Snow Way!

hard-white-structuresI had an MRI in December to determine if I was, indeed, also entertaining a degenerative spinal disease (Spinal Stenosis) either due to or along with MS. A follow-up wasn’t scheduled until the end of January; I found this odd and a little annoying but also the name of the game when your doctor has literally thousands of MS patients.

The day for my appointment finally arrived, and in company with it was the season’s* first snow. My doctor’s office was, like most area businesses but unlike most area medical services, closed. Yesterday was the first day there were no delays anywhere, so I called to see when I could make up my missed appointment. In addition to the MRI results, I had been waiting patiently a couple of weeks while my Rx for and application to the Gilenya payment assistance program were filled out by my doctor and faxed by their office to the place that then sends me the oral medication meant to slow MS progression. The line to which I was transferred by the receptionist was answered by a lady who sounded bored by her day.

THR_2012_06_pp29_01_LG“Oh, if we have a clinic or something for the appointments this week I’ll make sure we call you, but right now he’s booked until the end of May.”

[PAUSE] “I understand, but I have been waiting since December for MRI results.”

“Hold please.”

…and then I was transferred to someone’s generic voicemail that still reported the office closed. It was the same voicemail I’d also get later when I called separately about my Rx. This second time it hung up on me before I could leave a telephone number.

Now it is the weekend and I am out of Gilenya for the fifth day. So now whatever is happening to my spine, as well as the already-diagnosed neurological condition are both going without treatment. Today I need, but cannot afford, a refill on the medicine that helps combat the crippling fatigue that leaves me incapable of most things outside a bed.

Last week, my SSDI attorney mistakenly told me my first government check had arrived (a second email came five minutes later, retracting her original statement).

I try to do a good job receiving the world around me as calmly as possible — zen is medically sound when stress aggravates symptoms. Yesterday brought another panic attack, however; those are another still largely untreated issue (Repeat to self: I’ll have Medicaid soon.).

Today it is understandable that in order to forgo recurring panic, I’ve got to force a GRATITUDE ADJUSTMENT:

  • 1546132_10151879958503038_1379670330_nI am grateful that I learned of my new appointment delay on the drive to the Congaree National Forest. Being there to see what snow remained was an excellent response to bad news. The actual boardwalk was, though visually appealing and the path to more swamp-in-snow, a little more dangerous than I would have liked. I am very proud to not have fallen on it.
  • I am grateful that soon I will have functional SSDI and health coverage.
  • I am grateful for my family’s strength through both my trials and those of their own.
  • I am grateful for Cowboy! In eleven years his cuteness and loveability have diminished not a whit.
  • I am grateful for the bills we have been able to pay, and
  • I am grateful to have groceries.
  • I am grateful for our Christmas Roku and year of internet service. Recent times have necessitated a little bit of escapism.
  • I am grateful for an unexpected number of page views yesterday.
  • I am grateful for the first night of 6 uninterrupted hours of sleep that I’ve had in literal years. I haven’t slept more than 4 without having to get up and walk to the bathroom.
  • I am grateful for a mostly clean kitchen and already-hung-up clean laundry.
  • I am grateful for this opportunity to vent and realign my perspective, thus already improving the outlook of my day. See, that wasn’t impossible. I have a weekend to plan my exact course of medical action from this point.
  • I am grateful today for your shoulder.


*[aside] Do we even really have seasons anymore? Who’s with me on remembering only four distinct ones, and not a dozen terrible variables?

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