We Are At The Beginning Of Change…
Wednesday September 28th 2016

Archives

Chronic Snarkopolist: Medical Debtfetti

Post Published: 31 May 2010
Author:
Category: chronic autoimmune conditions column, Chronic Snarkopolist, Column
This post currently has 23 responses. Leave a comment

Please welcome Melissa Travis! Melissa is one of our new columnists. She also happens to be a comedy writer contending with chronic and multiple autoimmune conditions, and cancer. Melissa’s column will humorously and irreverently table the issues facing patients with multiple chronic conditions, cancer to boot, exorbitant medical debt, and much more.

Hello there! I am so excited to share myself with you. As I write, my doggie Moshe, is shredding my medical bills into confetti for me so we can have a PROPER PARTY out of this affair! And also because it makes living with the burden of medical debt more bearable if I pretend to make something festive out of all the collection notices.

I will NOT discuss the times when I attempt to contact my doctor’s offices and occasionally flip out and sound like a sobbing freak because I feel so economically overwhelmed and try to make payments to them.  Nor will I discuss the time when the totally bizerko office manager screamed at me in front of the entire lobby of patients for “ripping her a new one” – which is amusing too because you know… I was at a proctologist’s office for that very problem because you know… thyroid, Hashimotos, constipation, anal fissure… you do the math.  Oh dear…  I’m digressing too far and we’ve just met. Oy.  Let’s pretend you do NOT know about my poop shoot just yet and just that I make confetti out of my medical bills out of a desperate attempt to feel festive about the stunning mountain of medical debt I’m in due to the joyous mountain of health issues.

I also pack boxes with the shredding to feel more eco-superior.  I have a mountain of shredded paper.  It’s no longer going to a landfill.  It is now packing material.  There. I’m minimizing. I’m sustainable.  I might even start a garden and use it as some sort of fertilizing mulch.  That will work right?

All I know is that these medical bills have never stopped coming – they just change colors and occasionally change names from the doctors to “collections”… and you know – my credit cards have gone from having PLENTY of open credit to having $7 bucks of open credit and the APR now looks like something Greece is dealing with.  I like baklava and lamb gyros.  I’ll move to Greece. Or Canada?

Whatever… For now I just live in my little ghetto fabulous tiny ass apartment that is always too hot in the summers and too cold in the winters and the roof leaks when it rains because the slumlord won’t fix the ceiling. The toilet clogs and I have to share water with the other tenants and we all split the bill fifty-fifty even though I’m a single occupant and they are a double occupancy.  It is NOT a fair system- but one doesn’t argue with a slumlord.  One just pays rent and attempts to not fall through the floor like my neighbor did last week when he was opening his blinds.

I live with my four-leggeds who keep me company.  And I live alone because when I got sick my ex divorced me because illness was NOT in his agenda.  Ahh- but these are stories for happier times.  I cannot tell if I should introduce you to my animals or my illnesses first.  But I live contentedly with my animals and I lion-tame my illnesses with chairs and whips.  And sometimes the illnesses seem to have me ass up over every doctor’s table and insurance company and collection agency in the country.

My dog – who I am positive is an alcoholic – chews nylabones and shreds medical bills –and is generally well behaved unless someone comes over to witness… and then she becomes a giant asshole and acts like a Tasmanian devil who snorted a line of pixie sticks off a five year old’s lunchbox.  I’m always sitting there wondering how my sweet little 11 year old doggie who is on her last legs and can do no wrong –  suddenly becomes demon spawn. But she finds a way to make it happen every time.

Keep in mind my dog runs her own comedic advice column and no one realizes it’s me and has more fans than I do. And I cannot tell if this makes me hilarious, or a giant loser because “we’ve” been doing it since 2002. She even posts videos in an old man’s voice and people LOL all over themselves.  She has quite a massive following.

My cat Mercer is in a snit because the living room curtain fell and I cannot get the energy to re-hang it.  Said curtain also cut off the register vent last night and now the living room in my tiny ass apartment is all stuffy and hot so we are all a little grumpy and cranky right now.  Incidentally I also moved two plastic organizer boxes on HIS favorite sleeping ottoman.  Hell hath no fury.

