Thursday, April 26, 2012

I Could Not Stop

I work for the government at the County Level. Which government does some great things, it rarely does them efficiently and some things it has to do keep people “freshly tuned”. And so, like today, there is some training which I have to sit through annually which some presenters do freshly but others just trudge you through the day.  Usually on those days, I simply take some classic poetry that I memorized and find a way to humorously rewrite them. Having recently been to Walden Pond, I found one that I wrote a few years ago:
Apologies to Thoreau's Walden Pond

I went to the home to live assistedly
To sucky my meals, wells, through a straw.
So that when it came time for me to die
No one would learn I had just peed.
Long before I knew I had any health issues I was sitting there making fun of possibly having to live assisted death and so it was interesting/worrisome to find that mock poem on the same day that I got the long term care insurance billing. As long as I can hold for 90 more days without needing it, I’ll be eligible. Since I will never again be eligible for short or long term insurance, that’s somehow relieving.
But I also wrote another one that day with regards to another poem which connected both running and death and it felt a bit odd to find this one:
Apologies to Emily Dickison's Because I Could not Stop for death:

Because I could not stop for breath
The 10 K Stopped for me
The thought of being overwhelmed
It Ended concretely

Today I sat there and argued with my insurance for over an hour over 3 different things that my doctors have recommended and my insurance won’t cover.  They didn’t budge on any of them and having done this a year ago at the end when “quick resolutions” lady (the 4th person I’d gotten transferred to) said to close the phone call, “Is there any other way I can help you today? “ I annoyingly and annoyed said: “Um, today you haven’t helped me at all.” I apologized afterwards but that was less than classy.

Yesterday I attended a Livestrong class of Cancer and Finances… Learned some good lessons and it also reminded me that while that things are never so bad they can’t be worse.  My medical bills are starting to rise again but there was someone there who had met their $10,000 deductible by the second week of January. There was a business owner and now didn’t have the energy to keep running their own business because of the chemotherapy.  There was a moment last summer after half my household income was gone when I thought about blowing off the Boston Marathon and just getting a second job that I could do when I didn’t have Kiana. Then I thought about doing it after the Boston Marathon…and now I’ve put off considering getting that second job until the Century Ride is over. But I also don’t know that I want to be working just to stay alive and then miss life itself.  It’s a very frustrating moment trying to decide whether or not to keep doing things like races or just buckle down and pay medical bills which apparently can come up unexpectedly even after they’ve come up expectedly.

Still after I got Kiana to bed last night, I was on a bike stand someone lent me on my own bike (not nearly as cool as the Mellow Johnny’s lent to me also it turns out if the front tire is flat cause you haven’t used it in so long it doesn’t matter because you only use the back one). I sat there pedaling away for an hour and unlike real cycling there is no coasting, all while doing the brain rehab on my ipad. Today I did a hill workout and went from there to an MRI which I’ve just finished analyzing because I know how to read them… oh wait I don’t. The assistants are still amused that I fall asleep during the MRI (apparently some people get claustrophic and need something injected to calm them down before hand). Yet while I fall asleep during that, I get all panicky when they are about to put a needle in me and they have to remind me to breathe. Tonight I joked with them that come on now, no one has ever died from a lack of breathing…

Speaking of dying, Emily Dickinson’s actual poem is

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.

We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

On my clearer moments,  which thankfully is still most of them, I appreciate and realize while my  current health insurance isn’t great (apparently none are), I am infinitely grateful to be where I am at, which is alive. The Boston Marathon weather wasn’t all I could have dreamed of but I got to run the Boston Marathon! And the point that was never negotiable with me was not getting across the finish line. I won’t stop for death and when it stops for me, I hope Dickinson’s right and that it does so kindly and civilly. But until then… I’m not stopping. 

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