Sunday, July 26, 2009

System of a Down

It is Tuesday. Just another Tuesday in Abortion Land. Today, I am literally weeping in my cubicle.

"Are you okay?" My coworker asks me with a look of concern on her face. You know how when you are already on the verge of tears, and then someone asks you if you're okay? And then it's over, the tears really come pouring out.
"I'm fine, I'm fine, just leave me alone." I am not sure how I managed to say all the that but, I did. She gets the hint and backs off.

I suppose I should go back to the beginning.

Tuesday morning, 3:45 am. Still not asleep. I am trying not to think about the fact that if I don't get to sleep really soon tomorrow will be utter hell because I will be so tired and still have so many women who will need help. I try not to think about the fact that each passing minute I continue to lie in bed wide awake is another minute I am not sleeping and another percentage I will be more tired. My throat hurts, my stomach is upset. Finally, I manage to doze off and wake up when my alarm goes off at 8:00. I snooze until 8:30, when I decide I really do need to get up.

On the way to work, my stomach begins to hurt. Badly. So bad, in fact, I pass out. I come back to consciousness, drenched in sweat. Several alarmed bystanders look at me inquisitively. My first thought: I need to hurry. I need to be available to my patients. I have one particular patient today, a teenager, who was raped by either her step dad or her brother. The patient seemed to be in a state of permanent shock. She is 20 weeks pregnant, twins. Yesterday, her family made her walk to her counseling appointment at the clinic. I routinely wonder how people could be so heartless, but this case especially. I need to get to work so I can make sure she is seen.

I wipe the sweat dripping off my face with my shirt and continue on my way to work. I get to the office and there are a ton of women who need help. More than usual. I start explaining how sick I am feeling to a coworker and she replies, "Why don't you go to the doctor?" I am not sure why this thought hadn't crossed my mind. She is right. I am not okay and haven't been for a few weeks. I should seek medical attention. I call the doctor and, magically, they have an opening today in two hours. I scramble to finish up as much work as I can, and go to the doctor.

When I come back, I have a huge pileup of women who need counseling. Most of them are urgent cases. I am not capable of assisting five people at once, which is what I need to do at this moment. I start scribbling down information and my head starts overloading. I feel like crap and all I want to do is lie down but I can't because I have all these women who need help and I have to help them and if I don't they might have to reschedule and if they reschedule they will need more money and where will they get that money because the father is useless and she is living off food stamps and she already has kids and she already pawned her TV and it's not fair she is even in this situation in the first place and then the next thing I know I am crying. Silently crying in my cubicle. I need to make sure the teenager is seen. I need to make sure the five people who are at the clinic right now are okay and at least let them know I am trying to help them scrape some money together. But, right now, at this moment, it is all too much and I can't do it. I cannot do this right now. I feel ashamed saying it, but I just want to go home.

I allow myself to cry for a few minutes. Then, I tell myself it is time to suck it up. I call everyone back. The teenager, most importantly, will be seen thanks to the help of several national funds who were able to cobble together the vast majority of the funding she needed.

I know we make a lot of pleas on this site for donations to funds, but seriously, they make a huge difference. And on a day when an Abortioneer like myself is not doing so well, wondering if I can even make it through today, it is the coming together of so many different people to help a young woman get seen that makes me see the light at the end of the tunnel. Funds like Third Wave, who exist thanks to monthly donors, cannot continue to aid women who so desperately need help without people donating. Won't you?


  1. Blessed be the Third Wave Foundation.

  2. And bless you, too, miss banana grabber. Big hugs to you. Big, big hugs. <3


This is not a debate forum -- there are hundreds of other sites for that. This is a safe space for abortion care providers and one that respects the full spectrum of reproductive choices; comments that are not in that spirit will either wind up in the spam filter or languish in the moderation queue.