Nerve block #3

My nerve pain was pretty terrible this last week.  I had the attention span for playing candy crush and listening to podcasts.  I still ran errands and did essential tasks, but my mood was bad and I was exhausted.  I took a lot of naps.

I went in today for Nerve Block #3.  It went well.  I’m planning to get these every 3 months.  The doctor said she’d do it more often if need be.  I told her the biggest difference I’ve noticed is that I’m able to read again.  I went from reading only comics and articles in 2016 to reading seven novels so far in 2017.  (I still read comics and articles, but now can read novels again too. I just checked my Goodreads account; and I’ve read 9 novels as of today).

The doctor had a resident with her again, and she explained everything she was doing. I think the combination of listening to her explain the details, and the fact that I had a vasovagal reaction last time, made me a little nervous. But I did OK and only had to lay there for a couple of minutes before I could get up and go. The whole thing was fast and pretty easy. I felt sort of euphoric; my pain lowered dramatically and it was easier to breathe.  Since my pain is often in my nose and mouth, it can be hard to take a full breath, and albuterol doesn’t always help.

The resident said that my case was the most interesting one of the day.

I am waiting for the headache to come, the one that follows after the nerve block and lasts all night. My mouth hurts but so far, no terrible headache. I think it’s just on the edge though. I bought a bunch of popsicles and plan to keep eating them.

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Getting sick, getting poor

You cut back on your work hours because you’re sick. Your income drops, but it’s worth it for the extra rest. You know you aren’t getting better; you won’t ever get better.

You cut back on expenses little by little. You already don’t much like drinking alcohol or coffee, so the articles advising you to cut back on lattes or cocktails are lost on you.

You already buy most of your clothes from the thrift store. You stop using the coin-op dryer and hang your clothes on the line to air dry. It makes your shoulder hurt but saves you a few bucks in quarters. You dilute the laundry detergent with a little bit of water.

You share your Netflix and Hulu accounts. You stop paying for internet sites that you used to throw a few bucks at when you liked their service, like Dreamwidth and Flickr. They have free versions available.

You ask your parents for money, again, knowing how fortunate you are that they can help, and that you have a good relationship with them, and that they don’t hold back financial support due to your queerness.

You run up your credit card buying gas. You think about taking the bus more, but the stops and starts make you nauseous. That’s not a new thing, not a chronic illness thing. The school bus made you nauseous as a kid. But it does seem worse now.

You stop working for a while because you get laid off, and anyways you need to take a break: you’re really sick. Sicker than you want to admit to anyone, even yourself. A while becomes a longer while.

Your main entertainment is the dog park (Permit: $32 / year), Netflix ($10/month), and reading fanfic and the internet (mostly free – wireless internet $21 for your share; electric bill $16 for your share). You use the library more and more for comics and the occasional movie.

You reluctantly go on food stamps. You notice yourself eating the heel of the loaf of bread, which you used to give to the dog because it was “all crust”.

You ask your friends for help paying your medical bills and other expenses. They come through, and you think about how fortunate you are.

You feel guilty.

You learn about anti-capitalism. You feel less guilty.

You learn about the emotional costs and structural sources of poverty. You begin to feel empowered.

You read about the Mortgage Interest Deduction in the New York Times Magazine. You get angry, and anger is fuel.

You stop and get a fucking ice cream cone.