Posts Tagged ‘Kaiser’

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.

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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.

 

Tooth Ache

January 12, 2018

My tooth hurts.

Achy.

I’m hoping it’s temporary.

I’m one week and two days away from getting the permanent crown put in.

I’m not in severe pain, it’s just there and a touch disconcerting.

I got notice today that my dental insurance is about to end, as though it was much good, and I’ve looked up on my PPO to see if there is dental available through my plan.

It looks like there might be.

Then again.

Who the fuck knows.

I had made a opthamology appointment four months ago.

Yes.

I said four.

And today I got a message to call the office.

They weren’t sure if my insurance covers the visit.

I gave them all my information and am awaiting details.

It’s so frustrating.

I have not had this experience before.

Having to wait such long times to be seen, not being able to be seen, having to figure it all out on my own.

I had Kaiser for such a long time I got super spoiled by their facilities and the easiness of booking appointments.

I wish the school hadn’t changed over to this health plan, but it’s what I have and until I can afford something different, it’s what I’ll be using.

I do get a stipend from my family, so there’s that, it’s just the inability to be seen that has me really flustered.

I didn’t go bananas on the woman who called me but I did question why the hell it took so long to be contacted if there was a question in regards to the coverage.

I mean.

I just would have kept my October appointment with my ophthalmologist on Irving street.

Really nice guy, Dr. Kurtzbay.

I liked going there, although I did not like paying out-of-pocket for the services.

The last two pairs of glasses I got were both over $450.

Plus I was a little flush, for me, and I bought a pair of prescription sunglasses.

Which I managed to hold onto for about four months before losing them.

Sigh.

Anyway.

When I got this new insurance I was excited that there was ophthalmology and dental included.

Of course.

I haven’t been able to use the services, I haven’t been able to get in to a dentist or an eye doctor, so in a sense it feels useless.

I have used the insurance once to be seen by a new primary care physician in an Outer Sunset facility that reminded me of a bad made movie scene in a third world country.

I have the number for the only dentist facility that my insurance purportedly covers and I’m going to call them tomorrow and see if I can get in.

If I can’t then I will renew my own out-of-pocket dental care for the second year in a row and just stick to my guy over at Sunset Premier Dental.

He’s not first world, but not third world either, and he takes appointments on Saturdays, so there’s that.

Speaking of appointments.

I get to see my chiropractor in the morning.

I have a 9 a.m. session.

My back as been feeling better, I will say that, not 100%, but significantly better, I’m not in nearly the same amount of pain as I was a few months back when it started to act up.

I think this is my fourth session.

I’ll have a few more sessions still covered by my family and then I will see about continuing.

I really like her energy, it’s just $85 a pop and she wants to see my weekly.

Add that to my personal therapy at $120 a session, and the week get’s expensive quick.

I wouldn’t really be thinking that much about it, but the unexpected dental stuff did eat up my little buffer.

I’m not too worried, however, I’ve gone over my numbers a bunch of times and I’m going to be just fine.

Tighter than I want to be, sure.

Wishing I hadn’t committed throwing in $200 to the party on Saturday, yup, but fuck it, whatever.

When I was out drinking and using I blew more than $200 a night and frankly, I’m happy to help host a party and have a fun time and a good dj and friends come out to dance that I typically don’t see.

It’s only a few days away, my sobriety anniversary and it still doesn’t have that anxious feeling around it, I’ve nearly forgotten, in fact, that I had an anniversary coming.

I have heard people say that before, especially busy people, but I never really thought that there would be a time when I would not be acutely aware of an upcoming anniversary.

And I’m just not.

It’s rather nice.

The party makes it rather nice too.

So.

I’m not going to focus on money, it’s all God’s money anyhow.

I’m just going to focus on what needs to be paid next and have faith that I’m taken care of.

Paid my phone bill yesterday.

Felt great.

I actually like paying my bills.

I mean, even though I didn’t want to shell out the money to my dentist, I really like that I was able to pay it and pay it in cash, well, not paper-folding money, but you know, by debit card which is not a credit card.

I have not even used the credit card I got a few months back, I’m not even sure I will for that matter.

I like paying my debts with cash.

It feels good to be accountable.

And it feels really god that tomorrow is Friday.

Fuck yeah.

I’m ready for the weekend.

So ready.

Seriously.

Welcome To The

January 12, 2017

Sick in the head blog.

Anything and everything goes.

Yes.

I have a head cold.

Yes.

It sucks ass.

Hard.

The sneezing is not as bad as it was last night though and the clear, super runny, unexpected out of nowhere nasal drip has passed, at least for the moment.

