This Twisted Web

abstractish.jpgAnother piece of ‘art’ courtesy of yours truly.

Let’s set the stage. I’ve currently got over $60,000 of student debt to pay back before I die. The reasons for that amount are their own story. Had I got into nursing school my freshman year of college, or applied to OT school after my junior year (and made it in, and graduated, and then got a job), I might have more or less loans, but I’d likely be able to pay them off in due time. If I were working as a full-time recreation therapist, having not gone to OT school, the progress would be a bit slower, but still achievable.

Instead of getting references and GRE scores near the end of my junior year, I was served with a incurable chronic illness diagnosis and some medication Rx’s.

And now, in spite of some more Rxs’, I can only work part-time. I can’t do that as a recreation therapist – if I end up making too much I can say goodbye to my Medicaid health coverage, which is enabling me to work in the first place. However, I’m also not making enough to comfortably take on all of my student loans, and this is while living at home.

How am I expected to escape this web? Watching the progress of the latest healthcare massacre bill, I’ve nervous. What’s going to happen to me? Maybe I won’t lose my healthcare immediately, but what about a few years down the road? I still won’t be working full-time as far as I know, so I won’t be able to get employer insurance. And without those essential medications, I regress. I can’t concentrate or remember things, and then it becomes difficult to stay awake. Not just difficult, impossible. I remember falling asleep while standing up, during conversations, dazedly walking from here to there and not remembering how that happened.

I remember desperately running stairs, pinching and scratching myself, eating or drinking, anything to stay awake. And usually failing; unable to concentrate because everything about me is just.so.tired. and then getting to the point where cataplexy is inevitable. Not feeling like anyone believed me, and questioning whether I was, in fact, making it either worse than it was or making something out of nothing. The depression that whispers at first and sounds inviting, but only wraps you in a cold blanket of self-loathing or numbness.

I know I’ve written this all before, likely multiple times, but I think it’s because I’m still trying to make sense of it. Myself had no idea what was going on and truly believed I was causing my own problems. I coped in every way I could possibly find, and a lot of those were not healthy. I try to revisit this time period, to learn from it, and find that it’s hard – I cannot stay long because it feels suffocating, overwhelmingly sad and dire. I’ve obviously got some processing to do, but I’ve come so far in the last few months. I can’t lose that, whether it’s to my loans or job or insurance.

Reality may hit sooner than I’d like. Here in a little over a year, this unicorn of a job that was literally placed in my lap, with an amazingly compassionate manager could be gone. With an aging owner in another state, this local health foods store has been picked apart by large chain competition also has an expensive lease that will be counterproductive to renew. What then? Grad school, to do what, escape? Or pile on more loans? Start my own business, but with what saved up?

I’d love to get out of the web, but with no ground, branches, or anything in site, I don’t know which way to jump. If it were just me I had to worry about, it might (or might not) be easier, but my jump will inevitably create ripples or waves for others. Dwelling on it doesn’t help me, as I’ve learned the hard way, but I think acknowledging and giving it a voice on my own terms does.

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All in Good Time

IMG_2442.JPGHonestly, the lion has nothing to do with the title. Beyond the fact that I hate searching out stock photos just to get some clicks, but I also intensely desire having a visual of some sort (if it’s my own). Thus,  a lion drawing, sketched from a picture… I did not take.

Silent nearly 6 months, and here I am. I gained a job in January and lost the job by April. Gained another therapist, but lost my insurance again the same week I was “let go.” Thankfully, unintended medication vacation lasted about 5 days this time, compared to over a week back in December. I gained employment thanks to earlier-gained therapist in June, so happy birthday to me. Not as a recreation therapist this time, nor full-time. I’m an associate at a health foods store, working about 20 hours a week, and it suits me just fine right now.

I’ve been in such a hurry for I-don’t-know-how-long. I thought I was past this and had slowed down after graduating last year, was taking time for self-care and recovery, but that’s where I had myself fooled. My mind is at least two leaps beyond both my body and immediate circumstances. After listening to a podcast I’ve been considering where I’m at in relation to three systems: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Covey’s Dependent/Independent/Interdependent relationships, and the Graves model.

