Fear & Pride

Its quiet, the kids have gone to bed and Deon is upstairs reading. I sit here alone with my thoughts.  To be honest I’ve felt a bit overwhelmed lately.I’m not sure I’ve been handling it like I should. I’ve been worrying a lot, and letting my fears get to me. It does no good to self paralyze. I think this thing with my left eye has thrown me a bit. It changes daily, which I guess is a good sign because if it was totally getting worse, then I wouldn’t have days that I could see better than others.  Sounds reasonable anyway right? I notice sometimes when I go outside when its warm, my left eye will cloud up rather quickly. If I go back inside, it seems to clear back up some as I cool down. I used to love summer, but I’ve been spending most of my time hiding from it this year.

I’ve decided that our worst problems in this life are spawned from two perceptions we put on ourselves. Fear and Pride I think are the most damaging thoughts a person can entertain on a regular basis. The truth of it is, that even if my eye doesn’t fully recover, its fear and pride that would stifle me more than not being able to see well, or at all. If I’m honest with myself, I can realize that should it get worse even, its not like I wouldn’t get through it. I’d  learn to manage. So many live with far worse than the brush of an issue I’ve dealt with thus far, and do so quite successfully on a daily basis. What good does it do to be fearful, except to minimize my own enjoyment of what I have now. What good does it do to base pride on something I have no control over?  Truly?

This next year seems full of uncertainties.  New adventures to be had no doubt. Things are still up in the air with Deon’s shoulder which is more accurately described now as his upper spine. To be honest I’m not sure if there will ever be a “solution” for it. This may be the way it is going to be, and if that is the case then paralyzing myself with fear does no good. In the end to survive we live, learn and move on, or we don’t.. and it is our choice.

I definitely do not like having him be in pain, and him having to be careful even with doing simple things, but honestly I guess it’s similar to what he has to deal with in regards to me now with the MS the last three years.  I’m just lucky my limitations haven’t totally changed what I can do for work. He hasn’t been so lucky. We both have to be careful what we do which definitely wounds pride.  Its frustrating, but everyone has their limitations.

Not ideal financially, but the kids have benefited with having him home, and it has been less stressful on me than before when I had to daily drive them place to place, sometimes multiple times to be watched while we both worked. Worst case, and say this is just how the situation will play out, its not a total loss, and I think that is important to realize. The thing is going to be helping him keep his spirits up when he (like most men, and honestly most people) doesn’t see the value of time spent taking care of things at home vs. time spent at a job making money.  Family should be more important.. its odd how often we allow money to displace our priorities and perverse what we value. I am married to an awesome man who is extremely caring, and who without, I don’t know how I would have had the strength to get through these last 3 years. Honestly. When I had to change my diet, he was right there looking up recipes and finding things that we could have instead. Getting extremely creative and learning trying new cooking styles to make the transition easier. He is the one that gets after me when I know I’m pushing my health, but not wanting to admit it. He has been completely amazing. I am very lucky, but he doesn’t see things like I do, and devalues what he does, because it doesn’t “bring in money”.

Pride is good when it holds you to do a good job at what you are doing, but it can be really bad when it prevents you from healthfully coping with situations that aren’t ideal.

Updates 8/23/10

So its been over a month since my last update. To be honest its been crazy and I just haven’t felt up to posting anything.

*Spoiler Alert* Probably not an upbeat post, and definitely a little emotional and tired, and a bit of an over share,  so keep that in mind if you decide to read any farther.  From this point on, it may even be a bit whiny I realize, as I know there are people in far worse situations that would laugh or roll their eyes at this, but know that I vent so I can bounce back.

Deon got his MRI back a while ago. This time around it seems that they have finally identified what is going on.  The problem seems to stem from some narrowing in some areas of his upper spine. Not sure what will come of it yet. He will probably be going to OHSU if it becomes unbearable again.  After having a quick conversion with someone up there, he has opted to wait to go see them as the pain is manageable at the moment. The issue I see is that it takes two weeks to see someone, so if it acts up worse, it will be two weeks later before he can be looked at. I know he’s just not wanting to create any more bills than he has to.

My left eye had been getting better. I had been back to around 78 %, but I did too much or something because last week I had a day where I ended up having a horrible headache and it kind of got worse again.  I’m  frustrated. On the bright side, today does seem to be a little better than yesterday, so hopefully it was just a small set back that will clear back up more as time goes on. Trying to stay positive.

I received my 2nd bill for my MRI that I had at the end of June. I was kind of excited when I got my first one and it said my portion was a little under three hundred dollars.  I rearranged some things, and got it paid, and was kind of hoping that would have been all of it. I know that I definitely should not have even considered that to be the end of it.   My initial guess of $2000.00 after insurance was sadly a quite bit under the actual mark, and will actually end up being closer to double that.. Odd when you owe less on your car, then the cost of a single medical test.  I’ll call this new hospital and get something worked out so I can start chipping away at it. Praying that they end up being nice and allowing me to make a manageable payment that will go towards both Deon & my bills.  We don’t yet know what his total is either. I really dislike owing money, it makes me feel so bad. The last time I owed this much for a doctor bill, it took me three years to pay it. The other hospital wasn’t willing to take payments over time, and sent me to collections even though I was making monthly payments, all because I couldn’t fulfill a big enough chunk of it within 90 days. Had to work out a payment plan with collections group  and honestly we would of had another 3/4 of a year except we ended up  getting taxes back this year and used it to get paid off.

I’ve always been a believer in personal responsibility, and that you have to be your own advocate when it comes to your health, but its becoming increasingly evident why people put medical things off.   I now kind of wish we had waited on my MRI, especially since it just ended up saying things were ok. Hind sight is 20/20 I suppose. An odd saying to use I guess,  since it was actually my eye that kind of convinced me to go ahead and have the MRI done because I was scared..  ironic huh?  I think I would have rather spent the money getting something further figured out for Deon.  He’s frustrated because its been a year, and he’s still not working, and in honesty at this point I don’t know what he could do. Sometimes the simplest action will make his shoulders swell up. He definitely can’t go back to anything he had previously done. We both are a bit lost in figuring out what could or should be next. I just hope nothing further pops up for awhile, one can only pray I guess.