There was an old annoying radio commercial with the line, “Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?” Obviously it wasn’t a good commercial since I don’t remember what product it was selling, but I remember that line.
I am tired. Tired of needing to see so many doctors. Tired of taking pills. Tired of needles and shots. Tired of all that money spent at the pharmacy. Tired of EOBs. Tired of it all.
Last spring, due to my family’s needs, I rescheduled two doctor’s appointments, and it was wonderful! I was surprised at how liberating it felt to not go to the doctor. Instead, I felt almost normal - out living my life as if I were in ignorant bliss of autoimmune diseases and the terrible impact they can have on individuals and families. Not seeing any doctors felt like a vacation.
That vacation was so wonderful that I quit my job as “patient” and vacationed some more. No visits to the pharmacy. No pills. No shots. No perusing of EOBs when they arrived. I just lived normally, and it was great.
I wonder if maintaining an intense focus on one’s medical condition is good. Having your life revolve around doctor’s appointments, trips to the pharmacy, physical therapy, weekly shots, numerous daily pills, keeping track of what the insurance company is doing, and staying on top of tons of medical bills is exhausting.
The problem with quitting is that I now have a stack of old EOBs to wade through. I have a pile of prescription receipts to file. There’s a cupboard full of pill bottles that should have been emptied but weren’t, and some fancy pill-reminder-boxes that have stayed empty far too long. Quitting might not have been a good idea.
Worst of all is that I knew better. I knew that those meds have a purpose, but I loved the freedom of not thinking about RA and its treatment all the time. Those meds don’t work from the cupboard; I have to actually swallow the pills and inject the injectable meds if they’re to do their jobs. Oops.
So now, I’m looking for balance. I can’t ignore everything, but I don’t want to obsess over RA, either. Neither extreme is healthy. I’ll see if I can find a good balance.