I had thought, as recently as a few hours ago, that perhaps the most vulnerable position one can find herself in with a medical professional is stripped down, on the exam table, with the business end of one's reproductive organs expecting the impending contact with a catheter.
I learned, again, only a few hours ago, that one can be much more vulnerable fully clothed, in a room with two other women. If told, that is, that someone else has accused you of something so abhorrent, so basically inhumane, that you simply burst into tears at the accusation.
I got a message yesterday to call the nurse administrator. I did, and she said that her staff has brought concerns to her regarding my last visit to the place, that being last week, not Monday, and could I make time to see her next time I am coming in. So I made an appointment with her for half an hour before the mock transfer. I spent the next 22.5hrs thinking about what it could possibly be and coming up empty. I was, for a bit so disturbed by this, that I felt on the verge of tears. Thanks to friends, though, who have nothing better to do these days than to hang online, I eventually felt a bit better. I even thought clearly enough to realize, by this morning, that I should've requested a patient advocate to be present, and that I should feel free to stop at any point in that conversation and request to continue it only when one is present.
So I should've been alarmed when one of those showed up for the meeting. Instead, I was impressed, thought how thoughtful, and this can't be all bad then. It turns out, it can. Most certainly, it can. The secretary at my RE's practice accused me of racism so blatant, so outdated that where I live I think it can only be seen in movies. According to her, I asked for a receipt for my co-pay because "you people steal," and then confirmed that I meant African-Americans.
I know that most of you don't know me from Adam, or Eve, as the case may be. But I will tell you what I told the two women in the room today. I really felt like I was accused of one of the crimes of highest (or lowest?) moral turpitude-- rape, murder, racism, and, I thought later, stealing someone else's data or making up the same. Don't even go there-- I know my life and liberty are not in jeopardy as they would be if I was actually accused of rape or murder. But to me this "crime" is of the same moral caliber.
I did find it hard to breathe for a while there. Only shallow breathing was happening here, and it really hurt to try for more. I almost felt like I forgot how. I told the women in the room that I felt more disbelief over this than when they told me A was dead. Silly comparison, but there it is anyway. I thought about this later, and it seems this is because this here includes agency. Another human being has decided to say these weird, unbelievable, horrific things about me. Made a decision and went for it. Lied about me, to be blunt. I haven't cried this hard in months.
The question at play is whether, in their words, everyone can be comfortable post this. I honestly have no idea whether I can be. My first reaction was that I need a witness every time I talk to this woman from here on out. They say it's not realistic. I finally concluded by saying that I need to hear that the doctor, who, btw, called the nurse administrator into this, believes me. If he can't, I have to leave. And it hurts me to contemplate the last eleven weeks have been for nothing.
In the middle of all of this happening, the nurse admin said that it is probably for the best to cancel the appointment today until she could take my side of the story back to that practice. In my complete wipeout I forgot that mock transfer is time of the month sensitive. Once my friend Aite brought it to my attention, I realized that unless this gets fixed tomorrow morning, this woman gets to take from me not just today and the extreme emotion it inspired, but also the one thing I asked of Dr. YoungGun-- to be in the middle of a cycle, to be doing something, by the time my one year anniversary comes around.
I have no good conclusion to this post. I wanted to crawl under a rock and live there for months or years. JD made me a drink and now I feel a little better. I will call in the morning, and see what they want to do with the canceled time-sensitive procedure. Mostly what I want right now is to be woken from this dream.