“Let’s just take a pause”, he said. As he finished the sentence, the floodgates opened. I began to cry. There I was sitting in the office of this man I had just met for the first time crying “the ugly cry”. There was something about what he said that released fear, anxiety, and frustration that I didn’t even realize I had been holding.
I have developed some health issues over the past few years. They could have been there all my life or maybe they are new. I have no idea and wonder if anyone really does. What I know is, the past few years have been filled with symptoms and the cause has not been determined. I have seen several doctors, including two neurologists, and three rheumatologists. All of these doctors have used testing along with their expertise to determine what is causing issues. I have a list of diagnoses a page long on my chart. The reality is, no one really knows for certain and each doctor has a different opinion and course of action to take. It has been exhausting.
As I sat in front of my latest rheumatologist, I thought, here we go again. Every specialist has tried to address the issues and has added medication to manage symptoms. I don’t think things are significantly better with these medications. This time the doctor suggested a different approach. He had read through my chart. He was informed about my prior treatments. The doctor knew about Emily and her disabilities. He had assessed everything and then said with firm conviction, “I think the best thing is…let’s take a pause. Let’s discontinue all medication the other doctors have prescribed and wait and see. We will wait six months and start fresh with labs and a new perspective.”
There was freedom in his words. This makes so much sense. Often, when things seem unclear, when the path is uncertain, it is good to take a pause. When stress and overwhelm creep into my day, a pause can change those emotions. When my thoughts are racing or anxiety takes hold, I take a pause. When I am driving and feel like I am way off course, I take a pause. When Emily is inconsolable or agitated, take a pause. When I feel buried in my job, my life, my responsibilities, then I take a pause. When I feel pain, either physical or emotional, I take a pause. A pause is always the first action toward a calmer state of being.
I feel best when I pause, listen to my body, take in my surroundings and choose to be in the moment. I see everything more clearly, and the answers seem to come to me. There is much to be learned in the pause. There is comfort, security, clarity, and awareness in the pause. Later we can try more testing, search for answers, and experiment with other options, but for now, let’s take a pause.