Maslow

It has been a long time since I’ve looked at my man Abraham’s pyramid. Not as long as I had originally thought (high school??) however, because I recall trying to explain the concept to my patients in the inpatient psych unit during a group earlier this year. As an unrelated aside, it wasn’t a hit, which I am now realizing is probably due to my patients and I being at different Graves levels. Ah, hindsight.

And where am I? Almost entirely in level two, aka safety. I have shelter (though I’m not always welcome in it), but for the past year and a half my health, job, finances and security have been constantly shifting around on the cracked base of my eating habits and (literally) broken sleep.

Covey

In his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” Stephen Covey talks about the paradigm that all of our relationships fluctuate between dependence, independence and interdependence. Take our relationship with our parents for example and you’ll get what I mean. The fact that I am once more dependent upon my mother is a tough pill to swallow. The other relationship this is applicable to is my chronic illness: I’ve been dependent on narcolepsy’s whims for longer than I realized, and too many times I’ve tried to separate myself from it before I was ready. Each time I’ve tried to “forget” about it, or think that I’m somehow “better,” my reality is usually checked in short order and I am once again dependent on sleep’s whims.

Problem is, it’s not going away. I’m still learning to work with it and not think of it as something that must be overcome.

Graves

I’m too lazy to include a link to explain the Grave’s model right now, but in short, it’s a way of looking at societies as a whole, or yourself. You can zoom in or out as much as you please. I’ve deduced that mentally/cognitively, I’m a lot higher than where I’m at physically. And by that, I don’t mean my body, but my environment and surroundings. So my mind doesn’t really mean shit if my home life, family and community are three levels different. I’ve got to work from where I’m at.


And that leads to where I’m talking about everything happening in good time. Time is an abstract and completely subjective concept anyways, so why measure it right now? I can’t manipulate it to my will and rushing it has only tripped me up. I’m working on being kinder to myself, and kindness has no deadlines or timestamps.

The Whats and Whys of an RT Blog

I watched a video with Dan Rather and Richard Edelmen this week (well, I watched a little bit, but mostly was listening to it like a podcast – it’s a bit lengthy).

Jeremy Skule hosted the two for a discussion on the current trustworthiness of media. Basically, it is at an all time low. There was talk about what’s being challenged, what journalism/media could do to start building that trust back up, how to escape the echo-chamber that’s shrunk to fit only one person in the past year, and questions from the audience.

And what, exactly, does this have to do with recreation therapy?  I can kind of relate to feeling like you have to prove your worth. Thankfully, there isn’t a mass distrust of RT, but my experience is that I regularly have to prove my expertise and value of contribution around mostly anyone who isn’t an RT (or who already works closely with one). Another difference is that I’ve never been accused of deceiving; I’ve seen opinions of RTs dismissed, but not attacked as wrong. So, in my eyes, journalism appears to be a harsh (and certainly more visible) place to be right now.

At the very end, Dan Rather gives this advice on what the media might need to do in order to change:

There has to be a re-dedication to the idea of service for others. You know, I come out of television. But there has to be… this re-dedication to the sense of “I want to contribute to something, other than just myself. I want to belong to something that’s worthwhile, that’s bigger than myself.” This sense of “listen, I want to do the right thing.”

And then Edelmen follows with this:

Instead of believing that you can do things for the people, you have to do things with people. You have to tell them why, and how and when and where. They don’t believe you anymore unless you tell them specifically, and let them participate.

Hopefully this is starting to sound more applicable.

Based on the above, I want to lay out my intentions for this little project. Why am I doing this? Is there something I’m hoping to accomplish or am I wandering aimlessly? How do you know if I’m a credible source if I’m trying to accomplish something? Is what I write going to be biased or skewed a certain way? (yes, it’s unavoidable)

1. Why am I doing this?

Basically, I want this to be a contribution to bettering the profession through more meaningful online discussion. Any knowledge and connections gained through this should also improve my practice as a therapist. Ideally, other RT voices will feel compelled to participate, share, and learn.

