Thursday, June 19, 2008

Taking Charge of My Treatment

I had a "moment" during my acupuncture appointment yesterday...

My acupuncturist, who is very nice by the way, loves to discuss and debate the status of the stock market while he treats me. It started out as short discussions: a question here or there about my opinion on annuities, a comment or two about the day's market activity, etc.

Well, yesterday we sat down to have a short conversation before treatment began, which is the typical scenario. I gave him my thyroid test results and he called my thyroid "impeccable". Even though I know I should be happy about my continually flawless test results, I am usually disappointed by such perfect outcomes. If I can't figure out what's wrong, I can't fix it!

Anyway, the disappointment in my ideal results, along with the emotionality of this time in my cycle (for some reason I am terribly emotional during the time between my period and ovulation...I have no idea why), began my spiraling towards total breakdown.

Tim began the treatment and simultaneously started asking questions about annuities. Now, I wouldn't go so far as to say annuities are wrong for everyone in every situation, but I am highly skeptical and cautious about them. Tim is convinced the market won't recover for years to come and annuities are the smart way to go. He began describing scenario after scenario, trying to get me on his side.

I am a shiny, new financial planner. Heavy debates about the market do not feel like "shooting the breeze" to me. They require me to be on my toes, to draw from my broad knowledge and limited experience. This is not relaxing.

The entire time, I just wanted him to shut up! I wanted quiet and relaxation. And, if conversation is necessary, let's talk about how I am going to balance my body and increase my chances of pregnancy, or at least develop inner peace and acceptance.

Tears burned my eyes. I would wait until he turned around and then wipe them away quickly. Thoughts of doubt and hopelessness filled my head. Who am I kidding? What am I even doing here? Horrible thoughts.

Tim finished with the needles and left the room. As I laid there in the quiet, my tears subsided and I began to relax. All of my limbs felt heavy and my head began to clear.

If Tim came to me for financial planning advice, how would he feel if I spent most of the session discussing acupuncture and debating its validity as a medical service? I think at some point he would be frustrated. He was there for financial advice; that is what he was paying for.

Suddenly, it dawned on me. This whole exploration I have been doing lately is about taking charge of my treatment. It's about not listening to some "authority" and doing what feels right to me. I have come so far and here I was again, letting someone (unintentionally) affect my progress because I was too timid to stand up for myself and what I want.

At my next appointment, I will ask Tim to avoid stock market and investment talk during my treatment. It may hurt his feelings a little but I have to do what's right for me. I will again take charge of my own treatment. It feels weird to put myself first, but in a world of doctors, experts, healers, and herbal gurus, I truly am my only advocate!


Isa said...

Michelle, I am proud of you for recognizing that he is taking YOUR time. He should be serving you and your progress...your path. Love you so much!!! Advocate and put him straight...YOU ROCK!

Brittany said...

I am sure he will understand. After all, this is his profession and he may have just lost track of what you came to him for. sometimes people get side tracked when they want free advice!