Monday, August 4, 2014

Recovering from Our Visit to the Pediatrician's Office

A couple of weeks ago I took my 12 year-old daughter to the pediatrician for her annual check-up.  I have to confess that I have been on a wild emotional roller coaster ever since.  The doctor that we'd seen for years left the practice, so we were assigned a new one.  Our appointment ended with a lecture about my daughter's weight and BMI and how my role as a mother resulted in these numbers.  I left the office in silence, fighting back tears.  That began a tumultuous journey through a variety of emotions.

First came the POOR ME phase.  What does this doctor expect from me?  Does she not know how hard my life is?  Very few people understand what it's like to be a caregiving spouse to a person with a chronic illness, let alone an invisible one!  I'm not home during the day to monitor or teach my kids what to do and eat.  And I'm tired when I do get home.  I feel so guilty about that!  Plus, I'm an emotional eater.  I ate my way through the first five years of my husband's illness.  So my kids ate through those years, too.  I couldn't help myself.  I can't help myself now - let's all go our for ice cream.  Didn't I buy chips at the grocery store?  Poor me!!  Can't you see how helpless I am doc?!?  Boo Hoo Hoo!

Then came the I SUCK AS A MOTHER phase.  I should be stronger.  I should have more energy.  I should be more encouraging and inspiring so that my children want to be active and healthy.  I should be stricter.  They should fear what will happen to them when I find out that they've eaten the entire box of granola bars in one day.  I should not buy granola bars.  Only horrible moms buy processed fattening granola bars.  I drove to the grocery store where I proceeded to buy one of nearly every single fruit and vegetable in the produce section.  When I got home I threw out every bag of chips, box of crackers and anything else resembling an "unhealthy snack." 

Then I got angry - really, really angry.  SCREW YOU doc!  You don't know me.  You spent all of ten minutes with us.  You don't know our life story.  You don't the positive changes that we've made over the past couple of years.  We're not perfect, but we're trying.  You didn't even spend enough time with us to figure that out.  How dare you put me down in front of my daughter and make me feel like a piece of poo!

Finally, I calmed down and realized that I was on the right path.  My family and I have made great strides in living a healthy lifestyle over the past couple of years.  Are we perfect?  No.  But no one is!  Are we trying our best?  Yes!  Can we do better?  Absolutely!  Is there always more to learn?  You bet!   The key is that we keep moving - aiming to go forward, but not panicking if we stumble back a few steps.  People and situations are going to enter my life that are going to attempt to divert me from my goal by playing with my emotions.  I can choose to let them derail me or jump over them and keep going.  I need to relax and trust in myself that I am on the right path.  What is that verse that has gotten me through to this point of my journey?

So doc - I'm a good mother.  Actually, I'm a GREAT mother!  I'm a great mother doing my best to raise two children in this crazy world filled with video games and smart phones and fast food drive-thrus and chronic diseases and . . . . Thanks for the reminder.

Check out Mom Went Running (Chapter 2) in the newly released book - Inspire!  You can find it at

1 comment:

  1. This was a great read. I know exactly that recovery process. We have recently switched pediatricians, though. This seemed to solve the problem. The waiting room is very nicely equipped with both material for adults and for children. It is also really comfortable and feels clean and smells good. The staff are super friendly. That was what was missing previously.

    Angela Gibbs @ Med Care Pediatric