I think I’m a decently credible source – I have my CTRS credentials, have volunteered/worked with as many different populations as possible over the past 4-5 years (though I recognize just as many that I couldn’t feign expertise in), and know how to be seek out, interpret, and apply credible scientific research (and what to do if I can’t access that *one* article). This is not supposed to be my resume however, so moving along.

2. How?

First, by sharing a well-thought-out and intentional piece of writing on a regular basis. Accomplishing this may prove challenging, as I am an excellent second-guesser of both finished work and not-yet-started ideas.

In addition, I hope these writings become provoking enough to warrant some comment discussion. I don’t expect that at first. After some practice though, perhaps you think of something else that could be useful to add, challenges a point I made, or elicits a question – that others can benefit from (or think of something else because of your contribution). Those kinds of thoughts and points could lead to guest posts to offer more points of view, and eventually, a podcast interview/discussion piece.

3. When?

Said piece of writing will be a weekly occurrence. As mentioned, this will likely prove challenging, but I’m doing this crazy thing called planning and by stating this multiple times, I am that much more accountable (win-win).

4. Where?

Well here of course! That’s not all though – I’m also a contributor over at The Mighty, which is a useful site for just about any RT, and I’m learning from a variety of perspectives over at Medium (if you click, you can see articles from other people that I recommend). I want to write something for each of these places once a month so I can connect to people outside of rec therapy. More ambition, but totally doable if I actually use my fancy planner.

I’m also going to schedule the time to visit all the places I have listed on the new RT Blogs & Resources page. If I’m not supporting others, but am expecting them to come to me, that isn’t accomplishing anything. I may not read every single post (some of you post a lot!), but I will make the time to regularly drop in.

5. So what?

Someone commented on my first post that they were going to start their own RT blog. Maybe my post helped, but it’s an individual choice. And staying committed is no small feat, but I will encourage anyone who wants to try something. That’s why doing these things with others, and not just for them, makes such a difference. It’s why in practice we aim to assist as needed, but not take our client’s place of choice and autonomy. Do it with them, until they can do it on their own (to whatever degree is appropriate). I recognize that I’m the only one benefiting from this blog, unless there are readers; that’s simple. Communicating in a way that provokes a reader to write something in return, that benefits both (and others), will be the challenge.

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Who’s Blogging in Recreation Therapy?

whosbloggingrt-1

I made this to get an idea of who’s engaged online in our field. I want to know who’s speaking up,  who’s getting what done – the kind of people I want to connect with, and who know what’s going on in our field. Not all of the blogs below are exclusively dedicated to RT – there were actually more blogs not updated in the past year than were. Does everyone need a blog? Not if you don’t want to! However, for those in smaller communities, or who are the only RT at their facility, I feel like blogging (or at least reading/engaging with other RTs blogging) would be an exciting opportunity to learn* and connect, and even teach! YOU surely know something that another RT doesn’t – share the knowledge!

*Just as a disclaimer, I’m not presenting any of the information in the blogs that follow as fact/law, replacement of clinical knowledge, etc. This is to connect with others in the profession, see other perspectives, and perhaps gain ideas or inspiration for future application.

Current Bloggers in Recreation Therapy – Updated Sept!

You’ll notice I give each of the blogs in this category a tagline. They did not ask for these taglines, and are entirely my own opinion. However, they are all meant in good humor, and if anyone has an issue, feel free to leave a comment below and I can address any concerns.

 

The “New Kids on the Block” blog

New in the sense that I’ve just learned about these two rec therapists from California thanks to them reaching out (Garcia and Pisciotta are their last names by the way). I’ve still got a good deal to look through on their site, but they’ve got a podcast (!!), some practical articles and appear to have been publishing content fairly regularly for the past several months – all positives and definitely something others should check out!

The “Young One We’re All Rooting For” blog

I refrained from using “newbie,” but just barely. Why is this young one first on the list? Because she most exemplifies what today’s blogging environment is like. She’s got attractive graphics, an organized layout, posts that are very “pinnable,” and she’s got a ton of tags that will help others find what she’s writing about. Also, she’s still in school.

