Posts Tagged ‘doctor’

What to Do?

June 29, 2019

What to do?

I have some free time.

The family I nanny for is on summer vacation and this week was my first of six, SIX, weeks of not having to nanny.

Sure.

I still have clients, but only four days of the week.

I have commitments too, so this week I have been city bound.

But.

I am itching for a little adventure.

A road trip.

Not a big one, just where ever  I can get to in three to four hours.

I just figure a drive up or down the coast.

Or.

I may take this Sunday and drive one direction and next Sunday drive the other way.

I was thinking of doing Point Reyes Lighthouse, only to discover that the lighthouse is under repair.

I still think Point Reyes Station is not a bad idea for a Sunday drive.

Oysters.

Hog Island, Point Reyes, Tomales Bay.

Oysters.

I could just do a little drive to a couple of oyster joints.

I just want to drive along the ocean for a while and make a nice memory, feel the sun on my face, stop at a beach along the way.

I could go to Stinson Beach or Muir Beach, I could follow the coastal highway without thought to where it goes.

Drive and stop when I want to.

Grab an iced coffee somewhere or stop at a road side farmers market and get cherries, oh stone fruit season how I love thee.

Pull over and contemplate the ocean.

It’s good for contemplation.

Sometimes I can get stuck though trying to figure out what is the best way to spend my down time and I’d rather not do that.

I have slept in some this week.

Not every day, I’ve gotten up early for group supervision and for my own therapy.

But.

I did sleep in a little bit.

I have gotten to get out to do the deal every day and go places I don’t normally go, hear things I don’t always get to hear read and see folks that I haven’t seen in a while.

I tried to go to a matinee of The Last Black Man in San Francisco, but it was sold out.

I still think a matinee should figure into my down time at some point.

I also think that there’s room for some self care, a massage for sure.

I also did get acupuncture done this week.

The school I go to is affiliated with the ACTM Chinese medicine and acupuncture school, so I was able to get a session for $20!

I am using it to address stress, eczema and my reflux.

I booked another session for next week, shit $20 is less than I pay for my co-pay to see my regular doctor and I got so much information and help in the two hour session I had that it was unbelievably worth it.

The next session won’t be two hours, they do a tremendous back ground and assessment, but really, I have never had a doctor take so much time to find out about me and my needs and my ailments.

It was super refreshing and I felt so taken care of.

I was told that it would take a few sessions but that the eczema should clear up in six to eight weeks, which is fabulous since all the crap I have otherwise tried over the last three years hasn’t worked.

I was also told that they, the intern and her supervisor who saw me, it’s a teaching school, suspect that it’s my diet.

So they made a few suggestions and I will be taking one or two things off my plate for a little while to see if it is indeed diet.

Interestingly enough they think it’s the chicken in my diet!

I roast a chicken just about every week and eat roast chicken with brown rice and a vegetable as my dinner most nights.

I follow a food plan for abstinence and it’s super easy and tasty and it doesn’t take a lot of effort to cook and I’ve been doing it for about three years or so.

Three years.

Right about the same time I notice the eczema on my face.

According to Chinese medicine, chicken can be drying and it’s showing up on my skin as dry red patches on my cheeks!

I mean.

Ok.

I have never heard that before, but tell you what, I’m willing to cut out roast chicken if it will give me back my skin.

Besides.

It’s been three years of roast chicken, time to switch it up for a little while.

And also, finish the roast chicken I have in the house.

I mean.

I’m not going completely cold turkey, er, chicken.

I was raised in the Midwest by a mom who’s parents went through the Depression and WWII.

I know you clean your plate.

You don’t argue about finishing food.

You are grateful for what you get.

You sit at the table until it’s gone, even if it’s cold squash.

Fuck, cold squash is nasty.

Or.

Liver and onions

Ugh.

Hot is bad enough, cold, barf.

You also don’t waste food.

I paid for a nice organic chicken and I took time to cook it and I’m going to finish it off.

My skin can handle a few more days of chicken.

Then.

When it’s gone I don’t intend to buy any for a month and a half and see what happens to my face.

I do believe that it will clear up, whether it’s dietary change or the needles, something about it feels like it’s working.

So yeah.

Self-care is high on my list of things to do.

I may not know exactly what I will be doing with my time–museums, cafes, pleasure reading (I bought a book that wasn’t for school!), lunch with friends, coffee dates, hiking around my house–the sunset last night was spectacular!

2019-06-27 20.26.22

Whatever comes up.

I want to be game for it.

I know only too well how quick the time will go.

I want to make sure I savor every last bit of it.

Especially if it includes oysters!

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Trying To Not

March 30, 2019

Get abroad the self-pity express.

But I’m not doing so hot and I’m afraid that I might have slipped on when I was taking pictures of my bunny slippers to post to Instagram.

The only part of me I want to photograph at the moment.

I look a mess.

I cried off a lot of mascara, wiped down the face with makeup removing wipe, but I still look pretty wrecked.

I had to cancel my Friday after work client.

