Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Things are Weird Right Now

Much has happened since I last posted. Most of it isn't particularly good or happy. Before anyone gets too worried, everyone in my family is physically healthy. It's not that kind of bad thing...

I've been following the Instagram account of a psychotherapist who is also a birth trauma survivor (@thebirthtrauma_mama) and listening to her podcast. One of her comments in a recent episode is highly relevant to what's been going on in my life lately: If you don't take care of your trauma, your trauma will take care of you. (I think I'm paraphrasing somewhat, but the gist is there.) 

I'm currently on medical leave from work. It's complicated. I'm definitely still processing everything since LB's birth, and I'm getting a lot of therapy and working with a psychiatrist. 

The entire situation wasn't that dramatic in some ways, I've still been able to care for LB quite happily, even in my worst times. But there've been days where walking around on sidewalks near typical NYC traffic - or even suburban car traffic in my somewhat quiet town - made me repeatedly flinch, feel the physical effects of fear. It's all been a lot. I feel like a mess. 

That's an awkward segue into saying I highly recommend the podcast series "The Retrievals." It's about a Yale-New Haven Hospital fertility treatment clinic where a nurse repeatedly diverted fentanyl intended for anesthesia for patients, refilling the vials with saline. Obvious content warnings apply, given that premise. 

By its nature, the subject matter can be extremely triggering. I personally recall reading a long-form article about this situation that included interviews with many affected patients back when I was pregnant. I remember that I found it viscerally painful to read about their experiences and pain. The podcast treats that side of things with a gentle hand. Given my current condition, I'm extra-sensitive to detailed descriptions about gynecologic or obstetric procedures that don't go well, but I didn't feel triggered in that way by this podcast.