Not even graduated, and look at her contributing to the profession! I put her first, because if you are thinking about making a blog, this is closest to what is successful in the blogging world, regardless of topic, and this blog has a lot of potential. I had the pleasure of introducing myself to Julie over Facebook message, and got to talk with her a little bit about what she hopes to do with her blog. Girl is ambitious, and deserves to hear from and be supported by others in the field for what she’s doing.

The “CSPAN of Rec Therapy” blog

To be clear, the descriptor for this blog is not negative!  Danny Pettry has had this for less than a year, but already boasts an impressive amount of content. This is because he is posting multiple times a day with anything RT related in the news, in legislation, in research, and personal experiences. Is it the fanciest? No, but neither is CSPAN. This blog is doing the grunt work of finding current events and relevant content that nobody else is, on a consistent basis, and I applaud anyone willing to be a trailblazer.

The “Answer to All of Your Evidenced-Based Problems” blog

Not only do they have almost 30 pages of archived studies/reviews themselves (organized by categories!), they also have a super-handy page giving you steps to start employing EBP AND links to a large (20+) number of related open-source websites. Can you always see entire studies? No, life would be much too easy. However, making an account at somewhere like Mendeley* would allow you to save that abstract in case you get access later.

*I’m not endorsing Mendeley, but I do use it because it’s free, easy to connect with other researchers (hit me up if you join, my network is sparse!), and even easier to just drop things into your library (no entering citations!)

The “History Lesson You Didn’t Know You Wanted” blog

As far as I know this gets the longest running blog award, having been started by Hoosier RT at a time when MySpace was the most visited site on the internet, we were already sick of Daniel Powter’s “Bad Day,” and I was finishing up my first year in middle school. Today the posts are mostly position openings, but stroll down the rabbit hole of archives and you’ll find quips of wisdom and holiday celebrations sprinkled throughout a sense of what the profession’s culture and trends were 3, 5, even 10+ years ago.

The “Goody-Two-Shoes” blog

I’m going to be blunt here for a minute. I feel like Craig is kind of the golden child of RT; rec therapy is a central part of their practice and they do SO MANY COOL TRIPS and have access to what seems like ALL THE THINGS. It’s easy to look at their outings and fancy adaptive equipment and want to throw your hands up because you could never do this kind of stuff with your clients (or is that just me?).

But.

Did you know Craig started as a tent colony in 1907? I sure didn’t. Further, there is no mention of therapeutic recreation on their timeline until 1975, some 68 years later. If that is indeed when it actually started, they’re now in their 42nd year of perfecting this (and maybe it’s been longer and it just didn’t get mentioned). I would hope they are as good as they are after that amount of time. Another perspective, their program started before ‘recreation therapist’ was even included in the “Dictionary of Occupational Titles” (assuming this is a BLS predecessor?) So, be happy for them. Learn from them. They didn’t start out with a world-class program, this took time.

The “You Really Need To Visit To Understand” blog

While the blog is more “what’s going on” around this 2,300 acre Outdoor Center of IU’s School of Public Health, anyone who’s involved in adventure or equine modalities could gain some nuggets of knowledge perusing around their website. Their commitment to universal design allows success with clients of all ability levels, and varying degrees of health. Having volunteered there one summer during a camp specifically for kids treated at a particular children’s hospital, I think the most valuable thing to do is just visit and ask questions if you have the chance, even if it’s just for a day.

The “More Useful Than You Thought It’d Be” blog

OK, so I’ve only seen one article by a CTRS here, who also happens to be a physical therapist. A bit of a stretch, yes? However, looking through this blog you’ll also find occupational therapists, RNs, M.Ds, PhDs, MPHs, and the topics they’re writing on are things CTRSs also deal with. Dancing for Parkinson’s? Right up our alley. Working with someone who has MS? Want to do art and not sure where to start? Hit these people up and just ask questions. Apply to our field.  You probably have something to teach as well.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

In no particular order.

Remember how Danny Pettry’s blog has been up for less than a year? Well he’s also had this website for 10 years now. Based on the welcome video and the courses page, you can see what’s NCTRC approved and get some other free goodies as well.

These guys also have NCTRC certified credits, at what looks like very reasonable prices.

