Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A wife dies, a mother dies, and I'm still here

I'm still coping with the aftermath of lithium toxicity. This past weekend I learned how much Benadryl is too much, since taking some (okay, a lot, I couldn't sleep) on Friday night left me nauseated and weak all day Saturday. My contused coccyx is feeling better, and I went to a chiropractor to address the residual lower-back pain, which helped.

I also heard again from Monsieur Marocain. He called late last Thursday night to ask why I wasn't responding to any of his texts. I told him that my land line doesn't accept texts, and neither does my cell. I thought we'd agreed to talk again on Sunday morning, but I haven't heard from him. Whatever. At least I know I haven't screwed this up yet -- it's not on me.

A few months back I wrote about two genius high school classmates of mine who died recently. Now I want to write about two co-workers of mine, a social worker and a counselor, who also recently died.

I have to say, I wasn't a huge fan of the social worker. When I got switched from my first clinic to my second, she was forced to cover two clinics instead of one, and I think she blamed me for it. Although she could have covered just one clinic -- my original -- and left me to cover one clinic in Brooklyn and her original clinic in Manhattan. But she fought to stay at her original clinic, offering to cover it as well as my first. Still, she was cold to me for a long time. Just as she was warming up and we were being collegial again, she suffered a double brain aneurysm. Found dead in her bathroom by her devastated husband.

Granted, she smoked. Which is a huge cardiovascular risk factor. But I was struck again, especially after my spate of lithotoxicity, at how incredibly durable I seem to be. And if I died, I wouldn't leave a devastated spouse. I know, I know, there would be a bazillion devastated friends and relatives. It just doesn't seem quite the same.

More shocking was the death yesterday of a counselor I used to work with at my first clinic. She was a very bright and cute young woman, very up on her game, interested in getting her MSW and furthering her career. She had a six-year-old and two-year-old twins when I worked with her. Today, an eight-year-old, two four-year-olds, and a two-month-old infant are motherless. That is a tragedy.

She had a scheduled C-section and tubal ligation. Took two weeks vacation time and went back to work. They think she suffered an embolism.

I'm taking two weeks to recuperate from my surgery in September. (If it actually happens... I'll get to that.) But my surgery is laporoscopic, not hugely invasive. And I don't have to take care of four children under age 10 (including a newborn) while I recover.

Right now, I'm lucky: I don't actively want to die. I don't have to fight those dark thoughts of knives and Tylenol-PM. But I just don't understand why I'm still here, especially when it seems like my entire life is going to be an endless, joyless drill of struggling to function at work, then spending all my down time imprisoned at home.

Dr. Sharp called yesterday: my insurance denied coverage for the surgery. Apparently I'm not suffering enough. I let him know that I've gained about 10 pounds since he met me in March because I almost never go anywhere after work or on weekends. I didn't mention that the lidocaine is potentiating my lithium and making me sick, since I don't have strong lab work to back that up; my organs are still functioning even though I feel miserable.

I don't know what will happen. I hope Dr. Sharp and Dr. Kind will be able to talk my cheap-ass insurance into covering what might be life-saving surgery for me. Alona recommended I get an attorney; maybe it will come to that. Wonder if I could pay the retainer with my flexible spending pre-tax dollars.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

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