But I digress...
I was at the Midwife Center for the first time. I've been looking for a general-primary-cover-all-the-bases-medical-doctor-person for about 10 years. The good ones are either not accepting new patients - ever - or it takes 3 weeks to get an appointment. Does anyone else have this problem? There should be a match.com type of website for doctors. Seriously. I've been on wretchedly uncomfortable dates with better odds of success. This is why I finally went to a naturopath a few weeks ago. I find it upsetting that people are fighting for medical coverage, and here I am paying through the nose for insurance that I find extremely disappointing. So I paid out of pocket to meet a brilliant alternative care provider — and had a fantastic, illuminating, collaborative experience. As much as I would like to rant about the need for insurance that covers preventative medicine, that's just not where I'm going to go. (Today.)
My badass, funny, radiant, smart-as-hell naturopath informed me that I have food sensitivities causing inflammation that is wreaking a small amount of chaos in my body. And so I am temporarily gluten-free. (It's not as hard as I thought it would be.) (Pounds are literally disappearing!) (Check out "Wheat Belly!")
My super-rad naturopath (it's love at first sight, people) also recommended I seek out womancare at the Midwife Center, which is how I found myself in that awkward-as-stirrups-situation, being asked if I wanted to take a gander. Never in my 20+ years of lady-business visits have I been asked that before. I said yes, not knowing if it was something I would prefer to see after a few shots of tequila, but no one was offering.
The point of this is not a lovey-dovey "embrace yourself in your entirety" speech. The point is: something was off. Something was, in the words of the midwife, "not normal." She said, very pointedly, that it's NOT BAD. Just also NOT NORMAL. Now, I'm a huge fan of being not normal in many ways, but this is probably one area where I'd prefer to be about as bland as possible. Don't ever call me boring, but when it comes to my cervix, for the love of god, let it be less thrilling than a subtitled documentary about slow-drying paint.
A couple renegade tears rolled down my cheeks, I couldn't help it.
The very next day, I got on a plane to spend the week with my mother, which is usually an exercise in the constant relinquishing of my own authority.
We flew through, over, around a huge late-March blizzard (also not entirely normal) and the experience could not have more accurately embodied everything I was already feeling. Fear raced through me. I am normally a very calm and nonchalant traveler, but that night I was having a minor panic attack. Everything felt like it was swirling out of control. The air was rough, it was 5 hours later than we were supposed to depart and my children were sleeping peacefully in the row behind me. The complimentary gin and tonic wasn't living up to its nerve-deadening expectations. I spent a few minutes contemplating disaster.
Somehow, I took a deep breath. I actually muttered aloud that I had no say in what was happening to the weather or the plane. I thought a lot about Tosha Silver's book, Outrageous Openness. I could only breathe and have some sort of faith and/or hope that everything would be fine. The truth is, I still don't know if it will be. I suppose I never really do know that, but I generally go about my business as if that were true. I have another appointment with a specialist in a couple weeks and I hope to learn more. But sometimes, the universe just rattles you and all you can do is breathe and be in the moment. Whatever the divine influence in my life is, it showed up that night on the airplane. And I accepted it enough to give up control.
What followed was calm.