11.03.2011

After

Last night almost ended well. I told him that the decision to not get my pills was a dumb one, but that I'd been under pressure and hadn't had time to think it through. This turned into a second fight about how I fail to take responsibility when I screw up. We spent the rest of the night reading and went to sleep without another word.

We spent another half an hour arguing this afternoon and then ignored each other for a while. I just didn't have any more fight left. I suggested we go out and eat before his Xbox 360 session with his friends. He didn't have any objections, so we headed down to the local casual dining establishment and sat down.

We ordered, made small talk, went over plans for the upcoming holidays and a probable trip to Williamsburg, Va. next month, nothing especially deep or emotional. We never fight for long; for this one to last through to this afternoon made it a particularly long one. I apologized for screwing up yet another one of his birthdays (I don't have the greatest track record, but I always make up for it to some degree). He listened and it just got better.

I still stand by the fact that I don't have a lot of control over my life, but this is one thing I could've made happen right. And it sucks that his birthday being a success or failure is entirely my responsibility, while he shares the responsibility for mine with my family, but he doesn't have local family, I'm it. So this one's up to me and I've just got to suck that one up.

It's not the same with everything else we argue about. I still maintain that I can not be the primary person responsible for making sure the house is tidy and that there are clean dishes and laundry. I cannot control my illnesses and what's going to be a problem at any particular time. I cannot control the speed at which my doctors attend to their messages or whether their staffs and my insurance company work together for an outcome that is beneficial to me. But I do resolve to control what I can when I can and to stretch myself thin just to make him feel happy and appreciated because he is my best friend and the love of my life and because he does the same for me. Maybe not stretching himself thin, but it's as much his fault that he's not sick as it is my fault that I am.

We've still got a lot of bumps to get over and I'm not saying that from here on out it'll be any easier, but we've been through five years of hard times and we've stayed together through all of them and now we've got a great therapist and we're both ready and willing to work to make this better for both of us, to realize the future that we know we love each other hard enough to achieve.

So that's it, just figured I ought to give you all the rest of the story.

11.02.2011

The Greatest Birthday Ever

I've been through a tiny bit of hell this month.

First, my Social Security benefits got cut in half because Pennsylvania stopped paying for my health insurance in June and they decided to take July, August, and September's premiums out of one check.  And let me remind you that I get less than nine hundred dollars to start with, so the remaining funds were meager, but still enough to pay my car insurance and student loans.  There were two real problems: BF's birthday would fall before I got my next check and I'm now tasked with taking LM to school (which, to be fair, I do entirely voluntarily).

Taking LM to school is something that I like to do.  It's a long ride and it's nice to have time to talk and tell jokes and just listen to him go on about whatever's on his six-year-old brain.  The one bad thing is that it costs me ten dollars a day to drive him back and forth to school and those days really add up in a month where I'm already on a super tight budget.  So I've had to borrow money from BF a couple times and he hasn't liked it at all, especially since I took advantage of a sale at JC Penney a few weeks ago and bought some winter clothes (because I've put on some weight since last year and nothing fits anymore).  The money, about $60, has become a really raw spot between the two of us and I don't understand why. He pays for lots of things in our life and I pay for what I can, but mostly I just pay my personal bills (about half of my income) and spend the rest of it on incidental things like dinner out for the two of us, clothes for LM, books, and other stuff for myself.  He's never made a big deal about how I don't fork over a certain amount of money to him each month before now, but apparently he's been stewing on it for a while.

Now, the other problem: BF has a totally different concept of what birthday's are all about than I do.  He sees it as the one special day in the year that's all about making him feel special.  I don't.  I see it as a nice excuse to spend some time with friends and family and all the gifts or dinners or whatever other perks there may be are nice plusses, but optional.

