The Five Stages

After taking some time to think about the devastating news I received from the Urologist I felt like I went through the stages of grief. Denial hit me first and hit me hard. There was no way my doctor of all people got it wrong. Not after the countless times I showed him at my physicals the lumps during exams and he continued to tell me it was normal. Not after
I asked him if the pain would go away and he told me yes. It isn’t real I do not have, not one but two varicoceles. I don’t, I don’t, I cant be. I will father a child this will all go away and I’ll wake up from this horrid dream. Except I didn’t, this dream was my new reality. Then I get to Bargaining. What could I have done to prevent this?Should I at 17 have known to get a second opinion? Should I have been more persistent on telling him I wanted answers? What did I do to deserve this? Of course none of these would have changed anything but I just had to wonder. Maybe if I had pushed harder things would be different for me. Maybe I would be looking into eyes right now that looked like a mirror image of mine. Maybe I wouldn’t be going back to the Urologist to determine my options. I would be at my sons first pediatrician check up. I feel myself drowning in my own thoughts of what if and what could have been that I start to sink into that’s right folks the third stage of grief, the one you don’t wish on your enemy; Depression. At first I just thought this is okay I’m just sad it will go away I can handle this on my own. I didn’t even tell Trenae I was getting in my car each morning and crying to my first appointment of the day almost every day. Because “Guys” don’t do that. We are taught as young boys not to cry that it’s for sissys so I didn’t show anyone my true feelings. The complete desperation of wanting to be a father and realizing its not in the cards for me. I remember sitting at the dinner table with Trenae and her saying to me “what’s going on with you, you’re different, you have smiled in weeks.” It was at that moment I couldn’t hide my depression anymore I remember unraveling like a piece of tattered fabric in front of my wife. I remember crying to the point I felt like I couldn’t breath or get the words out to tell her my heart hurt. I couldn’t tell her that ever since I was a teenager the one thing I knew I would be good at was being a dad and now it’s gone. She just sat there holding me, asking me why I didn’t come to her and tell her I was struggling. I remember saying I thought I could handle this on my own and then she reminded me you don’t have to do that anymore we are married. We are partners through the good and the bad, and this is the bad right now. I felt like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders because i now had permission that it was okay not to be the “strong one.” I stayed in this stage for about a month or two before I moved onto the next stage. The stage that makes you miserable to be around; Anger. Anger is where I remained the longest. In fact its been the last couple of months that  I would say I have moved out of anger. I was angry at my doctor, I was angry at anyone able to have a child, I was angry at myself, honestly I was angry at the world. Angry because I felt like I had been robbed from a dream I had for so long. My anger turned into rage when one of my fertility doctors looked at the sonogram of my testes when I was 17 and said it’s plain as day here that you had a varicocele ten years ago. My anger wanted justice. Let me preface this with I am not the type of person to sue just to sue, but I struggled with this because I felt like it was my only option. I didn’t want to sue for me other than to at least cover the cost of adoption because really who had $40,000 sitting around I wanted to sue to protect other patients from going down this path. Which crazy enough my little brother would be example one of the same doctor misdiagnosing.  I contacted multiple different lawyers to find out what my options were. Each one heard my case and told me there was nothing that could be done. The statute of limitations had expired because it was ten years ago, but I hadn’t found out I was misdiagnosed until 2013 how could this be?? Well that didn’t make anything better it just fueled my anger even more. What had I done in my life to deserve this? Why am I being punished like this? He took my right to have a child for crying out loud you mean to tell me there is nothing that can be done about it. This man shouldn’t be allowed to practice because now not one but two patients have had the same issue and their in the same family. So how many others are out there? UGGGHHHH See I am getting mad just reliving this. Shhhew deep breath…..The thing that I learned at about this point is that you don’t just go through each stage of grief one by one and once you completed one level you never take a step back. When grieving you feel all five steps multiple times and all together. After a long battle with anger fighting depression I stumble and when I say stumble I truly mean it. I’m talking trip and fall into mud and then fall into feathers stumble into Acceptance. Acceptance and I are still new acquaintances and yes acquaintances because there are still and probably always will be times where I take steps backward. Anyone with Infertility and grief in general will understand that.  Acceptance came from two solid years of counseling like heavy counseling. Not many men are willing to do that but when you are hit with life as hard as I was you have no choice. Counseling helped me realize that none of this was or is in my control. Which try telling that to a type a personality and that’s a LARGE A there folks is really difficult.It was after multiple books, multiple sessions and support from family and friends that I realized I am not supposed to have a biological child. I realize now that my child is out there somewhere who knows maybe they are even being born as I type this. I just have to hope that someday and hopefully someday soon we will meet…..



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