I went to the doctor today. I know. That doesn't sound like a big deal, but believe me, in my world, it is. When my husband died suddenly just under 4 years ago, we were living paycheck to paycheck. We shared his beat up old car to get to our jobs, and we had nothing in savings. We lived in a crappy and small apartment in New Jersey, and we were both stressed out and overworked. He was working two jobs to try and get us out of that "struggling" lifestyle, and start bringing us on a road to a better life together. We were working toward something. And then he dropped dead.
Right after my husband died, I lost my health insurance. He was a paramedic, and I was covered under his plan, so that all went away in an instant. I couldnt afford to stay in our apartment since now it was just my paycheck coming in, so eventually, I had to move. I had to get a roommate too. And then, when that roommate ended up being a psycho jerk who kicked me out 6 months after I moved in, I had to move again and get another roommate. And then I had to sell my husband's car. And then my brother bought me another used car for a couple thousand bucks, and eventually, that car sort of died too, and I had to sell it. Now, 4 years later, here I am in Queens New York with a roommate and no car, the same part-time teaching job I had when my husband was alive, plus some other work I have picked up over the years, and slowly but surely picking up the pieces of my life again. Creating a life again.
I still have no health insurance. Still cant afford it, and I dont qualify for any help. (The government says I make "too much money". Someone pick me up off the floor once I stop laughing.) I havent seen a dentist in over 4 years, I cant afford new or even basic clothing for myself, so things like bras and shoes and other important things are worn down and don't fit well. I do not have a regular doctor, and my "health insurance plan" consists of hoping like hell that nothing bad happens to me, like, ever. So, yes, going to see a doctor is kind of a big deal.
Ive been having lots of issues healthwise, since losing my husband. Some of the issues came on suddenly, and some happened over time. Weird things that I definitely didnt experience or face before his death, are now suddenly part of my life. I have developed ezcema. It comes and goes throughout the year, but its mostly on my arms and legs. I have vertigo, which also comes around whenever it feels like it, and then leaves again. I'm a stress eater and an emotional eater, so I have absolutely slowly gained weight since his death, and I was NOT in good shape to begin with. Today I saw a rhumatologist. A specialist that my good friend who is in the mental health field hooked me up with. This doctor was willing to see me at no charge and do tons of blood work on me to see what the hell might be going on. I have had this weird problem lately with my legs. As in, they feel super heavy and impossible to lift. When I climb steps or walk uphill or long distances, it feels as if each leg is a giant bag filled with bricks. Standing from a sitting position is tiring, and even tying my sneakers is tiring and difficult, due to the position my leg is in while doing that. It hurts. This has been going on for months now, and I had no idea what to do about it. And of course, I am freaking out. Convincing myself that I have lupus or M.S. or some other horrible thing, because why the hell cant I lift my legs? When Don was alive, I used to have random things wrong with me all the time, and it would ALWAYS turn out to be nothing, and I would panic, and he would calm me down. He was my anchor in all things. He always made me feel better. I would feel a weird lump on my back and then I would make him feel it too, and I would panic. "What is it, Boo? What if its cancer or a tumor? What If Im dying?" He would laugh and say "Youre not dying Boo. Youre fine. " And I was always fine. Even if I wasnt fine, I had my anchor. My husband. My world. He would take care of me and get me through it and we would be a team and face it together.
Today I went to the doctor alone. I came home alone. I didnt have my anchor to talk things over with, to rid my fears with. I wont get the bloodwork results back for another few days or more. Until then, I guess I just sit in silence with my anxiety,and try not to freak out about all the possibilities. But man, life sure is a whole lot easier when there are two.