My morning didn’t start out well — no coffee in the house. Or, more accurately, no milk or cream for the coffee that was in the house. This means no coffee for me. When I start a morning without coffee, there is nothing to burn off the fog of last night’s handful of (prescribed) medications. I need it like I need air. I know there is someone out there who knows this feeling. I know DSB knows this feeling, but there must be someone else out there who feels it.
After chatting with DSB for not nearly long enough, I gathered my things and headed out to my car. I had many missions to accomplish and it was going to be a long day. The lack of coffee left me with a sense of foreboding, and I almost stayed home, but these tasks of today were not up for negotiation.
My first mission was to get two cavities filled. Since I have been on disability, and without the cushy dental insurance of the private sector, I have been relegated to getting my dentistry issues resolved at the local free clinic. I shouldn’t complain. At least I have access. At least I have a father willing to pay the $58 for each filling. At least I don’t have to resort to an extraction. I tell myself these things as I go into the dirty waiting room and speak with a disgruntled support staff worker.
I am very quietly pleased when I am almost immediately called back. The dental assistant resists my attempts at chatting, and I feel like I might be lower than the gum on her shoe to her. I can understand that. Burnout at a free clinic is common. I decide not to hold it against her as she turns the radio on to a rap station that I detest. Within minutes, I am greeted by the dentist. I am very pleased.
Dr. Bob tells me that he has volunteered six weeks of his time to the Clinic, being recently retired from private practice. He has good bedside manner and he is chatty and his hands don’t shake. Dr. Bob appears to see me as a person and is very interested in my dental hygiene. He did a pain-free filling and then, examined my x-ray, and said he thought we should just “watch” the other tooth, because he thought it could be cleared up with regular flossing and brushing.
I liked Dr. Bob, and Dr. Bob is the first dentist I have liked since I started going to the clinic. I asked him how much longer he would be helping out, and could I schedule my next two fillings with him being the dentist. He said I could, and that’s just what I did on my way out the door. I go back in two weeks and am actually looking forward to it.
My next trip is about 45 minutes to the East, to see my psychiatrist. He also works at what would be called the “free clinic.” It is county based (I go out-of-county because my employment from before would have me running into former co-workers and clients; basically a privacy issue) and it has really treated me well, as far as med services go. They also have the wonderful intensive DBT program that I have been through a few times. For an organization on a shoe-string budget, they do good work.
I see my psychiatrist and tell him that I had to stop taking Adderal because it made me too jittery. I switched back to Ritalin, and he increased the dose. I also told him about all of my problems falling asleep and he prescribed Sonata. I like my doctor, I really do. He is somewhat elderly, perhaps early 70’s, and I asked him if he was getting ready to retire anytime soon. He laughed and said they were too short staffed for him to do that, but that he might scale back to just a few days a week in January. Anything I can do to keep this man, perhaps the very best psychiatrist I have ever known, in his office, I will do. It’s not common to find good practitioners in county clinics.
After the appointment, I drove to a water garden store that sells product to my parents, for a pick-up. It went smoothly and I headed back to the highway. On the way home, I realized I had either been in a car or at an appointment for six hours. I had wondered why I had been feeling so exhausted.
After dropping the product to my parents, I ran to Walgreen’s to fill the new prescription and get my Ritalin refilled. They said it would be a fifteen minute wait, so I went and parked and talked to DSB on the phone for a little while. After 15 minutes, I drove back through the drive-thru and was told that the Sonata had a prior authorization issue, but the Ritalin was ready. Walgreen’s said they sent two notices to my doctor, and I called and left a message on the nurse’s line for good measure. I’d really like to try the new prescription and see if I can’t start sleeping.
Finally home, with take-out in hand, DSB and I started processing the day. Even though much good had happened, I kept picking up the negatives. I didn’t get the kitchen cleaned. I didn’t make dinner. I didn’t get the trash down to the road. I didn’t get any laundry done. Gas was too expensive. On and on and on.
DSB often says wise things, and to my moaning, he says, “Rose, things are finally starting to look up. Stop looking down.” For some reason that just clicked in my brain. He said, “You know how when you’re in a plane or up somewhere high, and they tell you not to look down? What do you do?” I said, “I look down.” “What happens,” DSB asked. “I get scared,” I said. “Okay then. Stop looking down. All of the good stuff is up here.”
That conversation right there is a prime example of why DSB and I are still together. We are magic together. He is magic for me. I have never loved someone so totally and completely, who so totally and completely gets me. I mean, he REALLY gets me.