Another little bit of hell that's been going on is that I have a real problem getting through to my pulmonologist.  Her staff either lose my message, don't deliver my message, don't convey the seriousness or urgency of the message, don't call my insurance company about prior authorizations on the drugs they prescribe or pre-certifications for tests that the doctor orders, or just screw things up in one of several other ways.  This last time it was about my Oxycontin.  Now just a brief bit of background, I've been taking Oxycontin for 2.5 years now, before that it was darvocet, and before that it was ultracet.  I've been addicted to pain medication for about 7-8 years now and I go into withdrawal pretty quickly when I don't have it.  So I called my pulmonologist a few days before I was scheduled to run out of pills and left a message asking that she write me a new prescription for the drug (you can't get refills on narcotics in PA) and leave it at the front desk for me to pick up.  When I showed up at her office, which is an hour drive from my home, two days later, there was no prescription for me and the doctor was out of the office and on vacation from that day forward.  Fuck me! I asked if another doctor could write a prescription for at least enough pills to hold me over and the receptionist said that she would check, came back and told me that the nurse practitioner was going to write it.  So that's what happened.  Apparently, Nurse Practitioners can only write three days worth of a prescription, so she wrote me three prescriptions and told me that they would leave a message for my doctor to write a full prescription when she got back which would be on Halloween.

I couldn't make it downtown on Halloween because of all of the stuff I was doing with LM at school, but the next day, after picking the boy up from early dismissal, I set about to go down and pick it up.  At this point I had no pills left and had only taken half a dose that morning.  I had tried to call the doctor's office to make sure the prescription was there twice earlier in the day, but after 20+ minutes on hold had hung up and opted to call back later.  I called back when I was halfway there (I had had to stop by BF's work to borrow some money because I had neither gas nor money to pay for it).  I finally got through to the receptionist who told me that I should've called earlier to see if it was there and that she hadn't left the doctor a note when I had been in the office previously, that she had left it up to the Nurse Practitioner.  Not what she had said previously, but whatever I just wanted to know if my prescription was there or not before I got too far into the city.  After putting me on hold for what seemed like forever, she came back and told me that the doctor said I could pick up the prescription today.  I told her that that wasn't going to work for me because I was already out of pills and needed them that day.  She put me on hold again and when she came back she said that the doctor said I could come pick it up at four o'clock that day (it was just before two at the time).  I wanted to scream.  I had a kid in the car who hadn't had lunch and on his early dismissal day had already spent two hours in the car and now she was telling me that I could drive the 45 minutes back home only to turn around 20 minutes later and return to Center City.  I also had made an appointment for LM to get his flu shot that evening at 5:45 and didn't know whether or not we'd be back in time for that.  So in the split second I had to make the decision I told her that I couldn't make it at four and that I'd be in today.  Looking back it was a bad decision.  I could have cancelled LM's doctor's appointment or maybe even made it back in time and the extra driving wasn't going to kill either one of us.  But when put in situations where I'm already frustrated and have to make quick decisions, I don't always make the right ones.  So the result was that I didn't have any Oxycontin for last night or this morning.

When I woke up this morning I felt heavily drugged, withdrawal will do that to you, it's like it sucks all reason and equilibrium and energy from you.  As I said before, it's BF's birthday, but despite that, I had to ask him to take LM to school for me and to be late for work as a result.  When they left I climbed back in bed and slept for two hours until it was time to go to an appointment with my rheumatologist, right around the corner from my pulmonologist.  She had squeezed me in for an appointment because the pain in my left leg has gotten so bad that I limp all of the time, I have trouble with stairs, with getting up or sitting down on the couch, with getting in and out of be, with standing, walking, pretty much everything you need to use your hips and legs for, including certain private acts.  Driving to the doctor was as bad as I thought it would be, which is why I hadn't drove with LM.  I had trouble keeping within the lines, I was out of it, I definitely shouldn't have been on the road, but I needed to see my rheumatologist and I needed to get that prescription, so I did it, I'm not proud of it, but I did it.  So I saw the doctor and she wrote me the prescription instead of making me go next door to get it from the other doctor and an order for an MRI to try to figure out what's going on with my hip.  Pretty awesome.  Then, I had to make a decision - would I go home and get the 'script filled right away or would I go to get BF's last birthday present.  I decided to get the present, hoping that the pharmacy in the mall would fill my prescription.  Driving there wasn't so bad my concentration was a lot better and so was my equilibrium, so I wasn't such a menace.  The pharmacy at the mall couldn't fill it, didn't have enough pills, but I just forgot about that and went about my shopping, picking up the gift and getting back to my car as quickly as possible.  I hauled ass back home to my pharmacy where they quickly filled my prescription and I gobbled down two pills before I even left the store.  I came home and laid down for half an hour, waiting for the pills to kick in, waiting to feel a little more normal.  By this time it was 4:50 and I only had an hour until BF got home from work.  I wrapped his presents and got them all set up where he'd see them when he walked in.

