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Archive for the ‘Reasons to be Thankful’ Category

Actually, FUCK YOU, that’s not just uncomfortable… that HURTS.

The morning after my birthday. I was laying in bed, feeling a little randy, and so I started to take advantage of myself. Actually, I didn’t get far with it because suddenly I realized that I wasn’t alone in the bed. While grabbing my breast in a way that should have been naughty, I instead realized I was achy and something was amiss. I called it a lump, but it wasn’t round. It wasn’t a mass either. I wasn’t sure WHAT it was, but it wasn’t there before. It had never been there before. Suddenly it WAS there and all I knew was that I didn’t have insurance.

I had applied for insurance a month earlier and so the day after my house guest moved in, I called for an update on my application.

“Backed up”, they told me.

“A couple more weeks”, they said

So, I waited, and I said nothing. To almost anyone. I didn’t want to worry people needlessly. I didn’t want people fussing if there wasn’t a reason. I didn’t want to TALK about it. I was trying with all my might to just get by until I could get insurance and get tested. Then, last Monday, I called again, assuming that calling three weeks from when I was told that 2 weeks would be a fair estimate for processing…well, that would get me good news, right?

“4 more weeks, ” she said, ” we are short-staffed and backed up over here with processing.”

I couldn’t handle the stress and the silence anymore. I wasn’t sleeping well those previous weeks and now I was crying myself to sleep some nights. I was beyond frustrated. I wanted to tell Type Geek, but I didn’t want to worry him. He just lost his brother last Spring. Cancer. Without some sort of diagnosis, I didn’t even know what to say. Why make people worry and feel helpless? So, I kept quiet and I researched.  By midweek I had located the Women’s Health Network and the lovely woman there put me in contact with Lisa at Cambridge Health Alliance. Lisa hooked me up with Julianna & Coreen who were able to act as my advocates and fast track my insurance application. There was still chaos in that process though, as the insurance company lost the letter they faxed over last week, forcing us to re-fax it this week. Then the insurance agency decided that they would no longer deal with my advocates and I had to go back to calling them. Back and forth, back and forth. They leave me a message Monday late afternoon, only to tell me that, “Oops, you can’t call me back because the offices are now closed.” Making me wait until the morning. By mid Tuesday I finally have insurance. By end of day Tuesday I have an appointment at the Breast Care Center and a new primary care. Exhale.

Wednesday is a lot of waiting. I woke up late. Not concentrating. Appointment regarding my benefits in Downtown Boston, stroll through TJ Maxx for spices (a hidden gem for spices, btw), through Whole Foods for meat, and get home in time to do a bit of research before meeting a friend and her business partner for dinner about a potential business arrangement. Home and exhausted.

I woke this morning with an hour before I needed to be at the hospital. I showered the night before. No deodorant or powder. They can cause false positives on the films is my understanding or at least make reading the films difficult. No jewelry on the neck. Wear separates, so the top can be easily removed. Check Check Check. Got it.

Walking to the train… red line is down. Of course.

Cab stand. Nothing there. Guy hails one as I am trying to. I’m sure he has to go to the hospital to get his balls fondled, fine.

FINALLY I hail a cab…and he turns out to be agro overly caffeinated impatient driver from some townie North Shore part of Boston. Yay! Dude, that’s cool, yell at people for stopping at yellow lights. That’s cool. I might have cancer, but sure, it’s fine to let traffic lights totally ruin your day. He drops me off, finally. Free at last from his clutches!

As I am doing my check in… “But ma’am, your appointment is TOMORROW, the 30th.”

Ha Ha Ha Ha, “Umm, no, it’s THURSDAY, Today. Today is THURSDAY and my appointment is on THURSDAY.”

“But ma’am, it say’s here….”

“I DON’T CARE what THAT says. I made the appointment for THURSDAY”. Did I mention that I cut sugar and coffee weeks ago. Damn, if there was ever a time I could use a triple tall nonfat vanilla latte… it’s fucking right at that moment. BREATHE

They shuffle me off to the Breast Care Center to see if they can do anything. Thank you Lisa at BCC registration for fitting me in with Denise, the NP. Now for the fun part:

An hour undressed with a ridiculously designed gown (thankfully it was cotton, not paper) with arm holes larger than my skull, and lots of where is the lump, which breast, describe how it feels, describe the pain, on a scale from 1-10, where is the pain… ok, arm up.  Thank you Denise for making the clinical exam not too torturous, and having a charming breast side manner. Having not found anything, she offered two options.

