I am not a naturally patient person. I’ve always been impatient. As a child, I would count down to summer break and movie releases. I was at the bookstore as soon as each Harry Potter book was released.
January is a rough month. And this January has been rougher than many. As soon as I started to feel better from the medication transitions I came down with a bad cold. I’m having trouble shaking it. A lot of my goals have been put aside while I focus on making tea and food that I can eat despite my aching throat. I haven’t worked out or attended my doctor appointments, or done much of anything but the bare minimum.
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.
There’s so much advice online about talking to oneself as a friend. You’re supposed to stop the negative self-talk that’s just making you more anxious and depressed. One of the number one pieces of advice on the internet is to treat yourself with kindness. You write out positive affirmations and say them into the mirror. Or you repeat mantras.
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.