I also have a nineteen year-old ancient cat who wakes me up at all hours to get her twice daily insulin shots.  I thought insulin was supposed to have some sort of time table- but the cat will just sort of shoot foam from her stomach and insist that IT IS TIME… and so it goes.  I’m sick; she is sick.  She wins because she is more tragically attention getting about things.

The vet told me she is nearing the human equivalent of 150 years old.  I fight back semi-jealous feelings toward my cat that she should be so lucky to only have ONE medication twice daily and easily injected. And she has a human companion who fawns all over her to make sure she is loved and cared for.  The cat retaliates by living- FOREVER. Indeed we both sleep about the same amount and I’m only 36 in human years. But again, I digress.  I’m jealous of my cat because she gets to be old and sick in comfort and loved for it.  And I got sick too soon and too young. Is that fucked up to be jealous of your sick cat?  It is, I shouldn’t have confessed it here. It says too many bizarre things about me.

And then there is my healthy as a horse young man cat  – who is still in a huff about the ottoman.  He is devilishly handsome and he knows it.  He grows proportionally to the stress in the house and makes me feel guilty for the lack of normalcy around here. Ohmygod- am I not playing with him enough. Do I not make the bed over him enough?  Am I in the hospital too often?  Am I sobbing too much? Do I hug him too much because I’m so sad and feel unlovable and out of control? Am I too needy? Am I pushing all my wants and fears onto my poor four-leggeds? So the healthy cat is growing each year, eating away his frustration… He was 12 pounds at this last checkup from the tiny diminutive cat of 8 pounds that he used to be when I was married –before Autoimmune Disorders of Doom were unleashed a few years ago.

Meanwhile we are all huddled in my little porch–office conversion in my ghetto fab tiny ass apartment where the register blows out too much hot or cold.  My toes are freezing and everything is cool and calm.  The dog shreds pink “emergency-you’re-going -to -jail -because -you’re -a -terrible -human -being -aren’t -you -ashamed -to -be -alive -you -irresponsible -fuck” bills contentedly.  The cats rest.  I write and consider socks. My toes turn purple now from the cold.  A girl can only deal with so much cool air blowing from these vents.

There.  I’m now typing this in a snuggie – with socks. No – they don’t match.  Deal with it. (Marvel comics t-shirt, pink socks, un-ironic snuggie is a recent gift from an old improv buddy along with some gourmet chocolates that have become increasingly appealing now that I’m on prednisone).

I’m wondering just how much self-introduction is necessary.  I fear to name the diseases too much least they feel AT HOME in my body – like they some how have a RIGHT TO ME – like they belong here or were invited.  Because they were not.  They just showed up like in-laws on your anniversary when you have the latex and “quality porn” out.  Some of these diseases I’ve had a long time and so I am more comfortable with them and know them.  I want to say- THEY DO NOT HAVE ME. But sometimes I feel like they do, when I feel like shit or when I just can’t get my comedy dick up.  But most of the time I feel defiant and say- I have sickness, but the sickness does NOT have me.

Lupus of course I am more familiar with. Her friends  – every other auto-immune dis-order you can shake a stick at  – I think of more as rugrats who run around in my blood stream attaching themselves to my organs and trampolineing themselves through the air – hurdling from organ to treatment to side effect.  It gets confusing and annoying and sometimes I just go numb with the sheer overwhelm.  Other times I am in awe of the people who seem to have their shit pulled together.  It seems like some of you have an excel file in your brains where you know exactly what sensation you feel and what causes it and why you feel that way and what you can do to fix it.

Meanwhile –  I go to biopsies, and deal with the intersections of illnesses and side effects and medications and who-done-its inside my body. I attempt to be humorous, I fail miserably some days.  I work hard not to play “my illness is worse than yours” and instead realize that most people who have one auto-immune disorder are also a walking time bomb of many of them.  I was the unobservant fuck who got hit with a ton of bricks because I just kept walking ahead and not paying attention to the small signs and trusting doctors and medical people when they told me it was all in my head.

