Thursday, March 27, 2008

Desperate Times, Desperate Measures

I hate doctors.

I know in about two months I'm going to be married to one, but I found him and married him before he became a doctor.

So I hate doctors.

My alchemist sucks, even if he is good and well educated and athletic and relatively likable (if I were an older gay man looking for a preppy date) , his formulas are not really helping me.

So I am being directed by my LCSW to see another alchemist who will supposedly be better for me. This is the woman she wanted me to see all along, but whom is not in my insurance network and therefore will charge me full price, minus a special discount that for God knows what reason she has decided to grant me.

Full price: $300 for the initial consultation. Follow up visits $200 each.

I cannot imagine making that much money in about half an hour.

But I have to pay it. The medications that my current alchemist has me taking have ery little positive effect and thoroughly annoying side effects. Some people would use a stronger word than annoying, but I've been really close to death from several perspectives and I cannot say these side effects are fatal or intolerable, but I have an unusually high threshold for this kind of pain.

I may whimper at the first wince of pain if I twist my ankle, I may whine if I have a headache or a cut with the tiniest bit of blood coming from it, but somehow I have conditioned myself to plow through emotional discomfort, pain or trauma as though it were my duty, my destiny, my role in this looping drama.

I have gotten really good at it, in the sense that I can plow through assignments or chores despite the heavy feeling in my chest, the dizziness, the distractions pulling at my brain. Good at it, in the sense that things still got done. They still do get done. Sure, the assignments have changed drastically in their complexity, but they present the same difficulty to me in terms of their draining power on my mental battery.

Nancy said that when people walk into the grocery store with the flu and realize that they just can't do it, that they suddenly feel inconceivably worse than they did when they planned the trip to the grocery store, they just turn around and go home.

Even I have turned around and gone home when it came to the flu and the food combination.

But when it's this, when it's just something in my head, I can't let it win. I can't let it beat me. I have to Go! I must trudge through the store. I must continue to push the cart. I must gather our necessities of food and toiletries before I can go home. I must do what I set out to do. I must succeed. What kind of woman fails at grocery shopping?

Those wilting women of the movies in the 40s and 50s who were shown having "fits" or whatever they called it then fail to grocery shop. Those weak women. Those weak, weak women.

I am not a weak woman. I have worked hard, since I was a very little girl, not to let anyone see that they have hurt me. I do not know why. I just never wanted someone to believe they could get to me, that their actions or words could hurt me. I wanted people to see my strength and power and will. I wanted to be unstoppable.

And for the most part, I was unstoppable. I was strong. They thought they couldn't get to me or they thought I hated them, but they didn't think I accepted defeat.

Now, as if it matters, I carry this mentality forward in attacking my stalker. I will not be defeated. I will not be weak. I will not be overcome.

It is a ridiculous notion.

Perhaps I need to make peace with the idea that if I am having a bad day, a dizzy, sad, heavy, inconceivable day, the only way I will beat it is by giving myself the permission and the direction to rest.

When I plow through, I may fill the kitchen cupboards with our groceries, but my body feels as though I have just barely survived a terrible storm on Gilligan's little tourist boat. Forcing myself to endure that kind of pain, maybe that is what I should consider losing. Resting and moving through the storm as gently and safely as possible, maybe that is the winning.

Making my life as serene and painless as possible, is that my new goal? Can that be success? It seems so... mundane.

It is just so hard for me to learn to live this way. This weakened stronger way.

Living is not this hard for everyone.

Why is it like this for me?

No. Don't hand me that load of crap about God only giving me what I can handle. That's among a number of cruel so-called-Christian phrases that are supposed to wrap up the pain in a nice little bandage to heal the wounded but that really just cover it over so that no one has to see the ugly wound.

It is like this for me because of nature and because of nurture, just the same way everybody else's life turns out the way it does.

For now, on the prayer and hope that I hardly even dare to hope, spending $200 on a new alchemist who will be able to come up with a formula that does not include seven medications working more in contradiction with each other than in tandem with each other is all I can do.

For now, I have to believe that this isn't all there is, that I am not destined to ride through life in one of Alice in Wonderland's tea cups.

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