I went to the doctor today.

It’s official.

I have shingles.

And motherfucker.

They hurt!

I am in a lot of pain.

I was tentatively offered narcotics, my doc knows my history though and I was pretty up front about not wanting anything hard.

So I’m doing 600mg of ibuprofen three times a day for pain management.

Frankly.

Hasn’t seemed to work for shit.

But who knows, I’m not going to not take them as the pain is god awful.

I had one spot of shingles yesterday and now I have them all over my right hip and wrapped around to the small of my back.

Tiny red patches of blisters.

Just makes me want to cry.

I’m on house arrest.

I’m contagious, to anyone who’s not had chicken pox, for a few days until the antiviral meds kick in.

I should be fine by the end of the weekend, I’m on a seven-day course for the meds, but I’m being on the safe side of things.

I cancelled all my clients for Saturday, tomorrow.

Aside from the ethical ramifications I really didn’t know if I could sit through four therapy clients.

Sometimes just shifting where I’m sitting is enough to make me gasp out loud in pain.

I’m trying to stay pretty still.

And the pain has progressively gotten worse throughout the day.

Fortunately for me the doctor said we caught it fast enough so the antiviral should kick it out within the week.

I fucking hope so.

I cannot handle this for too long.

My person said it was God trying to slow me down.

Fuck slowing me down.

I’m at a full on dead stop.

I couldn’t even really do homework today.

I just felt demoralized.

I cancelled on the friend’s birthday party I was supposed to go to tomorrow night and I also cancelled my dentist appointment for tomorrow plus the ladies I usually meet with on Sunday as well as my person I normally meet with.

I’ll just be staying home, watching the sky change colors and trying to not cry.

I suppose I’ll give into the schoolwork, I don’t feel that I can not attend to it, but not tonight, obviously.

Netflix and chill.

A very, very, very still.

Chill.

Sigh.

Free Day

April 14, 2018

Today.

No reflux.

Knock on wood, I still have a few hours of the day left, but for real, no reflux.

Oh.

I thought it was going to come at any moment and there was a tiny hint of it on the way into work, but it just never really coalesced.

So relieved.

And the fucking doctor’s office finally got back to me.

For a consult.

The doctor went over my referral and denied doing the endoscopy bundled into the consult.

Meh.

I have to see the GI first and then he’ll decide at that time whether or not to proceed with an endoscopy.

Fine.

May 2nd.

More weeks away, but the next step has been taken and maybe there is another answer out there, maybe there is something else that can be done, I don’t know, I’m not a doctor.

At least not yet.

heh.

Which reminds me, note to self, I need to register for the fall semester on the 17th of the month, which is basically four days away.

Just popped that on my calendar.

Lots of stuff happening in the next few weeks.

Lots.

I just updated my calendar a bit and also I just signed up for yoga class.

I haven’t been in sometime, weeks and weeks.

School and horrible reflux.

The last time I went I had reflux really badly and it was the most miserable experience, I couldn’t bear to bring myself to go again, if I woke up and had reflux I was either cancelling the class or if I went to bed with it really heavy I would just not sign up for a class.

But since I haven’t had it today and mornings for the last week or so have been pretty stable, I’m going to take a gamble and go.

If it happens, if I get it, I’ll take it easy, or slip out.

I am not going to torture myself, it was so awful when I did it before, it was the worst experience and I’m just not down for making myself feel bad.

However, I am hopeful that I can go and the only pain will be from not having done it in a while.

I am also obligated to go to group supervision, but honestly, it’s not a weekend of school and though it means being time committed to a certain place at a certain time for two hours, I can totally muster through.

I’m excited for the weekend.

I’ve been looking forward to it all week, I’ll get to hang out with my best friend and that will be super nice.

I’ve missed my friend dearly.

It will be really good to catch up and reconnect.

Other things this weekend will be dinners out.

Tomorrow night at Brenda’s with my person after I do my Saturday night commitment.

And.

Sunday at France’s with my best friend to celebrate an anniversary.

I’m going to even get dressed up, Frances is a nice place and it’s hard to get reservations there, from what I’ve been told, but I was able to secure a late reso for us on Sunday and I decided I’m dressing up.

Not nanny clothes.

Not therapist clothes.

Fun, pretty, dress up.

I found a dress on HellBunny and it came today.

Fits perfect.

It’s a fifties style retro dress, sort of fit and flare, sky blue with navy blue and white flowers.

I think it’s quite pretty and I’m excited to go out on the town.

I need that kind of fun in my life, even if I have to get up early and go to supervision the next day, it’s worth it.

I only have a few more sessions left with my solo supervisor!

That feels so strange to say, I remember when I was first seeing him and I thought I would never be done with it, a year and a half!

And it’s gone by quite fast.

Due, in no small part, to being a busy person.

I only meet with him two more times.

Which means I have to get my paperwork in order here soon.

I picked up the paperwork I needed today from my internship and I’ll be bringing that into my solo supervisor to sign on Monday, then it goes back to the school.

