Oh my gawd, I can’t even. I mean, seriously – I just can’t. I don’t even TALK like this (write like this?), but I just CAN’T.
I know. Can’t is a bad word. Whatever. I can’t. So I’m writing this post because I recognize in one part of my brain that what I describe below is actually no big deal. Normal life stuff…hassles, inconveniences, just life happening.
I remember when I was functional, when I wasn’t in pain all the time, and I wasn’t dealing with crippling anxiety and depression. I still didn’t like dealing with the maze of healthcare related red tape, but I COULD. I could navigate through, and take care of what I need to take care of. I could live and function in this society.
I could manage life, even when it was complicated and stressful and there was a ridiculous level of hoops to jump through.
Trying To Be My Own Caretaker
Now, though, the very things I need help with – anxiety, depression, pain, fatigue – are the very things that stop me from being able to GET that help. I can only push through for so long, before the cacophony of input from my brain and body make me unable to keep pushing.
Then the self judgment starts, about how ridiculous I am and “this is stupid” (this being my incapacity to deal with whatever is happening) and how people have to deal with this stuff all the time and how weak I am and silly and stupid (and have I mentioned ridiculous?)…for being overwhelmed. Then all of that pushes me back down again, below the surface.
So I fight, and fight, and fight, to try and keep going, get something figured out, get something accomplished. Make ANY kind of progress in ANY direction, because my life is ending one minute at a time and I’ve wasted SO many minutes and I don’t have very many minutes left!
My brain spins on all of this, and I know why I’ve become a hermit. Why I don’t do anything or try to deal with anything. I don’t want to live like that anymore, though, but I just can’t seem to pull myself up out of the muck that keeps sucking me back down.
I want to have friends. I want to have a job. I want to DO things and GO places. I write it and it sounds pathetic, but I think other people with chronic pain or mental health issues can probably relate. It is just so alienating and demoralizing, this basket of goodies that makes me a basket case.
It’s so simple – the things I want. The things I actually DREAM about in the way that healthy people dream about becoming famous or winning the lottery. It feels impossible – like something only OTHER people get to have. Friends. Fun. Vacations. Social interaction…a real job.
I Want To Be A REAL Girl
I just want to feel like a real person. Have a real job. I just want a job – a good job. I am smart, when I’m not lost in my own mental illness. I am really good at what I do (honestly – kind of whatever that happens to be at the time, I am one that used to excel at most things). I have to be able to DO, to excel at the doing, however. I spin and spin about just wanting to be normal and be able to pay my bills and have ambitions.
There’s a surreal aspect of being as sick as I am. Again, I think most people who deal with similar things may have a similar experience. You can remember being out there with the people – having friends, going places, doing things. You can even remember, as if it was another lifetime, what it was like to not have to think about how your pain or your anxiety or your depression is going to affect every moment of your day.
You didn’t have to strategize about taking a shower AND trying to cook a meal. You didn’t have to calculate whether it was worth it to get up and walk down the hall to get water. You need water…but the pain to GET the water…do you really need water THAT much??? Nah – water can wait.
I’m a Wanderer…A Wanderer…I Wander Round and Round and Round and Round and Round and Round and Round
I’m rambling, I know. I think when I started writing this blog at the beginning of the year, I thought I’d be able to be funny, and share some experiences so others could connect. I haven’t felt very funny in a while.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Why won’t the lobster share with his friends? Because he’s “shellfish”. 😀 I saw that on a “bad Dad joke” meme. – See? Not funny.
I recently watched “Nanette” on Netflix, expecting a comedy show. Hannah Gadsbey – did do some comedy, and she was very funny when she did. More importantly, however, she told her story – and got angry. She let the whole world in on her story and her anger and her hurt.
It made me cry (in a normal healthy way, not in the “cried at the DMV” way). She said her story was important. So…maybe my story is important, too??? Maybe I need to tell it, even if I don’t have an audience of thousands to hear it (or read it). Even if I can’t be funny.
Today’s installment in that story…
Anxiety (oh my GAWD levels), added to the red tape of trying to start medical care after being without for a while, and dealing with medical issues, added to odd road blocks due to splitting up with hubby AND an adult child who needs some help getting some mental health assistance, and having no money.
I just…I can’t. I spent the last 3 hours or so just trying to FIND a doctor that specializes in Fibromyalgia. That’s after spending days and days and days spinning about where to START in all of this, because I had to stop for so long. So now it’s like starting over, but there is SO much it’s difficult to do the triage necessary to pick a starting point. Do I start with the depression and anxiety stuff? Because right now, anxiety and depression DO seem to be in charge. I can’t seem to function without spinning out, my brain going bonkers, and then I start crying…
Speaking of Crying….Again
I started crying on the phone with the poor dude at the doctor’s office while trying to set up a new appointment. I had FINALLY decided I should start with dealing with my pain first – THAT should be the priority. Of course, I have to push through extreme anxiety just to get on the phone, let alone make myself show up to a doctor’s appointment (on my top 10 list of MOST hated things). BUT – I did it. I figured out I should start with dealing with pain, I found a doctor, I CALLED the office (yeah, phones – also on my least favorite things list).