I got caught with my pants down once today in regards to that, but a run to the store helped out a bit.

Not with my pants so much so.

I realized at some point today that my pajama pants were inside out.

Have I fixed that?

No.

Do I give a fuck.

No.

Have I been in pajamas all day.

Yes.

Did it take me a great deal of mental effort to put on socks?

Yes.

Fuck it took a great deal, or so it seemed, effort to do anything today and I tell you, I didn’t do much.

I did some.

I won’t lie.

I wasn’t flat on my back the whole day.

But after calling in to the advice nurse at Kaiser and then double checking that my new employers got my text and e-mails last night, I went back to bed.

I was on the phone for about twenty minutes until 8:30 a.m. or so and then I closed my eyes and when I work up it was 12:30 p.m.

Holy fuck.

Granted.

I had a horrible time falling asleep last night.

Not being able to breathe through my nose was horrendous.

Open mouth breathing is not my gig.

I did sleep and pretty solid, but to then sleep another four hours, unmoving, like I don’t think I rolled over, was quite indicative of how the cold had laid hold of me.

Getting up.

Making my bed.

Eating breakfast.

Took a lot of energy.

I probably spent two hours sitting at my little table in my kitchen nook of the in-law studio I live in sipping coffee, I know, not the best idea when you’re sick, but I actually think it was helpful in getting me out of the house, chatting on Facebook and slowly eating my oatmeal.

I was contemplating placing an order on SafeWay’s site to have food delivered but couldn’t figure it out.

So I decided I would just go to the market, the little co-op I’m a member of, Other Avenues, and pick up some tissues and some zinc.

The advice nurse for my doctor had also suggested Sudafed.

But.

Um.

No.

It’s got too much crap in, there’s a reason why you aren’t allowed to legally buy a bunch of Sudafed, pseudoephedrine is used to make methamphetamine.

I didn’t much speed, but I did some, and sneaking up on my anniversary and having a head cold I didn’t see that wanted to even take that risk.

I don’t take anything for colds or flu.

Think I’m a little too cautious?

Google Sudafed addiction and see how many hits pop up.

Oh.

Something like 343,000.

So no thanks advice nurse, I’ll skip it.

However, in my haze at the co-op looking for zinc, I came across a homeopathic cold relief from France called Cold Calm, which in nice big bold print at the bottom of the box said, “no drug interactions.”

Sweet.

A little browsing the ingredients, and yes, it looks like something I can take.

Relief from sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, and minor sore throat.

And.

It seems to be doing the trick.

Not cured.

I still have it, whatever it is, but it seems not so severe with having the cold relief, I am still sick, I’m probably going to call out tomorrow as well, although it makes it me super nervous, I’ve got to take care of this, and just let it go.

My expectations around my health and work have changed a lot since I’ve been sober and I still have an excruciating time calling in sick, but when I’m sick, I really am.

I can acknowledge it better.

Like.

Oh.

I don’t know.

How hard it was to put on socks to go out to the grocery store.

I mean.

Seriously.

In fact, I said it out loud, “why is this so hard?”

I was standing there, no make up on, in pajamas, in pajama pants I later realized were inside out, haven’t given two fucks about that all day, they’re still on inside out, contemplating what socks to put on, which ones matched my pajamas and were cute.

Really brain?

And I couldn’t figure it out.

I mean.

I did eventually.

And yes, my socks may indeed match my pajama top, but only I will know this, no one else could see my socks, no one.

I made it to the store.

I got some zinc lozenges and the Cold Calm.

But the store was out of tissue.

I had to go to the 7-11 on the corner.

I never go to the 7-11, it’s like a petri dish for some bizarro outlier world.

They had Sudafed in spades.

I just bought a box of over priced tissue paper and went home.

I got back to see one of my text books from school had arrived.

I curled up in bed and did some reading.

I read a lot.

I blew my nose a lot.

I contemplated calling in sick.

I haven’t yet.

I’m going to.

I’m too fuzzy headed and muddled to go into work, it sucks, I feel bad, maybe I fuck up my job, but I am not going to worry about that, I don’t think they’re going to fire me for being unexpectedly sick my first two weeks at work, and despite the horror show my brain would like to play me I just don’t have it in me to watch.

So shut up brain, go back to figuring out matching socks and let me have some more tea.

I think things will work out a little better that way.

Thanks.

And pass the tissues before you go stand in front of the sock drawer.

Maybe turn your pants right side in.

Maybe.

Ha.

 

 

Self-Care Stress

March 16, 2015

Oh the things I write about.

Oh the things I don’t write about.

Or the things that I don’t talk about.