And now – NOW when it is too late for going back – it is time for me to carry on – move forward through the worst of it.  Some days are spent in bed. Some are spent in medical offices. And some are spent doing what I love – teaching, writing, and doing comedy.  Illness has certainly taken from me what I loved and wanted the most.  I struggle daily to find an identity separate from being sick.

Yet – fighting through the illness has given me the keys to my most true inner self.  And a deep love for banana popsicles.  And online and real life support groups.  And too many Friday nights spent on the Internet.  And the knowledge that a discussion of anal fissures makes people run for the hills.  (And are a terrible way to introduce yourself).  Oh hi. Nice to meet you.  I wear well over time.  I’m Melissa. I’m the snickness snarkopolist. Curtsies.

So please – tell me more about YOU! I want to hear all about YOU YOU YOU! Do you have fissures in your pooper? How’s your thyroid treating you? Do you have multiple chronic conditions and if you do – what ways do you cope with them?  Do you look like a sobbing sofa cushion or is that just me?  How often do you pick cat hair out of your medication?

I’m publishing weekly and I want to hear from you! I want this to be YOUR area to talk to me and have a dialogue with me. I love conversations with fabulous sassy awesome people. Talk to me – tell me more about your life – parenting, jobs, money, keeping sane, going quietly or loudly insane! How are you handling your shit?

Be seeing you next week! Same time same place! Kisses!

Follow Dear Thyroid on TwitterFacebook and GroupFan

Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Follow Dear Thyroid on Twitter/@DearThyroid | See our Facebook Page | Become a Fan on Facebook | Join our Facebook Group

You Can Create a Dear Thyroid Profile and share with friends!

Reader Feedback

23 Responses to “Chronic Snarkopolist: Medical Debtfetti”

  1. Hey Melissa, welcome aboard. I look forward to reading your future columns. Am writing from Dublin, Ireland and sad to be returning “home” to Düsseldorf, Germany tomorrow.

    No fissures in my pooper, but I could certainly see how that could occur. Let’s just say that certain meds I am on cause constant gastrointestinal issues and they can be nasty at times. This med I hope to stop taking in the medium-term, but for now it’s a seriously shitty (pardon the pun) side effect I have to deal with.

    Love,

    Sarah

  2. Sarah – Love the pun. It’s a good one. I’m sorry you’re sad to head back to Germany. Ireland is beautiful, isn’t it? Maybe you’ll move there permanently.

    I digress. I love this first installation of Melissa’s column – she gets right to the fucking point – Shit and shitsurance. I laughed and cried while reading it.

    Glad you don’t have fissures. Sorry Melissa has them. The rectum should be sacred, an untouchable, if you will. Oh, we thyroid/autoimmune patients can’t seem to catch a break, can we?!

    xo

  3. Melissa, so glad to have you as part of the DT team!! LOVE LOVE your column. You depiction of your reality is wonderful and hilarious. Sorry to hear your pooper is on the fritz.

    “I struggle daily to find an identity separate from being sick.”
    If you figure this out, let me know. I don’t know how to separate cancer from who I am. Although, it’s changed me so much that I don’t know if I want to .

    I can’t wait to read more from you!

    xoxo,
    Joanna

  4. Melissa Travis says:

    Sarah –
    Thank you so much for the shout out!!

    I love me some Dublin but hope that you find Düsseldorf joy too. I hate moves that you don’t want to make – sending out the hearts to you.

    And oy to the G/I meds. Yeesh. I will do some non-fissurey chants for you that your pooper stays fissure free!! Keep letting me know how you’re doing! You have a special place now as my very first commenter. 🙂

    mucho loves!
    x
    Melissa

  5. Joanna – I completely agree. Melissa is a delightful addition to Dear Thyroid. I love her wicked sense of humor. She’s no holds barred. So Dear Thyroideee.

    The description of medical debt, and turning it into confetti; well that’s just awesome.

