The Scamp Hurts Herself to Prove a Point

I went to the dentist today. I’m not a huge fan of the dentist (insert widely inappropriate joke about not liking things in my mouth), but my mama kicked me in the butt and made me go. I haven’t been to a dentist in about 3 years, and the last time I was there was less than pleasant. The pain pill I take sucks the calcium out of your body, causing my teeth to literally rot from the inside out. I had a fair amount of work done during my last visit, and the thought of having to do that again with no insurance scared me. The dentist’s office was running a special on cleanings though, and so off I went early this morning to get my chompers checked. Lucky for me no cavities and no scary gum disease or degeneration (probably the only good thing about asshole David is that he has stronger love for flossing than he does anything else. He got me to floss regularly, and my gums and teeth are happy for that much).

 

….but I digress.

As part of the visit today I had to fill out a complete medical history. I had to list my illness and all of my medications. I just figured they wanted to make sure that I wasn’t going to spontaneously combust while sitting in the chair.

The hygienist who took care of me today was a really great girl about my age. We chatted about Scotland, about how she once wanted to be a teacher, and about how scary life is without insurance. While we were waiting for the dentist she mentioned the Lupus and asked me all kinds of questions about being diagnosed, being treated, and being tired all the time. She told me that she had never met a person with Lupus before and that she is in the middle of being tested for it. She is worried because she shows a lot of the symptoms, but doesn’t really know a whole lot ab out the disease. I did my best to reassure her that it wasn’t the end of the world. I told her that if she did have it she would get used to being tired,  that there were plenty of options for exercise, and that my life was pretty normal. She laughed and said she was glad to hear that because her mother-in-law is a nurse and told her if she did in fact have Lupus it would ruin her life. I laughed and promised her that it  wasn’t the end of the world.

and now to the part where I hurt myself to prove a point…..

The gym has become my daily break from writing. I go and do yoga or rowing and sweat for an hour. It has become a stress reliever as well as a change of scenery from the tiki masks in my office. I was feeling uninspired today so I went to the gym to do some yoga and see if I could find my focus. When I got to the gym though, I just kept thinking about what the hygienist said about her life being ruined if she had Lupus.

Was my life ruined? Sure, most days I am too tired to really want to get out of bed, but insomnia keeps me from sleeping, the joints in my fingers are so swollen I can’t get my rings off, and increased stress can cause me to lapse into a down cycle that makes me cranky, sore and a general pain in the ass to be around, but my life isn’t ruined….is it?

My aches and pains usually keep me from doing any strenuous workouts. I’m not supposed to be on treadmills, or lifting a lot of heavy weights. Since the pool was closed today, I hopped on a treadmill and decided that I was going to run until I was no longer focused on the stress of my paper or the potential ruin that was my life.  3 miles later (which may not seem like a lot, but for a girl who hates running is a lot) I was sweating, out of breath, and immediately regretting my decision.

4 hours, a hot shower and some iced knees later and I am still regretting it. There is a reason why my doctor told me not to do anything strenuous. The worst part of all of this is I have run out of pain pills. I can’t see my doc for another 2 weeks (not that I am counting) and I can’t really take Aleve because it causes me to bruise, so I should be taking it easy, but just had to prove to myself that I wasn’t ruined despite already knowing that I wasn’t.

On the upside, a small discussion of my analysis and a conclusion is all that separates me from a complete dissertation. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I will now be glued to my desk chair so that I can finish it tonight, and start the editing process tomorrow.

I also think I will skip the gym….

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The Scamp Down For the Count

Right now I have about as much sex appeal as a camel….with gingivitis. My body hurts. The joints in my hands are so stiff and sore that I can’t make a fist, and I’m walking like an 80 year old woman.

I feel like an 80 year old woman. I’m not much of a complainer when it comes to my health, but today I am complaining. I have been feeling icky for a week, but it seems to be getting worse. Most days the pain doesn’t bother me too much, but the pain in my hands and wrists is making it hard for me to sit at the computer all day and work on my dissertation. I am still about 5,000 words from my goal, and I have a literature review to edit, and instead of working, I am laying in bed trying to both not move and get comfortable at the same time. I have about 10 days left until I would like to be done with the dissertation and into the final editing stage.

I just have to make it that far.

This time last year I would call the doctor and go see him to get some extra pain meds and to make sure that there isn’t something seriously wrong with me.

This time though, I am not really doing anything about it because I do not have insurance, and definitely don’t have the $300 just to see the doctor and then the $75 or more that it will take to fill the prescriptions. American is a scary place to be without health insurance. Everyone keeps going on and on about how great Obamacare is, but considering I can’t apply for it until October, and then I  might not get covered for another 6 months, I fail to see how great it is. Trying to figure out how to get my own insurance from a healthcare provider is proving equally as challenging. I require regularly scheduled maintenance, and most plans only offer a certain number of covered visits. The first three months of being covered would max me out. The plans that do offer more visits are a lot more expensive, and might not still be valid when Obamacare actually kicks in.

I may have hated being in San Diego, and I may not have always loved my job, but the insurance coverage I got was amazing. I could afford the payments, doctor visits were never a problem, and the price of meds was rarely over $10.  I wish I could have that kind of coverage for a price that didn’t make me want to cry.

This is another moment when I miss Scotland. I miss being able to see the doc and fill my prescriptions without having to spend a dollar and worry about my amount of coverage.

If only the doctors here would take my Scottish insurance.

In the meantime, I am going to guzzle Aleve like it is candy and try not to stress about the fact that I only have 4 pain pills left.