Or the ways in which I have to do the things that I suggest to ladies that I work with.

In the spirit of so doing I confessed a few things today that I have not been doing so well with.

All of it comes down to fear and a lack of belief, still, a core lack of belief that I am unworthy of caring for myself.

The thing is, after ten years of doing this work, I know when the gig is up for me and I know when I don’t want to tell someone something, in effect, tell on myself, then there’s something to be worried about.

I was asked this afternoon over a nice roast chicken lunch with vegetables at the Firewood Cafe, when the last time I had gone to the dentist was.

I balked.

I stumbled.

I made some waving motion with my fork.

“Awhile.”

That was the best I could come up with and I don’t even want to write this down, I’m already seeing your face, and yours, and oh yeah, yours too, when I say, I have not been to see a dentist since I lived at 23rd and Capp Street.

Which means that I haven’t been to the dentist in oh, um, gah, six or even seven years.

Is that possible?

Ugh.

The real thirteenth step.

Going to the dentist.

I have really good teeth and I am really lucky.

And there’s nothing wrong with them.

I brush them three times a day and floss once a day with dental tape.

I don’t smoke, although I probably do have some discoloration from coffee, my teeth are really in quite good shape.

But my knees.

Not so much.

That was also something I did not want to talk about.

My knees have been bothering me over the last few weeks.

Years.

Forever.

But I have definitely noticed a more marked discomfort and sometimes absolute screaming pain that makes me literal gasp and tear up, when I am walking.

And once in a while when I am riding my bicycle.

Fear is ruling the life.

I am afraid, in no particular order, of not being able to ride my bicycle any longer, needing to have knee surgery, not being able to work, losing my home, not being taken care of, not being able to ride my bicycle.

I know I listed that twice, but that is a big fear.

So, like any good crazy person, instead of addressing the issue, I have been trying to skirt it.

Not wearing shoes that I now exacerbate the issue more than once a week.

AKA.

My Converse.

Which, grr, I don’t want to admit either, like I’m fucking super woman or something, hurt my left ankle when I wear them too much anyhow.

Like right now.

My ankle is sore.

I wore Converse yesterday and today.

And despite not riding my bicycle yesterday and taking MUNI, I could feel both my knees and my ankle hurting a bit by the end of my walk, a short walk, a dwadling walk, from the North Berkeley BART to the baby shower, about eleven minutes, and I was tender.

Same today.

But today I did ride my bike, to the Castro and back.

Sometimes I know that my legs, mostly my quads and occasionally my calves (they cramp at night, no fun) need rest from the constant riding.

Today, though, it was my ankle and I told on myself.

It took a minute.

But I did.

“Girl, are you trying to become your mother?” My person asked.

Oh sweet Jesus.

I am.

Damn it.

Let us not to bond over my accomplishments, but over my lack of self-care to my body.

Why?

Because that was how I was fucking trained, ignore it until you are in the emergency room in scathing pain.

Then, if it doesn’t interfere with work, then go to the doctor.

I looked him in his very blue, very compassionate eyes, and said, “no, I don’t want to become my mother, and I knew I didn’t want to tell you because then I knew I would have to do something about it.”

“What are you afraid of?” He asked, folding his hands and putting down the salad fork, giving me full attention.

“Oh geeze, where to start?  Um, that I won’t have enough money to cover what ever is wrong with me, that I will need surgery, that I will lose my job, that if I chose to go to the doctor I’m going to eat into my vacation time, thereby losing money, thereby, um, not being able to pay my rent, not be able to go to Burning Man, not be able to afford going to Atlanta, being homeless and destitute.”

I had no idea.

I mean.

I did.

But still.

“I suggest you make an appointment with your doctor, just a regular appointment, and tell her what you what you are experiencing, and not make decisions based on information that is not true.” He said, “capisce?”

“Yes.” I sighed, though, in relief.

I really have been wanting to deal with this, it does scare me, but I also know that running away from the problem, hobbling at this point, I can’t imagine running, that I will only make the problem worse.

There is probably a very simple solution.

Or not.

But I won’t know until I go.

I also have to ask about a patch on my face that I suspect might be skin cancer or pre-cancerous.

There, I let that cat out of the bag too.

I have a reddish patch of dry skin on my right cheek that won’t heal.

It will get dry, peel and leave red skin and I think it’s going away, then it does the cycle over again.

I over heard someone say to another person, “oh you should get that checked out, it could be pre-cancerous.”

Ugh.

I looked at myself in the mirror and wondered.

This patch of dry, reddish skin has not heeled in how long?

Too long.

I, more admissions, noticed it over a year ago.

I know!