Rec Therapy Blogs not Updated in the Past Year

I include the blogs below because while they may not be current, they still have relevant information and treatment ideas that could be useful for a variety of areas.

Recreation Therapy to Create a Better Life

Rec Therapy Ideas

Northwest RT Community

Therapeutic Recreation Blog


So, now that you’ve perused a few…

What do you think? Does this make you want to start your own blog? Are these resources helpful? Do we need more of this, or is our time better spent on other things? I’d love to hear from others, whether it’s a compliment, critique, or something else.

Next post I’ll talk about why I’m even doing this and some current ideas of where I want to go with my recent blog-makeover.

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Another New Year Manifesto

newyearcoloring
Yes, this is from a coloring book.

In the last installment of this series,

I started the post in a similar identical fashion, down to the header 2 lead-in. You should go take a look; reading it, I want to pat 01/02/16 me on the head like a knowing granny and tell her it’s cute that she’s just “going to see where this goes.”

It wasn’t perfect, and this won’t be either. If anyone knew the time I usually put into getting things *just so* (and already knowing exactly where I’ll fall short) they’d probably tell me to stop overthinking everything – just do it. That’s what my sister tells me anyways.

In school, I’d have these amazing ideas for projects and papers (nerd alert)  get them all done in my head, and still be sitting in front of a blank (or nearly so) word doc two weeks later (not so nerdy).

Cue the “oh shit” moment.

(courtesy of a beloved riding instructor, who’s Facebook still regularly receives thanks, memories and laughs from the people he taught)

So, I did the best with what I had, and it softened the blow of imperfection a bit. I couldn’t have done anymore with the circumstances I’d set up for myself.

So, instead of beating myself up for not being perfect, I could tear myself apart layer by layer for my choices leading to whatever consequence had befallen me. I was (usually) 10 steps ahead of anyone giving me criticism, sometimes finishing sentences because I knew exactly what happened. I didn’t know why though – I’d start going through that out loud, and never get far. It wouldn’t be until I began going to some regular counseling that I actually started to understand (spoiler: it’s not one answer. It never is.).

So what?

I see a lot of quotes on Pinterest about being misunderstood. Nobody knowing the thoughts that run through our heads, seeing how we internally struggle as we carry about our lives.

To which I say, yep.

Yep?!?

Yep. I became particularly skilled at this; learned a bunch of tricks and techniques and through trial and error I accomplished it: nobody had a clue. Occasionally a crack would show, but it didn’t usually last long and I could always channel it to stressing over grades, a paper, project or test.

I’d like to think I’ve become pretty good at noticing the same in others, because I recognize how I used to speak, act and listen to others.

Because if you really want to,

if you put all your effort into it,

you can hide from just about anyone.

And they respect that.

“You hide your stuff and I’ll hide mine”

But I don’t have the time to be digging up everyone’s skeletons. And neither do you! If I don’t want you finding something that’s actually invisible, you’re not going to find it. I give the shovel to a few, select people when I feel up to it now, and I’m learning to not just pick up every shovel I find. I did that for a while to avoid anyone finding mine (and all of this is invisible, remember?). All of that effort, for skeletons. Last I checked, skeletons are for sure real (and the ones you know of are probably important), but they aren’t everything.

Am I overthinking this yet?

As stated by the title, this is supposed to be another new year manifesto.

“a public declaration of intentions, opinions, objectives, or motives, as one issued by a government, sovereign, or organization.”

Everyone loves a good definition thrown in, right? Also, manifesto originated in Italy – somewhere I plan on going within the next five years, making it doubly appropriate. Beyond that, no specific goals or resolutions for this year. 2017, as they say, will be the year of me.

Not what I feel obligated to accomplish, but what I need to do for myself in order to be myself. Epiphany moment: I’m already her! Which thankfully means I just need to do less of what isn’t me, and more of what is. Not so thankfully, society has certain expectation of me, social media has certain expectations of me, my local community, family and friends have assumed expectations of me.

