[Rowing Machine] 2021: Week 31 {223.5} “Hot Potato Patient”

I feel like every doctor I’ve seen has played a game of hot potato with my health. Some doctors will hold onto the potato – me – for longer than others. This was the most outrageous between the number of sports medicine or spine doctors hot potatoing between pain management doctors, and some even going in a circle. If I’m being honest, it’s made the last week frustrating enough to where I didn’t want to keep trying.

That’s changed today with information about free and discounted local healthcare.

This was provided by a friend I met through Twitch, which was only possible through the number of hours and amount of friends I’ve met along the way, and not through the American Healthcare System. It’s sad to think about how differently that could have happened. What if I hadn’t have met the friend that introduced me to this information? The friend of the friend? What if I hadn’t gotten outside of my shell enough to give it all a try? I would be writing about different things, of course, but let’s assume that friend didn’t have that resource I will dig through tomorrow?

I felt extremely depressed about this whole situation.

Over the past week, I was laid off from my job after having lost my insurance, and, the hospital I was working through got back to me about potential insurance options – and they were confused why I reached out to them at all. My primary care physician had pointed me in their direction, to which my friend said that this sort of mishap happens all the time. Another friend related to me about feeling like a hot potato patient, when we were commiserating, and said he had doctors that would make sure to get him over to the doctor that would help him next. I wish I could get that amount of assistance from the American Healthcare System.

I feel, instead, like I’m dismissed before I even speak a single word.

I feel like a majority of the doctors I’ve seen may lack any human empathy or regard for me as a human being – well, that’s my anger-filled feeling toward the situation. They might care, or might care as much as they can without being overwhelmed by their job, but they quickly find an excuse to get overwhelmed outside of their level of ability. It’s frustrating because it feels like my life is being disregarded by people that are paid to help me, but that I’m not alone in this does make me feel better – the fight continues, even though it’s hard.

The lay-off happened about as well as I could expect.

In the termination letter, I wrote what happened – I was sent home, I didn’t have ergonomic assistance or equipment, my spine slipped two discs, the surgery didn’t help, I kept going to more and more doctors, my health insurance was cut, then I was forced to resign – and was able to leave that in the note that was put into my file. They say I can reapply once my spine heals up. The problem is that although my pain levels tend to be reasonable throughout each given day or week, I am still fairly immobile.

My spine pain isn’t an outward pain that overwhelms me constantly.

It’s more of a situational fog that prevents me from doing as much as I want. I might want to, say, order a pizza and then my mind will think about all the sorts of things involved with the physicality of receiving a pizza – the delivery driver might leave the pizza on a box outside my door so I have to do aerobics to drag the pizza box over to a broom-and-pan-combo to pick it up, the pizza might be too heavy and cause my back to tweak, or I might be standing for too long to receive the pizza that is handed to me and my spine could flare-up. I’ve experienced all of these things and it’s not worthwhile.

This has made moving around each day, or going out and about, nearly impossible.

It takes so much energy to do anything other than sit here on my tailbone pain. About a half-hour ago, my spine had flared up for one hour until the joint in my lower spine shifted enough to relieve the tension that was overwhelming my mind. This is after taking some pain management medicine earlier today to cope with the overwhelming pain I was experiencing that wouldn’t go away. I understand that all of this is hard for me to relay along, but it feels like it’s impossible to get a doctor within the American Healthcare System that can guess any better than me what’s going on. They hide their empathy behind “the chart looks normal” and even when they admit that I’m an extreme case, they say it in the dismissive tone of “you’re an extreme case for someone else.”

It’s too bad that I can’t process this along any faster.

Quotes: None.
Sources: My fitness experiences.
This week’s weight: 223.5
Last week’s weight: 223.5
Weight Difference: Same
Difference between writing and editing for publication: I’ll be getting another injection soon that might help, but otherwise, there hasn’t been much improvement.
Inspirations: Writing about my week of fitness. I couldn’t get a full 1,000 words in.
Related: Past weekly column entries. Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.
Pictures: Template
Written On: 2021 June 24 [10:38pm to 11pm]
Last Edited: 2021 June 24 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.