Then he came home, opened the new space heater he'd bought, got the mail, then asked me what we were doing tonight.  You see not only does the day have to go perfectly, and the gifts be thoughtful, but I also have to take him out to dinner (or make him dinner, which is not a possibility with the state of my legs).  I told him I hadn't really planned anything, but we could go somewhere he liked, I had $25, and I'd pay him back tomorrow for anything we went over that.  He was pissed.  I hadn't made him dinner and here I was "asking him to pay for his own birthday dinner."  I didn't know what to say.  We've spent a couple birthday's at home just enjoying each other.  My last birthday, we went to my mom's for dinner and he got me a gift that he wasn't "happy with, but couldn't think of anything better," my mom hadn't gotten me a gift at all, but that was okay with me, it was all okay with me because I was spending my birthday with people that I enjoy, having a nice time.  Then he proceeded to ignore my gift and blast me for how much I'd messed up his morning because he was 45 minutes late and he got crap from his boss, who was out of the office and couldn't deal with a problem with the phones that had happened in BF's absence.  Then he started digging into me about how I never take responsibility for anything and how I don't do anything around the house and how I make everything his fault and how miserable I make his life.  I didn't know how to react but to defend myself.  I'm sick, I can't take on many responsibilities because I never know what's going to happen with my illness to keep me from living up to them.  I can't keep house or cook because I can't be on my feet for long and it's difficult to go from standing to sitting over and over again if I try to do things in small pieces.  I also reminded him that he doesn't do nearly as much housework as he should and that I am not a maid.  I don't work because I'm too sick to work, not because I have chosen the stay-at-home-mom route and have accepted all of the responsibilities that go along with that.  We went back and forth for a little while and then he pulled his usual move and escaped to the bedroom.  I let him be and started this post.  He came out a while later, said some more insulting stuff and them asked me if I wanted to go have dinner (since it was getting late).  I told him "no," I wasn't going to go if he was going to be mad at me for the whole meal.  This apparently pissed him off and he stirred up the fight again, but I wasn't going there.  I told him I had bought half of his gift last month (September) when I had money, but was counting on getting the best, most expensive part this month (October).  I said it would have been a lousy gift without that part, but that if I would've planned to take him out to dinner I would've had to not buy the gift.  He didn't respond with much.  Then he stopped talking to me.  Then he went out to the kitchen and said that he was going out to get something to eat, did I want anything.  I asked where he was going, he said he didn't know, I said I couldn't tell him what I wanted without knowing where he was going.  So he zipped up his coat and left, coming in 5 minutes ago with a Wendy's bag which he set on the arm of the couch and then departed to the bedroom again.

I don't know what I'm supposed to do.  I'm so frustrated.  If I could pick up and become the perfect housewife he wants, I would.  If I was just being lazy, I'd get off my ass.  If there was something that I could say to make him understand that I don't do this because I like it, I'd love to know what it is.  I think we're both getting to the end of our rope here.  I don't think that it can go on like this for much longer.  He's too unhappy.  I'm used to unhappy, being chronically ill makes you perfectly suited to deal with disappointment every day of your life, but I don't want to lose him.  I love him more than anything in this world and I think that if we could just overcome these hurdles we could have a really happy life.  I just don't know how to do that and it scares the shit out of me.