Yesterday, after a fruitless alternative healing session I got in my car and drove back to my apartment. A client, for the first time since I was fourteen, completely bailed out of paying me for a month’s work. I was hoping that when I got home there’d at least be my regular paycheck in the mail (being the middle of the month, and my paycheck coming steadily around that time for the last few months.) But when I opened the mailbox, squinting with concern, and realized it was empty, my heart sunk.
It’s just been that kind of month so far. Struggling to find the cardiologist, dealing with the shock and anger of the delinquent client, waiting and waiting to hear back from literary agents–potential partnerships, writing gigs I’d applied for–it just felt like I was calling and calling and nobody was picking up on the other line.
I walked into the house crumpled onto the couch, put my head on R.J shoulder and said hello by bursting into tears.
“I just really need a break,” I said.
“The acupuncture didn’t work?”
“It didn’t work last time, so he did a TENS unit this time–and that didn’t work. And he told me to put sesame oil up my nose. And I don’t want to make him feel bad and like he’s not helping me–but you know what would help me? A massage–except I can’t pay off my credit cards from last month until I get my check and my checks not here and I smell like patchouli.”
Then R.J offered to pay for me to have a massage–which just resulted in more blubbering (mostly of gratitude, but also in realizing that it was probably too late at night to find a therapist on my insurance with availability that night.)
The point being: I just needed a break.
And thank god, today I got one.
I woke up early and took Happy and my laptop over to my mom’s house. My step-dad is gone for the week so she’s alone–and she’s spending the week juicing. I spent the morning doing my Global Genes work out on her newly remodeled patio. The weather is getting just nice enough where it doesn’t choke you to death in the early afternoon.
Then, as a nice surprise, my mom took her lunch break to take me for a pedicure!
After that, I had just enough time to eat some rice cakes before heading over to the new cardiologist.
And I was really nervous. I realized on the drive over that I was preparing myself for like…a fight. Like I was going to walk into the office and have to defend myself…from what? From the receptionist saying my appointment was never made…to the nurse giving me looks for the amount of medication I’m on…to the doctor casting aside my concerns and claiming that POTS isn’t a “real thing.”
Why? Because it’s happened to me–and unfortunately it happened to a friend of mine this week too. I know she left that office in tears and I was scared that an hour from now I’d be driving back home with the same heaviness in my chest.
The first breath of fresh air came when the reception checked my name off a printed appointment list and told me I could take a seat. The next came when my wait in the waiting room didn’t last more than five minutes. And the huge gasp of relief came when the nurse said, “Oh! I have POTS too! It sucks, doesn’t it?”
By the time the doctor came in, listened to my explanations and she started rattling off a list of what was wrong with my medications I was close to tears–from happiness. She said flat out that she wasn’t an expert on POTS but that she was willing to work with me to find a medication that would help my symptoms and explained why what I’m on now hasn’t been doing the trick.
And that’s really all it takes. I don’t need to hear that you’ve treated every POTS patient in the tri-state area, that you’ve read all the studies, that you’re on the national board for the disease–just promise that you’ll try, and you’ll look, and you’ll give it some effort.
I got back in my car after the appointment and just felt all the tension in my body unraveling. I felt like I was finally finding my way out of the dark.
I drove back to my mom’s house–worked a little more, played with Happy in the backyard and then we went for an appointment at a bakery to look at food for the engagement party.
My stomach was in pretty bad shape still, but I had to try this rainbow-cannoli filling cookie. Wow-wee.
And the rest of the spread wasn’t half bad either…
After that, I was told that my paycheck had gotten lost in the mail and so it would be direct-deposited to my account by midnight. And I had JUST enough energy left to pick up my medication from CVS.
Rainbow cookies, paychecks and cardiologists? Universe, you know just how to make a girl smile.
(Had way too much fun making these.)