I need to also look over my graduation requirements and make sure that I am getting all the right things together to turn into the school to prove that I have fulfilled the requirements.

I need my therapist to sign off on our sessions, 50 of them, which I’m just a tiny bit shy of, but will have by the time my last weekend of classes happens.

And I need to get on the party planning for my graduation too.

Plus.

Oh, let me not forget, I have two more papers to write.

I’m actually hoping to get to one of them on Sunday.

I have some time in the afternoon after I meet with the two ladybugs I normally see on Sundays to do the deal.

My person whom I also meet with asked me to meet tomorrow night, hence Brenda’s, which leaves me with a few solid hours to get some work done.

I’m hoping to knock out the majority, if not all of my Research Methods paper.

It’s a lot to do, but I know I will feel better addressing it sooner rather than later and the more I can get done heading into my last weekend of classes the better.

I’m secretly hopeful that I can have it all done in the next couple of weekends so that I can be chill for my last weekend of classes.

Fingers crossed.

No reflux in the morning and some yoga.

And whatever I get done this weekend.

Well.

It will be enough.

It always is.

 

I’d Like To Speak

April 13, 2018

To the manager please.

Except.

I didn’t say that.

I did say, nicely, politely, with lots of pauses and deep, slow breathing, that I had been calling every day for the last four days, four, and that I really wanted to make an appointment with the doctor.

REALLY.

I expressed how much pain I have been in and how it’s been really hard to not be able to get through to the part of the story where I make an appointment and I’m seen.

REALLY fucking hard.

The woman on the line gave me another number to call.

How many fucking numbers am I going to have to call to get to be seen?

I am not good at this, and I wonder, is anyone?  But I played along and called the next number and sure as shit, I got a voicemail saying please leave a message and someone will get back to you within the next 24 hours.

Fuck you.

I mean.

REALLY.

I hung up.

I called my person, I left a teary message.

I sank down on the floor and cried a little.

The baby was playing by the train set and the oldest boy was in his room with a new Lego set grandma had gotten him.

I had a minute to cry and then I got up, blew my nose, and started a kettle for a cup of tea.

You know who called me back?

My person.

Fucking love him.

And he told me to get up early and go to the doctor’s office in person and make the appointment there and demand to be seen.

Ugh.

Just the thought of trying to do that felt horrendous and huge and awful and I had this inkling that the mom was going to ask me to come in early, which she did, but more on that later, and I couldn’t imagine getting up early, driving down town and marching into CPMC Sutter and pounding on the desk to get an appointment with the GI specialist that my doctor referred me to.

But.

I was willing to take it as a suggestion.

Honestly though, I wasn’t sure I could do it.

Fortunately.

A few hours later when I was wrapping up dinner dishes and the family was happily eating dinner, I got a call back!

I was shocked.

It was 5:30 p.m. and I wasn’t expecting any kind of response after 5p.m. had rolled on by.

It was the manager of the office!

She was super kind and very apologetic.

She’d listened to my message and combed over the records from the answering service and apparently there was no record of any of the phone calls I had made.

Not a single one!

I have called the office every day since I got the referral on Monday.

Monday, two hours after the initial appointment at One Medical.

On Monday I was told that the office hadn’t had a chance to look at the referrals yet and the doctor would look them over and call on Tuesday.

By three p.m. Tuesday I hadn’t heard a thing.

So I called and spoke to a woman who took all my information and assured me that someone from the office would get back to me in the next 24 hours.

24 hours later, Wednesday around 3 p.m., nada, not a single fucking call.

So.

I called back.

This time I got through to the doctor’s office and was told that they had never received a fax from the referring doctor.

Fuck my mother.

So.

I called One Medical, and they denied that, insisted they’d faxed it, but said, hey, we’ll do it again.

Then the guy at One Medical did me one better, I have to say I am impressed so far with them, great customer service, he called the office himself.

He then called me back and said he’d re-faxed the paper work, apparently the fax machine at the GI’s office had gone down on Monday and they were inundated with a back log of faxes.

Sure.

Sounded an awful lot like the dog at my homework, but whatever.

So I called back to the office and spoke to a woman there who said they’d received a partial fax, but not the entire thing and the doctor would call me tomorrow.

Which brings me to today.

And no phone call by 3 p.m.

Which led me to call the office again and this time I got the answering service again and I got upset and I was not in tears, but I was pissed, and I held it together, but I made it super clear to the woman I was talking to that I wasn’t going to leave a message so that I could be called back in the next 24 hours, I was in pain and I had been trying since Monday and I needed help.

That’s when she gave me the manager’s number, although at the time I thought she was giving me a direct number to the GI’s office.

No such luck.

Grateful though, that I pushed and got through to someone and really grateful that the woman took the time to call me back, after business hours, get me into the system fully and assured me that she would personally make it her business to have the doctor’s office book my appointment tomorrow.

I admit, I had a fantasy that I would get the referral and already be done with it by this point and have some sort of resolution.

