I’ve been in the hospital
So I missed a pattern this past week. For those of you that have experienced coaching – you’ll know what I mean. A piece of childhood coding that was in a blindspot, steered me towards an undesirable outcome this week so that I could truly feel the impact of my old beliefs and finally release yet another that was holding me back.
A week ago, I came up in full-body inflammation. Swelling, itching… I looked like I had severe chemical burns. The lumps, swelling and redness were migrating around my body by the hour, causing strange patterns, bruising, and limiting my mobility. I didn’t think much of it because that was my reality for most of last year, until I realized I had quite a severe gluten allergy. I assumed some of my food had been contaminated, popped an antihistamine and carried on with my work week.
But it didn’t let up.
By Friday morning my occipital lymph nodes were so swollen I could barely turn my head. Parts of me were turning purple. I was being woken every morning at 4 am on the dot with my skin on FIRE. Anywhere pressure was placed immediately swelled into hard lumps – some of the oedema was easily 2 inches deep. My housemate was practically apoplectic with rage at my blasé attitude – she had been hospitalized as a teen with the same thing because apparently it leads to anaphylactic shock. She almost died… And I wouldn’t even take an hour to go to the GP.
‘It’s just shock’ I laughed – my coaching business was super-profitable last year and tax time is here. ‘I’m just reeling from how much I’ll be sending to the govt. in a few weeks.’
Writing this now… I am almost speechless at how cavalier I was with my health last week.
I finally went to a GP yesterday morning, who unsurprisingly, sent me immediately to the emergency dept. at the hospital with a referral letter for an immunologist and a cortisone shot. (Incidentally, I received neither and am still in pain, but that’s another story and not the point of this post.)
While I was in the waiting room, nursing a bruised arm from a comically bad multiple-attempt canula-insertion, my subconscious threw up an unpleasant memory. (Coding appears regularly now because I’ve been doing my deprogramming work for so long.)
It was a picture of me, face down in the fetal position on the lounge room floor. I was 13, and I was literally screaming in pain. I had (probably – it was never treated) salmonella poisoning. I was unable to walk for 3 weeks and had likely been crawling to the bathroom when the pain hit. In between screams I could hear my mother and grandmother standing over me, discussing what to do.
“It might be a blockage.”
“She probably needs an ambulance.”
“Yeah but it’s $75 now.”
“Let’s just see what happens.”
I learned something important in that moment.
Sarah doesn’t get treatment. Sarah doesn’t warrant help. Sarah isn’t cared for.
Many of these things I already knew… But in that moment, screaming into the carpet in the worst pain of my life…Those truths were burned into my hollow, shaking little body.
They went in so securely, that the following year when I split a bone so badly another bone slid down inside the vertical break, when I was told I wouldn’t be taken to the hospital, I didn’t even question it. I just strapped my hand up and carried on. I was eventually taken to a Dr. because I couldn’t do most of my chores. He took out a protractor and measured the angle – “You have a 40- degree bend in this finger!”, He exclaimed and sent me straight for emergency surgery. On the way to the hospital, Grandad said it ‘probably wasn’t even broken’ and that I was ‘being a wuss’.
And last week, when my body was screaming in pain, what did I do?
I followed the rules.
I laughed it off. I dismissed the idea of assistance. I kept working. I made jokes about using my hairbrush to reach hard-to-itch-while-still-in-
This is why I say to clients: “The problem isn’t that you had a bad parent…
The problem is that you ARE a bad parent.”
- It’s not what they did to you then, that’s messing up your life.
- It’s the fact that you’re copying them.
- You’re abiding by the same rules.
- You’re following the same protocol.
- You’re acting as though the way they did it, is the way it IS.
When that coding was revealed to me in the waiting room I wanted to cry, but it seemed inappropriate given the level of suffering around me. So I just sat, watery-eyed, and stared into space until they called my name. I cried this morning though. I cried for the little girl who was left screaming on the floor.. and for the adult that I still, sometimes, leave screaming on the floor.
But I made myself a promise, too.
That piece of coding is done now.
Next time I need a Dr, I will fucking get one.
And I hope the next time you need something, you fucking get it, too.