Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Stress Is Very, Very Bad

The worst thing for my chronic illness is stress.  Stress can be invisible, just like illness, unless you're not so good at hiding it (the stress response) like me.  When I'm stressed, pretty much everyone on the planet knows it.

So.  Here are just a few of the things that cause me stress that, in my humble opinion, could be avoided if other people would just do their jobs.

1.  I had a pulse ox walking test at my doctor's office on August 2nd.  Today is September 13. That's a month and 11 days since the test.  I am STILL waiting for them to fax the information to my pulmonologist and Airway Oxygen. I have called no less than 7 times.  I called the office manager this morning and left a message, and am waiting for a call back.  SEVEN TIMES.  Airway needs it for Medicare billing approval, and my pulmonologist needs it because my O2 sats are way too low.  I cannot think of a reason on this earth that would cause someone to NOT be able to neither fax the information requested NOR return any of my calls. Unless, of course, they have met with a terrible fate and lost all of their fingers, voice, and brain.  If I do not get the information faxed today, heads. will.  roll.

2.  On a totally separate matter, I had to listen to 1 minute and 47 seconds of "if you need this" option that I didn't need, "press one now" before I even got to be put on hold to speak to a human being.  Said human being finally got on the line, and was either drunk, asleep, ill, or all of the above, because I couldn't understand a word she said.  And she wasn't foreign.  In this economy, you'd THINK companies could find qualified people to answer their %$#!* phones.

3.  We went to the fair Sunday.  I hate the fair.  Dirt, rides you can hear falling apart as you walk by, crowds of people from the elite to the dregs of humanity...all I see are germs.  That's my superpower.  I see the germs on everything.  And it's not pretty. It makes me throw up a little in my mouth.  But since my son was in heaven for 8 hours (yes, 8, long, grueling hours) I tried not to hyperventilate.  I did take 2 canisters of foam antibacterial hand stuff, one bottle of gel antibacterial hand stuff, one package of antibacterial wipes, and one package of Clorox bleach on-the-go wipes.  And still, exactly on time, 48 hours later, Jacob is getting a cold.

4.  We have not had Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance since December 1, 2010.  Yes, that's almost a year ago.  Yet I STILL receive EOB's from them because Medicare forwards the claim to them instead of Priority, my new health insurance (since December 1, 2010).  I have called Medicare on several occasions and they swear it's been taken care of.  Obviously not.

5.  I have been trying to get my doc's office and my insurance to cooperate on getting a monthly calcium supplement like Boniva or Actonel.  I took Fosamax but stopped because of the dangerous side effects.  I have osteoporosis from Prednisone, and I haven't been taking anything for months now.  I'm at my wit's end.

6.  Then we have the every-day life stressors that everyone has to deal with:  finances, children, husbands....everything household related falls to me.  If it happens inside the four walls (unless it's a construction project) it's mine to deal with.  Sweet.

Invisible Illness affects every area of my life.  Every. Area.  So if I seem super stressed out or grumpy, or exhausted....I probably am, and with good reason.  I have been feeling SO much better since I've been getting treatments more often, and closer to home.  And I am very thankful for that.  I guess that's why I haven't been in the hospital from all this stress! 

And I'm very thankful for good friends who "get" me, who I don't have to pretend with... Because there's a lot of pretending that goes on with people who have chronic illness.  We get just as tired of it as our caretakers do.  And we can never escape it. 


The Jammie Girl said...

I hear you. It's such a vicious cycle - something stresses you out a bit, which makes dealing with your illness a little harder, which makes your symptoms worse, which makes you more stressed, which . . .

Patty Ann said...

Oh, I hear you too!! Stress makes even nearly healthy people sick! It gives me migraines!! I hate that, especially because I am one of those people that refuses to act like I have a headache. I have to keep working, doing, going, and surviving. That is just more stress. I hope you start feeling better. I hope that your stress levels go down and that your insurance mixup gets fixed. You don't need that on top of everything else.

Pam said...

Kerri I so "get you!" i am home with an IBS flair up so bad from stress and either a viral or baterial infection...the jury is still out of which...anyway the doctor sent my work a 2 week slip so I can rest up along with a bunch of things to try to get my stomach back to normal...oh Kerri, I will pray for you...love you