…because I have fallen off!
But now I’m jumping back on! If I don’t, I’m worried that I will taper off to nothing, and that would be, as the kids say, totes cray-cray!
So, I will play catch up, and I will try to write a little bit each day, hopefully by the end of this week I will be back on track. So starting with today and moving backwards: the meeting today was a decently attended Big Book meeting. We read one of the personal stories, entitled “Student of Life,” which is a favorite of mine because the author is from the Philadelphia area, and it is from more recent times (she wrote her story in 1998, and to my knowledge she is still alive and well, and active in our Fellowship). A common thread in our sharing today was the pervasiveness of denial in the disease of addiction… the lengths we would go to in order to convince ourselves we did not have a problem with alcohol.
The most common tool of denial? The old stand-by: I’m not an alcoholic because I haven’t lost my family/gotten fired/crashed a car/been arrested. Yep, every one of us has said that line to ourselves at least once in active addiction, but we all agreed on two points. First, the longer you hold off with those justifications, the more likely they are to materialize; and two, we were always worse off than we told ourselves we were. One friend of mine told the story of how she viewed herself as a drinker. Years later, she was with her sister and another woman was quite obviously drunk, and acting foolish. My friend had been sober for a few years, and so asked her sister, “Jeez, did I look that ridiculous when I was drunk?” Her sister’s reply? “ARE YOU KIDDING? YOU WERE WAY WORSE THAN THAT!” My friend was flabbergasted!
Quick update: the woman I wrote about last week (read M(3): Kickin’ Recovery Old School for more details) did not show up today, but I did have two other attendees comment on her disruption, and thank me for putting the brakes on it, so I feel as I did the right thing last week.
Alright, now on to some of my adventures while I have been in absentia from the blogging world. As I’ve mentioned, my husband celebrated a milestone birthday this year; in fact, it was one of the reasons we enjoyed a fabulous Caribbean vacation a few weeks ago. His birthday was last Thursday, and so part of the reason for my absence was increased activity in terms of planning surprises for his big day. I will talk more about the celebration of his birthday in a later post.
I had been contemplating what to do in terms of a gift for him for weeks now. On the one hand, milestone birthday deserves milestone gift. On the other, shouldn’t the trip count as the gift? My solution: do something, rather than buy something, and do it, milestone-style. I came up with two actions, they may sound absolutely insane to the outside world, but you have to take my word for it, these are things he has wanted for a very long time.
Gift One: The Gift of Spousal Health
… well, Health Check, anyway. Here is my life history with the medical world (with a notable exception of my time in active addiction): go to the doctor or dentist when an arm is falling off; otherwise, don’t go. If you do have to go and are prescribed something, take it only until the worst symptoms subside, then completely forget about it. I have many, many humorous tales of doctor admonishing me; one, my ob/gyn actually shouted, “You are NOT going home, you are checking into this hospital, and you are having this baby TONIGHT.”
And so it should come as no surprise that I have been, well, let’s say a bit lax in the annual physical department, and it bothers my husband to no end (who also does not go to doctor’s, but I’m assuming this is a “do as I say, not as I do situation). Anyway, I figured I could take a couple of weeks and get up to speed on all those things normal people do every year of their lives: blood work, mammogram (I am 44, have not had the pleasure before now), vision check, gynecological stuff, and, while I’m at it, I’ll get that knee that’s been bothering me checked out.
Side story that brings the point of my medical carelessness home: I called my Ob/Gyn to schedule the appointment, and explain to the receptionist that I want to make a routine appointment, but that it’s been a while. She asks my name, attempts to look me up in the computer, I am not there. So she say she has to back to the records room, and asks me the name of my doctor in the practice. I name him, and she informs that he has been retired for several years now.
I guess it’s time to schedule the exam then!
Here’s the absolute miracle of the whole thing: all is well, medically speaking. Blood pressure an amazing 118/80; cholesterol an unbelievable 145, vision did get worse, and of course I’m looking towards a future of bifocals, but that comes with the middle-aged territory. Mammogram, pap smear, knee x-ray, all completely normal. One little glitch is that my hemoglobin is low, but I’m pretty sure an iron supplement’s going to work that out, and, the most important part of that story: I scheduled, and plan to keep, the follow-up appointment.
Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?
So a lot of running around, a lot, lot, lot of discomfort, for doctor’s offices bring back some painful memories of active addiction, but I set a goal of getting my medical stuff in order, and I did it. My husband, was, as I suspected he would be, very touched by the gesture, pleased that I am up to date, and relieved that everything is a-ok.
I will write about part two of the Gift of Health tomorrow…
I would say, given the negligent way I have treated this temple I call a body, that my Honor Roll health report constitutes a miracle!