I make it through sounding, gosh, almost normal I think. I give him info, even track down old doctor info to get records transferred – all is well. Then he calls back and says my insurance isn’t coming up when he tries. We go three rounds, to find out he wrote down the wrong ID number. OK – I’m still “OK”, even though this is starting to be difficult, my blood pressure rising, my head sort of “pulsing” with my pulse, and I can feel my heart, and the tightness in my chest and shoulders.
I can feel the rope slipping through my fingers.
But – I’m still holding on. Still seeming kind of “normal”, I think.
But Wait…There’s More
THEN he calls back to tell me that I haven’t met my deductible yet, and so I have to pay them $180 when I get there. I don’t have $180. I don’t even know if I’m going to LIKE this doctor, so paying $180 to walk in and find out if it’s a good match seems…well, like a lot.
SO, I decide to do it anyway, I will pay with my dwindling HSA. It will be “OK”. I am OK. THEN he tells me they don’t accept cards – only cash or check. I don’t HAVE cash or check associated with my HSA, I only have a card.
Houston…We Have A Problem
THAT is where I lose it. I ask a few increasingly nonsensical questions, starting to get paranoid – how will my insurance find out I paid them? How will that money be recorded against my deductible if the doctor isn’t even billing them? OH – they ARE billing them, but just to tell them that I already paid???
OK. I’m not “OK”. I can’t come up with that money in time for the appointment…and then I lose it…I start crying, and I can’t control it, so I tell the guy “I have to hang up” and hang up without waiting for a response.
So then I start pacing around my room, trying to pull out my non-existent hair, crying a LOT – which I hate, even when I’m alone, so then I try to STOP crying, which never works and somehow just transforms everything into this weird pressure cooker of an experience during which I start hitting myself.
Yes. I know. It’s stupid. I don’t cut, and I don’t USUALLY get so worked up that I hurt myself physically…because, frankly, I hurt all the time anyway so adding to it is just SOOOO stupid.
But there ya have it – mental health crisis, right here in my bedroom while trying to get a doctor’s appointment because I figured pain management trumped mental health care.
Getting It Together…Sort Of
About 10 minutes pass (I think…I’m not really sure, it was probably more). I get a hold of myself, I make myself call the doctor’s office back even though I am now MORTIFIED and really just want to crawl under a rock. Keep in mind, I’ve still never even met these people – this was going to be my first appointment.
Dude at the office had already cancelled my appointment and given it to someone else. He’s now acting like I am a HUGE hassle, which let’s face it – I am. I tell him I’ll figure out the money first, and then call to make an appointment once I know I can actually pay for it.
So, now I move on to trying to figure out getting that money from the HSA.
I Am NOT a Real Girl
Except – the HSA won’t let me do anything, because apparently I’m not on the account because it is in my “soon to be ex” husband’s name, and HE has to do it all. I’m still trying to keep a lid on my panic and anxiety, and FORCE myself to deal with this stuff because not dealing with it is just not an option. I have to. I just have to – even when I just can’t.
Estranged hubby doesn’t even have the account info because that is ALL stuff that I have always taken care of. He recently realized he didn’t even know a lot of what I handled for us, because I handled it and he didn’t have to think about it. Day to day “life” stuff…he’s having to figure out after a long, long time of just not having to think about it.
In my world, he had the job…everything else was on me…he shouldn’t HAVE to think about it, right? Anyway – that’s a blog post for another day.
So now, I’m trying to get all of that information to him, while he is at work, in another city, because we don’t live together anymore. I just need him to add me to the account or get the money transferred himself.
When a Not Big Deal Becomes a Big Deal
All of that is not that big of a deal, right? I mean, dealing with insurance and doctors and health care is a hassle, for everyone. As an American, it is my RIGHT to have undue anxiety about how the hell I’m going to get and pay for basic medical and mental health care.
This is true. The thing is, it is one of SO many hassles right now, most of which surround trying to get myself pain management, proper medical care and mental health care. Not to mention trying to figure out how to qualify as “disabled”, so I can hopefully get some help finding a job that I can actually DO.
Just a Drop in The Bucket
So then I flip over to the other things I need to deal with. That’s the thing, isn’t it? I just spent almost my entire Friday trying to navigate insurance and HSA’s and the doctor’s office and their needs and requirements…just to get a doctor’s appointment – and I still don’t have one.
That is just ONE thing. ONE thing – out of so many. I haven’t eaten. I haven’t taken a shower. The realization that I’m writing this INSTEAD of eating and taking a shower after spending all day trying to deal with the doctors and insurance and such literally JUST happened. I got lost in trying to share this story, and added another 20 minutes to my already very long and ludicrous day.
So. Time to figure out how I’m going to feed myself today. That should take the rest of my day, so no parties for ME again tonight! Ah well, I guess Gatsby won’t miss me. 😉