Thursday, July 28, 2005


God damn it.

I had hoped I would be able to do this without letting money become that awful hissing slow-leak sound in the back of my brain, but it's happening again.

Every dollar I spend, on (today) lunch, coffee, frozen pizza, new earpiece for the cell phone--there it is.

Anxiety. That dark old familiar feeling of being unsafe in the world.

And then the lovely cascade that follows: defensiveness, anger, hostility--all those great survivalistic emotions we all come wired with. God.

I've made this decision. I've decided to forego $230,000 in income and spend $45,000 on tuition because I think a different job and a different set of capabilities will be worth >$275,000 to me (in cash, in enjoyment) over the next 25 years of my life. (So, roughly $11,000/year.) And I think it was the right decision, and when I made it, I told myself that I would not let that slow hiss steal the enjoyment out of every day.

But here it is again.

The Logic:

--I'm about to quit work and need to get my next few months' house payment lined up.
--I'm still trying to calculate how much I want or have to work, and whether I will work during the first year. (This is "frowned upon," but like I told my friend B today, I'm 38 years old. I've been frowned on before. I think I can handle it.)
--I still have a few things I want/need to buy before school starts, and I haven't budgeted that out yet.

The Emotions:

The psychological theme of this week has been survival. Monday I found out I can't get one of my thyroid medications because there's a nationwide shortage. This is the one that makes my brain go. Without it, I'm kind of like HAL after they pulled the plug. By calling and wheedling and running around town to four different pharmacies, I was able to scrounge up about 5 weeks' worth. It was like something out of a Lou Reed song.

I also had an appointment with my general practitioner about alternatives. (She insisted on this before she'd write me the scrips for my jaunt around the city.) That did not go well. It has taken me over three years to get a medication mix that works for me, where I feel smart and normal and sane and myself, as opposed to slow and idiotic and cold and achy. She suggested that we basically start over with an entirely different medication.

Commendably, I first responded with reason:

Me: I'm on 10 mcg of T3 and 175 of T4 now. If we switch to 1 pill of this new stuff, which has 9 mcg of T3 and 38 mcg of T4, then cut my T4 pill to 137 mcg (which, believe it or not, is a dosage that actually exists), that should be pretty close.
Her: The pharmacist says we should just put you on 2 pills of the new stuff.
Me: But that's almost twice as much T3 as I'm taking now and my T3 levels are already in the upper half of the normal range. Why won't my plan work?
Her: Well, because that other drug kinda works differently.
Me: How can it work differently? T3 and T4 are the only active ingredients. Those amounts are listed in the prescribing information. Are you telling me they're allowed to fib in there?
Her: Well, it's kind of different. It's not as consistent from dose to dose.
Me: OK, so if that's true, why would it make any sense to put me on more of it, rather than combining it with some of the more stable fomulation of T4 I'm already on?
Her: [Silence]
Her: Well, what do you want to do?
Me: I've told you what I want to do.
Her: I'm willing to put you on two pills of the new stuff.

Then I lost it.

I think what I said was something roughly like "No. Fuck. No. There is no fucking way I'm doing that. You don't get it. I was sick with this shit for three fucking years. I couldn't remember my coworkers' names. I felt like crap. I had my neighbor coming over to my house to ask what was wrong with me because she hadn't seen me in months because I didn't have the energy to do anything after work but sleep. I am not going through that I again. Those were years of my life that I don't get back and I'm not doing it again. You have to do better for me." I was crying. She referred me to the Endocrinologist, who might be willing to prescribe the combination because he does more non-standard treatments. Unfortunately, I can't see the Endo for 7 weeks.

Fortunately, my naturopath was willing to try the combination I want now. Her comment on the whole thing "Seems logical to me. It would definitely be the least disruptive option to try."

I feel like a freak having conflict with my fucking doctor. But then again, when I've been the well-behaved patient and just left the office after not getting what I need, I've ended up sick for three years.

This shit sucks.


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