    I’m looking forward to fissures-be-gone for our dear thyrella.

    xo

  6. Melissa Travis says:

    Hi Joanna- thank you SO MUCH for your beautiful sentiment!! I am struck by your introspection! I know what you mean about not wanting cancer or illness- but not knowing how to separate yourself from who you you have become through it either!! That is beautiful and profound to me.

    Sometimes I’d like to re-wind my life – with alllllll the ghastly “lessons” I’ve learned about myself – but WITHOUT THE ILLNESS. yes? You with me sistha?? Wanna come? We’ll be who we are – but sickness free? Care to join? 😉

    I’m excited and grateful to be here. And thank you so much for the lovely comment!

    sending out some sass!
    x
    Melissa

  7. The wisdom of living w/ sickness but w/o the actual sickness? Count me in, Melissa!

  8. Lolly says:

    Hi Melisaa,

    You made my day just reading your column the humour when faced with chronic illness i know it so well.
    I like to joke about the things in my life because none of it feel fucking real, I’d rahter have my dog treat me than a dDr. who thinks he is an Adonis but a prick in britches

    Have you ever thought about investing in a shredder, just a thought I’m all for recyling living green but no one ever told me it didn’t mean you had to look that colour.

    Pleased to have you here look forward to reading more BTW my name is Lolly you can call me LOL. xoxo

  9. Melissa Travis says:

    Hey there Lolly-LOL – I love BOTH the names!! (I used to have an ex who would call me Melly Mel… I guess I’m just… reminiscing. It has been too long.) 🙂

    Thank you so much for your comments and for the lovely compliments about my writing!

    I’m so sorry that you’re dealing with your own chronic illnesses. And yes- we’ve all had trials with terrible doctors. I’m so happy that I have good doctors now. And I hope hope hope you are finding good ones now too! Have you? Are you getting good medical care now? What’s the story?

    As for the shredder – I could – but I don’t think my dog would forgive me. Our animals NEED JOBS to feel validated. Why- if I got a SHREDDER what would my dog do for a living? I shudder to think!

    I’m looking forward to hearing from you more LOL!
    cheers and cholly Lolly!
    x
    Melissa

  10. Lolly says:

    Ps no I haven’t just pissed myself from laughing so hard, just want to apologise for all the errors Melissa.

    I have bad hands just now and I am hitting 3 keys with one fucking finger then I go to do spell check and navigate to translate it spelt it for me.

    Lollyx

  11. Melissa Travis says:

    My dear LOLzers –
    HAHA –look – I am typing dexterously with my toes – the day that we have to worry about our spelling errors when we connect with each other is the day that I will begin drinking myself to sleep instead of writing about our shit!!

    BRING YOUR LOVELY POINTY FINGER BACK AND TALK TO ME EVERY DAY!!
    xoxo
    Melissa

  12. Lolly says:

    Hey Melly Mel,

    No our dogs need jobs to be Validated, mine likes to make sure she has warmed up all the cushions on the settee and all the beds up in every room before she decides to go in her own.

    I wish I could say my problem and doctors have been resolved and i have a fantastic medical team catering to my every needs but alas I don’t and it’s getting ever increasing harder.

    Let me give you just one incident of incompetence that happened just 2 days ago. I won’t go into detail but put it this way he refused to treat me because it wasn’t his field of expertise or even classed as an emergency, fair enough but why make me sit fucking 3 hours in ER waiting to be seen in pain and discomfort to be told that, I could have sat in front of the TV chilling out trying to forget what is going on and to top it off he told me to increase a medication to 3 times the dose, knock myself out and ask for a referral to a specialist. Well good job I am on the ball or else I could well have been that fucking emergency he didn’t want to treat because he didn’t know what the fuck to do maybe thinking back that was his intention all along and I misread the signs. yeah overdose, treatment, specialist equals relief.

    I live in the UK I am not saying that all doctors are bad their are good ones out there but thyroid ones suck the systom for treating thyroid disease sucks big time.

    I did get to see a doctor the next day at my own surgery who was straight onto it I have more medication I have a severe infection,and I have now my referral to see a specialist as an urgent case. now lets see how long it takes just to get an appointment. I was prepared to do a sit in down there until someone did something, or barring that wrap his dick round his neck and ask him does it hurt, but it never came to that so I am grateful to this particular doctor for what he has done.

    so pleased that you have good docotrs that is half the battle.

