Today was about a doctor's appointment. I feel like it was such a wasted day. I spent hours getting ready. I didn't sleep because of my pain and anxiety about meeting a new doctor whom I desperately need. I'm crying because I'm frustrated that I had to pay $40.00 dollars in cab fare just to get to a doctor who canceled my appointment because they didn't take my insurance. They never called me to tell me they canceled the appointment. The person at the front desk felt bad and was genuinely kind and tried to do all she could. I even asked for cash prices to see a primary physician. It’s $444.00 for one visit. Defeated, I said, “I can’t afford that.” I will continue to do without until my insurance gets settled.
This insurance catastrophe has been happening for eight months now. I’ve done everything I can to try to get it corrected. But, unfortunately, everyone continues to tell me, “Sorry, it’s a computer glitch, and you have to wait.” So, while I spend my numbered days waiting and fighting a system that wants me to die sooner, I continue each day on the brink of insanity.
One of the patients in the office who witnessed my despair saw me waiting in the lobby for my cab home. She stopped and looked at me with tears brimming in her eyes. She said, “Do you want to talk? Or would you rather be left alone? I’m sorry if this is weird, and you don’t have to say anything. I just wanted you to know I’m here.” So, I started talking to her. She listened gently as her silver hair bobbed up and down as she nodded in solidarity. She said she would keep me in her thoughts and heart. Then, she offered me a hug and said, “please don't feel like you have to hug me.” Bereft of human touch, I sobbed as I gave her a gentle side-leaning hug, and she cried even more. I knew she could feel the pain, the emptiness that I felt. She was so kind. I don’t experience that with people.
I don’t see people or talk to people or look people in the eye and have them be kind to me. I only have medical people looking at me, diagnosing me, judging me, and endlessly treating me like nothing but a disabled, sick burden. Those are the only people who look at me. It takes a toll on the soul.
My cab driver home was nice. He asked me how I was. I’ve stopped lying to people when they ask the obligatory pleasantries. I told him how I was, and he listened and said, “That’s horrible, and I’m sorry. You deserve to go home, watch a movie, and be good to yourself.” You don’t deserve this endless medical bullshit. It was nice to be real with someone.
It’s hard for my brain to wrap around that. All my days are only medical doctors and diagnostics. There is no caring or just talking to me because they wanted to. They are just doing their jobs. So perhaps today was about getting a hug from a stranger and talking to nice people.
“In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.”
- Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning
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