Languishment And Candycanes
0 comment Thursday, May 1, 2014 |
It pains me to say this so I'm going to end it with a smile...
After taking a long look at the hell of a year I've gone through, I've had to do some harsh-truthness. With the cuts to disability coming (most hidden and being done under the radar so I doubt many people are aware at just how much is being axed), I called my ex and discussed him taking over as child's primary carer. No, I didn't like doing it. Yes, I'm heartbroken, but as he's working in the financial banking sector, he certainly isn't hurting a jot. His bonus (And of course he'll get a bonus this year) is more than I get the entire year in benefits. He can afford to pay for housekeepers and childminders and so on to take care of child, when I struggle to make dinner or get dressed or find things to do as I'm unable to leave the house. He's also aware what my even considering doing this means - unless something turns around my health has reached a crucial point, a point even I did not forsee, and for the health and well being of my child, I'd rather he was raised by his ever-absent father than neglected by me. I can also hear in my ex's voice that he is scared - I have always been the strong one, the tough one, the stubborn one who made dinner even with high fevers and cracked tailbones. If I'm saying it, I mean it; my health is bad, possibly irrecoverably bad. I know when he hears this, he becomes 16 again, watching his mother dying in her bed at home...he may be my ex but I hate scaring him like this, especially not a week before Christmas, when she died.
So discussions were had and plans were made and I could hear his fear down the phone "What will you do? You'll lose sprog's DLA, that pays half your rent!"
"What I've always done: I'll manage."
With this ammunition, I went to a new GP today - my former GP did his best, and that I will admit but the surgery is just woefully inadequate; after losing my District Nurse notes, constantly getting inadequate medications prescribed (and the pharmacy never had any of the stuff in anyway), rude administrative staff which doesn't seem to know a computer from an abacus, a very understocked surgery which after five minutes of searching realised they didn't even have iodine on the premises and doctors who for the most part are just trying to fill in their hours to get their retirement pensions at the end, I'd had enough. And so I moved to my friend's GP, one postcode over.
And dear me, the difference: admin is still terrible (honestly, I don't know why receptionists are so crap in the UK but they wouldn't last five minutes in a US office), however everything is computerised and automated now, I can book my appointments and prescriptions online and have them delivered to me. Testing my vitals requires a piece of equipment I didn't know existed onto my finger and it does EVERYTHING - hell, the fact they tested my vitals was its own plus point. I brought my symptom list in - knowing full well how GPs feel about symptom lists - and he read it, and not only that, asked to keep the list and gestured to it saying "this isn't the list of a hypochondriac, believe me". I watched his jaw tighten when I described having to ask my ex to take in my son, and he urged me to have Social Services call him, he is chasing up my records personally and will call me as soon as he receives them. He diagnosed pleurisy and gave me some strong-arse pain meds (no discussion of pleurisy or a test of oxygen levels when I went in to old GP two weeks ago) which are helping the being-stabbed-in-the-chest-with-a-spike feeling I've been having every time a breathe. He is also thinking lupus but just told me outright that he couldn't say for sure until he saw my notes and tests, rather than just making some sympathetic noises.
What a difference a postcode makes. I know it shouldn't, believe me I know people wish that we all received adequate care, but if you're just don't. That happens the world over, but I was still rather angry - for myself, for people where I live, for the GPs and nurses at the old surgery who are trying to practice with methods 15 years in the past.
In any event, the first meeting I've been dreading for a week is now past; I have new medication, a new GP who has said "we are not going to just dismiss you" and made very clear that he's going to help in any way he can, and a fair bit of hope that I'll get a bit closer to at least a diagnosis I can do something about.
As a result of the joie de verve, I pushed my very small window of activity and walked round to the sweetie shop. Now, a week ago I realised I was missing something vital for the holly daze...I had not a single candy cane in the house. Not one. Nada. I've become so used to not having candy anywhere due to the effect e-numbers has on sprog I never even considered getting any. But lo and behold, I had done an internet search and discovered candy canes are now being done with all natural colours and flavours. To my joy, I realised I could get sprog one of my favourite candies of the year when I was a kid and no longer feel like he was being deprived.
So I went down to the shop and I will freely admit I bought candy-canes by the fistful. At least a dozen, probably more of brightly coloured canes, as I was just in that kind of mood.
And then walking out of the shop and looking at all the horribly stressed out people who obviously are just doing Xmess because it's expected of them, I selected six of my candy treasures, and started handing them out.
Yes, of course, some people were suspicious - gods knows what I could have done to them, and I wouldn't put it past some folks. But most were thrilled, and chose enthusiastically and said (to my sadness) "I haven't had one of these in years!" I've heard lawyers say the same thing when I brought the first of the strawberries of the year into the offices and offered them up. What kind of life do you live that you can't eat a fresh strawberry, still warm from the sun?
I hope they sucked enthusiastically on their canes when they went home, tracing the spirals with their tongue and trying to figure out whether the flavour was in the coloured spirals or in the white part like I used to do. I hope they wrapped half of it back into its sticky plastic, to save the rest of it for later when sitting up watching the colours of their tree change colour, their fingers sticky and their eyes bright.
Today was a good day.

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