Why is it easier to keep my composure during a minor car accident than in a diagnostic center waiting room?
#beingbipolar #susanstrasser #amwriting #susanstrasserblog
It all began with my prescriptions running low. At the end of last week, my psychiatrist forgot to refill my prescriptions for my bipolar medications. I have to get these refilled at the store, monthly. It’s a pain. I wish I could go on mail-order, but my psychiatrist insists! I can kinda see her side, but I get sick of CVS.
Then, I realized that somehow a year had passed, and so had any refills on my medicine from my dermatologist. Shit.
Monday, I felt like a hustler getting an emergency three-day supply of both from my local pharmacy.
The dermatologist gave me an appointment for yesterday, so I was set. Then, my psychiatrist came through, too. So, I hoped that the dermatologist appointment was fast, then I could stop at CVS, go home and have lunch, and rest easy for another month or more.
I could still get a few of my usual mid-day, weekday items done: write my blog, throw in a load of laundry, take a few minutes to read other people’s blogs…
The appointment was a breeze, indeed. But I made a mistake with deciding to getting my bloodwork done immediately after.
I did not remember this part of the deal with my dermatologist medicine.
The waiting room at the diagnostic center where they took blood was packed. It was only 11:46 a.m. I wasn’t even hungry for lunch yet. Okay…
But 5 or 10 minutes grew into 20 then 30… and I started getting hungry and thirsty. Of course, like any modern American it only took me a split second to start swiping my apps on my smart phone. Soon, after looking at emails and chat groups, I decided to dig into my inbox.
As usual, my fellow WordPress and non-WordPress readers and bloggers had filled my inbox with their latest posts. I’m lucky if I read a few daily most days, but I decided to make lemonade with those waiting room “lemons” and go to town! I must’ve read at least 10, maybe 15. I even commented on more than one! It was fun!
But the diversion only worked in spurts. I worried about getting home at a decent time for a power nap, doing my daily writing, and a chore or two. For the third consecutive day this week, mid-day, I caught my breath, was gentle with myself, and attempted to be grateful for being able to afford my medications.
And not question these interruptions and disruptions.
I do have access to medical care.
Self-care, too, is about feeling good on the inside and the outside. My bipolar meds help me by treating my mental illness and keeping me healthy in that regard. My dermatologist medicine helps my self-esteem by making me feel pretty on the outside.
But then my mood would change to lamenting the fact that I did not pack a water bottle as I usually do. Man! I’ve got to remember next year that I need to give blood post-my-annual-dermatologist appointment.
Then I got down thinking about not using a water fountain. One of the little things pre-Covid that I took for granted. I texted my husband as the wait to get blood drawn grew from 45 to 60 minutes.
“Just a few gulps from a water fountain would sustain me!”
He was his usual loving self (I’m lucky to have him) and told me to hang in there.
Then, I would go back to opening blog posts, reading, and deciding whether to like and/or comment on them.
I worried about buying lunch out after. That damn Dunkin Donuts was in the parking lot staring at me. Sugar and caffeine would not be the best choice!
Finally, after an hour at the diagnostic center, I got called back and the whole thing was done in 5 minutes.
I went across the parking lot and got myself a strange guacamole toast snack (and looked away from the pictures of all the donuts and sugar!) It actually wasn’t bad. And I had no guilt! That always feels wonderful when I make good choices.
My bipolar is mild, as in I have never had an episode of mania. But as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website states, I definitely experienced some “significant abnormal mood elevation” during this trip to the diagnostic center. On top of being a recovering compulsive overeater, too, when I get too hungry, angry, and tired I have definitely been too tired this week!), I do not do well.
Thank God for having a clear, clean, sober and abstinent life today, One Day at a Time. This enable me to make healthy choices (not yell at medical office staff or even get too huffy or rude with them), use the free Wi-Fi to be productive and indulge in my fellow bloggers’ posts, and then to not dive into donuts at Dunkin Donuts afterwards.