  1. I could go home and “watch it”. That means that I would still have the nagging questions in my mind. What if, Could it, Might it?
  2. She could justify to the insurance, while I have it, the reason for further tests, and schedule me a mammogram and ultrasound.

I opted for peace of mind. She agreed that it peace of mind was a good way to proceed and had me wait (there’s a definite trend here with the waiting) while she checked with Lisa. Ten minutes later I am told to go take a walk for an hour and come back for a 12:30 mammogram and 1 pm ultrasound. That’s a super long hour; if you are wondering. How do you think of anything other than what the tests MIGHT find. Even though Denise didn’t find anything, hell, the films could. So, I wandered around and checked out 2 vintage stores, a bookstore, picked up a white tea and wandered back. Lisa directed me to the mammogram suite, where I checked in, stripped again, and waited. YAWN. Of all days to be off coffee.

A quirky woman named Carol came and rescued me from boredom, only to torture me with an iron apron an inch smaller than my waist and the Tit Terrorizer, aka the mammogram machine. If they threatened criminals with mammograms, you’d get confessions sooner. Maybe it hurt so much because I’m petite and between the contorting and the shoving and the pressing, small breasts just hurt so much more when compressed to the size of a small luncheon sandwich. Once the 6 images were taken, and yes, the small paddle does hurt the worst, it was off to sit…and wait.

Sweet Maggie May, with the spasmy back… she rescued me from my waiting room purgatory. Leading me to the ultrasound room, she was quite funny and down to earth. We complained of getting older, my shoulder pain, her spasmy back. I suggested back stretches and arm stretches, and anti-inflammatory diet, and lots of ibuprofen. She poured warm gelatinous gook on my right breast and scanned it. I joked that I deserved a voucher for a really nice dinner after getting my breasts fondled for so many hours. After the scan, Maggie stepped out, I waited (yup) and once the doctor reviewed it, I was cleared to go.

Results? Nothing. Well, not nothing, but nothing cancerous. Turns out my breasts have decided to develop their own version of internal cellulite. Pockets of fat. Yay! I love old age. Apparently totally normal for women to have, some even develop like that initially.I guess I can find relief in that my bodies sick idea of symmetry. Cellulite on the thighs, cellulite in the breasts. Top to bottom. Grrar.

I headed back down to give Denise the heads up on results, book a follow-up with her in 3 months regarding the “pain’, and then wander over to make an appointment for a physical with my new primary care so that I can also get a referral for a dermatologist. All of this cancer scare has me wanting to get everything checked out while I have the insurance. So, all those moles and skin spots… be sure as hell I am getting those looked at. I’m also going to get to the bottom of my headaches, once and for all.

As I walked out of the hospital I exhaled and felt a definite sense of relief, but I also was oddly bummed out that it meant I couldn’t get La Perla customized breasts after all. That was my one silver lining. If I was going to have cancer, I would come out with implants and perfect La Perla sized breasts. Oh well, guess I will have to be happy with cancer free breasts instead of manufactured cleavage. In all of this, the best lesson I can find is this… if you have insurance, USE it. Get things checked out people. Been how long since a comprehensive exam? Get one. I know they are [fill in blanks], but they are necessary and they could save your life, or at least, your small and perky, yet imperfectly shaped for La Perla (sigh) breasts.

Thanks everyone.

 

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That’s my new life hashtag. I’ve spent COUNTLESS (okay, roughly 22 so far) hours on the phone with a representative or on hold or being transferred between departments while trying to secure health insurance. I have now brought in public health advocates and at first they seemed helpful, until the insurance representatives decided they no longer would release information to them as my advocates. Then I needed to call them back and sit on the phone and re-explain everything, because I LOVE doing that and it is SUCH a productive use of my time. Now, I get a call at 4:45 from one of the insurance reps, while I am in the “powder room”, only to come out to a message that asks me to call them back but… a) doesn’t leave a direct line to return the call (meaning I need to WAIT ON HOLD for another 45 minutes to get through to a person) and b) the kind gentleman (I can hear him smiling as he says this) states that,” but, sorry, the office is now closed, so, you’ll have to call back tomorrow.

JESUS FUCKING CHRIST.  Any hot Dutch, German, or even Canadian gay men out there that want a hot “beard” for a green card? Quid pro quo baby… I want your healthcare. Please.

