Psychologist. Psychiatrist. Primary Care Physician. Gynecologist. Dentist. Orthodontist…
I was updating the calendar that I share with my boss (I am an executive assistant and it’s pertinent that I keep the calendars up to date), and I was adding in all the appointments that I have scheduled so far for the month of February.
First Week of February
- 5th – Child Doctor Appointment in the morning
- 7th – Therapy Session with Psychologist in the afternoon
- 9th – Nerve Blocks at PCP office in the morning
Second Week of February
- 14th – Sleep Institute Follow Up Check In in the morning
- 14th – Psychiatrist follow up appointment in the afternoon
- 15th – Ultrasound with Gynecologist in the morning
- 16th – Orthodontist appointment for child in the morning
Third Week of February
- 21st – Therapy Session with Psychologist in the afternoon
- 22nd – Dentist Appointment for child in the afternoon
Today I am feeling quite overwhelmed with what is scheduled as every week, at least once a week, I will be at a doctor appointment at one point during the week. This means I will be taking time off work to accommodate the doctor appointments and will increase the amount of time I am driving as the locations for my doctor appointments and the office where I am currently working at on the opposite side of town.
Not only is it a grand investment in time and energy to have so many appointments, but it is financially draining. I recently filed my taxes for this year and my medical costs for 2017 were 45% of my total income. This is heart wrenching for me. Nearly half of my salary goes to my health, whether it is co pays, office visit costs or prescriptions. I have major debt because of medical expenses and past years spent overspending due to mania fueled shopping sprees. I feel like I am drowning in debt with no light at the end of the tunnel. I work part time because of my schedule and what I can handle mentally and physically, which means I make less than I have in previous years, only compounding the financial stress.
After our appointment this morning, both my son and I were discussing how we just wanted to go home, even though it was just nearing the lunch hour. We were spent. Attending appointments is not only time consuming and are financially a burden, but they wear you out mentally and physically. Sitting, waiting, answering questions, receiving feedback all leads to processing what is transpiring and that can take a lot out of a person. It also forces you to come to terms with the reality of situations and that can be hard to do. We live each day knowing that we have obstacles to overcome, but somehow it is different when you are facing them head on and really being in the moment discussing your ailment.
I am taxed in many ways each and everyday dealing with my illnesses. The Bipolar disorder takes center stage, but I also suffer from chronic pain, Fibromyalgia, Sleep Apnea, Hormone Imbalance as result of a Hysterectomy and a few other mental illnesses. Much like a person who has multiple pots boiling on the stove, once you get one pot simmered, another pot starts to boil uncontrollably. This is my life. Jumping from one boiling pot to another. Making small progress, but still being overwhelmed by the whole picture as to what is going on.
I tell myself that I will persevere, and I will press on. That I have never given up and don’t plan to ever. That this sense of being overwhelmed will pass. That I can look back over the last handful of years and see how far I have indeed progressed and am in a far better place than I have been in the past. I am not sure if I will ever conquer this, but I will not allow it to make me feel like a failure or ever be too much for me to handle. I’ve got this!