Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Life & The Pursuit of Happiness

Despite some initial hiccups, I find I'm settling nicely into life in Philadelphia. The weather is nice enough, warmer than what I'm used to, but my allergies haven't been a problem at all like I was expecting.

Since Chicago I have a lingering fondness for living in city: the throngs of people, the sounds, the sheer closeness and convenience of everything. Best of all, people are openly friendly, which I didn't expect from an east-coast city. It's not unusual for someone to strike up a conversation with me anywhere: at the pharmacy, at the market or even standing on the street.

Yesterday, my sister, her roommate and I sunned ourselves on the beaches of the Jersey Shore. (Not spotted: J-Woww, Snookie, etc.) I wore my new bikini for the first time ever and enjoyed running through the icy waves along with kids on boogie boards and cliques of teenagers.

Soon I'll begin buying some furniture to furnish my room. (Hello, Ikea!) I kind of love interior design. And I still need to hike up to the social security office and apply for a new card, something I'm not particularly excited about (ask anybody with POTS how they feel about standing in line.) Unfortunately, it's necessary for my application for medical assistance.

On the ever looming job front, I looked at job tutoring SAT prep to college hopefuls. I've always been an excellent test taker, able to outperform my peers on tests even in subjects I had no real aptitude for like Chemistry. I'm positive that I could pass the screening test necessary to teach prep for tests like the SAT and ACT.

Over on No Tell Motel, a online literary magazine, I read some poems by my thesis adviser. They reminded me that I can meet poetry where I am right now, without waiting until I get my mental footing. This confusion can be codified in words.

I've had a lot of pain this past week. It continues to boggle my mind how long it has taken to get pain medicine that works. January was when I was first aware of the pain exceeding the reach of my daily medication, tramadol, and made my request to my rheumatologist for a different medication. Despite acknowledging that the standard treatment would be a controlled release opioid she proceeded to give me the runaround until I finally dumped her in disgust. Now it's June. With doctors I find I spend so much time defending my diagnosis that I can barely get around to actually mentioning the problems I'm having. When I finally do, it's usually, "Oh, you need to see a (different type of doctor.)" It's beyond frustrating. It's a similar problem I had when I got diagnosed with POTS. No doctor wanted to take responsibility for my care due to their lack of experience with my diagnosis.

There are many things I'm willing to endure without medical intervention, but the loss of my mobility is not one of them.

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