    Lollyx

  13. Lolly says:

    I love you already Melly while i was typing this you have managed to reply inbetween, it is taking me so long. I will be back tomorrow/today as it is early hours of the morning now and I should try and get some sleep.

    I am stuill in pain, but one thing i will never lose in my sense of humour it’s what keeps me going, and i can see it does you too, you remind me so much of katie.

    You are just gonna fit in great here.

    Good gollymissLolly it’s 4am and I got to be up in 4 hours. do you ever talk to yourself?

  14. Lori says:

    Welcome Melissa. LOVE your writing and sense of humor. The visuals of shredding bills OMFG, I laughed out loud. I am sitting with piles of bills at this moment with the shredder next to me. Not how I like to spend a Saturday but I don’t know what a Friday or Saturday night of fun is anymore, although I am attempting a night out soon.

    We need sense of humor to survive all the crazy shit we go through. So sorry you’re dealing with as much as you are:( It does make it crudely real when you put it on paper. I’m still working on that myself in bits and pieces.

    Love.love.love your idea – “Sometimes I’d like to re-wind my life – with alllllll the ghastly “lessons” I’ve learned about myself – but WITHOUT THE ILLNESS.” Count me in, I’m there!

    PS: Sorry about the fissure. I know they can be buggers to heal. Sending healing wishes your way♥

  15. Melissa Travis says:

    Ahhh Lolly-LOL-
    what a blow. I’m so sorry. Seriously – that is some shit. We’ve all had that horrific thing happen – where we wait for help and then WE are made to feel WRONG about our own illness. I’m so sorry that you’re STILL dealing with it.

    And while I KNOW that soon enough it will get resolved (fingers crossed right – days weeks months later) it will… *stomp our feet* During the time of resolution – the wait seems longer. I’m sending you hugs!!

    It is hard to feel awful AND on top of that to deal with doctors who don’t treat us fairly… AND – I’ve found time and again that until I have a REAL RELATIONSHIP established with my doctors it is SO EASY for them to shuffle me off and ignore me.

    I’m not sure what the system is like in the UK as I’ve only had the privilege of being sick there once and was honestly given the very best treatment and quickly! (pooper stuff) – but for your chronic thyroid issues- I can only imagine that until you TRULY find someone who LISTENS to you and WORKS WITH YOU and HELPS YOU this is going to be some rough going.

    I’ve got your back. Everyone here does!!! Come and share your stories! Write in! They’ve got a new video thing too even for when your fingers are being even worse than usual! Wear a tiara and a boa! We’ll make a day of it. 🙂

    I’m so happy we’re talking now Lolly – but you don’t need to do this alone. Whilst you’re finding the medical care you need – you’ve found a beautiful community of supportive people. Keep talking and writing and know that we’re all in this together!!!

    I’d LOVE to hear more about how you cope. I really would. If you’ve got the time and your POINTY FINGER can manage it – share away! My heart is going out to you!!

    Dish away! I’m loving your stories of coping! (And glad you didn’t choke the doc with his cock.. would hate to have to visit you in the hoosegow).

    sending the love!
    xx
    Melissa

  16. Melissa Travis says:

    Hello Lori!!
    Thank you so much for the comment and for writing in to give me kind words!! I am so thrilled to be here!

    OHHH – a stack of bills just makes Moshe’s mouth water! She says send em here – fuck your shredder. Regardless – I’m sorry you’re dealing with it too. Illness is hard enough without the triple whammy of being sick, dealing with LIFE, friends and family, AND then dealing with the financial fallout. Ugh. What color are your bills? Have they gone pink and green yet? They have a secret handshake for those colors. I’ll teach it to you later if you want. Once you’re in that club YOU’RE A CHRONIC ILLNESS LEGIT.

    BOOM!

    I said it. Don’t tell anyone else. They might want in the club. We’ll talk about it over shreddered hand-made creations called, “really- this hand knit paper bill sweater is PERFECT for your one of a kind gift – only $300 smackers.”

