The platform that Zdiscord runs on recently implemented a new feature where channels could have sub-channels, basically, and at first, I thought that was going to be needlessly complicated. After some test runs, we’ve found uses for these threads. I, for example, have a channel in Zdiscord called #Health-ZP to document my health information. I have a thread for spine flare-ups inspired by, well, a flare-up that happened about 2 hours ago that reminded me: ouch!
Last week, I was asked by a security guard before my doctor’s appointment: “How many legs you got there” / “How many legs do you have?” I don’t remember the exact verbiage, but I can tell you that I was mad and it wasn’t funny. I filled out a survey and emailed the office manager. Today I received a response about this “recent unfortunate event.” I replied by saying that disabled people are often treated poorly.
“How many legs you got there?” I was stunned by the question the security guard greeted me with after I used my crutches to get up the ramp into the clinic of my new[est] doctor’s office. I was too tired from the act of moving my broken body from my apartment, down the stairs from my second-floor apartment, and, hesitant against arguing with an authority figure, I just stuttered, stammered, and ignored the ignorant question.
By this essay’s publication, it will have been one year since my surgery. I am writing this essay in mid-July, and, the surgery that promised to cure what ailed me still has not kicked in. I’ve been fighting against an apathetic series of doctors for so long that today, when I talked to a doctor, not only was he optimistic over the challenge of taking on my case, but he also suggested a possible diagnosis.
I didn’t have the mental or physical endurance for five healthcare calls yesterday, at almost one and a half hours of wading through a series of people passing the buck from one group to another, but, I was able to get a 30-minute phone call scheduled with a new primary care physician next week! 15-minute pre-appointment check-in and a 15-minute chat with the doctor, but better than waiting for weeks or months for treatment options.
I told my doctor’s office that they were being irresponsible with my health. I had loyalties to my current primary care physician/PCP because whenever I talked to him, he seemed like he was willing to help and get things going in the right direction. When I was told to schedule an appointment, find that appointments are booked nearly a month out, when I’ve been waiting months for treatment, well, I’m not super happy with him.
We have a record-setting heatwave going on as I write this essay, which will be months after this essay publishes, but, through the heatwave, I had to figure out the physicality behind making sure not to overheat myself. Getting into and out of my bathtub is an acrobatic exercise because of how tall the bathtub is, but if it’s that or overheating, I’ll pick dealing with the familiar pain of movement over unfamiliar heat exhaustion.
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.
Over the past few days, some of the neighbor kids have been screaming at the top of their lungs to celebrate the change in weather from cold and miserable to hot and miserable, and I’ve wondered – what would I do if I borrowed some of their energy? What if I had that amount of energy to scream and yell without consideration for anyone around me? I would use that borrowed energy to… get outta town.
More than a week after my last session with my chiropractor, he asked me how I was doing. I honestly haven’t been doing well, so, I told him, then I told everyone almost the same. I censored the names of guilty parties – the doctors that treated me, or I should better say, didn’t – but, otherwise, it was important for me to write that email. If that check-in wasn’t merely fee-hunting, it should be doing something.