I know.

REALLY.

I do.

I just didn’t really think anything of it until I overheard that conversation last week.

And yes.

I am doing plenty about it.

I googled dental student cleanings and I will sign up for that as soon as I see my regular doctor.

I made an appointment to go in and see her next Friday at Kaiser on Geary.

I’m doing the deal.

Even when I have to drag myself to do it, even when I don’t want to admit that I need help, even when I am in fear.

False.

Evidence.

Appearing.

Real.

I took some actions and I’ll be seeing the doctor next week.

Sigh.

Self-care you nagging whore.

I mean.

Self-care, you wonderful woman, look at how you are learning how to take care of the beautiful body that God has given you to walk around in.

At least, hopefully, for a while yet to come.

 

Are You Riding Around On It?

June 27, 2014

Uh.

No.

He apologized a few minutes later and explained he had not noticed my walking boot.

Of course I wasn’t riding around on it.

I won’t be for a while yet either.

He was not the only person who did not notice the walking boot.

The great thing about walking with crutches is that people see the crutches, especially my bling bling gold get around sticks.

Which are just used exclusively to get me up and to the bathroom now in the morning before I put on the walking boot.  Or in the evening when I have retired the boot for the day.

I have graduated from the crutches to solo walking in the boot.

And it actually looks like I am walking now.

Not so much the wobble, hobble, roll.

I just walk very slowly.

And folks are in their own bubble, just like I am, not paying attention, having my own agenda, doing my own thing, get out of my way please.

Oh.

Wait.

Ah.

I see it now.

I probably run over just as many people on my bicycle, in my job, walking about, as do people me.

I am self-involved.

Just another quiet kick in the pants bit of perspective I had today while taking public transport after my appointment at Kaiser Geary this afternoon.

Transit that took so long.

Not necessarily because it takes MUNI a long time, sometimes MUNI is pretty fast and reliable, no, it was user failure, I suppose you could say, not system failure.

I have the MUNI app on my phone, so I know when the next bus is coming and where to get off and where to transfer.

Except that app doesn’t tell me how much time I need to add in to compensate for how slowly I perambulate.

I missed two connections because I was not moving fast enough.

I also swore a bit more than usual after missing the second bus and realizing that I had fifteen minutes until I was to get picked up by the next bus coming down the line.

I could get mad.

Or I could realize I was in HALT.

Hungry.

Yup, doctors appointment navigation led to me not having lunch before hand, it was too late, but by the time I was done at Kaiser, it was way past my lunch time.

Angry.

Gods yes.

Did I not just write that I missed not one, but two buses.

The first one I missed was the Geary 38 and unfortunately for me the bus stop was under construction so there was nowhere to sit and rest my foot for the fifteen minutes it was going to be for the next bus to poke along.

I was only going up the hill to Masonic, but that walk would have laid me flat in the boot.  Too much hill.

Lonely.

Not so much.

Thankfully, I had met with a wonderful lady before my appointment and we had tea and talked all things humility, love, tolerance, patience, and service.

Proper way to get my day started.

Plus she gave me a lift to the appointment.

I couldn’t be upset about that.

I think I might have lost my marbles if I had to take MUNI in and then out from Kaiser.

Tired.

I wasn’t.

Then I was.

I was tired of standing.

The 38 Geary finally arrived.

I got on.

Gaggle of teenagers oblivious to their surroundings all up in the handicap and elderly seating.

I actually did it.

I leaned in and asked a fifteen year old girl to move.

I was nice about it, but firm.

She hopped right up.

Then I got glared at by passengers getting on the bus when some elderly got on.

I thought, well, I don’t need to explain my situation or my condition, and what you think of me is none of my business, but fuck off you know.

Again, I am self-involved, my agenda the only agenda out there.

After the brief and tortuous ride up to Masonic I transferred off the 38 and crossed the street, oh so slowly, to the other side, I decided to pop into Target before I transferred to the 43 headed toward the Inner Sunset where I had a commitment to get to by 6:30 p.m.

I knew how much time I had.

That app thing.

And I only had a few things to pick up at Target, which is not a place I normally choose to shop at, but I was there, I had twenty minutes, and I needed a couple of travel size toiletries for my imminent trip to the land of Cheese Curds.

Wisconsin.

I got the few little things I needed and got stuck at a register that was malfunctioning.

By the time I exited the store, yes, you guessed correct.

There was the 43 pulling across the intersection at the stop I had to be at to catch it.

Damn it man.

I was not about to run across the intersection.

I wobbled across.

I had a moment of thinking I would make it.

I saw that the bus was still sitting with its flashers blinking.

