will settle some of this energy. It has been a really long, exhausting week and I'm feeling pretty worn out from the intensity of it.

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  1. hey there, just found your blog… really moving and thoughtful stuff. I will keep reading for sure and you sound like a real good hearted person!

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