Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Unsilent Night, Ho-Ho-Healthcare and the Granny-Killer

The holiday season was filled more with tension, angst and stress than anything else. Jim and I are dealing with a problem with the IRS. Yeah, yeah, so I know I did the taxes using Turbo Tax but apparently when the broker sent us our end of the year statement for the year in question they neglected to add one of the sheets, leading the IRS to think we made 120K more than we did. We're in the middle of straightening it out but it made for a nasty gray pall hanging over our present giving and chestnut roasting. Not much making merry but lots of sheer freaking out. We shouldn't owe anything by the time we file an amended return, but it's the stress of the entire thing.

In the course of this agita both Jim and I have been reexamining our attitudes, our childhoods and things we may have carried out of our birth families that negatively impacts us now. So it's been holidays, hostilities and self-therapy. I think we're in a better place now but ever since we left our old church it seems like the peeling of rotten onion layers from then continues. Every single time I think we are both past that past something crops up.

Example: My bff invited he and I over for Christmas dinner. But once it came out that she'd also included a few folks from the old church I bailed on the invite. Jim went without me, fortunately I had the excuse of extremely bad asthma acting up to get out of it, and he came back ranting and angry. That's the state I was afraid I might end up in if I had attended. He was triggered mightily and I'm sure he was sniped and sneered at.

I know I would have been triggered becauseI was in such a funk this holiday that I didn't even decorate the Christmas tree. I left it nude and plain sitting near the fireplace. The asthma made it tough to do anything beyond work a few hours and lay down. Plus it left me with no energy or enthusiasm for anything else.

That is one good thing I learned in the aftermath of leaving fundamentalist religion, that rituals like Christmas aren't required at all, it's whatever you feel comfortable with. For me this meant minimal holiday anything, in fact the only thing I cooked and ate on the holiday was scrambled eggs and toast. I was content with that, it was plenty on a day filled with asthma attacks and wheezing. In the church years I would have silently emotionally castigated myself had I done that, feeling like a failure and possibly making myself sicker trying to make it a hap-hap-happiest of holidays.

It reminded me of the year I was twelve and our family Christmas. All three of us, my mother and father and myself, came down with the flu within mere days of the holiday. Christmas morn we unenthusiastically ripped into presents before all of us going back to bed for the day. I remember being especially squicked out by the fact that one of my presents was a ten pound box of Elmer's Mastercraft chocolates. Ugh. Later when I was better I was so happy to have that box, just not at the moment I unwrapped it.

The good moments of the holiday were going to the kids house to eat ribs and unwrap presents. Sleeping, lots and lots of sleeping and recovery from my crappy lungs. Singing at the Christmas Eve Eve service and hanging out with the kids at work. I got a job promotion with more responsibilities.

Work is work, but we did have an admission that killed his grandmother a month before his 9th birthday. I've seen his records, looks like a serial killer in the making. Very likely we'll end up shipping him to a locked facility soon. He's already tried to torture a few animals here. Frightening. 

My doctor dropped a huge bomb on me yesterday. In less that a month he's closing up shop and departing for a position at a far away hospital. Why? Obamacare and the requirements he would have to fulfill to keep his small private practice.

Last month my long time gastroenterologist closed her practice and retired for the same reason. So now our small town will be without either specialist. This leaves me in a huge lurch as my pulmo gives me my treatments every two weeks and not everyone is qualified to do these injections. My asthma has been crappy for a few months now.

But more than that I'll have to find a new primary doctor as my pulmo was my primary for seven years due to the nature of my immune system disorder. I'm not even sure where to start because it looks like my options are going to be going to UVA clinics to be prodded, poked and gawked at by a squadron of interns and residents. That's the drawback of going to UVA with any illness not very common. Or I could drive the other way, towards DC and find another pulmo. Again, a long drive, establishing a relationship with a new doctor and keeping on track with my treatments.

This is going to complicate things considerably for me because I used to be able to call or visit my doc and scream out complaints about my asthma, colitis, neuropathy, sinus infections, hangnails, peeling skin, cough, plagues, locusts and get treated asap.

The fact that Obamacare has good physicians scrambling with career alternatives is a huge slap in the face to me, I volunteered with the teams nationwide to help develop the Affordable Care Act, never dreaming this would impact so severely my own ability to keep getting good treatment.

And my doctor wondered why I had a rare high blood pressure reading yesterday after all this and standing in line two hours at DMV? Ha!

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