It’s frustrating to me that despite all the things I’m trying to do, my spine keeps getting worse and the pain gets more intolerable by the day. Through all this pain, I thought of things to write when reaching out to my insurance company, telling them that they don’t prioritize patient care, that they must be trained to not empathize with people, and other things like that, but that’s just my pain speaking for me.
Instead, I’ll just reply as politely as I can.
I’ve already made it clear that I think they don’t understand the severity of the situation, and I’ve already done the most that I could to get my case handled quickly. They will take as slowly as possible now. They will act slower than I walk. My walking pace is, as my spine doctor said, like that of a 90-year-old’s walking pace.
It’s becoming more difficult for me to get a full night’s rest.
I will wake up… not well-rested, but in pain. That’s a great alarm clock, isn’t it? Except I don’t feel like waking up and taking on the day, so I just lie in bed, waiting either to summon up the courage to get out of bed, or waiting for sleep to reclaim my consciousness. It’s a miserable, terrible existence to live through.
There isn’t much else for me to do but push through, I guess.
Writing these sorts of essays have been especially difficult for me over the past few weeks, but I think now more than ever, it’s important for me to document just how terrible it is for me to live through this. I am at the end of my ropes for the amount of pain I can tolerate, yet, I must wait for these people to give me mercy.
It’s fucking terrible.
There are moments and hours of deep and dark depression that I have to fight through on a daily basis. There are pains far deeper than I have ever experienced before. Were it not for the seven years of sobriety I’ve practiced, I don’t know what else I would do. It’s tempting to drink away all this pain, even while practicing sobriety.
Breaking sobriety, for me, is like knowing that there’s no purpose to sobriety.
I am sober today, and will remain sober tonight, because I have certain “higher power” things that I want to do. “The Story” is the biggest one, but there are myriad others, and there are small things I want to do that are just as fine. I don’t know if drinking will immediately ruin those dreams, but it won’t help.
Besides, I know that the pain will still be there, and will still worsen.
I would wake up hungover and the pain in my spine would be even worse, but each day that the pain seeps into my psyche and drowns out little bits of happiness, that starts to become more and more of an acceptable trade-off. I know I just have to hang in there for a while longer. Maybe a few more days, weeks, or months…
I just had another wave of pain overwhelm me just now.
My left side is becoming weaker now. Not just my left leg, but I’m starting to feel my left arm feel a little weaker now, too. It’s becoming more difficult for me to do things. I took a bath for the first time in a few days and had noticed just how hard it was for me to lift my body into and out of the bathtub.
It doesn’t hurt much for me to move around in the bath, yet.
I guess by the time this essay publishes, it will serve as an interesting record for some. How much worse will my condition get by late September? Will I become permanently disabled? I had wondered, too – was this caused by the writing chair I’m sitting in? I don’t think so, because I feel most comfortable sitting here versus lying down.
My physicality decreased significantly driving to and from the spine doctor’s office.
A quick 10-minute drive isn’t too bad, but it was around a 45-minute drive there and took over one hour to drive home in stop-and-go traffic. I thought of pulling over somewhere to stop somewhere to rest my spine somewhere, but where, and what would I do? The only thing I can do is rest at home.
My driver’s seat is reasonably comfortable.
But sitting like that for hours in an environment prone to accelerations and decelerations probably exacerbated my spine’s negative condition. Had I not driven there, had I not driven in that traffic – so yes, my own fault, maybe I should have brought a book – maybe my spine wouldn’t be hurting so much now.
There was no way for me to know then.
Now I will have to live with that for as many months or years as it takes for this issue to get resolved. It may never fully go away. I may have to deal with spinal issues now for the rest of my life. Thanks, American Healthcare System. Thanks for ensuring that my life pre-April has been destroyed and will never return.
The most I can hope for is repeatedly lucking out to good spine days now.
It seems that despite my best efforts, factors beyond my control – or factors within my control but beyond my knowledge – conspire to ruin my spinal health. I’m not sure what else to do at this point. I’ve asked for mercy from the insurance company and they’re content with being my villain, so let’s leave them in that role.
What else can be done but taking care of myself at this point?
When I stand up to get some water and the pain gets too overwhelming, well, I just have to bear through that discomfort, no matter how severe, and no matter how much I want it to stop.
The only way it will stop is by getting it fixed.
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: Just documenting my life.|
|Related: Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.|
|Written On: 2020 August 02 [9:19pm to 9:50pm]|
|Last Edited: 2020 August 02 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|