“Hold the bus.”

Nope.

Women turned, looked at me, stepped up, doors closed, bus departed.

Motherfucker.

I sat.

At least this stop had benches.

Next bus?

Fifteen minutes.

ARGH.

I was very much in HALT.

However, I was also taken care of.

I had grabbed a bottle of water at the store and drank it.

Sometimes I think there should be another “T” at the end of the acronym–hungry, angry, lonely, tired, thirsty.

I felt better.

Then a friend called me back.

We chatted until the next bus came.

Gone was the lonely.

I got to where I needed to go.

I got some food in me.

I got some humility.

And I got a ride home afterward.

Lovely.

And now, I am cozied up, with Karl the Fog doing his romantic it’s summer in San Francisco routine, in my studio.

I am grateful today for the experience if only from the standpoint that when I get back on my feet, whether it’s walking or riding my bicycle, or yes, eventually, my scooter, that I will have this to look back to and know how amazing it is to be mobile.

I have a depth of appreciation for this beautiful body I have been given to walk around in.

And a deep gratitude.

Now the only thing I need to do is continue to be gentle and nurturing to it.

To not listen to myself when I get into HALT.

To do the best I can to avoid it.

To love myself all the way to full recovery.

Kindness.

Tolerance.

Patience.

Love.

Check.

Check.

Check.

Double check.

I Was Trying Real Hard

June 11, 2014

I was trying so hard.

But I was shut the fuck down.

I am down and out for three more fucking weeks.

Pardon my French.

Fuckity fuck fuck fuck.

No working for three weeks.

No money.

And no, I don’t have benefits, thanks for asking, because I am an ass hat and didn’t bother to really get my shit together, really get some work underneath me that pays the bills in some kind of way, with like, you know.

BENEFITS.

I am almost done beating myself up.

When no one’s looking I pick up the whip and beat the living shit out of myself.

Oops, my friend just gave me shit.

I am getting to learn how to ask for help, again.

Oh, look at that, how cute she is, trying too go to fast again.

I got the old shut down and shut it down now.

Perchance I need to back up and start at the beginning.

Start at the doctor’s office, or even before that with the friends who dropped by for coffee and with coffee, the friend who picked me up and took me home, the friend who is here now in my little studio kitchen making me dinner while a bag of frozen peas sits across my ankle.

I am at least out of the splint.

But like going from the frying pan into the fire, I am not out of the woods yet.

That might be the worst mixing of metaphors I have ever done.

I can aspire, can’t I?

Anyhow.

I got to Kaiser, French Campus, which I did not know that the department I wanted to go to, Podiatry, was actually behind the building I got dropped off at, so I had the delightful experience of wandering around lost for a little bit.

I made it on time, but out of breath and ran into a friend who was there for a consultation and we quietly commiserated in the waiting room with each other.

The nurse took off my splint and I immediately started crying.

She “there, there’d” me and got me a box of apple juice and said very sweetly that the bruising was not so bad, really, don’t fret, doctor will be in soon.

It looks disgusting.

Green, black, purple, swollen on both sides, some nice yellow streakiness in there too.

Ugh.

Doc came in, showed me the x-rays, said, no breaks, no fractures, yes, severe sprain, we are going to outfit you with a boot.

Cue tears.

A boot?

A walking boot to help facilitate eventual walking.

EVENTUAL?

More tears.

Doc handed me a roll of padded gauze to dry my tears with, the box of tissues proved to be empty.

“You’ll be in the boot three weeks, maybe two, on crutches for another week or so, depends on how fast it heals, but I’m thinking three weeks in the boot, then slow transition to a shoe, and not the shoe you’re wearing now,” he said pointing to my abandoned Converse on the floor.

The nurse had taken off my right shoe while I was on the examination table so that the doctor could compare my two ankles.  She also said, “look how strong your legs are, you are lucky you are so strong, you should have broken it.”

“I’m going to give you a list of shoes to wear, and Converse are not on it,” the doctor continued, “plus I am going to give you exercises you can do in the boot, and once you are comfortable out of the boot, and I am going to recommend that you do physical therapy as well.”

“Your ankle won’t be fully healed for probably six months,” the doctor said.

Cue fresh tears.

SIX?

“When will I be able to return to work?” I asked trying hard to swallow back my tears.

“Three weeks, maybe four, what do you do for a living?” The doctor sat scribbling something in my chart.

“I am a nanny,” I said.

“Oh, how old are the kids?”

I told him.

“Hmmm, three weeks probably, maybe sooner, but you’d still be wearing the boot, no running, obviously, you should be off the crutches by that point, three weeks, maybe four, depends on how you feel walking, you’ll know.”