And although that’s not what happened, at least I do know that I have taken the next step towards something.

I hope to hell I can get this taken care of.

I am so tired of it.

Really.

Really.

REALLY.

Tired.

Tender

April 11, 2018

A belly full of fire.

A throat torn asunder.

A back knotted in pain.

All my emotions so close to the surface I laugh exuberantly and then tear up and cry.

I’m so tender and tired and worn out from the reflux.

I’m tired of writing about it, but not as tired as I am of experiencing it.

This constant pain and soft torture.

I called the GI’s office today that I was referred to and to my dismay I was told to have my doctor fax over my referral and then the doctor would get back to me in 24 hours.

I told the woman on the phone that my doctor did that yesterday and the person at her office I had spoken to had told me I would be contacted today.

And I wasn’t.

Not by three p.m. so I called.

Fortunately this woman who I spoke with got all my information down and promised I would hear back within the next 24 hours.

I am so ready to be seen, fixed, cured, helped.

Whatever it takes.

Until that time though I am trying to be gentle with myself.

I find that I am ok then something slight will set me off emotionally, and I don’t have as much patience with the kids and I want to check out and not be present.

I have not allowed myself to wander off too much internally and I have stayed pretty present and helpful for the mom and the family.

I’m getting by chewing gum and taking shots of vinegar.

I took one about an hour ago and it’s not working, but I did it anyway.

I took the new reflux medicine the new doctor prescribed a second time today and it’s not working either, but I did it anyway.

I don’t want to write my blog, but I’m doing it anyway.

I had both my clients cancel tonight and I thought I was going to go do the deal but I got so overwhelmed looking for parking I just cut and ran.

I drove home, parked, got to my house, got the mail, realized I had forgotten I had groceries in the boot until I was inside, went back, out, retrieved my groceries, came back home, and put them on the counter.

I was on a phone call and trying to be emotionally even keeled, but that wasn’t working either.

The sun had not set yet and I sat down on the chaise by the back door and soaked up some of the setting rays, got warm and cried soft slow wet tears talking to my friend.

I’m running a fever again.

I got off the phone put away the groceries, heated up some dinner.

I got a text from my person asking me where I was, was I going to the 7:15p.m.?

That had been my original plan, but I told him that I had come home, was feeling really sick, was eating dinner and crying and was trying to rally to go back out and hit an 8p.m. in the neighborhood.

Which.

Well.

I did not do.

I did not rally much.

I rallied enough to wash my dinner dishes.

And to open this page and write.

The writing helps, but it doesn’t stop the pain, it just gives me something to focus on for a while until I notice it again.

I’m being eaten from the inside out.

I feel like I’m aging.

I feel like I’m getting more gray hairs and definitely more wrinkles.

I feel old and depleted and tired and rotten inside.

What is wrong with me?

Oh God.

And now I just sound pitiful.

I hate feeling powerless and this is definitely me being powerless.

I just have to keep pushing through until I can be seen by the specialist and I will take whatever I can get as soon as I can get it.

He calls and says come in today I will leave work, cancel clients, and fucking go.

He says endoscopy tomorrow, I’ll fast the night away and cancel it all.

I have just got to get some relief.

“I could just kill myself,” a little voice said in my head as I got off the phone with my friend.

Great.

Suicide because of reflux.

What a pitiful way to go.

“How’d she die?”

Heartburn.

Nothing romantic there.

No.

I’m not going to kill myself because of this, but I am going to go to bed early tonight and I’m going to harass the hell out of doctor’s office to make an appointment.

I was asked to come in early to work tomorrow, so an early bed time isn’t a bad thing.

I’ll just wrap up some emails and call it a day.

Drink some hot tea and curl up in my bed.

Tuck my pink stuffy bunny under my arm.

And prop my pillows up high.

I’ve become a five-year old in my illness.

And I don’t fucking care.

Not one fucking bit.

Ok.

Maybe not a five-year old.

But

A seven-year old with a profanity problem.

Or rather.

A forty-five yearl old who just really needs to be babied for awhile.

Sigh.

 

 

A New Experience

April 10, 2018

“Would you care for any tea or water while you wait,” I was asked as I checked in today at the One Medical office at 10th and Irving.

That was not a question I was expecting.

Nor the lush quiet, the lounge furniture which was modern and clean and the waiting area that was sunny and vibrant with plants.

I was also not expecting the bathrooms.

Well fucking done.

Big, clean, stocked with feminine hygiene products and condoms.

That’s right.

The lighting was low and soft.

The music was unobtrusive.

And.

The doctor was on time.

There was no wait.

I was seen at the time of my appointment and escorted back to a really clean, well-appointed, tech heavy exam room.

My doctor was great, attentive, sympathetic, eager to help me out.

I mean.

I have not had this experience ever with a facility.

And it was in such stark contrast to the shit show offices I have been seen in recently that it was almost a shock, I thought I was on a movie set for rich people with good insurance.

It was a lovely shock.

I am super grateful that I signed up for the service.

