So, in my books Sick Idiot and Chronically Positive, I talk a lot about being a steward of your own health. Being your own best advocate. Being a responsible, compliant, empowered, educated, and diligent patient. Being proactive when it comes to your health. Staying on top of things.
But I ask — is it okay to sometimes be irresponsible?
Here’s the thing: I do try to practice what I preach. USUALLY. I don’t like hypocrites.
That said …
I’m exhausted. I need a break.
Not a break from the day-to-day stresses of life; I just need a break from being sick.
I was just on a 12-day vacation … but I also need a vacation from being a patient.
I need a break from being a Sick Idiot.
So, I’m on a self-imposed hiatus. A sabbatical, if you will. It’s super-irresponsible, and very, very counter-productive. I get that. I totally get that.
Yet, this isn’t an irrational or delusional thing: it’s a, “I’m still in control, but I just need a break from it all,” thing. I haven’t given in or given up.
I’m not depressed, I’m just … “like, SO over it.”
I “can’t even” with all of the doctors appointments and medications right now. As per my previous post, I’m enjoying #AshSummerOfHobbies2016, and I need a break from being a “Sick Idiot,” from being “Arthritis Ashley.”
Is it without consequence? Nope. All of our actions or inactions, words, thoughts, and behaviors, even our energies, have consequences.
Am I, in some ways, paying the price for my childlike petulance at the moment? You betcha. My stubbornness isn’t allowing me any form of progress.
But here’s the thing: I don’t feel too much worse than I did before, when my days revolved around doctor’s appointments and supplements and therapies and medications. In fact, I barely feel any different at all. I guess, I feel like… I’m not helping myself, but am I really hurting myself by taking this little vaca? IDK.
So, if I’m going to feel crappy, I may as well try to enjoy myself.
We only get one life and I’m sick of mine being dictated by drugs, supplements, and doctor’s appointments.
Therefore, I admit: I’m way past due to see my hematologist. I totally blew off my pulmonologist and endocrinologist and gastroenterologist. I need to find myself a new rheumatologist. I haven’t seen a PCP in about 6 months. I haven’t seen my chiropractor in weeks; I haven’t seen my ENT in over a year. I need to make appointments with my orthopedic foot surgeon, my orthopedic knee surgeon, and my translational medicine doctor in D.C. I need to talk with someone about stem cell therapy and floating therapy. I need to start physical thearpy on my neck again, and get an MRI of my lower back. And, well, yeah, I should probably follow up with at least my hematologist ASAP, now that I think about it.
I know I’m being irresponsible. I wouldn’t not advise this approach to anyone else, but … what can I say? I need a breather. And I’ve needed it for a while. Again, it isn’t delusional, it’s just … kind of a necessary evil.
So over the next few days I’m going through dozens of supplements and prescriptions, weaning them down to only the bare minimum. Keeping what I absolutely need, tossing the rest. Time to detox. Time to start fresh. Time to start Shakeology again, and get back into my essential oils and my exercise regimen. But all of the doctors and tests? They can wait a bit longer. Deciding when and if to start a new biologic, and which one to try? That can wait, too.
I think that sometimes we need to listen to our bodies and our souls. This “break” feels right to me just about now. I want to go a month or a few without waiting rooms and needle jabs and IVs and the radiation from MRI and X-Ray machines. Without getting the constant EOBs in the mail, without the daily automated phone calls from the pharmacy telling me a prescription is ready.
It’s not responsible. But after 22 years with rheumatic illness and 10+ years of other pressing health problems, don’t I deserve a break? Don’t we all?
I mean, no offense, doctors: but we patients with chronic illness? We kinda get sick of seeing you.
Have you ever taken a “hiatus” from your meds or your doctor visits? Was it self-imposed, suggested by a doctor, or doctor-supervised? Sound off in the comments! But save the lectures, because I’m already openly admitting that I don’t condone what I’m doing! LOL.
I’m in break mode, too. I’m honestly just tired of not being taken seriously. Refresh, reset, renew! Sometimes self-care just means treating yourself to a bit of normalcy. Enjoy your break, Ashley. 💜
No condemnation here! I can totally relate to what you’re saying. The last 5 weeks have felt like that for me, and I still have a full week of appointments to deal with next week as well. I’m not just having to manage my own schedule but also my husband’s, as he had knee replacement 5 weeks ago and I became his nurse and taxi driver until he gets the all clear to drive again. To make matters worse, I strained my hamstring stepping on the dog’s bone. I know God is going to see me through all this — He always does — but there are days when I too, want a break from the madness of pills, supplements, PT, doctors, etc… and just take a moment to do something spontaneous and fun. I know that I will pay dearly for it but sometimes the best medicine is being able to spend the day laughing and having fun with my spouse or a close friend. Life is too short not to at least try and enjoy it, if possible.
Oh my gosh, I’m so glad I found this. I’ve had 11 surgeries, many hospital visits, many tests, several amputations all in the last 4 years. And now just when I’m getting ready to get fitted for my prostetic leg, they find another bone tumor on my tibia (this time). Just got the call that im being refered to an Orthodedic Oncologist in SF. I’m usually a very positive person, but have decided to take a medical break. I feel I need one. Constant doc appts, tests ect…have caused so much anxiety for me. Plus, I haven’t had an actual vacation in 5 years. I’m a single Mom and need a break from of all my medical stuff.