Oh sweet jesus.

“You can claim disability,” he said.

I looked at him, tears flowing copiously down my face, gauze pad forgotten bunched up in my hand, “I don’t have an employment contract with the families, I work under the table and I don’t have any benefits,” I swallowed.

“I don’t know that I can claim disability,” I finished trying to catch my breath.

“Call the number on your paperwork and talk with the  counselor, you might be able to file for unemployment, it might take a while to get, but you should get something.”

The doctor patted my hand, “and you won’t have to have surgery, you take care of it and in a month we will check it over and I am nearly 100% that we can avoid a surgical repair.”

Ok.

That is good news, in my heart, I know that is good news.

It is also challenging news, change my life news, surrender to what’s happening news.

I can’t do much about it.

I can’t go to work.

I can sit, like I am now, with my stupid ankle on a pile of pillows with a bag of frozen peas on it.

“You need to ice and elevate as much as possible,” said the doctor.

“And keep taking Motrin or Alieve for the swelling and pain, call me if you have any other questions, you’re going to be ok,” he smiled and patted my arm, “the nurse is going to come in and put you in the boot.”

He walked out the door.

The nurse walked in.

“Do you have a sock?”

I laughed.

I did indeed have socks in my bag.

Hello Kitty pink striped knee highs.

The nurse unrolled the sock over my toes, pulled them up, put my foot in the boot, showed me how to adjust the velcro and strapped me in.

The doctor came back, handed me my “walking papers” with all the various instructions, a booklet on at home ankle exercises and an admonition to take it easy.

Do I have a choice?

The only choice I have is to continue to continue to continue to surrender.

ARGH.

I mean.

Yay.

What a wonderful experience I get to have.

Humiliations galore.

Oh.

I mean humility.

Humility galore.

And love and forgiveness and more surrender.

Time to switch out the peas.

Excuse me while I go cry in my gauze pad.

 

I Do NOT Like This Feeling

June 7, 2014

Sam I am green eggs and ham noise in my head shut up.

I am not good at being in my house for the entire day.

I am not fond of not making money.

I am not fond of pain, either.

Or inconvenience.

Or discomfort.

Or asking for help.

I did break though and I have coffee being brought to me tomorrow.

When I run out of coffee that’s a bad thing.

I got loads of sweet messages and texts but ultimately a text or a chat message is not a human being.  Fortunately I also got some phone calls and talked to real voices today, besides the ones in my head.

It was not as horrid as I am making it out, but I can see it becoming wildly uncomfortable should I let it.

I have big thick books to read, that I bought last week at Dog Eared Books and even as I was paying for them wondered when exactly I would get to read them.

Apparently right now.

I called Kaiser Podiatry and made the follow-up appointment with the specialist that the ER doctor wanted me to go and see.  I go in on Tuesday to get cleared from work.

I never got a phone call from the radiologists at Kaiser, which I was told I would get should anything else odd show up on the x-rays, which is good.

I got lots of admonitions to stay off the ankle, that sprains can be worse than breaks, and I did not put any weight on it at all today.

It really is not fun.

My tough lady veneer is wearing a tiny bit thin, but I do have friends that I get to see tomorrow, who are bringing coffee and plenty of folks that offered to help should I need it.

I’ll be asking one of them to take me to the Kaiser appointment on Tuesday.

I am hoping that really being gentle to myself and kind and slow, slow, like I have no choice, it’s really challenging accomplishing anything on crutches, and that I rest, the ankle will heal quickly.

I obviously won’t be able to work Monday and Tuesday, but I am hoping that perhaps I can get in a few days next week.

Then again, I don’t want to injure myself worse.

I am just going to have to sit and wait it out and see what happens.

I do need to go to the ATM and deposit a check from yesterday.

Work yesterday seems eight thousand years ago.

And, duh, I was supposed to get paid for this week from my regular family, who I was supposed to work a full eight hour shift and a part of this evening for.  Shoot.  I have to send them a tally.

Argh.

When I think about the money I am not making and the money I won’t be able to make next week I can start to freak out and I need to remind myself that this is temporary and that there will be money and should shit hit the fan, the computer die, well, so be it.

I wanted to have some things to go back to Wisconsin with, like money in my pocket, now I just want to cover costs and make sure that I can pay all my bills this month.

I got to face facts.

I have to do better with my job.

Not having full-time benefits and health insurance is a challenge.

Maybe I need to explore something outside of nannying again.

I was offered a job last week, but I was not interested after doing some research about the company, not really a good fit for me.