And that my employers paid for the membership fee.

Granted I did not get what I wanted, which was a solution right fucking now to the reflux and the discomfort I have been experiencing, but I got an immediate referral to a GI specialist at Sutter Health.

In fact.

My doctor assured me that not only would I not have to figure out whom to go to, I wasn’t going to have to figure out if said GI accepted my insurance, the administrative team would take care of figuring that out for me.

He recommended I download the One Medical App on my phone, which I did, and ping!

In coming message right there.

“We’re very tech heavy here, you can do everything from you phone and the app, you can e-mail, make appointments, get your referrals, get refills on medications, the app will make it really easy for you to use the facilities,” he relayed to me as he was taking my history.

I gave him a very thorough history of what has been happening with the reflux and he did say that I needed to be seen by a GI, but that he also wanted to make sure that there wasn’t anything that could be possibly missing in the picture.

He also covered ground I have already gone over, what foods to avoid, smoking, drinking, weight loss etc.

He said that though there was nothing wrong with my weight there might be some room for weight loss which could alleviate some of the symptoms, but that what he was hearing was that it needed to be addressed faster than reasonable weight loss, if that was the only thing that was needed, to rectify the reflux.

And.

I’ve lost 4 more pounds since the last time I saw a doctor.

I was really surprised.

I know I haven’t been eating as much, but I was really surprised.

I don’t feel like I’ve lost weight, although there is a bit of a difference in my face, because I have been experiencing some bloating with the reflux and my stomach constantly feels full even when it’s not.

I have to maintain an eating plan as a part of my food recovery but truth is I have been eating less, I have been entirely skipping my evening snack now for two weeks, and I have been eating a lot more salads as they are supposed to help with the reflux.

Though honestly, nothing has.

The diet changes have done jack shit.

And I relayed that as well, but he still did a very in-depth look at what was going on.

He let me know that as a member of One Medical I would get two free full physical exams each year and another service which I’m not remembering right now.

I’ve been scheduled to go in for that in May.

The doctor whose office I was referred to will be contacting me tomorrow to set up an appointment.

I am going to ask for the soonest they have and hopefully get in really quick.

My new doctor also prescribed a different reflux medicine which I have taken today.

No real difference from what I was already taking, but I’ll keep trying it and we’ll see what happens.

Over all it was a really good experience and I am so grateful to not have to go back to see the doctors that I was before.

I am still experiencing the reflux pretty badly today, but I feel relieved to be on the right road to addressing it and to have a team behind me that really was all about customer service, being helpful, and making sure that my needs are being taken care of.

The doctor had great bed side manner and he told me that I could explore finding other primary care providers, but I said, no, I wanted to work with him, he was comfortable, I didn’t feel any weirdness, he was respectful, and he’d done such a compassionate job of listening to me express the discomfort that I was in, there was no need to find a different doctor.

Very happy with One Medical.

Very, very, very.

Now, fingers crossed I get into the GI quickly and get the situation taken care of.

I am ready for more relief.

Seriously.

Ready, Set

March 28, 2018

Interview!

My PhD interview is tomorrow morning!

Holy crap.

I’ve got to get all the profanity, crassness, and foul language out of my system before going in.

Although, to give myself some credit, I am an articulate person.

I have a way with words.

Plus.

I interview well.

Which was not a talent I would have recognized in myself previous to this experience, but when I reflect on how I have done historically in interviews, I usually get the job, or the school to accept me.

Sometimes even when I don’t think I have done so well.

Hell.

Most times.

Most times before not too long ago, I would think that I hadn’t gotten in.

I didn’t think I was going to get back into my Bachelor’s program at UW Madison, I mean I seriously fucked up my first round of schooling there.

But I did, I interviewed with the dean of admissions after sending in an application letter to be readmitted and I was shocked I mean, shocked, when they let me back in.

There wasn’t even any waiting period, the woman basically told me at the end of the interview that I was accepted back.

That I could start that Spring!

It was the fall term and I think I had interviewed at the end of November, beginning of December.

I had not planned on that.

I hadn’t planned on getting in, I was “humoring” my best friend and a good friend of hers, a boss that I worked for, by applying to school again.

“You are just too smart to not be in college,” my boss said, echoing my best friend’s sentiments.

“If you don’t apply, I’m going to fire you,” my boss continued.

“What?!” I said, incredulous.

“I’m serious, Carmen, you really are just too smart, and I wouldn’t feel right if I wasn’t encouraging you to go back to school, go back, we still want you to work here, but you really should go back.” He concluded.

Of course I applied.

I didn’t want to lose my job.

And maybe there was a part of me that wanted to go back, to get my shit together, to do it right this time.

But I hadn’t expected to get right in, nor that I would be able to start in the Spring semester.

I had only a few weeks to adjust to the idea that I was going to be back in school full-time.

My boyfriend at the time was not at all pleased.

He was, in hindsight, though I couldn’t see it at the time, very jealous of my time.

He was also displeased, I suspected, because he had dropped out of UW Madison a couple of years prior and hadn’t managed to get his shit together to go back.

