by Matilda Bathurst, Midwife & Primary School Teacher, UK
I have been beautifully, tenderly and gently humbled this week following a visit to my GP on Monday. For over 3 weeks I had had a cough and was feeling various degrees of unwell, resisting, as is my tendency, really taking care of myself and allowing support from others.
Prompted by a beautiful man in my life, I made the appointment and was guided by my GP to take some antibiotics, in that a cough that persists for over 3 weeks is significant and he could hear a ‘slight crackle’ in the base of my left lung.
For a long time, I have had a disdainful relationship with mainstream medicine, avidly exploring alternative modalities and building an arrogance in myself about mainstream medicine being ‘less’ and below me. So it was with some discomfort and unfamiliarity that I collected my prescription and actually committed to take the tablets.
What has transpired in the week since (I completed the course yesterday) has been nothing short of miraculous. For one the cough has gone… but more significantly I have had the opportunity to explore and review a filing cabinet’s worth of pictures, beliefs, opinions and ideals about how I have always thought things ‘should’ be: how I should present myself in the world and that it is a failure and weakness to be ill and need the support of others.
I wrote to my GP today to say thank you and enclose a copy of part of the email here:
‘I just wanted to say a big thank you for your support in our appointment last week. I have just finished the course of antibiotics and my cough has gone. Almost more inspiring though than this, is the fact that my whole relationship with being unwell and allowing myself to be supported has shifted. I realised that in well over 20 years I have only taken one paracetamol and up to last week I was quite stubbornly proud of this, but what it actually shows is that I have not allowed myself to be taken care of and have ‘done’ hardship far too much.
So, more than just physiological support, my first round of antibiotics for a while has shown me a whole lot more.’
Would I say I have a tendency to be stubborn, yes; opinionated, yes… but less and less so and it is life changing moments like this one that are breaking the abusive and self-disregarding patterns of behaviour I have chosen and established in my life.
- Should we reconsider what illness and disease mean for us?
- Why don’t I feel well? Is illness and disease just a random event?