Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Why am I Still so Angry? (Part 2)

Back on 21st October 2008, as the result of one simple operation, I became sterile. The violent suddenness of this event traumatised me so deeply that, no sooner had I come round from the anaesthetic, I immediately became fixated on the fear of terminal illness, then followed by months and years of relentless angst and horrendous plunges into deep and inescapable heartbreak.
Maybe you think I should be thankful to the doctors for rescuing me from a potentially life-threatening situation?...that I should be reconciled in the fact that their better judgement guided them towards the best decision given the circumstances? And maybe I would feel that way too if they had assumed a manner less flippant and devoid of human empathy. As it happened, their total lack of emotional awareness left me feeling even more empty and defiled. These sentiments have never left me. And in fact they've got increasingly stronger as I've become further engulfed in the silence of my secret pain…..so secret that I have been hiding it from even myself and continuously ‘playing it down’ through guilt towards those “worse off” or the shame of indulging in narcissism.
I do remember one doctor – just one, who clearly recognised the severity of what had happened. He met with us just before Christmas 2008 as part of a follow-up procedure and to discuss the plan ahead. And before launching into any medical spiel, he verbalised with genuine sincerity his deep regrets for our loss……But it was too late. I was hurling myself forward in order to find a way out and so I resented the fact that he was “trying to bring me down by forcing me to think of the past” (my words immediately after the consultation). In retrospect, I can see that he was so lovely. And yet I was just too scared and angry to listen.

I wanted to forget, thinking that the appearance of a baby would erase all memory of that day. But he was right to be concerned! And rather than enabling me to forget what happened, the arrival of our baby girl has helped me recognise what i needed to do all along..... to remember that frightening day and all the events leading up it. 

I can never forgive the doctors for minimising the gravity of their actions, whereby IVF would be my only choice to conceive ever again. Doctors have a duty of care to their patients and that should include emotional as well as physical wellbeing. But on that day and in the days approaching my second salpingectomy, not only were they (for the most part) ignorant of the fear that consumed me, but they were shockingly neglectful in their bedside manner that portrayed a disrespectful mix of apathy and shallow frivolity towards something that would change my life forever.

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