He did eventually.

After doing time for a felony conviction for stalking me.

But that’s another story, for another time.

Suffice to say.

The encouragement of my friends got me in and the encouragement of my friends here in San Francisco got me into my Master’s program.

I think they’re all still behind me for going for the PhD.

Last time I checked in with anyone it felt that way.

Although a few acquaintances did register surprise.

“Two more years of school!”

“We’re never going to see you at fellowship again!”

True.

And not so true.

Yes.

I will still be busy.

But I think I have learned well over these last few years to balance out my studies with my job, my recovery, and my social life.

Sometimes better than others.

And sometimes I really had to work hard at it.

Hell.

It’s been all hard work.

“Sometimes I wish I was done with the hard work!” I expressed to my therapist today.

We had a really huge session.

In fact, I left over time with her saying that she would like to support me in whatever I needed regarding our session.

I thanked her for that.

That’s the second time in a month my therapist has let me know that I can reach out for support after hours, or without having a session scheduled.

Though I don’t think I will do that.

I was quite touched.

I am, however, going to do some work.

The work it doesn’t really end.

It just changes.

And I change.

That’s the hope, anyway, that I will change.

Grow or die.

Ha.

Well.

Perhaps not that stark, not that black and white.

But I was pretty miserable today and sad and angry and upset.

I talked with my therapist about my health stuff, going really into detail, letting her know how I was affected by the system I seem to be unable to get out of.

And.

By my history.

What health advocacy looked like in my home.

In my family of origin.

Which was shit.

I only went to the doctor in an emergency.

There was no healthcare aside from the mandatory doctor’s physical before school each year.

There was only a doctor’s visit when something horrible was happening.

And it had to be really bad to get the attention of my mom.

Really bad.

I remember an incident that happen when I was seventeen.

Mono, strep, and tonsilitis all at the same time.

I was delirious.

I remember calling my mom and begging her to come home from work.

She told me she couldn’t.

I walked around the house crying and delusional with a fever that was so high the emergency room doctor chastised my mother for not bringing me in sooner.

He was irate.

It was one of the few times I remember my mom getting me a special treat from the market, croissants (day olds, but fuck, I had never had such an amazing piece of bread) and crab salad (fake crab, but crab!) and ice cream.

I certainly felt special and the words of the doctor faded out of my perceptions in a haze of fevered ice cream eating and sleep.

But the impact lasted.

I wasn’t allowed to ask for help, I wasn’t allowed to get sick, I wasn’t helped out when I was, I had to take care of myself and figure it out and doctors, dentists, hospitals, the medical system, all seemed scary and also not allowed for me.

I have done a tremendous amount of work to get through it and to be where I am, but it raised its head and there I was in therapy with a pile of tissues around me and angry tears on my face.

And.

Oh, the gratitude.

Some client advocacy from my therapist who made some suggestions and gave me some very valuable information.

Information I will be acting on pretty much immediately.

Well.

First the interview.

Then new insurance!

It’s how I celebrate now.

Not popping a bottle of champagne.

But rather.

Gifting myself.

Better.

Health care.

Officially.

#adulting

How’s Your Poo Poo?

March 24, 2018

What the fuck did you just ask me?

Did you ask my how my “poo poo” was?

Did you really?

I’m a 45-year-old woman.

Jesus fuck.

Of course, you did, dear doctor, yes, I had a doctor ask me that, you also referred to your receptionist as your “office girl.”

God damn man.

Get with the fucking century.

I was not happy with my experience today, but I am happy to have gone, despite my trepidations, despite my annoyance at the parking in Chinatown, despite having to go to a fucking doctor in some weird old building in Chinatown, despite the bathroom looking worse than a JC Decaux public bathroom on Market Street, why was there a nest of toilet paper in front of the toilet?  Why? In the women’s bathroom, I had asked for the code after my appointment and I couldn’t even bring myself to use the loo.

This coming from a woman who has gone to Burning Man 11 years in a row and used many port-a-potties.

I just was over it.

Over the entire fucking thing.

Over having a PPO for my health insurance.

Over it.

As my best friend said to me earlier, look at it like an adventure, look at it like an experience.

An adventure I never want to do again, nor an experience I want to have either.

I am also looking at it from the vantage point of now I know.

Now I know how much I liked having Kaiser and now I’m willing to get it back as my insurance.  I just can’t handle many more third world microwave on top of the file boxes, 11 people in the waiting room to be seen by one doctor, with only four chairs to sit on, a doctor who infantilized what was happening in my body and the not so hygienic conditions of the entire space.

I just don’t want to have that experience ever fucking again.

Unfortunately I do have to go in for an endoscopy.

Fortunately it is not to be had at that office.

It will be at the Golden Gate Endoscopy Center.

Which will make four, no, five!

Five different places I have had to go to, all across the city from Ocean Avenue, to Noriega and 26th, to Irving and 22nd, to Pacific and Grand, to this place on Geary.

