I often feel like an expert in being chronically ill. I know how to look up doctors on my insurance company’s website. I know to ask if they cover me just in case when I make an appointment. I know to ask if the tests are covered as well when they suggest something. I know how many physicals and dental check-ups I get a year and I know what out of network versus in network means. I know how to get reimbursed for out of pocket expenses. I know what an FSA is. I know I can ask my pharmacist if the medications I take could have dangerous interactions.
Why do we need to be different? Everywhere this time of year there are advertisements for New Year’s resolutions that will change you: make you better, make you different, make you a new you for the new year. Why do we want that? Why are we so unhappy with who we are?
I was talking to a new doctor the other day: explaining my surgical history. You see, I’ve had the same surgery twice. I first had reconstructive surgery when I was thirteen years old. My spine was an S-curve: both curves around 85-90 degrees. My right lung was collapsing and my heart was being squeezed. I had to have surgery to stay alive. I was and still am grateful to my surgeon.
I brought my same bad habits to my new work. I’ve been tutoring online and in person since the summer, because I wanted to have some way to contribute to household expenses as well as have purposeful work to do each day.
It’s rare for me to have an anxiety or OCD crisis nowadays. I see my therapist regularly. I have a medication regime that on the whole is working. I have changed a lot of things in my life to support my mental health. All of these things keep me fairly on an even keel.