Would I lie to you?

I lie to him.

The doctor opens the door with a knock, greeting me with a smile and a question that I can’t hear. This, of course, is the reason I’m sitting in the examination room.

“Which ear?” he repeats.

“My right,” I respond. This is the truth.

“How long has it been bothering you.

“Oh, since last month,” I fib.

I add in a half-truth.

“It started when my son had a cold.”

It’s true that I first noticed the fullness and buzzing in my right ear when my son got sick–in September. I caught a cold at the same time as him and have been snuffling ever since, my ear aching and distorting all sounds that come in on my right side.

But this is a Friday afternoon at the quick clinic after all. And there is no quick explanation for why I’ve waited three months to seek treatment.

So, I don’t tell the nice doctor how, last fiscal year, I used all but one day’s worth of sick time and the few vacation days that I had in my new job for Philip. There was the wellness check that prompted the autism screening. There were all of the missed days of work to get an evaluation and admission to preschool, plus IEP meetings, conferences and other visits to observe in the class or meet with therapists. When July 1 rolled around, my vacation and sick leave were reset, but I’ve already used several days for things related to Philip. So when I started having problems with my ear, I didn’t want to use my limited paid time off for a doctor’s appointment. At least not for one that was for me.

I don’t tell the friendly doc that I knew I could come to the quick clinic without missing work, but that I was embarrassed. How was I going to explain why I had no primary care doctor? That the last time I actually scheduled a doctor’s appointment was for my post-natal visit? Oh, wait, the last time was actually with a shrink for the postpartum depression after I cried during the entire post-natal visit. Then my previous employer switched insurance companies. I made it a priority to find a pediatrician for Philip when it changed and again when we moved. But for myself?

So, I lie to the doctor. I tell him I’ve had the problem for several weeks instead of several months. I don’t want to explain to him why I waited.

And I don’t want to reveal to myself why I am now sitting here finally getting a diagnosis and treatment.

I could lie to myself and say I went because I had the time. I was excused early from work following the staff holiday party.

I could lie to myself and say that I went because the noise at the party had really bothered me. I felt like I couldn’t hear anything. I began to fear that if I put it off any longer, my hearing would be permanently altered.

I could lie to myself and say that I finally thought enough of myself to take care of myself. That I believe I deserve good health as much as my son does.

While there is a bit of truth in each of these lies, I know in my heart that I had planned this trip to the doctor the day before. That’s when I noticed that Philip seemed to have a stuffy nose. That’s when I decided I needed to get healthy not for me but because my untreated cold could make my son sick.

Honestly, I’m already feeling better.

Would I lie to you?
Would I lie to you honey?
Now would I say something that wasn’t true?
I’m asking you sugar, would I lie to you?

–Eurhythmics

*********************
It’s no lie–I’m linking up with the open grid over at Yeah Write

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30 thoughts on “Would I lie to you?

  1. I know the feeling. Our priorities shift, akin to tectonic plates moving around, and we become the last thing we put an effort into…which reminds me of the lower back pain that I will definitely have looked at when January rolls around because after six months, it’s just time.

    Hope you feel better very, very soon…

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  2. I don’t always go right away because I hope the problem just goes away on its own, but isn’t it interesting that sometimes we feel the need to lie to healthcare providers? Like what, they’re going to reprimand us for not coming sooner — we’re paying them, right? At least that’s what my husband always tells me.

    I hope you feel better soon.

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    • Actually, that’s how it all started. I took my son to the pediatrician and was told he just needed to wait it out. I figured my doctor would say the same thing.
      Your husband is right. Why did I worry about what this stranger thought of me?

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  3. I hope you feel better soon!
    I do this all the time, too. I once had pneumonia when my hubby was traveling for work — my doc wanted to hospitalize me, but I begged her not to because “I was the only parent home” and needed to take care of my kids. She didn’t but did give me two shots in the butt and a crapload of medication and the edict that if I wasn’t marginally better then next day, she was hospitalizing me. Thank goodness I did turn around quickly…

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  4. I remember doing the same thing when my son was an infant. I had a sinus infection for a good three months before I finally found and saw a doctor. It’s the nature of being a mother, I guess, to put your children first and yourself last — even when you really do need the care.

    I’m so glad you finally went and hope everything is OK with your ear.

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    • This may be TMI, but I’m one of those people with a predisposition to wax build-up. A quick power-washing of my ear canal stopped the distortion. Still have congestion, but I really did have immediate improvement when I left the clinic.
      Just goes to show there was no sense in waiting.

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  5. I do this. Put off going to the doctor for myself for as long as I can bear to, and then lie about how long I’ve been experiencing whatever complaint I’m there for. I did this once for three years where I was so exhausted that I literally worked, fed my kids and slept. Who knew that a simple injection of B12 was all that I needed? I would have, IF I had gone sooner. The I wouldn’t have gone through three years of my kids lives in a fog.

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  6. I do this too. Honestly, in my case, I don’t know if it’s a “putting my child first” thing or a “we have terrible insurance” thing. I do this weird cost-benefit analysis in my head. Do I feel awful enough to pay the $1500 this is inevitably going to cost me?

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    • Yes, this is exactly what I do. How bad do I really feel? Is it worth the bills? Ugh. No one should have to do this kind of math: we all deserve wellness. Moms, babies, everybody deserves wellness.

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  7. Thank goodness you wrote in the comments what happened next! You left me wondering if the doctor fixed your ear! Having a clogged ear is really, really annoying. The same thing happened to my husband last winter.

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  8. I’m glad you’re OK! Like Stacie, I was worried this was a prelude to something really scary. I’m more casual about my health since I had kids too. It just doesn’t seem as important.

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