Friday, December 14, 2012

What are you worth?

Well, well, well… 

I, Michelle, Blogger Extraordinaire, awesomely awesome creative creator of the Bringing Blogging Back Campaign; the one who was going to single-handedly resurrect The Art of Writing About Absolutely Nothing, have done a darn fine job of keeping up with my own blog lately, haven’t I?

I have a good excuse.  Or excuses.  As some of you know, we had a brand new business open, and then go under, all in the span of 2 weeks.  That was fun.  And a little bit stressful.   When we fail around here, we fail BIG.  We don't go at it half-a**ed. 

Actually, we got the ol' 'flat head and phillips treatment' by Darrell’s business 'partner,' so the business didn’t just end abruptly.  It ended horrendously.  But, we’ll save those unpleasant details for another day.  The subject is still a little tender.  I don't wanna talk about it. 

Shortly after that, we had a death in the family.  Darrell’s uncle passed away last month and Darrell spent the last couple weeks of his uncle’s life taking care of him, pretty much 24/7.  He was an emotional basket case at the time, but is beginning to feel better now.

 And?  I got sick shortly before the time Darrell started staying at the hospital around the clock and have remained that way for the past 4 or 5 weeks, along with the kids, who have taken turns being sick off and on. 
So… do I get a pass for my blogging slackitude?
That last part is what this post is really about.  Not my slackitude.  The part about being sick, I mean.  …Well, not really.  It's not about being sick.  It’s about something I realized yesterday as a result of being sick.  Something big.

I went to the doctor yesterday, hoping to score some tasty antibiotics… or an assisted suicide, because I was ready to die.  I was desperate enough to enthusiastically welcome either one.  Seriously, I felt so, so crappy.  I’d known for about 2 weeks that I’d reached that level of Sick that wasn’t going to clear up on its own, yet I kept putting off making an appointment with the doctor.   First, we didn’t have the money.  Then, we got some money, but I knew there were ‘better’ ways to spend it.  Like on food, and stuff.  Toilet paper.  Slim Jims.  You know.
In the meantime, my throat, ear and chest hurt somethin’ awful, as we say here in Cowcrap County.  Basically, my chest has been congested to the point that I can’t breathe when I lay down.  It feels like Honey Boo Boo’s mom is sitting on my chest (which is a fun sensation for a claustrophobic!  Hello, panic attack!).  So, I keep sitting up throughout the night, gasping for air...  which also means I haven’t been sleeping.  TAdd to that fevers, chills and coughing fits and you got yourself a party.  Those coughing fits have been pretty intense and obnoxious little sleep interrupters, too.  So, I’m literally sick and tired- ha.
And?  A few of the kids and I have pink eye, too, which is a guaranteed good time and a surefire way to feel super sexy.  I'm considering changing my name to Job Jr. if I can be guaranteed that people will know it rhymes with lobe and not lob.

Since we are not insured, and this is The Most Wonderful Ridiculously Expensive Time of the Year, and an office visit costs roughly $56,080.03, I kept thinking hoping praying that I could hold on a little longer and maaaaybe it would clear up by itself.  I kept reminding myself of all the important things we needed the money for, or how many Christmas gifts I could buy for the kids with it.  So, I procrastinated until I literally felt like I needed to be in a hospital. 

Yes, literally. 
Anyhoodie…  The doctor gave me an injection in the office, to get a jump on the respiratory infection I have because I let it get so bad, and prescribed an additional week of oral antibiotics to make sure it cleared up completely, and I got a script for the super good cough syrup that actually works (with codeine or something in it, I think), then he sent me on my not-so-merry way. 
As I stood at the checkout counter, writing my check (for $148 and change- not $56,080.03), I felt horribly guilty.  Yeah...  Guilty.  Overwhelmingly so, like I'd committed a crime.  I felt bad that I couldn't just "tough it out" and get better by myself; that I wasn't a stronger, better person; that I was wasting so much money.  I felt so, so bad to be spending that chunk of my family’s money on the doctor instead of something important. 