I know this road though, I have been down it too many times, and I always end up being a nanny again, so the solution and the problem are not the same, and I just have to have faith that I am going to be ok.

There is no lack right now.

There is just the fear that there will be.

Rent’s paid.

I have a small check from yesterday that will cover my phone bill.

I still have monies coming from the half week I worked for my family in the Castro and I have enough money in the bank to get me through the week.

I am going to be ok.

Hell.

I am ok.

And I do believe that there is great learning and good and acceptance to be had, humility too.

I am going to have to ask someone to take out the compost, to help me in and out of  a shower.

I can make it one more day without bathing, but after that I might lose it.

I can do my nails.

I am spending lots of time sitting still.

I will also be getting out of the house on a speaking engagement tomorrow night, no avoiding it and I have a sweet friend coming into the city who will be giving me a lift.

Plenty of sweet friends.

Plenty of people who have asked how they can help.

I just need to say yes.

It’s hard to ask for help, but I don’t have much choice.

The groceries will run out tomorrow and unless I want to eat oatmeal three times a day, I will have to have a hand for a bit.

Grateful for my small space too, it’s just small enough for me to handle getting about.

I am sure I will get used to crutching about, but it’s tiring.

I did take a nap today.

That’s a good thing.

I slept last night, but it was hard, and as my friend the nurse intimated, sleeping was indeed a challenge, the night-time was profoundly uncomfortable, and I woke up in pain a few times.

Not pain that I can’t bear, however.

Just pain that’s annoying and I wish would pass.

Nothing to do but wait for it.

Heal and let the body do it’s thing.

Watch a few movies, I downloaded a bunch and watched The Grand Budapest Hotel today.  Plus, Orange is the New Black just came out and So You Think You Can Dance (yes, I am a fan) just aired.

There’s stuff to occupy me.

I will be alright.

I am alright.

Everything is alright.

I believe that I am completely taken care of.

I always have been.

Why would now be any different?

Oh God Damn it

June 6, 2014

I cannot believe that this happened.

My friend said, “let me know when you’ve stopped beating yourself up, ‘k, you didn’t do anything wrong.”

Nope.

I didn’t.

But I have to say it feels a little like punishment or God laughing at me, you know, after the post I wrote last night about losing my health or ability to walk or ride my bike or work, to now not be able to ride bike, work, or walk.

Irony?

Is it odd?

Or is it God?

ARGH.

I just got home from the ER at Kaiser on Geary.

THANK YOU TO MY ROOMMATE, MY FRIEND THE TAXI CAB DRIVER AND MY FRIEND THE NURSE.

Serious.

Thank you.

I haven’t had to ask for this much help in a while.

All because I wanted to be pro-active, I was scheduled to work 9a.m-5p.m. tomorrow, then a night shift, from 7:30p.m.-11:30p.m.

I figured I was alright with that, it’s a long day, but just one baby and then the weekend and you know, or maybe you don’t know, maybe it’s just me, that fear of not having enough money, especially when you, and by that I mean, me, thinks that I have to make more because I am going to need a new computer soon.

I had it all planned out.

“Do you know what God does when you make plans,” a friend said to me years ago after listening to my elaborate story, “he laughs.”

I didn’t get it then.

Oh, do I now.

Yes, I do.

I was going to come home, park my bicycle, hop on my scooter and drive down to the gas station, top her off so that I could ride it to work tomorrow and not worry about taking my bicycle home at 11:30 p.m. at night from 19th and Noe.

I figured I could even scoot out between the hours of 5p.m. and 7:30 pm and go see some folks at 2900 24th Street.

I just wanted to top off the gas.

That’s it.

Just a tiny little thing.

The scooter had not been ridden in four days, so of course it wasn’t interested in starting on the first kick.

I gave it a touch of gas, pulled out the choke, stuck my foot on the kick-start and plunged down.

Something in my ankle gave.

It felt like it folded over.

I screamed and saw not just white, but blue-white, total white out tinged with blue.

I heaved trying to catch my breath.

A minute, five passed, I don’t know.

I could hear the housemates boyfriend in the hallway, just holler for help.

I breathed in.

I am ok.

I put my foot down.

Ow!

Ok, so I am not exactly ok, but I am gonna be just fine, just need a moment to catch my breath.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

“Breathe,” the text from my friend the cab driver said.

I responded from the bed in the ER, “thanks for the reminder, I had forgotten.”

True.

I had.

I grabbed the gate to the entrance way and steadied myself, I gingerly put some weight down, ok, it’s twisted, maybe sprained, but it’s going to be ok.

Next thought.

I guess I won’t be riding the scooter to work tomorrow morning.

Shit.

