Sometimes I wonder what the mouse in the cupboard, the silent observers in all our lives, must be thinking. I spend a pretty high portion of my life trying to keep everything together and running, trying to be high functioning and independent despite the number of factors that seem to be conspiring to take that independence from me.
In April I see a pulmonologist for my asthma. I’ve never had to see a specialist for it before, but I’ve never really had a winter as hard on my lungs as this winter has been before, either. Since Symbicort rather quickly proved it wasn’t helpful to me, I don’t know that I have much in the way of choice in the matter. A more expert opinion might give me more options. (I do so like the breathing, after all.)
My primary care physician is trying to convince me that I might want to see a rheumatologist for the fibromyalgia, too. I’m not sure I’m ready to admit defeat on that front. Defeat and specialist means potentially beginning another round of using myself as a test subject and potentially having another round of awful side effects and the less than stellar mood that goes with that.
I’d rather get my lungs back under me so I can exercise more. I’ve always had better luck on that front than with throwing meds at whatever was acting up.
Yes, I’m still a little cranky about both the Symbicort (side effect: instant asthma attack – just add trying to take Symbicort) and the Tamiflu (side effect – all the stomach problems and a side of dizzy to remind me that I’ve been taking not being dizzy for granted lately.) What the actual hell, Big Pharma? Do none of you bastards in the finance end of things saying “Push the anti-viral. We’re stuck with it.” ever have side effects?
And then there’s the thing that lurks in the background. The thing we’re watching and that scares me the most. The thing that I don’t say on this blog – that I don’t tell most people.
When I go for my follow-up with my primary care physician (also in April) we’ll check on that, too. She says not to worry. She says to follow my diet and be judicious and that I can hold the line where things stand. Things don’t have to progress.
Does the mouse in the cupboard see it all? Does he see the face I want him to see? The mostly happy, confident woman who is grateful for all the loving people and good things in her life.
Or does he see how afraid I am underneath it all that I’m not going to be able to hold this all together? That I fear the day is coming when there won’t be enough red lipstick and carefully curated clothing to hide behind. The dam will burst and everyone will see the truth: none of this is easy. I may not be missing a limb, but I’m not an able person. I’m chronically ill with multiple coexisting conditions and I’m having more days where that’s showing.
I’ve been very lucky to be as able as I have been my adult life and I’m scared as hell that I’m losing my hold on that. I’m afraid of what will happen if that happens. How will I support myself? How do I keep from becoming a burden to society? Will I be able to maintain my level of maintenance medical care?
Should I just stop trying to act like everything’s normal and fine for the benefit of the mouse in the cupboard? Days are good and days are challenging. They’re going to be that way whether I pretend I’m fine or not. Maybe gracefully dropping the act would give me more energy to focus on the things that matter most: Friends. Family. Being a benefit in the world.
Pretty much everything but that mouse in the cupboard, who likely has their own business to mind anyway.