    Thanks for the anal fissure love. You’re too sweet!

    Keep tell me about how you cope!! And I’m so sorry that your Fridays and Saturdays feel like bummers. I’ve given in to it and now just enjoy my “online persona”. I will be posting some fun and games for you all to watch with what I DO with my time when I’m not able to go out. I have a thing I do called, “Comedy video challenges” that we do from the hospital or for people too illin’ to go out.

    We might even do some here… You can challenge me Lori-mc-hotterson! You on? Wanna? 🙂 (I’ll tell you more about it later if it can happen. We’ll have a blast. Your Friday and Saturday will never BE so much fun. Fuck going out. I’m staying in and uploading vids).

    Tell me more about you and how you cope. Would love to get to know you better!!

    love and joining all the good clubs!
    xx
    Melissa

  17. Sarah Downing says:

    Hey Melissa,

    Thanks for your kind words. Now we are back in D’dorf, I have had chance to reread your column and your profile. I had to chuckle that you are into Doctor Who because so are we. Despite living in Germany, we have paid out a hell of a lot just to get some guy to set up satellite for us – it’s not as simple as you might think unfortunately and we don’t have as many channels as we’d like, but to have any English language channels is great after living for 10 years in a country where the only English language channels are the news ones.

    I have to confess to envying our kitty Biscuit too. She is so slim and sleek and I’m sure she doesn’t have thyroid disease, but I guess I am glad that she is healthy.

    I also love Greek food and in fact we are off to Greece in September. I’m seriously looking forward to it.

    On the topic of moving to places you don’t want to, I’ve been living in Germany since 2000 and we are set to move to the US next year probably (depending on Corey’s work – he is American and I am English). I am impatient to leave now as this place hasn’t felt like home in a long while, but I know that many people would say I am lucky to have experienced life in another country. I just wish I could feel more lucky to be living here than I actually do.

    I can tell from your words that you have a big heart and I really look forward to getting to know you better!

    Love,

    Sarah

  18. Lolly says:

    Good day Melissa,

    How do I cope, good days bad days. We learn to adjust to the new you or me. sometimes it is easy other times it is hard. I tend to keep myself occupied takes your mind off how you are feeling. ad=s for the medical profession here i have good ones and bad ones ones who have saved my life and others who want to fucking kill me now just to get the one inbetween who wants to listen and help that would be enough for me I am still searching.

    I have graves disease, thyroid eye disease had a thyroidectomy in 07 had endometriosis in my youth full hysterectomy in my 30’s and antiphospholipid syndrome all autoimmune diseases so just like you I am prone to them.

    I think we all have some kind of coping mechanism that makes each day bearable. I tend to laugh things off and lark about, I like to right thytunes to get my emotions out I don’t tend to write many letters because i feel like I am repeating myself all the time.
    I put my words into thytunes that you can all sing along too. maybe you could look back if they are still around and read a couple.

    Hope you are having a good day today and shredder is working ten to the dozen recyling all the paper for you.

    Love
    Lollyx

  19. Melissa Travis says:

    Hi again Sarah!
    ah – thanks for sharing more! I REALLY DO understand moving to places you don’t want to move. I’m feeling for you. I’m about to make one sooner than later and I’m ignoring it for now (sticking my head in the sand). But my heart is going out to you.

    I hope that if you do get moved somewhere else next year you’ll find it more satisfying. But for now- while you’re in D’dorf you’ll find people and places that support you. And a holiday to Greece to look forward to as well!

    I’m excited for being here! And thanks for the support!!
    We’re all in this together!
    sending love,
    Melissa

  20. Melissa Travis says:

    My dear Lolly-
    So fab to hear back from you! I’m of two minds about you not writing more letters. I can understand you not wanting to keep writing in again and again because you do not want to “sound like a broken record” — but on the other hand — we are chronically ill. What we have will never go away.