Second thought as I approached the scooter and slipped onto the saddle, “hmm, I don’t know if I am going to be able to ride my bike either.”

I straddled the scooter, pushed forward with my solid foot, and popped it off the middle stand, put it in neutral and pushed her back into the entry way.

I got off.

Pulled the keys out of the ignition and hobbled into my studio.

I stopped at bathroom.

Ibuprofen right now.

600 mg in the maw.

Went to the freezer, dumped tray of ice into plastic bag.

Sat down at the table, pulled the chair over and put my foot up on the seat.

God, that looks odd, I thought to myself, why does it look like that?

I pulled off my shoe, gasping a little, yeowch that hurts more than I was expecting.

My sock was distended, why is my sock all weird like that?

Oh.

Fuck.

Oh.

Fuck.

Oh fuck.

I almost threw up on myself when I saw what my ankle looked like.

I immediately called my housemate.

She got me set up, water, dish towel to wipe off the tears and eyeliner that was gushing down my face.

When I got home tonight and was picking up a little, I grabbed that dish towel and it was drenched, soaked through with tears.

Her sweet daughter told me about her twisted ankle and then her mom helped me call Kaiser, my insurance people through Healthy San Francisco, thank God I have that, thank God again.

I also called my friend the cab driver, who couldn’t catch half my conversation, the reception on my phone listing in and out.

“All I heard was “emergency room” and then the call dropped,” he told me later as he was driving me to the ER.

My house mate gave me more ibuprofen.

My friend the cab driver said I am on the way.

The advice nurse says, RICE.

I am doing it all and freaking out about not being able to go into work tomorrow.

That’s what I am worried about.

Work.

Gah.

The ER was not busy, thank God, although it felt like a comedy of errors as I was sitting in the waiting room being handed forms to sign, and the intake receptionist does what?

Yes.

That’s right.

She dropped a clip board on my ankle.

I just about passed out.

I actually started to laugh, it couldn’t be any stranger or, I am sure in hindsight, funny.

Par for the course.

Right a blog about getting injured and not being able to work and watch self getting injured and not being able to work.

“You are one tough lady,” doctor, the handsome doctor, I should add, said to me.

I told them I was not able to have any narcotic pain killers, that I was an addict and alcoholic and sober over nine years.

I bawled my head off.

I came close to passing out when the technicians in the x-ray lab took my x-rays and had to turn my ankle to get the shot.

There is good news.

Great news, really.

My ankle is not broken.

I still have to go back and see a specialist in the Podiatry Department at Kaiser and the doc said no weight on it for a week, no working, no, no, no.

“You’re a nanny?” He asked.

“How old,” he continued.

“16 months and 26 months,” I replied, starting to cry again.

(shit fuck motherfucker, crying now)

“And what about not bearing any weight on it for seven to ten days says you’re capable of working?” He asked bluntly. “Do you think you’ll be able to pick them up and carry them around on your crutches?”

Then he apologized, rubbing his weary, red rimmed eyes.

“I’m sorry, I’m tired, I know you’re sober, but I could use a drink, a hot bath and my bed,” I have been on duty way too long,” he concluded. “I should not be saying that,” he looked around to see if there was a patient next to us.

“Nope, I get it,” I smiled, “big glass of red wine, hot bath, you deserve it.”

“And you should get someone to rub your feet,” he added.

So, with that in mind, since I wrote about getting hurt and then did.

I say, let this be the best thing ever.

Let this experience lead to amazing things.

I am going to let myself heal.

I will not worry about money.

I will get a foot rub from a sexy man.

Hell, from my boyfriend, I mean, I was supposed to go on a date Saturday after my commitment in Noe Valley.

Sure, it’s a first date and I found out he’s FOURTEEN YEARS my junior, but fuck it.

Why not.

Hey, you know, I know you had some dinner plans lined up, but let’s just stay in and you can rub my feet on our first date.

Bwahahahahaha.

Seriously.

I am not on any narcotics.

Perhaps stunned.

Definitely out of sorts.

But alive, foot propped up, draped in an ice pack, ibuprofen at hand, and re-wrapped in its splint because my amazing nursing friend picked me up from the hospital, helped me out of my jeans (which I had thought I would have to cut off to get off) and into a worn pair of yoga pants and then re-wrapped my ankle.

I am blessed.

Think about it.

I might have gotten on my scooter and got hit by a bus, who knows what tragedy the Universe saved me from.

I am lucky.

And I know it.

I still might cry a little more tonight.

Just sayin’.

You can knock a good woman down.

But you can’t keep her down.

Here’s to tomorrow being a better day.

 

 


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