Worn

I’m tired.
Tired of pretending that everything’s alright.
Tired of telling people “I’m fine”, or “I’m better”, when it’s a blatant lie.

I’m tired of hurting- every day- and never finding a surcease of the pain. There is no “eye of the storm” for me…there is only the unrelenting wind.

I’m tired of doctors who will not listen, will not actually take the time to give me, one of their so-called “valued” patients, quality care. Instead I’m shuffled like cattle thru the chute, “Poke it with the needle, Bob, & let’s send it back out to pasture! There’s a whole ‘nother corral to treat! What? There’s one telling you it hurts? Cattle don’t talk, Bob, send it on through the chute.”

And the ever-present pain that radiates from my side. Where do I begin with that?
How about the fact that, yes, I thought it was my kidney, as I’ve got a history of troubles & pain with that, & the pain is so similar to what I felt back then. But, the tests they’ve run have shown it’s not that. So, good news, right?
Well, great news, I don’t have to have a permanently enlarged, slow-acting kidney removed.

But then, I ask… where is the pain coming from?

And the doctors look around, shrug, & say “dunno.”

Or, how bout we start with the fact that I’ve told 2 doctors that I’m also experiencing constant pressure & pain in the region of my right ovary…
And yet, neither of them has done a physical “poke & prod” exam, nor have they run any tests on that area. “Cysts? Oh, you don’t look that old…oh, that’s right, you’re 45, hunh, you don’t look 45.”
Aren’t you going to check it?

Or how about that fact that my doctor has prescribed me some pain meds that- sure, make my hands & the arthritis I have there feel great… but it does nothing for the stabbing, grinding pain in my side.

I sleep hard at night, though, because of them.

And yet…
I’m still tired.
I’m exhausted.
Bone – weary of waiting for someone who will hear my sighs and realize that I’m still sitting in the waiting room, still waiting to be heard, to actually be listened to, not just patronized, patted on the head, & sent on my way with some do – little pills & a smile that tells me “it’s all in your head, you hypochondriac,  now go home & suck it up”.

It’s not in my head, it’s in my side, in my abdomen, and it’s only getting worse with time.  Fucking look at it. Fucking hear me. Stop watching the damn clock, stop thinking about the next patient when you’re in the exam room with me.

I’m worn out with yelling, pleading, I’m tired of crying in their offices, because I’m always alone when I have to deal with this. I don’t have anyone to lean on, who’ll believe me & go to back me up, to confront the doctors when they wear me down.
Maybe I should just print this & hand it to the next doctor I see.  Maybe.

Just No.

Until you’ve been there, until you’ve lived it, learned it, cried from it, raged over it, fought against it, and ultimately laughed in spite of it… you have no idea.

Don’t assume that you’re qualified to give advice to someone going through the fire, if you’ve never been in the flames.

Don’t pretend you understand the storm, when you’ve never stood in its eye, and been bowed by the force of the gale.

And save your anger for your own bad decisions, faults & failings.

The person standing in front of you has their own battle to wage, and you yelling at them to do it the way you think they should belittles only you.

You don’t get it. You never will. Until you stand in their shoes, live their life, and are faced with the exact same situations & consequences – you can shut the fuck right up.

Housecleaning

I was cleaning my house today, & was thinking about all the things I’ve gotten rid of…all the things I could get rid of… and all the things I should probably hang into.

And then, tonight, I had a thought.

Whose memories am I holding onto?

I’ve accumulated a lot of stuff over the years. Kid’s stuff, my stuff, ex’s stuff, shared stuff.

And I know that some of the things that I have in my life, belong partly to other people.

At least, the memories connected to them do.

A giant, oriental fan that hangs in my living room, was a gift from my ex-husband while we were dating. I still love the picture on it, but it’s time for it to go.  I’ve got to cut the cuttable ties that still bind me to that past.  My son has some keepsakes, an old family portrait, a couple of knick knacks… I don’t need to hold onto things from his father for him.

And I do need to clear away the detritus of the memories.  Leftover crumbs from a broken relationship are not something I need hanging around the house.

If I’m ever going to forge ahead with a life outside of the broken past, I have to clear away the rubble, first.

So, tomorrow, I begin.

Tallyho.

Specializing in Not Much

2016 seems to be my year.
Seriously.

It’s my year- – – for specialists.

A few months ago, I started having pain in my right side. Right where my kidney is. The kidney that I had to have surgery on in 2001, and thought I’d never have trouble with again.

And here I am, having troubles.

Yay.

So, I packed my happy ass off to my regular doctor, & told her all about it. She ordered the usual suspects – blood tests, urinalysis,  and an ultrasound.

Some results pointed at a possible issue, but it’s not kidney stones, so she didn’t know what it could be.

Whoopee. Time to swing out the big guns.
A urologist.

Monday, I went to see Herr Doktor – and wound up seeing Herr Doktor’s Nurse Practitioner instead.  We’ll call him “Precious”.

Why? Because I had to wait a freaking month just to get in to see a Nurse Practitioner, for one.

Two? Because Precious didn’t even do an exam! He talked to me, asked me where it hurts, what makes it better, what makes it worse, blah, blah ,blippity  blah.

He didn’t even have me get on the exam table so he could do the usual prod & test of the offending area.

He sat on his little rolling stool, legs crossed, and talked to me as though I am some kind of hysterical, hypochondriac female.

