And….I feel like an asshole.
And make no mistake, it’s not just a feeling.
Do you remember the first time you showed up to a dinner party without bringing something–wine, a dish, flowers? And everyone else had brought some kind of hostess gift and you were like fuck am I some kind of neanderthal? Why didn’t I know I was supposed to bring something??
Or do you ever sit on the phone with Comcast and they stir you around in their endless “customer service” department and after two hours of begging for your service to be cut off and you getting transferred from person to person that you finally just lose your shit and start cursing out everyone and their mother?
And then the next time you get shirked in a customer service situation this fearless Comcast-hating beast burst forth from your person and even though you know you’re not talking to some nameless, faceless rep whose job is to keep you on the line long enough for you to give up–you still completely lose your shit?
My family is a big supportive of the “your time is valuable” idea. They’re even bigger advocates for the “you work hard for your money, don’t just give it away” idea. And the “don’t get pushed around” idea? They practically invented that.
And lately, I think I’ve found myself in a few situations where I’ve just been in attack mode. I could argue where I’m right and I could be right about all of it–except for the way I tore the nuts off the people who were just the messenger.
So the other night, in the ER where my new concierge doctor failed to adhere to the whole “being available or putting another doctor in charge who knew my condition” contract, I lost my shit. I just lost it. First I had R.J take the calls because I was so mad and in such disbelief that I had been stupid enough to put myself in a situation where I wasn’t protected, I wasn’t being looked out for, I wasn’t being guided–I wanted to choke out the nurses, the doctors, and the X-ray tech. When I finally got on the phone with the sub doctor I asked him “Do you know what POTS is? Do you know what primary immune deficiency disease is? Do you know anything about me or my diseases?” and he said no, I cut him off and said, “WELL THAT DOES JACK SHIT FOR ME, DOESN’T IT?” And then I hung up.
R.J cringed, but I was too mad at the time to even think about how the person on the other line was just a guy filling in, who probably had no idea what my expectations and understandings were. He was just doing his job.
And the way I lost my shit on the secretary the next day when I went to get a response from the doctor–The argument went down pretty much as you can expect. I said, what the hell happened here? She said I couldn’t expect the doctor to fill in the on-call doctor about every patient’s medical history. I said what the fuck am I paying for if not a competent doctor who knows my case in the middle of emergency situations? Why else would I even need a concierge doctor??? And so on and so forth, in the bitchiest way possible.
After waiting three days for the doctor to call me back, he finally just did and pretty much reamed me about how rude I was to the on-call doctor, secretary, and how he had no idea why I would expect him to be on call 24/7 (it’s just one of the main benefits of his service as listed on his website:
He then said he was closing his practice in a few months, which I’m pretty sure was just his polite way of ditching me as a client.
And I was like…fine, I have officially given up my expectation to have had this situation worked out anyways.
And then he quickly got off the phone and I felt the dread building up in my stomach.
Because even while I stand by the fact that I was very, verbally clear about what I thought I was getting out of the contract–and that he left me high and dry in a really shitty situation–I really did react like a crazy person.
Like this was the kind of crazy-person reaction story that gets passed around from secretary to secretary like “this one bitch I can’t even believe what she did.”
So now I’m that crazy bitch.
You know, you can attempt to lay out the infrastructure for a secure life with chronic illness. You can do your best to put a safety net around all of the obstacles you know are just waiting to take you down. You can put up the money. Have the conversation. Anticipate and have expectations.
But at the end of the day if you’re not prepared to handle the fallout like a lady…
…well then, I guess you’re me.
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