Five fucking different places to have this issue looked at.

Over a huge span of time.

It has taken months to get this far.

I am so very over it.

I’m pretty much done.

And have the god damn reflux so bad right now.

Ugh.

I still haven’t gotten the lab results back.

I’m still hoping that it’s an infection and that I can treat it with antibiotics.

If that’s the case, then no endoscopy.

I’ll cancel the damn thing.

It’s also such a nuisance, I’ll have to be at the facility at 7 a.m.

And I’ll have to have fasted and not drank any water after midnight the night before.

Which isn’t so bad I suppose.

What’s annoying is that I have to be released to someone because I will be put under for the procedure.

It’s not a heavy sedation, but it is sedation and I apparently need to be released to a friend or family member.

Yeah, no family members around this neck of the woods.

I got a little stressed trying to think of who I was going to ask who could come at 9 a.m. on a Wednesday and grab me.

My friends are all fucking working.

Not an ask I want to make.

However.

The mom at my job offered!

I was shocked.

I was so surprised.

Grandma happens to be visiting that week and she said she could come and get me and I was just so moved by her offer.

And she really meant it, she really wants to help.

And although I’m a little loathe to ask my employer to do me this favor, so far the one other person I’ve checked in with wasn’t available.

I have a few other folks I’ll ask, but it looks like I may very well be asking my boss to pick me up.

I work for some really kind people.

As kind as they are, though, I was happy to leave today, I was tired, it was a long week, it was an emotional rollercoaster with the doctor I had a feeling it was going to be unpleasant and yup, it was.

I’m glad it’s done and hopefully this will all be resolved soon.

Fingers crossed.

And in the meantime.

Well.

It’s time.

Time to research and find better insurance.

Time to take care of my health in a way that better suits my needs.

I need, very much so, to never have that experience again.

No fucking thank you.

A Little Rest

March 23, 2018

Not much.

But enough.

I don’t have to get up super early tomorrow.

Although the mom had asked that I come in early, having forgotten that I have a doctor’s appointment at 10:30 a.m.

So.

Early.

Not so much.

I have set my alarm for 8 a.m.

Which feels like such a luxury, to sleep until 8 a.m.

I am all about it.

It’s curious, though, now that I’m thinking about it, I just realized the doctor’s office that I have an appointment with has not called or texted me to confirm tomorrow’s appointment.

I will be calling before I go in to confirm.

I really don’t feel like driving all over town if I don’t have to.

I’m not really excited about going in.

I had hoped that the lab results were going to be in by this time.

I don’t know how long the lab results take to process, but I dropped off the sample on Monday.

I suppose five working day sounds about right, but I’ve never been in this kind of health insurance land before.

I really miss Kaiser.

It’s funny.

I’ll see people lambaste it on social media, and there’s some point to that, there are certain things they lack, they don’t have a great mental health services department and they don’t do one on one therapy, just group therapy, but their system is super stream lined, I could just go online, pop in my account, make appointments, cancel appointments, get lab results, it was super easy.

This using my school’s insurance has been such a huge pain in my ass.

I have asked the family if we could relook at my insurance, and I’m willing to do the step work to do that, and see if maybe there is another alternative route for me.

I would be willing to pay a little into it myself.

My health insurance is pretty much covered by the family, they reimburse me on a monthly basis and it’s the amount that I figured out would be how much I pay in school–which was paid for in my student loans, but whatever.

The cost per month is $225.

So that’s what the family gives me.

I would probably have to pay double that to get Kaiser.

I’m almost ready to.

I could continue using the school’s insurance, especially if I continue forward with my PhD.

Oh my God.

I almost forgot.

I’m interviewing soon!

Wednesday, March 30th at 10 a.m.

Eight days from today.

Realistically I could continue with the health insurance through the school for the next two years.

I wouldn’t really be day-to-day affected money wise, it would be similar to what it is now, I pay it out of my student loans and the family pays me once a month.

If I can be served well, if I can get services then maybe.

It’s just been such an uncomfortable experience.

I’ve never had a PPO before and I really just don’t care for it.

And yes.

Gah.

Do I think that my reflux might have something to do with stress?

Because I feel a little now, stress, and reflux.

Sexy.

Ugh.

I’m just over it.

I’ll go to this doctor and see what he says, I’m so not excited to go see someone else, I really feel done with the whole adventure.

Except that I still get the reflux.

Not as bad as it was, I really do think that cutting out ibuprofen was such a huge deal for me, as well as being really mindful of what I eat.

And then.

I get concerned.

What if I have to take more out of my diet?

What if that’s the main issue.

Does roast chicken cause heartburn?

I mean.

I pretty much live on it right now.

I suppose it might be time to shake up my diet a little, but I do have certain staples that I am so used to eating, just thinking about having to cut out something else makes me feel a little crazy.

I have cut out a lot already.

Then again.

I just want to stop having the reflux.

So If I have to take something out.

I take it out.

Blah.

I have other more exciting things I wish to think about.

