I Will NOT Be a Lab Rat

*Continuance of “My Story” starting with Blog #1: When your life flashes before your eyes in a flood gate of memories…

My phone rang, then my mind whirled as I looked at the caller ID number.  It was time to find out about my test results.  I wonder what they found wrong with me? I thought inwardly.

“Hello?” I answered.

The voice on the other end of the line spoke.  It was the Physician Assistant that I’d talked with just days before.  “Hi Kelly.  It’s _____ from the Clinic.  Well, I have both good and bad news for you.  I’ll start with the bad news”, she stated.  “Bad news is; that we don’t know WHAT’S wrong with you.”  There was a brief pause before offering, “The good news is; that all your test results came back ‘normal’.  It’s good that they came back normal, but that doesn’t help with understanding why you don’t feel good.”

I stood inside our home looking out the window, shaking my head in disbelief.  All these tests and not a single lead on what is going on inside of me?  Why am I having these symptoms and in such pain and discomfort then?  I shook my head in order to clear my thoughts and listen to the assistant as she’d started talking again.

“It must be a bad case of IBS.  If it doesn’t quit within the next 2-3 weeks give the clinic a call and we’ll do further testing.”  She then guided our phone call to an end.  Again, my mind reeled.

Mom had stood close by, listening to the conversation as my irritation had continued to grow.  Sadness filled her eyes as I looked into them.  My eyes(and heart) were filled with hurt, anger, resentment, disbelief, and questions.  I locked in my emotions, clenching my jaw, desperately trying to cut off my feelings.  Silence was short lived before Mom gently questioned, “Kelly?”

The dam broke and words inside of me came spilling out, “Mom, I DO NOT want to be a Lab Rat!  There is something much deeper than ‘IBS’ going on here.  Something is really wrong; but I don’t know what.  I’m mad at the doctor… and the assistant.  It’s like they didn’t even hear me with what I all shared with them.  I wouldn’t have went in if I didn’t feel this bad.  I feel like they don’t even believe me.”  Again I stated, “I WILL NOT be a Lab Rat.”  I was fuming mad, all the while holding back hot tears.  Tears are weakness.  I’m not weak.  I won’t give in to crying.  Control yourself.

Mom knew me well enough that she wasn’t going to argue with me.  Arguing wasn’t going to help the situation.  Right now what the situation needed was for me to calm down.  Mom slyly helped calm me… and we began a brief question/answer session.

“Okay.  You don’t want to be a Lab Rat.  Let me make sure I understand what you are saying in that statement.  Please explain that.” She’d probed.

“I don’t want to be looked at as ‘a number’ instead of a human being.  I don’t want to do a bunch of tests like they do on rats that ultimately lead to exactly what just happened: Testing with no results, insights, or answers.  And, I don’t want to take medications(drugs) if that’s what they recommend to help with the pain.  My gut already hurts, so I’m not going to add drugs into the mix and be worse off then now.”  I paused before adding,  “I just don’t feel like this feels… well,… ‘RIGHT’.”  I paused again before finishing my explanation, “Something is really wrong, Mom… but I don’t know WHAT.”

Tears attempted to spill over, again, some breaking free resulting in me irritatingly grabbing for them.  Dang it.  I tried encouraging the log that now filled my throat to flow in the right direction.  We stood in silence.  Then, “I hear what you are saying.”  Mom said shaking her head.  “I understand where you are coming from.  If this matters, I’m telling you that I do believe what you have shared with me about the physical pain you are feeling, Kelly.  I know you.  I hear you.  And I stand behind you in whatever decision that you ultimately make in finding answers to your health.”  Tears were gently streaming down her face as she spoke fluently.

She believes me!  I never doubted that though, I thought.  How is it that she makes crying look beautiful?  I look like a sobbing, angry, hot mess when I cry.  No crying for me!  

“Kelly, if you don’t want to be a Lab Rat, what do you want to do in order to get some answers for your symptoms and left side pain?” She ever so gently asked.

I was speechless.  How could I answer a question that I had so little information on to answer?  Truth is, she was dead right in asking the question.  I was 18 years old, an adult, and I didn’t fully know what “other” options I had.  I have to make my own choices because I am legally an adult now.  Mom and Dad will help and guide me in my choices IF I wanted help and direction, I thought to myself.  I was really sick for the first time in my life, and  I had no idea as to what the answer to her question was.  I shook my head back and forth.

“Kelly?” She lovingly tried me again.

“I don’t know, Mom. I don’t know.”  I stammered.  “All I know is that I don’t want to be a Lab Rat, and that this system of testing, labeling, and drugging isn’t right for me.  I really don’t know what to say other than that right now.”

I don’t know Mama, I don’t know…

2 thoughts on “I Will NOT Be a Lab Rat

  1. That was a “telling story” Kelly. I have been there before…they kind of give you the blank stare when you tell them your symptoms. I was told once by a doctor that I had too many symptoms and then he went onto tell me that he thought it was psychological and wanted to prescribe anit anxiety meds for me. I refused and of course, my body may not be the best, but my mind is a fined tuned machine! I should have fired him on the spot but at age 56 I wasn’t quite as assertive as I am not more than 10 years later. Eventually I found a good doctor and he didn’t treat me like a nut case and I had numerous tests and finally discovered my gall bladder just wasn’t functioning. I didn’t have gallstones, so nothing ever showed up on imaging tests that were done. If a doctor ever tells me something is wrong with my mind or my thinking I will certainly have much to say right on the spot. I admire your strength at your young age. I wouldn’t want to “mess” with you when you are older, for sure. Good job, Kelly and I salute your strength, your courage and stamina. You demonstrate strong leadership skills!!! Thank you for sharing your story, Kelly! from Carole A.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. kellyshelpinghands October 12, 2018 — 1:44 pm

      Thank you Carole, for your kindness, encouragement and taking the time to share. I appreciate it! I’m glad that you can look back and learn from your experiences, that’s awesome, truly.


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