Saturday, May 18, 2013

My Brilliant Aunt J

My Brilliant Aunt J

I had a long phone conversation with my favorite aunt J last night. We talked about all the recent things that had been happening to both sides of our family. There were the medical issues and there were the people issues. Then she gave me a great quote. It was perfect. I guess you could call it American as apple pie but I think it just plain fits for the whole human race:

“It’s a Great Life If You Don’t Weaken.”

So because I’m like Butch Cassidy (“You just keep thinking, Butch. That’s what you’re good at.”) I thought about that quote. Did it fit? Does it apply to my life? I’ve had my share of issues over the last couple years. I was in the hospital for 16 days in 2011 and a few people weren’t all that sure I was going to make it. The road to recovery continues even to this day. I got sick with something that’s rare and isn’t easy to treat. Recently I thought I was really making progress because the aches and pains caused by the drugs finally went away. It took the better part of 3 months after I’d been taken off the drugs for the side effects to subside. Unfortunately the “critters” that caused my illness in the first place were still present unbeknownst to me and every one else and they came roaring back with a vengeance. Now I’m on a different drug. In the month or so that I enjoyed freedom from joint pain I realized that one of the aches was not caused by the drugs. Now I’ll be making a visit to an orthopedic surgeon for a rotator cuff tear. As my dear old mother would say, “Oy vey is mir.” She was not jewish but she could have been honorary.
My allies: my partner, my sister, my doctors and my friends. My antagonists: the insurance company. Oh, I wish I could say that my insurance company has been at my side. It hasn’t. First they rated me up and wouldn’t insure me without a very high monthly premium. On top of that I am paying a high deductible. In a way I can understand that and sympathize. What I can’t understand is nickel and diming me and challenging every last little claim screeching “Pre-existing condition! Not allowed!”
This is where I decided that the quote fits my life. Getting your doctor’s attention, then getting his diagnosis, then getting the insurance company to authorize the treatment and finally getting your treatment and medication takes weeks. You can’t weaken. It starts feeling like the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party when the least little thing causes every one to have a meltdown and move down a chair. It feels like they’re changing the rules. They aren’t. You just didn’t understand the rules in the first place. Now you begin to understand the rules. Now you can’t weaken.
So if there’s any lesson to be learned here it’s always do the best you can and don’t weaken. There’s no way you can predict what will happen to you and how you will be treated. You could get employed by your enemies and that might help you understand them and how they work but if it isn’t really your thing you’re left with just doing the best you can, hope for the best and don’t weaken. If you do weaken, don’t beat yourself up for it. Just get back on the horse as soon as you can and keep going. It is a Great Life and it’s worth it to not weaken.

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