And when I told him my history – how I’d been through testing before my surgery – 5 FUCKING YEARS OF TESTING, with the exact same pain I’m experiencing now, same place, same batchannel, same bat time – you know what he told me?!?

No, you don’t,  because it was so far out from left field, I couldn’t believe it when he said it!

“I think it’s musculoskeletal “.

Dafuq?

AND, he can’t schedule any additional testing, he has to make a recommendation to the urologist.

Precious little got accomplished at this visit, but you can bet it’s going to cost me a precious penny or 12.

When did it become impossible to actually SEE a doctor?

When did it become a mine field of obstacles, nurses, automated phone systems & “nurse practitioners ” surrounding the Precious Doctors like a Wall of Doom?!?

All I want is someone to fucking listen to me, to believe me when I tell them that, after going through 5 years of pain, and every test known to man and his dog, then surgery… that MAYBE, JUST MAYBE I KNOW MY BODY PRETTY FUCKING WELL?!?

#\$&$\!\#*$(@*!&!&/! $@!*#/(/($£7=£&!&×!!!

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Oh yeah, and I had to go to an Endodontist today to have a root canal redone. The guy was pretty cool, actually, & is Donny & Marie Osmond’s nephew.

And all it took was $1000.00 out of my pocket after my insurance paid their part.

But he’s got a nice tenor voice, and a good sense of humor, so there’s that.

Whoopee.

In Between The Words

Early morning text
“Hope you slept well”
Comes through on my phone.
Just like most mornings, he sends me a tiny texted message, connecting, opening a window to communicate.

Just like most mornings, I sit and stare at the cursor blinking as I try to think of what to send back.

“It was alright, How’re you?”

There, turn it back around, give him the option to open up, instead of always blurting everydamnthing that’s really going on inside your head.

Don’t tell him that your sleep was broken, that you tossed & turned, that you woke 3 times, only to fall back into the same uncomfortable dream twice.

“I’m ok babe”.

Pleasantries.
Platitudes.
Small talk that says nothing, reveals nothing.

Why do you bother?
You want to ask.
Why do you ask, if you don’t want the truth?
Why do you say you love me, but can never seem to keep your promises?

No, you can’t type that.
You, who hates confrontation,  you can’t be the one who starts the talk. The Talk.

I need you to be here. I need you to do something that shows me that you are going to follow through.  I need the support of a partner, a lover, a friend.

You say you want to marry me, that you love me, that you’ll always be here for me. That you want us to be a family.

But you’re not here.

And yet, I can’t say the words. I don’t want to hurt him.
I can’t say the things that I really want to, sometimes need to, because I know they’ll cause pain.

I’ve caused enough pain in my life, my past, & I can’t drag myself to that place, again.

“I hope your day goes well…”

And between the words, I scream.

Shake

Snow and ice on the roads today.
Normal for North Dakota at this time of year, even though we’ve had a warmer-than-normal winter so far.
Yes, we expected it, at some point.

But still, driving in it today….

I had 2 appointments this afternoon that I had to make, all the way across town from one another.  And traffic crawling at an excruciatingly slow pace.

Safety- slow, creeping, sliding.

Ice doesn’t mix well with high anxiety.

Driving up hills was white-knuckled. Fishtailing back and forth, my truck crawled sideways up the hills, spewing sand – mixed snow & ice out behind me.

Parking lots were terrifyingly slick, vehicles sliding, brakes not much good on the ice, as my son & I inched forward, looking for a sufficiently clear parking space.

The first appointment was made, only about 10 minutes behind schedule.

We finished what we needed, & I breathed shallow, shaky breaths; my chest tight & my feet not wanting to move forward, back to the truck.

But I did. I had to make my second appointment,  to see my doctor about the issues I’ve been having.

I dropped my son off, and crept back out into the traffic…thankful only that it was NOT rush hour yet.

Tense, almost hyperventilating,  I made my way across town to the Doctor’s office.  Down one hill, up another, Fishtailing again near the middle of the hill as my truck struggled to gain traction.

God, I hate ice.
I hate winter.
And I’m starting to seriously hate North Dakota.

By the time I made it to the parking lot of the clinic,  I knew I was late for my appointment,  and tried to hurry into the clinic, carefully navigating my way across the snowy, icy lot.

I made the appointment with only a couple minutes to spare, hopeful that I could get some answers, some relief, some resolution from my doc.

But, she was hurried…my late arrival made her rushed to get to her next appointment, & we didn’t get to cover all the things I’d wanted to talk to her about.

We ran one test, scheduled another for next week. 

More questions, more tests.

No relief, no answers.

And, as I left the clinic, I started to shake…

I didn’t want to get back behind the wheel.
I didn’t want to drive anymore, even the few blocks I had to traverse to get home.

I sat in my truck and started to shake.
The vibration of my vehicle nothing compared to the trembling of my hands, my chattering teeth.

But there was nothing else to do.
There was no one to call, no one to be there, no one to lean on.
So I did what I always do.

I kept going.
I forced myself to put the truck in drive.
I inched my way out of the parking lot, crept down the road, almost slid through a stop light, and barely fought my way up the last hill of the day…sand, ice & snow flying behind my wheels in all directions.

When I finally reached home, and shuffled my way into the house, I started to tear up… nerves strung wire tight for too long, my knees almost gave out on me when I tried to kick my boots off at the door.

And, after hours sitting, trying to relax my pulse,  my tight shoulders, the knot in my chest…I’m exhausted.

But I’m also unable to sleep.

Ah…anxiety… how you suck rocks.