The Bottom

The common rule of thumb is that addicts must hit rock bottom before they begin to recover. 

But my follow up question is this: how hard is the bottom?

And can you keep falling through? Are these rock bottoms actually bottomless?

I am beginning to realize that these statements do not just apply to addicts, but to all of us broken souls.

On Monday, I made an appointment to see my rheumatologist. I had not seen him since January, when I was hospitalized for a lupus flare. I lost the prescription he gave me to get labs drawn and I'd been putting off calling him for months. (He can be very harsh and scary, and he yells.)

I kept meaning to reschedule but I never did. I had my reasons, but I should have went because the benefit of going to see him outweighed my apprehensions. I should have went the minute by Medicare coverage kicked in on February first.

But, well, I didn't. And I didn't go for my scans, either. My follow-up cancer scans. Nope, didn't do those. I lost those prescriptions too. 

Instead I traveled a bit and laid in my bed, watching my diabetes worsen and not doing much to stop it. 

Last week my parents begged me to make an appointment with my rheumatologist and to finally get my labs drawn for my diabetes.

And so I called the rheumatologist's office, first thing on Monday. And the receptionist, who I USED TO love, didn't seem happy to hear my voice. She seemed...surprised. And squirrelly.

She told me my doctor had let me go as a patient, for non-compliancy. That I'd blown off too many appointments and that I'd failed to get my labs drawn and that I owed them money from the hospital stay my insurance did not fully cover.

I was shocked. And angry. Angry at this doctor for blowing me off in my time of need. So mad at him for not taking care of me.

The anger lasted a few days. And then I realized that this was a wake up call. The doctor hadn't failed me; I had failed me. I let my fear tie me to the bed. I slept through the days because sunlight reminded me I had things to do, and I could not do them. I couldn't go. I just couldn't.

I was afraid. I was too afraid to live that I didn't dare try to get better. Because every time I try to get better, I seem to get worse. And if I don't try, maybe I won't feel that loss of hope, again and again.

I have felt badly for years. The past two years have been especially brutal. I start new regimes and they last for weeks and then I see that they don't work so I go back to what makes me feel comfortable.

But I got fired this week. By a really well-respected physician who told me I was a liability because I was a danger to myself. Because by failing to follow his instructions, I will get worse, and die, and the blame will fall to him. And he doesn't want or deserve this blame.

If I get sicker, it won't be entirely my fault. I have three (four, if you count cancer) unpredictable disease, two of which are incredibly hard to manage.

But getting fired by the scary doctor who once told me I would not live to 50 scared me. It felt like another rock bottom.

I declared at the beginning of the year that this would be my year of healing. And that was nice for a month or two. But it did not last, because as usual, I went in half-ass and instead of all the way. 

I think I need to take smaller steps if I am going to conquer the depression and apathy that makes living with lupus and Type 1 diabetes so hard. 

I think admitting I have a problem is the first one. (I heard that somewhere...)

Tomorrow, I SWEAR, I will go get my labs drawn. And I will take a walk. And get a new doctor. 

And we will go from there.

(I want to live.)


  1. So you're calling a new doctor right now?

  2. This is a great, vulnerable post. By which I mean, get your damn ass on the phone to schedule ALL the appointments you need. The scary things are coming whether we hide from them or not -- we might as well give ourselves better odds by fighting them head on (which I know is harder than one trite sentence implies). I'm proud of you for writing this. And will be even more proud to see you follow through.

  3. Oh Kelly. It's NOT easy. I "lose" my lab requisitions all of the time and have seen "non-compliant" on my doctor's notes. This doesn't mean it's okay - we both know it's not - but, i do know what it's like to be neglectful of my health care. Not that I'm comparing my illness to yours, you're dealing with a SHITLOAD that no one should have to deal with.

    Do it. Call for those appointments. You'll feel so much better that you're being responsible about your health. I will too, ok? ( I actually think I may have been dropped too bc I haven't had any calls in awhile).

    Writing this was brave and honest and admirable.