I used to play the viola.
You see, one day I was told that if I wanted to rid myself of the jabberwocky, I would have to do away with my viola playing. It shouldn’t have been a big deal. I’d only started playing as an adult, and I wasn’t even really all that good at it. Nonetheless, playing the viola gave me a joy that few other things gave me, and when I had to stop playing I felt like I had once again suffered a great loss at the hands of the beast.
I tried the guitar, but soon I found that it too was problematic. (sigh)
I was ready to add “making music” to the list of things that the Jabberwocky had taken from me when I decided to try one last thing. The piano.
Fortunately, being the wife of a musician, I already had a piano in the house, so it was just a matter of setting aside some time, sitting down, and getting down to the business of learning this new instrument, and guess what?! Well, it is too soon to declare victory, but I have managed a week of piano playing without any problems that I can clearly relate to playing!
Mind you, I have to keep it short and take constant breaks, but… but… is that music I hear?
Headache (Photo credit: Lel4nd)
I had been lucky for a while. With physical therapy I’d seen my pain decrease. In November I recorded nine noteworthy attacks. In December it was down to five. In January I topped out at three, and I was over the moon! I was beginning to get my life back. Even the slight increase to five in February didn’t alarm me. I was seeing patterns, and I was beginning to plan how I could make my life work around my pain. However, in the United States medical care doesn’t come cheaply. You need time and money to pursue the kind of cure I was after, so in March I didn’t have physical therapy. I continued my exercises at home (as well as I could), my stretching, my Tai Chi. I used a tennis ball behind my back while driving to give myself automessage. I drank lots of water, and I was conscious of my posture, but it didn’t matter. In March I recorded ten days of noteworthy pain. And now, the first day of April, I sit here, fighting the fog that comes with the pain, trying to think, trying to write, trying to voice my frustration with the system.
You see, I work! I work a fulltime job specifically to make sure I have health insurance to help with medical expenses; nonetheless, even with the health insurance, there are costs. Oh, but the costs are worth it, right? Well, let’s think this through. I work to get health insurance, but my employer doesn’t cover the full cost of the insurance. I still have a portion of the premium deducted from each paycheck. Then, when I do get a treatment, I have to pay deductibles, copays, and other expenses. What does that mean? Well, it means that I am spending more than a third of what I earn just on physical therapy alone! Which makes me start thinking, would I need physical therapy as much if I didn’t work? Or if I worked part-time instead of full-time? Maybe not. Does that mean I should give up my job and try to rearrange my life to minimize my pain in ways that don’t involve expensive medications and treatments? That would mean basically organizing my whole life around my condition. It just doesn’t seem right. I’m working so hard, and I still cannot really afford the care that I need to make me the most productive person I could be. It is so frustrating.