I wish I could let the reflux take the back burner, but it’s been so consistently with me for the last few months, more months than I want to admit, I just need to deal with it and do whatever comes next in the grand adventure of my health care.

I’ll go see the G.I. and do what I’m told.

I am not doctor.

At least not yet!

So.

I’ll take whatever doctor’s orders are and do what’s best.

Sigh.

 

Feel The Burn!

March 16, 2018

Although.

Honestly.

I’d rather not.

I’m rather over feeling the fucking burn.

It fucking hurts.

I’ve been having some horrendous silent reflux.

Silent, as in I don’t burp with it, there’s not a discernible regurgitation happening, but, oh man, it’s there, and the pain, well, it’s not silent at all.

I, on the other hand, have been pretty silent about it.

I’ve been rather, grin and bear it.

But about four, five months ago I just could not do it anymore and I went and saw a doctor, with whom I had a follow-up appointment with today.

As my symptoms have not gone away despite being on a three-month dosage of medication to ease the acid in my tummy.

After going over all my food stuff again–no citrus, no peppers, easy on the tomatoes, nothing sour, no alcohol, nothing too fatty–I pretty much cleared everything but coffee.

I have definitely lessened my intake of the beverage, but I’m still drinking it.

I sort of feel like you can pry coffee from my cold dead hands.

Because frankly that’s what it’s going to feel like to not be able to drink it.

I have noticed that the reflux is worse if I drink any in the afternoons, it got bad Saturday when I was in school and had a coffee on a break with one of my friends in cohort.

And today, although it was decaf, I did notice an upsurge of the acid this afternoon and despite taking a second dose of the medication, it’s been pretty horrendous all day.

Then again, it could also be stress.

And let me not belabor the point.

I have stress in my life.

I work full-time in a caring profession, my doctor warned against ‘care taker burnout’ which is feasible, I work a lot for my family and it was a stressful past three weeks with a lot of sick kiddos to contend with.

(Then again, I’ve been a caretaker all my life.  I’m not sure I know how not to be).

And.

I also am a psychotherapist in training, so holding space for 7-8 clients a week, after care taking the family I nanny with, could, yes, contribute to burn out.

Oh.

And let me not forget I’m in grad school full-time.

Plus.

Well.

Personal work and relational grief have been at the top of my charts now for months, god, of course I have an upset stomach.

But.

I think it’s not just the stress, although it is very likely to be a contributor.

I think there is something else wrong and so does my doctor.

So I have to rule out a bunch of stuff.

Number one.

H. Pylori.

Which is a stomach infection that causes ulcers.

If it’s this, which in some way I sure hope it is, the lab test will let me know.

I have to, ugh, do a stool sample.

Never fucking though I would be writing that in a blog post.

If I have the infection it is easily treatable with a heavy dose of antibiotics.

The doc said I’d have to do two weeks of antibiotics four times a day.

Not the most fun, but doable.

The other thing that it could be is that the sphincter muscle in the esophagus is not working right, thereby not closing and allowing stomach acid up into my esophagus and throat, my nose and mouth.

I have acid in my mouth all the time.

I hate it.

I can’t taste it.

But I can feel it.

Hurts my teeth.

I also have a pretty constant sore throat and a tickle that leads to a cough.

I am not sick like a traditional cold, but it sounds like I have a cold.

I also have a great deal of nausea.

I haven’t thrown up, but I have had dry heaves a few times and once or twice did think I was going to vomit during some super stressful emotional moments.

What ever the cause.

I’m over it.

It’s been a pretty consistent life thing to deal with and I am tired of it.

The doctor referred me to a specialist, who can’t see me for a month, so I’m going to try to book another appointment with another on the list of doctor referrals given to me.

Hopefully I can be seen sooner than a month.

I was also warned that should I vomit blood or pass blood I have to go to the ER immediately, that such a symptom is indicative of a bleeding ulcer and I’d need to be seen right away.

Great.

Just what I wanted to hear.

Or that it, the acid, could cause me to have esophageal cancer.

Nobody wants the cancer word thrown about.

Nobody.

So yeah, it could have been th decaf coffee I had with my charge at Maxfield’s today as he enjoyed an afterschool treat with me and wrangled the promise of me teaching him how to play Monopoly, the kid’s going to be great at it fyi, or it could have been the stress of being told I could have bleeding ulcers and cancer.

Happy Thursday!

Ugh.

I was pretty shook up after leaving the office and I had to go to a lab cross town to get the stuff for the stool sample, ugh, ugh, ugh, and then over to Walgreens to pick up more prescriptions for it, and I ended up being pretty teary at work when I showed up.

The mom just gave me the biggest hugs.

It was very sweet, she is so sweet to me.

Hell, I’m tearing up writing about.

And I realized.

I could use a lot of hugs.

So if you see me out and about, stop and say hello and give me a squeeze.

The hugs they do help.

And fingers crossed, this will all get figured out and it will be a very simple solution.

I’ve got faith.

I am being taken care of.

I always am.

 


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