all i need is a lanai & a caftan

i decided to take a chance on looking for a new doctor here in lawrence. i got myself a doctor shortly after i moved here so that i could get a prescription for birth control pills & a referral to a rheumatologist (because i was beginning to suspect that my osteoarthritis may have been misdiagnosed). that doctor didn’t work out so well. i got my rheumatologist referral, but the specialist was almost comically unhelpful. she sent me in for bloodwork, specifically to test my “RF” levels. i asked what she was looking for & she refused to tell me because she said she “didn’t want to scare” me. because, you know, being sent for mysterious bloodwork that your doctor thinks would terrify you if you knew what it was is not scary at all.

luckily i didn’t just fall of the turnip truck yesterday & i knew that “RF” meant “rheumatoid factor” & that she was looking for blood diagnostic proof of rheumatoid disease. when my tests came back inconclusive, she had her nurse call me to prescribe thrice daily dosing with over-the-counter painkillers. forever. i declined to follow this advice, because that kind of over-the-counter painkiller intake has been conclusively linked to organ failure. thanks, though! for being so unbelievably unhelpful. i mean, seriously? they couldn’t prescribe a generic non-organ-killing painkiller?

not that i blame my primary care doctor for the failings of the specialist. but i do blame her for failing to call my birth control refills in to my pharmacy without fail every single time i called her for a refill. not once did she manage to call in my refills until i’d gone to pick up my pills on at least three separate occasions only to find they’d never been called in. i finally just gave up & went off the pill. back to fertility awareness for me. i want to have a baby anyway, so i feel okay taking the gamble.

anyway! i decided to get a new doctor, in part because i want to have a baby & i should probably have a relationship with a medical provider in town before becoming pregnant. perhaps this seems odd–not in keeping with everything i once espoused about natural childbirth & midwives. i am still all for natural childbirth & midwives for people who wish to go that route–especially people who don’t have tons of pre-existing medical conditions. but my personal circumstance is different.

i’ve decided to look into the possibility that i may be a good candidate for a hip replacement. i probably have less than 50% rotation in my right hip, & it is continuing to decline. & my pain issues are becoming more complex. my hips used to give me trouble if i remained too sedentary. then i would spend a few days taking walks & the pain would lessen. it was like they had a stiffness that needed to be worked out. but now they hurt when i become too sedentary, but they hurt just as bad when i walk & stand. there have been a few times when i have considered calling jared for a ride because it was hurting so much to walk home from the library or whatever (bear in mind that i live about five blocks away from the library). it’s like the joint locks into place & the bones are grinding together in order to support my weight or swing back & forth in the rotation necessary for walking.

hip replacements are a last resort for when other therapies, like prescription painkillers & physical therapy, don’t work. so maybe i’ll see a doctor & be able to get into a physical therapy program. that would be fine with me. i am not attached to the idea of having a hip replacement in my early 30s. but it is getting really difficult to live with this pain.

i’d also like to find a way to deal with the pain without surgery for a at least a few years, because surgery & recovery will take a while & i don’t want to wait that long to have a child. so i think, child first, then surgery if it is necessary. but i also don’t think it’s a brilliant idea to have a hip replacement & a newborn at the same time…it feels weird to me to even have to consider these chronologies. someone recently was getting up in my grill a little bit about how there are so many unwanted babies & it is so selfish of me to think about becoming pregnant & that jared & i should adopt if we really want to be parents at some point. this person doesn’t know about my whole disability thing, so i was trying to be like, “yeah, i hear you, but i really don’t think anyone would let me adopt,” without actually having to share the whole story. i was also thinking about my limited income (& jared’s limited income as a TA) & wondering how the fuck we could afford to adopt at this point. i guess this was my first little taste of the constant, unceasing, self-satisfied judgments that rain down on parents from all sides at all times over every little decision you can possibly make.

so, my funny story about looking for a new doctor: i have medicare for health insurance, because of my disability, so of course i was looking for a doctor that is taking new patients & accepts medicare. i found one on the interwebz & called the number. the receptionist was like, “yeah, we have four doctors accepting new patients,” & started taking my info. when she got to insurance, i said, “medicare,” & she said, “ohhhhh. yeah. we don’t accept medicare at this clinic. but we have some internists at our sister clinic that are taking new patients & accept medicare.” “that would be great,” i said, thinking that she’d transfer me over or give me the number. but instead…*click* she hung up on me!

i tried to find the contact info for the “sister clinic” she referenced online, but she provided me with pretty much no info to make that happen. so i called back & was like, “yeah, hi, i just called, looking for a new doctor?” & she was all, “oh yeah, you’re the one with the medicare? we don’t take that here,” & i was like, “yeah, i got that, but i was wondering if you could transfer me to the clinic that does, or at least give me the phone number & not hang up on me?” she was like, “um, uh, i can’t do that, it’s not our clinic, so we don’t have internal transfer…” & I was like, “right. awesome story. could i get the phone number, please?” & she finally gave it to me.

most boring post i’ve ever written? maybe. i feel like few things are more tedious than hearing about someone else’s health problems…unless you are a doctor. but even then, i bet it gets kind of old after a while.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

One thought on “all i need is a lanai & a caftan

  1. Dude, the internets are full of so much more boring stuff than this, so don’t worry about it… Besides which, I personally find other people’s search for medical professionals pretty interesting. I’m also trying to find a physician in my small Canadian city, and there aren’t any with spaces on their waiting lists, let alone openings in their actual client base. My reason for wanting a doctor is for assisted reproductive stuff too, and yeah, I don’t like talking about it because of those “constant, unceasing, self-satisfied judgments” you mentioned.
    In other news, I came across this article and thought of you: The Baby-sitters Club: Where Are They Now?
    For the record, your slash fiction is better than this.

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