Reality check bounce


I got a settlement last year of $40,000. In 8 months, it’s nearly gone. I ran through my numbers and realized that all that money went into taking care of myself (clothes, for the first time in years; chiropracty, not covered by insurance; acupuncture, which should be covered but is sometimes improperly denied; $300/month in supplements which aren’t covered, but do let me function; $500/month for fresh whole food that keeps me from getting worse, more important now that I’m allergic to inexpensive foods like wheat, corn and rice; massage prepayments, for my masseur who was stuck abroad but is finally back & starting to work on me.) There were a couple of large one-offs, but they total the equivalent of the other 3-4 months of the year.
Although I’m certainly far better than I’d have been without it, I’m considerably sicker, weaker, sorer and more mentally impaired overall.
Meanwhile, insurance has — most improperly — denied any of the care that they are supposed to pay for and have covered in the past.
This disease is a bit like cancer in that, if treatment is delayed, you’re liable to lose ground, and there’s no realistic hope of regaining the ground you lose.
I’ve been pegging my hopes on federal disability (the dole, but a relatively generous dole) but even that will provide only one-third of what I need to live on. If I weren’t tending this illness — and could eat grains — it would be enough; that gives scale to these expenses. It takes 40k to support me for a year and the best I’ll get is 14.4k.
If I move ashore, which I’m trying to do (finishing up the boats and selling them being this winter/spring’s project), then it will be considerably less, because rent ashore is so high. However, it’s becoming impossible to function without hot running water, a bath and a laundry machine. Catch-22, or at least a choice of impossible situations.
If I could get a year’s funding for the intensive health work I’d hoped to do this year, I’d stand a chance of regaining enough ground to work and earn. I don’t see how to make that happen. I may be lacking in imagination.
Anyway, I’m beginning to wonder if it makes sense to keep working on figuring out how to mend. I’ve contemplated the babbling fool I’ll become on the present trajectory without supplements and so forth: pride and dignity aside, there’s no realistic way to bear it — the waking with a muddle in my mind, the increasing helplessness and isolation as my friends get more and more frustrated with dealing with me, the waxing helplessness in the face of the most basic tasks like budgets and shopping, the inability to make decisions on the basis of imperfect understanding, the constant wounding of my amour propre as the patronizing tones and “there, there” remarks continue to mount. The startling shafts of clarity when I see just how stupid I’ve been, and knowing I’ll soon fall into the fog again. It’s simply unbearable.
Had I grown up unintelligent, I’d have the skills to manage life with fuzzy brains, but I really don’t. It’s desperately confusing and the constant humiliation doesn’t help.
When I can just sit down and write, focusing on the one thing for a stretch of time, I do fine. (I hope that’s obvious.) The hopping about from topic to topic, without having time to sink into one and pull up the mental flash cards, is becoming impossible. And that’s what life requires.
My mind is thixotrophic: quick moves bounce right off; it takes time and gentle pressure for me to get in.
Though without the rigorously pure food and costly supplements, that focused writing-mind doesn’t work either. It can’t even start.
I read up on Woolf and Hemingway some years ago. I felt the usual poignant poetic feelings about their deaths, gilding over a sneaking suspicion that they’d copped out. But, as my own mental life becomes ever more fraught, I become ever more awed at the strength, grace and nerve each brought to their final stages. The words that sounded just a little bit like whining or wounded vainglory, were really a symptom of the inadequacy of language in the face of an assault on one’s core that defies meaning itself, let alone language’s ability to convey meaning.
I need more options. I need real care. I’m out of ideas.
I liked being happy & relieved last summer. I could do with more of that!
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