Dare to Tell – Day 35
It started with the birth of Jacob, my third child. During his birth I suffered a medical injury. The neglect that happened following the initial injury made it massive over time.
I was in labor for 24 hours. They administered an epidural that numbed me from the waist down. I had no control over my bladder; the problem was that nobody bothered with it, no one managed my bladder.
He was delivered him by forceps and then the catalog of errors began. We didn’t know they’d done anything wrong. Five hours later I was in excruciating pain. They had bruised and injured the nerves; the neurology was already a mess thought we didn’t know.
I was looked after by a midwife who said the pain was normal that I obviously had a low pain threshold. She told me to sit on the toilet and urinate. I sat there for 2 hours and then had to get into a bath. I couldn’t move and I still couldn’t urinate. The whole time there was this approach “just relax, you’re being stupid now, this always happens after birth.”
I was screaming and crying. When the young midwife finally administered the catheter, she thought it was funny. She had never seen 2.5 liters of urine drain out.
I was put into a ward and still couldn’t urinate and everyone kept saying it was normal and would sort itself out. I spoke to midwives and doctors but no one was listening. I began to believe that they were right; I must have low pain tolerance. So I shut up and 6 weeks later went back to work.
There was a medical referral made but the system was very slow. The series of hospital appointments led to the top consultant in the OB/GYN clinic, eleven months later. She said, “Sometimes we make mistakes, you have irreparable damage to your bladder and damage to your kidneys”. The conclusion was that nothing could be done.
I was in denial for quite a while and even continued working. One day I collapsed in front of board of directors because of the pain that would shoot down my spine. No one knew I was that sick, I don’t think I even knew.
We were listening to the doctors; they said that the self-catheterizing was not meant to be painful, only slightly uncomfortable. What we didn’t know was that my valve was damaged and I was bleeding profusely. The pain was like a dagger, it wasn’t uncomfortable it was fucking painful.
No-body believed me; everyone around me was saying it doesn’t hurt. I felt like I was going completely mad. We get so disempowered by the medical profession. I gave them responsibility for my health and well-being, I believed everything they said.
I decided that I needed to sell my business. I was struggling to cope and was beginning to lose my reliability. I had to sell or the business was going down with me. There was nothing left for me, I would come home and go to bed. I wanted to retreat, I’d shut down. All my energy was going to getting through each day, everything closed in around me.
My health was deteriorating drastically. I had two investigative surgeries; they concluded that there was nothing to be done. We had exhausted every possibility. The medical profession had taken over; I saw all kinds of specialists. There was the neurologist, urologist, psychiatrist (for depression) but they were not talking to each other.
I ended up on morphine; the medication was going up and up. I had to take antibiotics all the time and some different bladder medication what was supposed to interrupt neurology to stop the pain. Nothing was working and they just kept giving me more.
Eight months later, I was in a wheelchair. I went to visit the attorney who had previous accepted my small case. I don’t remember much about the meeting except for his reaction, “I had no idea this was the case I was dealing with, what on earth has happened to you?”
I wasn’t aware of how much I had deteriorated.
My last hope, a specialist in London, she agreed to see me. We had to take a private taxi from the north of the country, I could no longer travel. She did a number of tests and then saw me at the end of the day.
She was very flippant really. She just said that I was in denial if I thought I could come off the morphine. She said I had about 10 years to live since the day of the injury; that left me about 5 more years.
I think she was shocked with the way I started sobbing. I just broke down, couldn’t breathe, snot everywhere. I can’t cope with this anymore. She said you have to go home and make the most of what you’ve got. I was ready to give up.
I was like a zombie. I don’t remember speaking very much; I didn’t get out of bed. It was a huge shock. I don’t remember ever accepting it though I knew I was really, really ill and my life had gone and I knew that everyone was telling me that there was no way back.
The divorce from my first husband was the first slap in the face from the universe. I had married him as an escape, I didn’t even know me back then. I needed to fit into his lifestyle, moving around a lot. I said “you’re having an affair”. My second daughter was 3 weeks old and had been unwell. We got out of hospital finally and 5 days later he said he was leaving. He said it was my fault. I had pushed him away.
