Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
When my brother and I were growing up, my mom used to joke that he ought to have his own Frequent User Pass to the emergency room, since she ended up having to take him there so often. That’s how I’m feeling right now about every single one of my personal health care professionals, because I have to spend so much time in their offices these days. It’s a good thing I only have 2 tutoring clients right now, because managing my health care situation is a freaking full time job.
Fortunately, I have found really good doctors in all of the areas in which I need assistance. Unfortunately, none of them are near me, and none of them are near each other, either. So if you imagine Georgia as the entire Southeastern United States, then, say, on Monday, I will be seeing a doctor in Florida, on Tuesday I will have to go over to Tennessee, and on Thursday I will need to be up in North Carolina. If I could figure out how to get some kind of “frequent driver miles” deal, like people have with their credit cards and airline miles, we’d probably have enough points for round trip tickets to Hawaii by now. Not that we could actually go, since I can’t really travel much farther than my own living room right now, ON ACCOUNT OF ALL MY FUCKING HEALTH ISSUES!! It’s a vicious cycle.
So anyway, I had to travel to Metaphorical Alabama yesterday, since my left knee apparently thought it would be a good idea to spend the past week turning itself into a liquid pool of raging fire, and my pain management strategy of stabbing it repeatedly with a very sharp knife really wasn’t working all that well for me. So I went in to be seen for my knee, and I came out with…a diagnosis of high blood pressure. Which was weird, but kind of a relief, since I’d spoken with my doctor the night before and he’d mentioned the possibility of “aspirating the knee”, which I made the mistake of googling, and which turns out to mean something like, “sucking out the offending fluids with a syringe.” Which is attached to a needle. Which HURTS. But taking a pill? Hell, yeah, that’s easy. I’ve actually done that once, or twice, or eleventy thousand times before.
The high blood pressure thing wasn’t totally a surprise-it’s been slowly creeping up on me over the past couple of years, and there’s a long history of it in my family. But it still sucks. And after I recovered from the giddiness induced by Not Needing To Be Stuck In The Knee With A Giant Needle, I started contemplating how this new medical condition just provided further evidence of my epic failure as a human being. Because that’s what I do. Because deep, deep down inside I know that if I could just figure out how to “be better“, then none of this stuff would have happened to me. Because, as we all know, fibromyalgia, and sleep apnea, and high blood pressure are all questions of morality, and are personal judgments on your particular worthiness as a human being. And a heaping scoop of inner-directed loathing, topped with some intense self-hatred makes everything better.
It doesn’t help that I weigh more than is healthy for me, and so it’s easy for me to go off into the magical thinking that says that, if I could’ve just figured out how to stay thin, then I wouldn’t have any health problems. So I was hanging out in this story yesterday when, much like Saul of Tarsus, I was knocked to the ground by The Blinding Light Of The Universe Laughing Its Ass Off At Me. Because, HELLO, HAD I FORGOTTEN WHO I WAS?! I have always had health problems, since the moment of my birth. They started with a belly button that refused to heal and eight weeks of colic, and have continued apace right up until this very moment. As a matter of fact, I believe I spent all of grades 1-4 in my pediatrician’s office, being treated for one, unending ear infection.
Which doesn’t make this any easier. But it did at least snap me out of longing for the Imaginary Good Old Days of never being sick, and allow me to start pondering what’s next: finding out if there possibly is such as thing as low-salt salt.