I finally dragged my sorry sick ass to my old primary care doctor today. Long story, but I started seeing Dr. F way back in 1997 right after I got married. He was already Joey's doctor and up to that point I had been relying on the doc-in-the-box pretty heavily any time I got sick.
Dr. F is one of those doctors that you can't help but love. He has the absolute best bedside manner ever. He will spend time talking to you about yourself, your spouse, your kids, whatever you want to talk about. He takes his time with you. And no matter if you haven't showered in six days and smell like ass, he always hugs you and says how fabulous you look.
I stopped seeing Dr. F two years ago because he stopped accepting our health insurance. And at the time, we were trying to save up for a new house and I was out on the jobsite far away from his office and it just made more sense to go back to the doc-in-the-box.
Well, not so much. Although I've found one particular doctor at our local doc-in-the-box that I like just about as much as Dr. F, she only works like two days a week and I refuse to spend three hours in a waiting room full of flu-infested people to come out sicker than I went in. So yesterday, I picked up the phone and called Dr. F to see if he could fit me in this week.
Now I feel bad for ever leaving. It was just like being welcomed back into the fold. He's moved to a brand new office, but only takes two patients at the time so you don't spend hours in the waiting room. I was his only appointment booked for that hour so we had lots of time to catch up.
He didn't recognize me when I walked in the lobby door. It wasn't until he came into the exam room with my file in hand that he realized it was me. Know why? Because the last time he saw me, according to my chart, I was 50 pounds heavier. I just about passed out when I thought about it.
We talked for a long time about my struggle with post-partum depression and how a year and a half ago I made the choice to change my life forever. Honestly, it is almost impossible to remember what things were like before then. We discussed the possibility of me having another baby, and I admitted that we're probably done - but the door isn't completely closed on the subject. But I also told him that we were happy with our family now, and adding another little being into the mix would be difficult with our life circumstance the way that it is and that I was okay with that.
He gave me a huge hug and said, "You seem so at peace with your life. How did you get there?"
I don't know. I thought about it for a second and told him that a lot of it had to do with accepting the things you are dealt in life and making the best of it. On even the worst days, you have to keep putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward - if not for yourself, then for the people that love you.
On the exterior, I look like I have it all. And underneath, I have problems and pain just like everyone else. Maybe a do a better job of hiding it. Maybe my naturally positive personality doesn't let it come through. Maybe part of me feels guilty for even bringing it up because there are people out there with problems far worse than mine. But it's there. It's there, it's real, and it's mine.
My life certainly has changed a lot in the last two years. Some for the better, some is the same, and some is a little worse. But I wouldn't change any of it.
I thought the other day about how I surprise myself sometimes with how differently I react to things now. Where I used to be a lot more judgemental about people, now I have a little more empathy. Where I used to carry a grudge, now I feel like life is too short to hold on to those negative feelings. Where I used to speak my mind freely, I tend to hold my tongue a little more and listen to what other people have to say before voicing my opinions. Is it maturity? Is it acceptance of life as it is versus being angry about what I think it should be? I have no idea.
Am I at peace? I don't know if I ever will be. But I'm pretty close. And still working on it.