I consider myself a tough person. As a lifelong athlete, I’ve played through sprains and bit back tears at jammed fingers, twisted knees. When I get hurt, I don’t wail and moan–I hunker down into myself and stay quiet until the wave passes. My husband has at times hovered worriedly over me going, “What? What? What’s wrong? You have to tell me with words.” And then, when the pain has subsided and I can breathe, I’ll inform him that I’m OK, and tell him what happened, what I hurt.

So, when I was hemorrhaging internally after the birth of my daughter, I basically just toughed it out. I had just had a C-section, and I was in immense pain both from that and also from the gigantic ball of blood gathering in my midsection, unbeknownst to us all. I somehow got it into my head that I just had gastritis from the NSAIDs. And so, I insisted on no pain meds whatsoever, and I got all the nurses and doctors onboard with my self-diagnosis of painful gas. GAS! I was literally lying there dying and insisting that I would be fine as as soon as the gas, well, passed.

I didn’t want to be problematic. I didn’t want the attention. I didn’t want to need help. I wanted just to hunker down until it all passed. But, it didn’t. I could have killed myself by insisting that I was fine. I’m thankful that my body took control and spoke for me–in grimaces and writhing, and finally in persistent fainting. My words didn’t match what my body was going through, and my doctors finally heard my battered body and fixed it. Day 61.

Published by Quitter

I’m a college professor, wife, and mother of 2 small kids. I’m on a recovery journey 20 years in the making.

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