In My Garden a Flower Grows

I had every intention of writing a long blog entry about the phases of womanhood, but something has happened that keeps me from spending a lot of time online, especially on this blog, which may or may not be a good thing. My health had taken such a dangerous turn, I finally had to bite the bullet and make an appointment with my doctor, something I can no longer do unless I'm really just frightened for my life. The lack of healthcare insurance and no money leftover in the budget for such "frivolous" a thing as a doctor appointment are just too daunting. Just to talk to her costs me $150 and that doesn't include treatment, lab work, or prescriptions. If I go see her, my family doesn't eat for a week. Welcome to America.
But lest you think this is an entry of "unpatriotic" faultfinding and whining, I move onward...

I finally decided to see my doctor, slip out before paying, then make somewhat affordable payments after receiving the bill in the mail. I've gotten quite good at this and, to tell the truth, they really don't mind. A lot of people do it this way these days at this particular clinic. After learning that my blood pressure was dangerously high, I was told to spend the next two weeks on virtual bed rest and keep stress to a minimum while waiting for my new dosage of Synthroid to work its magic. Of course, this would cost me an additional $230 for blood work as well as $55 dollars for the new prescription, not to mention $65 for pain medication. I told my doctor I couldn't even take Nettl out for our 14th anniversary, much less shell out $500 on one appointment. "You're not a cheap date," I said. "I really don't want to see you anymore."

Forgoing the pain meds (big ouch, that) and getting two months of Synthroid from a fellow Hashimoto's sufferer whose doctor changed her own prescription, I was able to make things work. The really good news came when the clinic's receptionist told me to apply with the CBO, Stillwater Medical Center's assistance program. These are the same people who paid for Nettl's emergency gallbladder surgery in 2010. So, long story short, I haven't had to pay for any of the visit while waiting for my application to be approved. When it is, I'll make an appointment with an endocrinologist and really get this soul-sucking auto-immune disease under control. A GP just doesn't have the training to handle something this serious and specialized. At least not anymore. Gone are the days when my GP was my only doctor, including my OB-GYN and my surgeon.

Anyway, in the meantime, an holistic massage therapist moved her practice next door to Nettl's office and they got to talking. Compassionate soul that she is, and a fibromyalgia patient besides, she offered to give me treatments in exchange for a website, which I will build and maintain. As she charges $75 an hour and I charge $20 an hour, I believe I'm getting the better end of the bargain. I've been seeing her for about a month now and the results have been nothing short of miraculous. My blood pressure is down (it's not perfect, but it's significantly lower) and the excruciating pain I've been living with for years (even with medication) has subsided enough that I spent the entire last weekend gardening. I also can keep up with Nigel, which is saying a whole hell of a lot. Between her and the new dosage of Synthroid, I'm at least no longer a zombie. Bad days still come and go, but they're not as bad as they have been, and morose thoughts of not wanting to be here no longer plague me. I'm no longer entertaining thoughts that perhaps my family would be better off without me because I'm nothing but a financial drain and no fun anymore.

I'm learning how to emotionally detach from people, situations, and conversations that stress me out and make the whoosh-wooshing in my ears start up again. Being eye level with a stroke has a way of helping us recognize what's important, and I will not have one over other people's moods and dramas or my cell phone being de-activated due to non-payment, thank you very much. There is nothing so terrible in my life that I will get to that point again. Unless someone breaks into my house and holds a gun to my head, or I see a tornado coming up the street, I just won't allow stress to make me that sick ever again. Staying alive is more important than anyone else's problems. Sorry if that sounds cold. Walk a mile in my shoes.

I'm still not out of the woods, not by a long shot. My improving health is tenuous at best and every day I face the challenge of keeping myself centered, which isn't easy when money is so tight, but I'm growing in directions that I might not have gone, otherwise. I'm learning to face life with more humor and I feel that I'm even attaining a certain amount of grace. Because of this, my garden and various flower beds are flourishing as much as I am. It's great to be alive!

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