It only matters what works for you.

Archive for October, 2016

Another new doctor

I’m very fortunate my insurance lets me pick from a wide array of doctors. In April the doctor I’ve had a good relationship with decided to step back from practice for a while to spend more time with her young children. Good for her. But that meant I had to go doctor shopping again. Always difficult.

My first attempt was a complete failure. I thought maybe I’d do better with someone trained outside the US. The use some different approaches. That could be good. Nope. He was all about the weight loss drugs, and he didn’t listen. I mean he really didn’t listen. I had to remind him twice what my dosage of metformin was, and then he wrote the script wrong anyway. And it took 2 emails and phone call just to get the right dose. He wasn’t disputing the amount I was taking, we just failed utterly at communicating.

But the, I got really lucky. There is a doctors office super close to me. I drove past it every day for 2 years and never even knew it was there. I have no idea how none of the doctors from that practice ever showed up in a search.

So now I have an amazing new doctor. And my husband really likes her too.

When I went in for our new patient ¬†appointment, instead of presenting a written synopsis of my medical history, I just said “So, you’re tuning into this game at half time. What do you want to know?” I think this worked really well to help set new expectations, for both of us. For quite a while I’ve been pretty aggressive with my doctors. I mean, the medical profession, as a general rule, hasn’t really been in my corner. So I think I’ve been adversarial in my interactions with them. Warranted, but now I’m ready for something new and more positive. I thought her questions were good, and I thought her response to my answers was really positive. She didn’t seem at all put off by the explanations, except for the part where I don’t automatically call a doctor when something goes wrong.

I’m hoping that with this new relationship, I can change that.

It’s really hard, and draining, to have health issues and feel that there isn’t anyone you can go to for help. Insurance companies and guidelines have the ones who most want to help hedged in until sometimes they can’t. And there are plenty who just want to shove you in the appropriate box and send you on your way with a prescription.

I’m looking forward to something new.

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Lessons from the rescue

In May we lost one of our sweet kitties very suddenly.¬†I think it’s possible she just didn’t want to move again. I could hardly blame her. Moving is horrible.

But once we were in the house and the boxes were mostly under control, we adopted a new cat. The thinking was, wouldn’t she settle faster if we brought her in before my existing cat had the territory all staked out. This turned out to be a terrible decision. Live and learn. Only adopt a new cat when you are comfortable, relaxed, and settled.

It didn’t help that our new darling was a rescue, and ‘ready for a permanent home’ meant something different to her foster mom than it did to me.

At first I established her in a private suite. The guest room had a futon for sleeping on, a litter box in one corner, a food station well away from it, and some toys and a scratching post on the rug. After 10 days when she wouldn’t come out from under the futon and was visibly not eating, I called the rescue in a panic.

So we moved her to a tiny efficiency apartment in my closet. It’s a big closet. She did a lot better and we got to know each other. There were a lot of litter box incidents. She’s incontinent when terrified. There were issues with the existing cat. Which I really didn’t expect. She’s usually so laid back. I think she’d have been better off if we’d waited a while.

But now, 3 months later, she’s happily sleeping in the sun in my office. We’re all friends now.

I can see the lesson in this. Things take as long as they take. You can’t force it, and pretending things are different than they are is not good for anyone. You can’t rush it. You just have to go along as best you can and put the effort in every day until you get the result you’re looking for. And really, you might not ever get the result you’re looking for. You might just get something else entirely. If you let go of your expectations, you can learn to love it.

Worry less about what you think it should be. Enjoy what it is.

Spoon theory corollary

Spoon theory comes from a brilliant article explaining that when you have a chronic health condition, you really have to budget your energy, even for tasks that seem effortless to healthy people.

The corollary is, sometimes even healthy people run out of spoons.

I had a very busy summer. Scratch that. It’s been a busy year with a lot of change, but this summer we moved, again. That’s always exhausting. I also started physical therapy to try to sort out the problem with my sore leg. And we adopted another cat, right in the middle of the move. Who wasn’t quite as socialized as we thought.

Recently I’ve been getting on my own case about not getting things done, not being as productive as I think I should be. But as I sat down to write this, I realized that plenty of people would have found my summer exhausting, its not just because I have Issues. Moving is exhausting. Teaching a rescue to be part of a family is exhausting. And physical therapy is exhausting. It’s not me.

So it’s time to let up on not being up to speed the way I think I should be, and put more effort into figuring out what I do feel up to.