On a side note, remember how I tried to diet last year and it went no where? Well, one good thing that has come out of my unspoken sexual misadventures as of late… inspiration, motivation and a sense of competitiveness. A certain gentleman lost 12 pounds by working out and changing his diet, so that made me harrumphf and state loudly to the universe, if HE can lose 12 pounds in 2 months, I can lose ten in less! Damn it. {foot stomp} Well, week 2 finds me down almost 3 pounds! I starting running several times a week. Cut out all sugar (except fruit), reduced coffee intake to 2 a week (!!), reduced dairy intake (cheese addict here, ahem), and stepped away from the charcuterie. So far, so good. The weather is going to kick my ass this week though, as the temps dropped and I just can’t run in weather below 50. I get too cold. I know, I’m a pussy. I do have a 5k in sight though. Fingers crossed.

Hope everyone is well.

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I’ve been writing this blog for almost 2 years. It started as a funny commentary on the ridiculousness of dating, with a side story being that I was a long term lesbian who woke up one day liking cock, and having no interest in women any longer. So, the serious would sometimes wiggle its way into the snark, into the one liners, and bring a bit of reality into the escapism that my site was for many people. Only, eventually I fell in love. That was unexpected.

The timing, the individual, the situation, my falling in love was fraught with everything messy and complicated. It was all innately human and filled with roadblocks, human drama, insecurity, egos, errors in judgement, scars, death, sex and tears. In the middle of summer we ended it. But I still talked to him. I still told him I loved him, because I did and because we didn’t stop dating because he didn’t care, but because he’s too afraid that he’ll destroy someone if they get to close. Shatter their illusion of him with the reality. Only thing is, I know the reality, and even with the nasty ugly details, he is still the most beautiful man I know. He is still my choice. So, I stand tall and still and I don’t falter, I don’t run.

Two nights ago, nearly two months since we “stopped dating”, we found ourselves in each others arms again. The drink, that becomes two, that becomes dinner and two more drinks, that becomes two hours of intense conversation at his kitchen table and then, becomes us wrapped around each other in his bed. I’m okay with that. I’m okay with him being terrified. I’m at peace with him and his fear.

In six weeks, roughly, a new chapter begins in all of this. In this story of my crazy casual dating with many turned love affair with one, an emotionally fragile man whom I nicknamed Type Geek. Recently, he was offered a HUGE promotion, in the Bay Area. He is taking it, as he should. He told me Wednesday night. He might never get a chance like this again. I never questioned whether he should, but I admitted that I feared he would evaporate, as if he never existed. An irrational fear, I know. He exists here, he will continue to exist. Will I? I haven’t let him let me go yet, have I? I can be creative. He may date others when he moves, but he won’t find  me and what I offer in any of them, and I won’t let him forget that I am here, in Boston.

Boston. So, what is my long term goal here? I’m going to continue to love him and tell him that and send him love notes in the mail, meanwhile, I am going to save every dollar, work insane schedules, pick up freelance jobs if possible, and I am going to network, on the hope that he will let me come to him in Spring. Why spring? It is after his office is set up, after he is a bit more settled, after I show that I don’t forget about him, just because he is thousands of miles away. It’s long enough for him to miss me. To remember me. To want me.

Sure, there is a HUGE what if here, what if he doesn’t? He’s the pessimist here, I am not. I am the oddly optimistic one who believes that love isn’t a film with Meg Ryan, that there is a bit of Fellini and Woody Allen in there. A little heavy metal, a little Miles Davis and maybe even a little Electric Six. I’m not a typical romantic. I am a realist, but in this unclear situation, I choose the brighter future. I choose the future that has he and I, in our 80’s, drinking rum drinks and laughing about “kids these days” while I still admire his perfect little tush, still bite-able after 40 years.

Because the purpose of this blog isn’t to document my daily quest to save for a move out west, I’m going to change direction a bit. I’ll show up in it here and there, but I will be moving into a wider area of focus from now on. This will, in theory, bring back some levity and hilarity. I’m open to topics, things to explore, reviews on products, etc. However, the day to day drear needs to be swept out to sea if I am keeping my eye on the bridge, so to speak and while occasional updates into Type Geek are fine and good, this was never a blog about one man.

Meanwhile, for almost two years, I have kept this blog from being monetized, cause I hate ad heavy sites. They no longer smell genuine, you never know what is done for ad sense dollars and what is done for the reader. The time has come though, with my future looking pricey, that I try to find some funding for this site. Because of this, and my quest, I have created a “chipin” that everyone can donate to. A dollar, ten dollars, heck..more (please), will all help. These dollars will go directly into a separate wish/travel fund for San Fransisco. Spread the word on the chipin and the blog. Thank you for reading all this time.

 

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