I started physical therapy for my gut last week. I was hoping to write a post about it once it was over, but that is at least six weeks away, and I really needed to vent about the experience.
I really didn’t know what to expect going in, but I assumed that you just lay on a table and someone palpated your stomach in such a way that it would get things moving. Not so. Are you ready for this? Brace yourselves…
Someone takes their finger and sticks it up your butt. And they manipulate the muscles that way…
(Read until the end. I promise, it gets better.)
I had no idea. And this is partly my fault. I did not ask my GI doc what physical therapy would entail. Mainly because I didn’t want to know the answer, because if I had known the answer, I probably would have refused. And because, at the time, anything, well, almost anything, sounded better than having to have surgery.
But shouldn’t someone have warned me? Shouldn’t I have had the opportunity to escape before I was knee deep in the situation? Given the tests that my GI doc has sent me for, I guess I shouldn’t be all that surprised, because they go from unpleasant to unpleasant-er. But don’t good doctors tell their patients what to expect from therapies and treatments? I’ve said it many times before: my GI doc is an uber-specialist, but the more time I spend under her care, the more I think it’s time to jump ship and find someone else.
Don’t get me wrong, the physical therapist was kind and gentle. But when someone’s got their finger up your ass – I’m sorry, but I don’t know a nicer way of saying it – at some point you just have to dissociate, like your body is there, but your mind is not. That’s the only way to get through it.
Modern medicine continues to disgust me with some of the antiquated methods it seems so hell bent on using. Really? In the 21st century, we really have no better way of dealing with a barely active colon other than to stick something up there, especially since I thought the goal was to get stuff out?
Some of you may be shocked by my openness here. But the truth is, there is no privacy anymore. No matter how depersonalized I felt things were in the past, this experience beats them all. I’m sharing with you all because I feel like I have a relationship and rapport with my readers. And because I’ve opened myself up in far more intimate ways to a total stranger.
I feel violated. Like a piece of meat that has to lay there and take it. I am just a specimen. My feelings and emotions don’t matter. I should remain mute. My boundaries have been crossed, and now there’s no way to go back.
As patients, are we allowed to have boundaries? Or being chronically ill, is it simply a fact of life that our boundaries will be tested?
When I went to my first rheumatologist appointment, and he had me get 27 tubes of blood drawn, that certainly tested my boundary of breaking out into a cold sweat for just one tube. In that moment, I had to grow up, and I had to accept the situation because I really had no choice. Had I resisted, I would have probably been considered non-compliant, and refusing something that was directly related to being diagnosed, would have seemed contradictory.
So should I just expect that from now until forever my boundaries will be tested and my threshold for what I am able and willing to handle will continually go up?
Have you ever found yourself in a compromising situation that you can’t get out of because your doctor put you there?
I so did NOT sign up for this!
And don’t worry, the irony of the fact that my physical therapist’s last name is BUTTS, isn’t lost on me. Only in my life would something like that happen. And I have to say, there needed to be some humor in this situation.
And a friendly warning: Don’t get caught unawares, because someone might just come and stick their finger up your ass. Yes, apparently there are people who spent years being educated on how to do this. And they enjoy it! Well, maybe they don’t enjoy it, but they don’t dislike it, either. There are no ifs, ands, or butts about it.
Okay, I’m going to stop now…