Babyface, my beloved Rheumy, moved out of the country this month. Which got me to thinking - my first Rheumy and every last person I’ve ever dated have all left the state after our break-ups. I can’t help but start to wonder, is it’s me?
The brand of pain-in-the-ass that would drive people that far away isn’t really the point, but it does explain why yesterday found me in a meeting with a New Doc that started with the never ending interview with Mr. Intern and plenty of goofiness on my behalf.
What could go wrong? Apparently, everything.
I was trying so hard to adult right, y’all. I mean, I was in an atmosphere that screamed, “Serious things happen here!” Which only meant the urge to act like a giant kid became too powerful a pull, like the Dark Side summoning Anakin.
Mr. Intern: “How many years have you smoked?”
Me: “Since I was 18. So that's...36 years. No! Wait...18. No! Wait…”
Hubby: “Are you kidding me? Chris, it’s 26 years.”
Me: “26 years! Sorry. I didn’t want to use my fingers because I was trying not to look stupid.”
Hubby & Mr. Intern: “How’d that work out for ya?”
By this point my mascara, the only makeup I’d worn, was running down my cheeks in a torrent of giggle-tears. And I was on a roll.
Mr. Intern: “What do you do for a living?”
Me: “Professional smartass?”
Mr. Intern: “...”
Me: “That’s not a real job, is it?”
Mr. Intern: “...”
Me: “I’m a writer. I write things.”
Poor Hubby was sitting next to me, hiding his face in his hands and ever so slightly shaking his head. I’m guessing because there was no way to claim he didn’t know me.
After 30 minutes of this, a confused Mr. Intern left the room to fetch the Doc. So I killed time by making guppy faces and showing Hubby how well I could add and subtract when I could use my fingers to help.
Then my new Rheumatologist walked in and everything changed. This woman wasn’t amused by my kooky hijinks. Nor was she understanding about the way I’d ditched most of my Team of healthcare people. She was actually more...annoyed would be a good word to use.
My version of my truth: I have glitches that I find ways to live around. They’re by no means life threatening, just annoying. So I take meds to deal with the symptoms and keep on keepin’ on, on my own terms.
Her version of my truth: I have an illness that isn’t serious. Yet. The goal is to keep it that way. I deal with things by not dealing with them. I take my health for granted in a way that is not only bad for my health but a slap in the face to the patients she treats who don’t have that luxury. And the ridiculousness needs to stop here.
So I did what any mature person would do and threw a temper tantrum all the way home. Because I have issues with authority figures. And difficulty functioning in an environment devoid of all nonsense.
After an extended tirade that covered such topics as life isn’t fair, the new Doc is a meany and I don’t wanna *insert medical test here*, I took a long nap and then messaged the Nurse Practitioner of Awesomeness.
“It won’t really work to throw a fit and declare that I quit with this whole being sick thing, will it?”
She proved her awesomeness by simply answering, “No.”
I didn’t choose to end up with a body that doesn’t like to play nice. I did, however, choose to ignore it and play ditch the Doc with everyone but my Rheumatologist. And now I’m faced with the choice to either follow the rules (and my frequent advice to others) and take this shit seriously or continue on the path I’m on playing pretend that it’s not that big a deal.
Of course, that’s a choice that’s not really a choice at all, is it?
So my fun begins again with the bazillion appointments, the pouting over tests I don’t wanna take, and figuring out the best way I can bring a little nonsense to a no-nonsense situation without pushing it over the line.
Facing the reality of a chronic illness is, without question, a serious thing. I’m just not a serious person. If I couldn’t laugh at the things that scare the living shnikies outta me, I’d lose what little mind I have left. And that, my friends, is most certainly not an option.
PS About that thing with the exes...really guys, is it me!?!