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April 11, 2007 / allyo

Memory…happiness and loss

I am in a hurry on this cold, grey, rainy day but still, as I search for a parking space, I’m reminded of the many, many times I’ve driven down this same road and wound my way around this same garage. Here is the spot where I backed into another car as I pulled out after my 6 week postpartum checkup, addled with sleep deprivation and exhausted from the task of dragging myself, my baby, and all our gear here. I’m always surprised to see the construction on the garage and surrounding building is finished, since during my pregnancy the way into the garage changed monthly and grew more confusing with each reconfiguration. I walk into the building, past the coffee shop, past the ER on the left, to the elevators on the right. How many times last year did I turn left to sit by my grandma’s side? At least twice, but was it more? I can’t remember. How many times did I park half a mile down the road to visit her hospital room on one of her extended visits? Again, impossible to count.

Today I turn right, enter the elevator and push the button for the 6th floor from memory- no need to check the directory, even though it’s been 2 1/2 years since my regular pre-natal visits. I walk down the long hallway, still in a hurry and on semi-autopilot. I’m thinking about how bad my PMS/PMDD has become again in the past few months. I’m thinking about getting an IUD. I’m thinking about my annual exam and hoping it’s over quickly. In the examination room, I’m talking about myself and my various female questions and problems, and in response my doctor is telling me I need to take better care of myself. I need to take my vitamins, I need to do this, I need to do that, and no relief in the form of a higher dose of zoloft is offered. No magic bullet this year.

I’m fine, still preocupied, as I leave the office. Then, as I walk back down the long hallway and past the bathroom by the elevators, I’m flooded with emotion. How many times did I rush down this hallway after my pre-natal checkup, desperate to pee – even after peeing in a cup maybe 30 minutes ago. “We were so happy!” my brain declares. The thought is quite dramatic and more than a little fueled by hormones, but it’s still the truth. My pregnancy was a honeymoon period for me and MD, and now looking back, the last time I was 100% on my grandmother’s radar screen. Perhaps it was because I was finally giving her what she really wanted from me (other than a PhD). Perhaps my growing belly and fatigue were enough to pull her briefly out of her growing dementia. Whatever the reason or reasons, it was the last time we talked openly and honestly, like mother and daughter. Except for a few moments here and there in the hospital last year, it was the last time I was the most important person in her life.

I take the elevator down, past the coffee shop – no treat today – and walk to my car. As I brake to pay the cashier, the tears threaten to come but I hold them back. I have a long day ahead and I don’t want my makeup to run. And besides, it’s mostly hormones.

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2 Comments

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  1. Vienna / Apr 13 2007 12:17 am

    Oh, Ally. I don’t have anything poignant to say. I’m sorry that you are feeling this way. I’ve often wondered which doctor to go to in order to get the magic bullet, but I’m too chicken to come out and ask. Apparently by OB isn’t the first choice. Is there someone else you can see? This sucks. Sucks that so many women feel the way we do and it’s so hard to do anything about it. Me being 40 pounds thinner isn’t going to solve this.

    Sorry to rant on your blog. I feel terrible for you. I wish I could help.

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