We all know the D-Day experience — the shock, the weight loss, the sleeplessness. Since I’ve done this blog, however, I’d never heard from the medical side of things.
Kimberly, former chump and compassionate doc that she is, decided to create a Care Plan (below). I’m handing over the blog reins to her today, and I hope you’ll share this post with your health care providers. The more awareness and help out there for new chumps, the better. — Tracy.
Dear Chump Lady,
Many thanks for the valuable public service you do with your empowering, chump-positive blog. It was a rock for me to cling to during my dark times 5 years ago.
I am a family practice doctor and I have encountered crying, newly-chumped patients in my clinic three times this very week! Unfortunately, ministering to weeping, shattered faithful partners is a standard visit for me (just like newly diagnosed diabetes or discovering a cancer). But going through it three times in such a short amount of time made me think, “You know, I really should write this stuff down.”
So, what can a health care provider do to help the agony that is new chumpdom? Or, alternately, what can a chump expect of their primary care provider?
1. We need to build you a team. The patient’s support team should consist, at a minimum, of the following:
• Primary care physician (PCP)
• Gynecologist, unless her PCP is one of the awesome ones who can also do STD testing
• Psychiatrist or PCP who can prescribe medication if needed
• Best friend/sister/confidant
• INDIVIDUAL counselor who is pro-chump and anti-infidelity
• Spiritual counselor, if that’s your thing.
• Lawyer. Knowledge is power.
• Chump community, like the Chump Lady site
2. We need to get you STD checked. Just do it. I had to do it…twice. (Thank you, RIC.)
3. We need to address your anxiety, depression, and sleep. Look up online programs for sleep therapy which are drug free. Take up yoga or meditation or prayer. Talk to your PCP about non-addictive medications for anxiety and depression which will not impair your thinking. You know what REALLY impairs your thinking? Untreated anxiety, depression and insomnia.
4. We need to find you a safe outlet to talk about this trauma. That could be your friend, your chump spirit guide, your counselor, your minister and the chump community. It is not your co-workers or random people in the grocery store. It is not your kids. It is not your cheating partner.
5. We need to cultivate safe, healthy activities to manage your stress. You need this as much as you need medication. Maybe you will take up a new sport or a long-neglected hobby. Take out your stress on the treadmill or a kickboxing class. There are also things which will not lead to good outcomes, such as drinking, random hookups, or jumping into a new relationship prematurely.
Help your doctor to help you by bringing up these topics and asking for referrals. Protect your physical and mental health with all the tools you have available. Going through this feels like a marathon of pain, but there IS life on the other side.