They aren’t necessarily right or wrong, they’re just assumed because that’s what we’re familiar with. I’m just as guilty of taking on expectations that nobody *directly* placed on me because I didn’t have my own. I’ve decided to to make a conscious effort to separate expectation and myself (whenever I’m aware of it), and if the two line up, cool. If they don’t, I shouldn’t pretend like they do and own whatever I’m doing. That’s going to take some work.

First expectation I am doing a FABULOUS job so far at separating from myself: Sacrificing 10+ years for a diploma (check) –> getting a job! (cricket) –> getting a place to live! (cricket)

More on that in the next post.

thich-nhat-hanh

What good are words?

words-in-a-book

“The words. Why did they have to exist? Without them, there wouldn’t be any of this. Without words, the Führer was nothing. There would be no limping prisoners, no need for consolation or worldly tricks to make us feel better.
What good were the words?”

Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

I just finished The Book Thief and I can’t help thinking how timely it is, how appropriate that I find it ten years post-publishing instead of as a high school student. I can’t help but parallel its setting to present day, as the United States slowly reduces the boil that’s been bubbling over for a majority of this year.

An elected president most would never have expected, yet we are all implored to offer him respect and support as he criticizes the manner in which people congratulate him on winning the presidency.

Confusion as we just “don’t know what to believe,” everything is questionable, unless it directly lines up with what we want to believe. Is the media rigged? By whom? Aren’t we the media now, too? Are we just as unreliable? Or are we entitled to our opinions as fact – if we believe it just enough, will it be, and is it, true?

I relate to Liesel Meminger, a foster child living in Nazi Germany as Hitler comes into power, in the above quote. She’s sitting in a home library in 1943 with the snowflake-remains of a book she’d just shredded surrounding her on the floor.

What good are words anyways?

If it weren’t for those damn words, we wouldn’t be fighting with relatives, friends and coworkers – or complete strangers. If it weren’t for words, how many wars, ranging from spats between neighbors to global entanglements, could be avoided?

If it weren’t for words, people wouldn’t have to be comforted and told that a threat made on their life was empty and shouldn’t be feared, or reassured that what kids say about you at school doesn’t have to define you. Or should it? Is it fact? According to him, or her, yesterday or today?

As usual, I’m looking at the big picture, which I’m often criticized for, but I naturally lean towards that.

In the traditional sense, I’m not all that cultured: I’ve never been out of the country or west of the Mississippi (though my eastern experience is better), all my closest friends are white just like me, and my permanent address has been in the same small town from the time I was about 7 months old. So when considering my “big picture,” I recognize that plenty of others have a lot more to work with, and just as many have a lot less.

What I have had, like Liesel, are books and an environment that gave me lots of little experiences to shelve into my library of The Big Picture.

And for most of 2016, I’ve been writing about a lot of these little experiences in a green military log book (so sturdy. so vintage.) given to me by an internship supervisor while she purged some file cabinets. So, I guess words are good for something like that.

There’s other things, too.

I was in a used book store recently, one I’d never visited, but was incidentally located in the city I was born in (this would be those 7 or so months not in my current town). Whether because of the physical size or because I don’t remember the last time I was in a shop of this sort, it just felt inherently good. Just as I found a book to take up to the register, a woman came in asking if the store was hiring. I thought it would be quick, but after the older woman behind the counter explained that they weren’t, the visitor asked if they knew of anywhere else that might be hiring; her voice cracked as she continued on and said she was homeless, then quickly thanked them and turned around to leave.

Whether real or imagined, I felt rolling waves of shame, disappointment and then self-criticism at too-high hopes, coupled with an overwhelming urge to just go and hug this lady. To encourage her, find a resource for her or guide her in the right direction, something.

When she was almost to the door, the older woman called out to her, took some tissues and then walked her back. More words. Maybe they could help her. The shop visitor said she was a military veteran, and that she just wanted to get her life back together. It felt so trivial to be waiting to buy my silly book, and prying to listen in on this conversation about someone who’s basic needs aren’t being met. From the remaining snippets I gathered, it turned out that the older man also behind the counter owned the book store and was involved in the social assistance agency next door. It sounded as though proceeds from the shop went towards the agency and helping people find work.