I never wanted to get married again, I hated men. Nick rang me up and said “I’m here for you”. I ended up falling in love with him though I fought if for a long time.
Nick would say we’re going out and bundle me into the car. He’d wheel me up to the sand dunes to feel the wind in my face. That day we ended up in a bookstore, with Jacob who was four. Jacob took a book and put it on my lap, it had a rainbow on it. He put the Thomas the tank engine books there too. Nick said “you can have just one” so Jacob put them all back but he left the rainbow book there. It was Louise Hay’s “Heal Your Life.” He’s an old soul Jacob. He brought me my next level of awakening and he brought me my healing.
The book was on my nightstand for a while. Over time I began to believe that this wasn’t how the story was going to end. Nick is massively intertwined in this too. No doubt we have a soul contract. He gave me a book and wrapped it up and made me open it like a gift. It’s called ‘this too will pass.’ So there were these two books and the knowing that this can’t be how the story ends.
I saw the faces of everyone that knew me when they saw me in the wheelchair; the sympathy, pity and shock. I wondered what they were staring at. Word got out that I was dying. How awful to have a child in kindergarten and a mum that’s dying. I kept thinking why are you talking to the invalid, to the tragedy, the trauma; not to the person, not Jayne? I had become paralyzed in my first marriage too.
So if this isn’t the end, what is? I had no idea that I could get back to health but I just needed to take on small step and keep going. I would get off this medication then this one; then a bit of body work, then something else. I didn’t see a great deal of progress, but it was a purpose, it was something to do.
I didn’t want to get better for me, I wanted to get better for my kids and my family and my friends. People needed me to get better. People stop ringing; they don’t know what to say when you’ve been ill for years. Everyone retreated, my kids would come running in from school to see me but I wasn’t really there. I missed sports days and Christmas.
It took a very long time, but slowly I returned to health. Piece by piece I tested and proved what my body could do. I registered as a disabled student for a Masters degree receiving as much support as I could.
I was newly off medication and I managed to lead a team in a successful business venture as part of my studies. There were some scary moments but we did a phenomenal job.
I realized I can do this with the conditions that are left over. I’m not fully well but still able to function. I realized that even if it doesn’t get any better, I can do this and I’ve come a long way since then.
I still have moments when I retreat. It’s usually coupled with ill health and I get really scared that it’s going to happen again. I know that even now it’s not the end of the story.
My biggest fear in my first marriage was that he was going to leave. Just like my dad who was always having affairs. Mum made it clear that you shouldn’t love men because they just leave you. I couldn’t open up to him, he’d just leave.
Where is it completely safe to be open? It’s one of the big questions in my own life and in my work. I notice when I start closing.
Today it began. I was closing around this process. I wanted to stop the story being told. It’s a knowing that I’m getting ready to open in a way I’ve never been open before and it scares me, it scares the shit out of me.
Before every next step there’s the vulnerability. I can tell the story that I tell on stage and I come out looking like a superhero but it doesn’t feel like that for me, it feels very vulnerable, like the threads are so weak that it could all drop again.
My mantra was always this is not how the story is going to end. And I know that THIS is also not how the story is going to end. I don’t know if I could go through it again, it was so hard.
This morning I didn’t want to get out of bed. I just sat there with myself, like I was back to that time when I would wake up and be in bed, just being back there with me. There is a questioning; if everything were to go again? I would be back here in this bed. It’s like a reconnection to Jayne at the core, a going back within, a finding out if I’m on the right track.
Is this the business I want to build?
Is this the life I want to live?
Is this what I came back for?
If I didn’t know better I can feel like it’s the beginning of a downward spiral. It’s an incubation space, a containment space for the energy and for me. A holding bay before whatever comes next, something that demands a lot of energy and focus.
People think I’m really courageous but I’m not. They put me on a pedestal, but I’m not that person. If I’m going to show up whole I have to be open with all of this, I have to be real.
It is an awakening, to be conscious of each step and where it will take you, it’s only ever one step after another.
– Jayne Warrilow, Visionary Author and Resonance Expert http://jaynewarrilow.com