Monday, September 02, 2013

Healing Old Damage

The last few days I've started having problems with my left thigh, a random throbbing of pain, stabbing me when I least expect it. It doesn't seem to be related to what I do or don't do. I threw in a couple of Aleves and went on my way.

This last weekend I finally realized what it was, the pain is in the same place that has been largely numb from the last ten years since my hysterectomy. For years the only real sensation I've had there is a strange feeling of water flowing down that outer section of my leg only to reach down and feel that I'm perfectly dry. It's the nerves that were mangled during the surgery apparently firing up again. Houston, we have feeling there finally! Lift off.

Only took ten years of healing. A little longer than it took me to recover from trying to fill my quiver with arrows and failing again and again. Those years of fundamentalist-evangelicalism that I tried so hard to have at least one more baby only to rack up many miscarriages left me with some inner scars that took time and tears to heal.

It was that final miscarriage I had on Christmas Day 2002 that actually started the ball rolling towards Jim and I leaving our old church. The months after the miscarriage reinforced for me how poisonous the climate was, how unsafe. I told no one at the church I'd been pregnant or had a miscarriage, but I never did. I didn't tell them about the twice yearly D&Cs I underwent for many years just to hold down the heavy bleeding my period brought.

This last miscarriage was different, both Jim and I were emotionally broken. We wept and clung together in that hospital ER on Christmas morn, while a staff disgruntled at working this holiday was less than sympathetic. Jim took me home to his mother's place and I spent Christmas Day either weeping or sleeping in a chemical fog of drugs.

Jim's a good guy, I cannot emphasize that enough. He took care of me, he and his mother, after that miscarriage and he drove our family and I home by himself. I still spent my time mired in a deep sadness or sleeping from the drugs.

We got home, I don't remember much about that winter, just my sadness and that I was having problems with excessive bleeding still plus that every home Bible study group was a torture because we were studying a book called "Christ the Healer" but F. F. Bosworth, a very dull difficult to understand book that insisted primarily that if you were a good faithful Christian you would turn over all your diseases to Jesus and expect healing.

This was particularly hard to sit there and listen to because of my ongoing bleeding problems. My doctor was monitoring my red blood cell count and it kept going down. I was rather anemic at that point and was walking around in a cloud of depression and exhaustion. My doctor started telling me yet again that I should have a complete hysterectomy for my health but I refused. What type of good woman would I be with no womb?

I didn't even like to mention that I was struggling with anemia or anything else at these Bible studies because I'd be lectured straight out of "Christ the Healer" to know that God was healing me because Jesus took all disease to the cross when he was crucified so the Devil had no right to cause me illness. I didn't even bother to point out that Christ lacked a womb so how could he take female problems to the cross with him. I walked out of those meetings feeling beat up, attacked for not having enough faith.

Late winter Jim and the kids went off to ski for a long weekend at Seven Springs, Pennsylvania. That Saturday my period started again and it was the worse I'd ever had. Scenes of the movie "Carrie", blood everywhere before I decided that I should probably call my doctor and head on over to the ER. I left a message on a friends phone that I would not be able to get together with her that afternoon because I was headed to the ER.

This friend, Diana, came up to the hospital and sat with me till my doctor came in and they gave me a shot to try and reduce the bleeding along with a few prescriptions. She held my hand, distracted me from my distress since this seemed in my mind to be a continuation of problems from my miscarriage three months before. I went home with strict instructions to stay off my feet and take the meds.

I did but by Monday morning it was obvious that nothing had helped, I was still bleeding like a stuck pig so it was call the doctor and go to the hospital again, this time for another in a long line of D&Cs. We got into a fender bender in the doctors parking lot when a lady backing up in a hurry rammed out parked car. By the time we got over to the hospital parking lot I was a mess, I fainted in the parking lot and boinked my head on the pavement. Jim had to scoop my large rear off the pavement and carry me towards the entrance where several horrified staff members had seen my fall and were coming running with a wheelchair.

After the procedure I went home. Someone must have said something because the next thing I know my best friend is bringing me gourmet chocolates and several ladies I love from church had organized dinners for the family while I was encouraged to rest.

But by Wednesday Bible studies someone less nice than my friends had spread around church, by gossip disguised as prayer, that I'd been pregnant and had an abortion on Monday. I saw it with my own eyes on the church email prayer list and was livid! I asked the pastor to correct it, he said I should say something so I did, saying that I was having 'female problems' but had not had an abortion.

It was a classic example of how something innocent gets twisted into something sinister in the hands of those with not enough real things to worry about.

More things happened and two months later I ended up having a hysterectomy. I cannot begin to tell you of the grieve and judgment I received at the hands of those in my Bible study that wanted me to sit and wait for my healing even while the D&C solved nothing and my red blood cell count kept dropping.

Having the hysterectomy was the best thing I could have done. Heck, I would say I likely should have had it ten years soon since I'd been having gynecological problems going back to when I first started menses. It was foolish of me to try to be Quiverfull and pop out kids with all the problems I had in that region of my body.

But thankfully healing from the hurt inflicted by my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ at my old church didn't take nearly as long as those thigh nerves. My sadness passed too, but not with any help from any of them.

You do need to mourn some times, there will be sadness in life. But at the same time the people you surround yourself with can either help ease that sorrow or compound it. Surround yourself with love, if you can, and bar your door to those that just want to tell you all the things they think you did wrong. I don't know why I had nine miscarriages and I'm not sure the reasons actually matter in the long run.

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