What were the odds? Some information was given to the woman, plans were discussed, and seeing as it was already after-hours, she promised to go to the assistance agency the next day it was open. Thanking them again, she left.

Was she really homeless? Or a veteran? I can’t prove anything she said. But if it is true, timing and words and a kind man and woman and their words may be able to do a lot of good for her.

Words can do so much harm, cause so much confusion, but also so much love, laughter and knowledge and that’s where their real strength lies. That’s what I intend to draw from going forward, using the strength of words rather than their divisiveness.

What good will they do for you in the next year? How will you choose to use them?

Realizing just how out of shape you are

fullsizeoutput_b83
Back when I was actually fit, hello 2010. Of note: pointing lady who I’d like to think was totally amazed by me (but probably pointing at her child), and Hershey-shirt guy, which just seems ironically fitting.

Metaphor of the day: fitness.

I did some math and for the past two (business, because nobody’s open on the weekend) weeks, I’ve been on the phone for an average of 40 minutes a day trying to get that damn medicine I spoke of in my last post. Probably longer since I’m not including the random phone calls I took on my home phone or the calls made earlier in the month of November.

I spoke with state offices, local offices, several doctors offices, a random specialty pharmacy in Michigan, my own specialty pharmacy, my insurance, and my insurance’s pharmacy benefit manager (which I had no idea was a thing before all of this).

Also, I now know over a dozen people among these entities by name, and I’m sure they know me as well. I’d like to think I was polite throughout this whole thing. Persistent and pestering, completely, but polite (and towards the end, slightly pitiful and a bit dejected – but when you constantly inform me it’s going to be “another 24 to 48 hours” for minor info verifications, I have no regrets for inducing some minor guilt).

My new best friend turned out to be “Tim” from my insurance’s pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) on Thursday night. As I said, I had never heard of a PBM prior to this whole mess, but positive, I know more about our shit-tastic healthcare system?

Anyways, I caught Tim twenty minutes before he was supposed to leave work (sorry) and spent a solid half hour on the phone with him as he set up a three-way call with the pharmacy and proved that this whole comedy of errors was on said pharmacy’s end (which took about 22 of the 30 minutes, plus multiple holds, me nodding off, some jokes from Tim, and crappy elevator music).

Eventually: “OK, so it actually was something we had in our system.” *facepalm*

Pharmacy then launches into setting up my order, but forgets to disconnect Tim first, who has done his part and I’m 100% sure does not care to be a part of this, but if he hangs up, there goes my order (el oh el). I apologized after the pharmacy hung up that he got stuck with that, but he said it was worth it and I proceeded to thank him more profusely (going to be sending a note of some sort to this place as well) than may have been necessary. Lastly, I’m not positive his name was Tim… I’d been without my meds for a full week at this point, and since I only spoke with him once, instead of the 5 or 6 times I had with David, Sherry, LaToya (sp?), Jenny, and whoever else, I feel this is forgivable. Sorry again Tim/Tom(?)/Jim(?)/Christopher(?).

After over 6 broken hours on the phone this past two weeks, and threats from my mom to call any of the places I listed above to literally just yell at them, my medicine arrived yesterday.

So what’s fitness have to do with the diatribe above?

I slept heavenly last night. It was fabulous, rejuvenating, restful – just what I needed.

And I feel like absolute shit this morning.

Because I (again) know how tired I am. If I haven’t run/worked out in a while, and I just wing a 40 minute workout or 3 – 4 mile run, it might feel good at the moment, but later that day or the next, reality will very quickly set in and I will not want to do anything physical for a week.

This is the same thing; I have to get my sleep muscles back. It may have been less than 10 days, but if you were significantly overweight and had been exercising/eating right the past 6 months, you might have only lost 20-30 pounds. You start feeling better, but stop for two weeks and it’s just as difficult starting back as it was the first time. Give it a few days and it’ll get better though – you’ll remember, and you’ll keep going.

And that’s where I’m at. I may be physically exhausted, uncoordinated and cognitively slower than normal, but I am happy. Content in my fatigue for the time being, because as long as I put the time in, my body will remember here in a few days, and I’ll be ready for the next thing.