Yoga Therapy, Sex, and the Hospital

TUESDAY – Yoga Therapy 

I still have no real idea how I feel about this weeks session. I think I’m done talking about my family with N. The whole session was really good except for the one time she said something that didn’t resonate quite well with me regarding my family – and it was innocent but hit a nerve. I knew she knew she did it too, cause she followed it up with “you know I’m 100% here to support you in this, right?”

After that we moved through a variety of sun salutations that were actually really awesome and had me sweaty and gross like a normal intense yoga class. She said a few things that resonated, like “you are stronger and more powerful than you think you are” as she encouraged me through a series of planks and I told her I thought it was funny she thought I was capable of it (my arms are not strong as with most runners that don’t do strength training) and she said “you’re capable of a lot, and you have an incredibly strong constitution.” 

We also talked about what else she could do to support my work with A (A’s answer was being grounded and breathing through vulnerability and stress… thanks A). And we talked about how I associate coming from a place of kindness and compassion with being a doormat. And how she would like to see me reframe that into the fact that it is powerful to choose to come from that place. 

When I got home I fought with my husband and was feeling really resentful. Which only matters as we talk about Wednesday. 

WEDNESDAY – A 

TW: sex, sexual assault 

There were so many things I could have talked about with A this week. I am really feeling the strain of only having one session but I can’t do more so I will work with what I have. 

I wrote a letter to my brother, realized I was afraid of talking to my Mom, I was full of resentment and anger, and my husband and I have been having issues with sex – that are all my issue – and that I haven’t been open with him about. 

Of course I intend to avoid the last topic but for the first time in 7 months we spend a majority time discussing my relationship with my husband, the sexual assault, and how it has changed things for me. The lack of ability I feel to stand up for myself if things go sideways is really hampering my enjoyment – for the record, he has never crossed a line in that regard with me, ever. I have no reason to believe he would. And yet, I am terrified of sex right now. I feel out of control and angry and it’s so unfair to my husband.

I still feel guilty and I still feel like I deserved it and I really need to hear A say that I didn’t and I don’t want to ask for it. I can’t remember if she said it early on when we first had the discussion, but I am not processing this well (or at all) and I need to go back to basics with the sexual assault before I categorize it as “something that happened to the other me. The me that lives in MO.” I caught myself doing that this week. 

FRIDAY – The Hospital

First, don’t panic. I was in the emergency room yesterday for about six hours, but I am back home and doing okay. It was cardiac related. Not that that makes it better than mental health related but I know everyone would be worried about the more natural conclusion when the word hospital is mentioned.

I’ve been having heart palpitations all week. Monday they started after a binge drink the night before and lots of coffee. They didn’t hurt and I figured if they would continue I would see the doctor on the weekend but basically whatever way I moved after being still my heart would rapidly fire for about 15 beats, rhythmically, and then suddenly drop down. 

So I cut out alcohol and caffeine (except for Thurs evening) and then felt a bit better but still with these flutters that are incredibly destabilizing and knock the wind out of you. 

So yesterday I’m at work and they are happening again but this time they hurt, I am having chest pains and super dizzy. I have been drinking water all day and being really careful. I decide to go to a walk in clinic which is no longer taking patients and then a second one which is closed for the day and eventually I’m like fuck it, and I go to the ER. 

Of course this results in an ECG, bloodwork, and lots of waiting. There is nothing like an emergency going on – but I hate ECGs and feeling vulnerable on a tiny gurney in a hallway with my breasts exposed (there’s a curtain of course but I don’t do well with people touching me even when I’m not having issues with my recent sexual assault). And I’m already dizzy so the bloodwork ends up making me faint. 

I realize I have this tendency to grit my teeth and endure, to simply accept situations as reality and unavoidable. The ECG man said “let me know if you would prefer a female tech” and I said “no, it’s fine” – which right now I’m like umm WTF self?! I was handed the opportunity to state my needs on a silver platter. And I didn’t – I couldn’t – mentally I was like “this is the situation you have no right to ask for anything – the sooner you shut up and comply the sooner it is over.” And I checked out. And floated away. 

So of course I finally get to see the doctor – my heart has been painfully palpitating on and off this whole time (except when the ECG is happening) and he is firstly gorgeous and second so friendly “I’m Dr Lee but you can call me Chris”. Great bedside manner. So I am still lying down in a gown cause I was told not to sit up without an adult after fainting, and he grabs my wrist to take my pulse as I move and tells me to do all the things I can think of to trigger the palpitations – and NOTHING happens. Of course the 5 minutes I get with the doctor it doesn’t happen. 

He did take a moment though to tie my gown for me. I told him I didn’t want to stand up with it open as I have vulnerability issues and he obliged and I said “I’m sorry,” and he said “no, patient safety and comfort is a priority for me” which made me feel safer about being in a tiny windowless room with him half naked. 

So we discuss it and he is like “I believe you but I can’t treat a cardiac issue I can’t see” (fair point, hot doc) – he mentions arrhythmias and a complicated series of words. But because it’s coming with chest pains and my family history of heart disease I get a holter monitor and a cardiologist appointment next week along with an instruction to ensure I’m walking 15-20 mins a day but no strenuous exercise and no alcohol for about.

Oh, and to avoid stress (I laughed out loud when he said that) and rest as much as possible. And come back if it’s happening at a frequency where I am in severe chest pain, if I faint, or if I think they can catch it. 

Of course he leaves the room and it happens immediately as I pull my legs up on the bed. And the entire taxi ride home. And all last night. And this morning. 

To top it all off yesterday was the day my husband had my phone with him to switch it out for my new phone. So I spent $3 on a pay phone yesterday. And 6 hours people watching. 

It’s been a long week, and now my heart is misbehaving. 

Maybe the grief really did break it.

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