Magical Truthsaying Bastard Shadesong (shadesong) wrote,
Magical Truthsaying Bastard Shadesong
shadesong

Medical update #938

Another lasting artifact of my childhood: fear of modern medicine.

Childhood
Great swathes of my childhood are blocked, so I'm not entirely sure where this tidal wave of unreasoning terror originates. I certainly had a good pediatrician (ended up taking Elayna to him, until his stroke). My parents made me take Dimetapp every night as a preventative measure, but that was no big deal, really - just afforded me a bargaining tool. "It tastes gross! I'll take it if I can have five pretzels after to get the taste out of my mouth..."

I think - well, no, I know - that it's rooted in the fear of loss of control. I had heinous asthma attacks as a kid, and there wasn't much that could be done about it, save the inhaler, the pills, the Dimetapp. I remember spending a great deal of time in the nurse's office, just trying to think myself out of my asthma, waiting for the meds to work.

Adolescence
Then, of course, the psych meds disaster of my early teens. "She's depressed. Let's give her 'mood elevators'." No talk therapy, just a scribble on a pescription pad, and I was off on a series of drugs that make people in the know recoil in horror - "They gave that to an epileptic?!?" Because, you see, the stuff they put me on causes seizures in epileptics. Looking back, I think I was in a seizure state at least 25% of the time; between my brain going from mild spacing-out and perception weirdness to a total lack of control and all the other stuff that was going on in my life, it's no wonder I started attempting suicide. Which put me in the hospital. Where they put me on more drugs. Which resulted in a near-constant seizure state. Until I got sent off to the wilderness survival camp, where they didn't allow meds.

Epilepsy
When I was diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy, I hadn't taken anything more than Tylenol in years. My distrust of doctors was dormant, though my distaste for medicine was still very strong. There are wounds that never entirely heal, and that constant seizure state - though I didn't know that's what it was at the time - still has not healed, not to this very day.

So here comes my first neuro, diagnosing me, and giving me pills that I will have to take every day for the rst of my life. That I will die if I stop taking without close supervision.

And here come the side effects - the debilitating nausea, the crippling loss of balance, of short-term memory, the total body crash, and here's my doctor refusing to change meds.

And here's 'song, lost and terrified, helpless, with no medical advocate, mentally back in the hospital of her early teens, the message being: you have no choice.

Choice
Choice is what it comes down to. I am grossly oversimplifying this whole history. Grossly. But what it boils down to is years of doctors not listening, of doing horrible things, and telling me I have no choice. And this has brought up this sheer terror in me, that I am trembling and sometimes tearful when going to a new doctor, because what if they don't listen? And I have to do what they tell me!

No. I. Don't.

This is a huge thing to come to. And I know the rest of you came to it a while ago, so just bear with me. This is a huge thing for me, to change the way I see this whole process, to see myself as in charge of this process.

"No. I don't want to take that."
"It isn't working. The side effects are too bad. I want to try something else."

I can say these things now, and if they don't listen, I can tell them to go to hell, and I can go to another doctor. I am in charge here.

So yeah. This is what was percolating in my wounded brainmeats as I waited to see the new gynecologist today. That this fear can be traced back to its roots. That I'm in charge now. That she's not going to refuse to take the IUD out, and if she does, I can go somewhere else; I'm not stuck.

Long process, growing up. Especially with this sort of stuff overshadowing you.
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