Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Last Waltz: Right Out of the Office and Into My Smoking Sanctuary. Happy Great American Smoke-Out Day!

It was one of those days when the doctors run inexplicably an hour (or two) behind (and the people actually WAIT! I'd so be outta there and would reschedule, swearing under my breath), the patients get restless, grouchy and nerve-wracked, half of the office employees are sick but are there hacking on everything, everyone wants everything all at the same time and the copier jams. Not exactly the best day for the Great American Smoke-Out, when the smokers of the nation are supposed to quit en masse and just say NO. Yes, I have to quit smoking someday, ideally before I get lung cancer. Yes, everyone nags me about it all the time--family, friends, doctors, band mates, all to no avail. Yes, it's costly and dangerous. Yes, I took my last smoke break of the day at 4:45, when there were still 15 people in the waiting room and 3 doctors working. My precious, albeit brief, escape for 15 minutes.

I am happy to report that this nerve-blocker Stosh put me on for the fibromyalgia is certainly better living through chemistry. Neurontin. It's non-narcotic, not sedating and I'm taking 200 mg, 3 times a day. While I still wake up in pain trying to roll over and let out an audible "ouch" when I try to turn, the pain doesn't last as long and I am able to reach down for the morning paper on the stoop of the porch without wincing half an hour after I wake up. Triple mazel tov and 2 snaps around the globe!

Yesterday, the unfortunate demon of a hypoglycemic attack once again sidelined me late in the morning and I was half an hour late to work. I laid down at 10:00 am, intending and setting my alarm to only sleep for 30 minutes, though the alarm didn't go off and I woke up at 11:30, due at work at noon. I texted my supervisor to let her know how and why I was running late, a text she never received (so much for her new smartphone). Lucky thing I followed up with a phone call to the office indicating I was running late. I blame it on the bowl of Grape Nuts I ate at 9am. I thought I'd found the perfect cereal for me--only 2g of sugar--as I'm a big lover of cereal--unwittingly missing the fact that the cereal had 28g of carbs in it. Whoops. Thus, best to stick to the Atkins program that keeps me conscious but makes it incredibly difficult to gain weight. I dunno--these attacks are happening more frequently as of late and are more severe--though I'm trying to follow the endocrinologist's advice of a high-protein, low-carb diet. Ack. I tried the one drug the endo recommended, but it wreaked havoc on my GI tract and I lost 17 lbs in 2 months, so Stosh told me to stop taking it. It blocked the body from absorbing carbs. It was like Antabuse for carb-eating fiends: it made you hella sick if you ate carbs on the medication. Ack, I'm just frustrated at this intrusion into my daily life. Reactive hypoglycemia, like fibromyalgia, has no known cause or cure, and I have both.

Tomorrow, I cancelled my session with The Useless Therapist. She's making her exit in a couple of weeks anyway, and the trip into the city doesn't net me much of a benefit, so instead I'm meeting my Stephen Minister for a late afternoon snack. I still don't know, and won't ever likely find out, if my therapist quit or was canned because she's so damn lousy at counseling. Like I've said before, our sessions were recorded for her proctor to review, and surely he had to have heard in our conversations how one-sided they were, with me doing all of the talking, the question asking, the debating. Therapy with her has largely been one long confabulation with myself with no practical strategies, advice or even empathy expressed. This therapist belongs in a laboratory, with little contact with the outside world, at least until she can start employing plural nouns and proper usage of pronouns into her every day vernacular.

This Friday is a hectic day for me: OB/GYN appt at 8:45, special Thanksgiving lunch with Luke at school at 11:45, Stephen Minister at 2, pick up Luke from basketball at 4:45, errands with Luke in the evening to buy a birthday gift for the Bully Who's Not a Bully Anymore Kid.

I had literally zero luck finding a child psychologist who accepted Medicaid for Luke. It was difficult enough to find one for myself, and as it stood, I got stuck with being a grad student therapist's lab rat for a year, which again, I can and can't complain about, as someday I'll be a therapy-dispensing grad student extern myself, most likely working with patients who are on Public Aid as well. I do think it's unfortunate that the working poor are subject, at times, to not-the-greatest-caliber-of-care just because they don't have a cushy insurance plan.

My memory thought that the divorce agreement said something about Craig covering Luke's health insurance, and to be honest, I don't remember why Luke went on Medicaid with me in the first place, other than he was on IL All Kids before we got divorced. But Craig's got a nice PPO, and Section III, #4 of the divorce does clearly state that the husband shall provide health insurance for the minor child. Badda boom. Luke will go on Craig's insurance and thereby have access to any therapist we choose, so that's a blessing.

So The Band's "The Last Waltz" is coming to a special big screening on November 30th at the Music Box Theater in Chicago. I've purchased 2 tickets, and asked my Tatus if he would go with me. (Well, really, I didn't so much ask him as tell him he *was* going.) He's got the chance to go to New York City for 3 days during that time span with buddies of his, I think, but I discouraged his trip on the fact that I already HAVE tickets (I could take anyone, but I'd like to take him) and that the doctor who would have to cover him for 3 days would be really pissed off if he took off right before the holidays, when he's also taking vacation time, so he's still contemplating what to do. I can't believe he's never seen "The Last Waltz." It's widely considered the best rock concert film of all time, recorded and filmed over Thanksgiving, 1976. Anyone who was anyone at the time performed with The Band: Dylan, Clapton, Muddy Waters, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Neil Young, Ringo Starr, Ron Wood, Neil Diamond, et al. He's been to NYC before. He's never seen "The Last Waltz" with me on the big screen with 2 rock critics debating its validity and awesomeness. Seems like an easy decision to me. I'm still waiting for his answer...

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