Seriously, guys.  I was trying to blink tears out of my eyes as I wrote that check.  Not that anyone would have noticed the tears, thanks to the pink eye.
Then I realized…
I wasn’t spending it on the doctor.  I was spending it on ME.  I was spending it on my health and well-being.  Why was that not important?
And so…  I had an epiphany.  A little voice in my head said, “Have you ever noticed that you always apologize to your husband whenever you schedule a doctor's appointment for yourself?  Every single time.  You say, "I'm sorry, but I'm gonna have to go to the doctor.  I can't take it anymore," as if it's an act of selfishness or a character defect to be sick.  You know something else?  You believe Christmas gifts for others, or a big ham for Christmas dinner, or even a bag of dog food ranks higher on the list of needs than your own health.  Your problem is not that you don't believe the doctor's visit is worth $148.00.  It's that you don’t believe your health is worth $148.00.  You don’t believe YOU are worth $148.00.” 
Well, cripes.  The little voice is right.  Man, I can't stand that chick sometimes. 
I realized I do this kind of thing a lot (I think we all, as women- and mothers- tend to put others ahead of ourselves, but…).   I am always feeling that I don’t deserve the same things everyone else does.  I often feel guilty for getting or even wanting the same things I believe others deserve.  

…Why is that? 
It’s that way whether it’s my health, or new clothes, or even how I allow others to treat me.  I can think of one or two relationships in my life right now that are… just... Not. Right.  I allow people to treat me in a way that I would never want my children to tolerate being treated.  And I just keep taking it.  Over and over.   
Some of these feelings of insecurity and unworthiness are common, I know, with adoptees.  But, jeez- I’m 46 years old.  That’s old enough to wear big girl panties and deal.  Isn’t it?  Am I destined to feel undeserving and crappy about myself for the rest of my flippin’ life because of something that happened in my infancy?  I'm stilll not sure I buy into that.  It's gotta be something else.  ...Doesn't it?
I’ve noticed the people in my life who tend to walk on me are also the types who are very self-assured and confident.  Or, at least, that’s how they seem.  These are the types who expect respect from others and they get it.  They always believe they are right.  They rarely apologize for being wrong (I feel I’m wrong all the time, for Pete’s sake.  I feel guilty when I know I haven’t done anything wrong.  Sometimes, it feels that apologizing is all I do.).  These people expect to get their way because they believe they deserve it.  They drive me nuts with their arrogance, and yet...  I'm envious of them.  I want what they have; whatever IT is that makes them value themselves so highly.  Not that I'd want to be a self-centered jerk to others.  I don't want to be selfish; I just want to stop feeling guilty every time I want or need something, especially from other people.  I want to stop worrying that I'm putting someone out to ask for something. 

I just want to feel like I'm as worthy as the next guy.  I know, intellectually, that I am.  But I want to KNOW, with every part of me, that I am; to feel that level of confidence.

So...  How do I do that?

Anyone?  Anyone? ...Bueller?
I do know this:  I decided in that doctor’s office yesterday that I will never, ever, ever allow myself to get that sick again before making an appointment and taking care of myself.  

No one, and no thing will ever again convince me that I should tolerate being sick as long as I can.
That doesn't solve the problem, but maybe it’s a step in the right direction, at least.


Nicki said...

Yikes - that's scary sick! And I'm right there with ya so I don't think I can offer words of wisdom. I haven't been to a doctor since like 2002 and that was for Addison's home study so it was worth it. It wasn't selfish ;) Blah. I hope you are feeling better by now!!

necessarygrace said...

FWIW, I just left a really great comment, but I was using the ipad version of blogger and it ate my comment. Stupid Blogger.

Here's the short version: Yep, I can relate. And if we had to pay up front for our medical bills, I'd probably put off going to the doc too (I kinda do anyway, because I hate doctors. But that's a differant angle altogether)

That said... You deserve to be healthy. You deserve to feel good. Your God made you and He loves you and He wants you to take care of you! It is not selfish... your family NEEDS you. They need you to feel good, they need you happy, they need you to be ALIVE. So if you are going to guilt yourself, go in that direction, k?

Love you!!!

metaphase said...

I do the exact same thing. I think we as moms are so used to putting ourself dead last that it's hard for us to remember how important we are to everyone around us.
I had pnuemonia for at least 3 weeks before I decided I really was going to die and finally went to the doctor- after my bf told me to! And? I have free medical care! So I really had no excuse execpt that I was sooo busy I just didn't have time. Plus!! My doctor is actually a friend of mine and I could get in any time I want! I was such an idiot. I was depressed and ready to die. I felt so horrible for so long I'd forgotten what it was like to be normal. I also apologized to my husband when I was put on bedrest instead of being hospitalized.
What was all this for? I didn't want my students to fall behind with a substitute. I wanted to "be there" for my family. I needed to get through homecoming week for my Seniors. Idiot! I was only half alive for all those things!
You're worth so much more than you realize. You deserve to feel well. I hope you feel better soon!!