    I hope you find ways to write your illness down or record it in books even. TELL YOUR STORY to the world. It is a world who doesn’t listen to the sick. We are IGNORED. They tell us our job is to get better. And when we do not get better- then we are shuttled off to a room to go be sick. Well – that is NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

    We can be productive and loving and supportive and creative. We still have something deep inside of us. I would love for you to write your thytunes and thyverses and poems and stories and any words you need to say- health related or not all day every day. Perhaps by hand or typing it or even on a voice recorder. Maybe try it for a month. I would LOVE to see the kind of healing project that would take place if a dozen of us chronically ill people put together some sort of project and edited it. It would be POWERFUL and beautiful and heart wrenching.

    Don’t shut yourself down for me. I’m here. I want to hear you. Your stories will never get old. Our illnesses play on a constant repeating loop- and so can we!

    Much love to you AND your stories!
    x
    Melissa

  21. Sarah Downing says:

    Hey Melissa, it’s tough when you are living somewhere you’d rather not be. I’ve been in Germany for about 10 years now and have slowly become jaded by my experience because despite the fact that I speak the language and know the culture inside out, it still doesn’t feel like home. However, I know from other expats that this is a place that many people find it hard to settle down in. I am sure I have learned a lot from this experience, but I am ready to move on now. Where are you moving to? I hope it will be better than you anticipate!

    You are so right – we are indeed in this together and that is so important to remember because chronic ilness can feel very lonely. Right now, I am feeling disillusioned by the lack of empathy or concern of some of our friends. For me a friend should understand and care about you whatever you are going through, but I realise that this is probably and idealistic point of view. On the other hand, I am sometimes amazed by the amount of care and concern I receive from people on this very website – somehow it doesn’t seem right that people who have not (yet) met me in person should care about me more than those who do know me personally. You are so right in your last comment where you describe how the sick are marginalised. It is considered uncool or unproper to be sick these days. At a certain age, one is expected to be strong, vibrant and energetic and people often fail to understand if you are not. One of my future columns that I have already started researching is going to be about the stigma related to illness throughout history. It’s already proving very interesting to research and I believe that we can learn a lot from those who have gone before us.

    Love,

    Sarah

  22. Lolly says:

    Melissa,

    I have submitted a couple of things, maybe very soon when I can type better than this and they don’t keep shifting the fucking keys I am confused enough as it is without having to remember where my fingers should be.

    How about you how are you today, how are your furbabies what mischief have they gotten up too today come on spill we all want to get to know you too, how do you cope with chronic illness can I join your clubs? they sound like there swinging. I’m in.

    Much Love
    Lolly

  23. Lori says:

    Melissa – what a GREAT idea for the color pages of those bills, turning them into a “hand knit paper bill sweater”. I love making up new uses for something old or no longer needed. I do think we should get at least $500 though for such a masterpiece sweater, right? We ARE so worth it! I figured those colors were special, haha! But a special handshake too, I’m speechless. Yes, I’m so proud to be in this club. I do cartwheels and handstands everyday I’m so thrilled to belong. Seriously though, I would not trade the friendships I’ve made and continue to make in this club for anything♥♥♥

    How do I cope, you ask? Well, I used to create all the time. It feeds my soul but my lack of focus/memory has kept me from creating much. However, it won’t be too much longer (fingers/toes crossed), as I am having spurts of ideas again. YAY for me! I bask in the little improvements or even hint of improvement, even if it doesn’t always last, or comes and goes. This thysucking disease has taken so many years from me and my life is more than half over, WTF! I’ve spent too many of those years being angry and it’s so exhausting and draining, so I try and find joy in spite of it, and LAUGH & SMILE as much as possible. On the days I can’t, I let myself cry and feel all the crappy stuff and it does get better, somehow it always does! Some days I really don’t know how my drive bounces back but it is driven by a strong desire to try to help others from having to go through the insanity of getting a diagnosis and then the huge disappointment that so many face when they have to fight for proper treatment.

    The video idea sounds exciting but seriously would be quite a stretchhhhhhhhh, for me. ??????????

    Hugs,
    Lori♥

Leave a Reply

Comments are moderated in an effort to control spam. If you have a previously approved Comment, this one should go right through. Thanks for your patience!