Jodie is a totally normal person. This has taken awhile to wrap my mind around because she’s also my acupuncturist.
A year ago, my husband and I had been married for just shy of three months. His father had been deceased for just shy of two and a half months. From start to finish, these two events will forever be linked. September 11, 2016, I became an Ironman. I took Monday off work to recuperate and then realized I needed another day and took Tuesday. Wednesday as I geared up to return to work, we got a phone call that my boyfriend’s father was in the hospital. In those next couple days, we learned he had terminal bile duct cancer. My husband’s family owns a business, a chain of bike (bicycle) shops. My husband and his siblings were all currently or had in the past worked for this shop. Their dad was the mastermind of it all. He built the business into an extension of himself: a place that wasn’t just about selling bikes, but about family, fairness, and of course FUN! This way of doing business made an impression on the local community and on the bike industry nationwide. Finding out he had a matter of weeks, maybe a few months, left on earth sent shock waves everywhere. Of course, as the oldest son and second in command of the bike shop, my boyfriend immediately stepped up to the leadership plate to run this business.
It was after we left the hospital one night that we decided to get married before his dad died. We wanted every part of the preparation and execution of our wedding to be a reflection of us, which is why we decided to have a surprise wedding. He officially proposed to me in October and we spent the next week (on vacation in Hong Kong) planning the details of our surprise wedding.
January 28, 2017 we invited 300 of our closest friends and family from all over the country and the world to our “engagement party.” We told everyone we were eloping for a wedding on our own but couldn’t miss out on an occasion to throw a great party. People bought it. They arrived to our event space, where I was not surprisingly “running late.” When I showed up an hour in to the party wearing a wedding gown, people put the pieces together and we had the. best. wedding. ever. My father-in-law joined us by skype from his house, too weak to make it to the event in person.
By the next weekend, we knew that my father-in-law’s death was imminent. He died in his home knowing how loved he was. Immediately, memorial plans were made – a funeral befitting this legend and large enough to accommodate the huge outpouring of sympathy. A foundation to honor his legacy and continue his work. Media outreach. And, of course, grieving.
So when I had dinner with my girlfriends in early Spring and told them I just didn’t feel myself, they said “of course not!” But, at 35 and 32, respectively, my husband and I knew that plans for a baby needed to come sooner rather than later if they were going to happen at all.
I reached out to Jodie because we weren’t ready to start trying just yet, but when we were ready, we wanted me to BE ready. I had no idea what to expect, except that this was probably going to be weird. And, it was a little. She wanted to look at my tongue. Her treatment room had a giant picture of an ear with like a zillion little dots corresponding to some part of the body. There was some horsehair-looking magic wand laying on the table I put my purse on. But, I trusted her immediately. She had a very calming and reassuring way about her. Which is why when she asked about current forms of contraception and I told her I had an IUD, I was taken aback when she got very serious and said “You need to get that thing out of you as soon as possible.” “Well, yeah…but my doctor said…” “I guess that’s where your doctor and I disagree then. You need at least three good cycles before you start trying. It’s very important that we see everything is in good working order.”
Just like that, I was hooked. I do everything Jodie tells me. She’s usually right. Diet, herbal supplements, whether to run a marathon (”If you want to get outside, how about taking a walk.”) and calming the fuck down every month when I get my period…she’s got words of wisdom for all of it. Every time I see her, she reassures me that my body is getting stronger and healthier, that I’m doing everything right, and that everything will work out. The fact that she’s confident, makes me…hopeful. Not confident, but hopeful. It is a welcome relief from all of the fears (mostly from reading things online) that I’m being punished for not being perfect. And yeah, she burns stuff over my stomach and sticks little magnets on my ears before I leave. So what? Maybe the weird helps me believe.