I have a minor problem.
You see, I’m a very creative person, and as such, I have incredibly vivid dreams and daydreams.
It can make reality a little hard to believe. Sometimes, it gets this dream-like quality, this sense of unreality, that makes me wonder if what I remember is real.
I’ve been like this for as long as I can remember. There are times when I’m not sure if years of my life happened; when I think that I’ll wake up and discover that I’ve dreamed about what happened in the last year or two and it’s all just wishful thinking about what will happen in the future. I’d think I’ll wake up and discover that I’m not in college, I’m still in highschool. That the whole relationship with this guy is something I dreamed up after a nice first date, or that I imagined him entirely during a dull dry spell.
It happens to me now, but I suppose it’s a little different now. Now, I think…I can’t possibly be as sick as I am. My joints, they really wouldn’t do that. The pain, that couldn’t really happen like that – not to me. The fatigue, well obviously that’s just my imagination. The GI problems, they can’t be as bad as all that. The bladder issues, surely I’m exaggerating how bothersome they are. The list goes on and on.
It’s worse than usual right now. You see, a little over a week ago, I was so sick from a flu virus that I had to go to the emergency room. I was dehydrated to the point of delerium, and then I got a migraine from the dehydration. I spent some time believing someone had put something in my head, which was causing all the pain. I tried to dig it out with my fingernails, and begged my boyfriend to remove it.
Recovering from the virus was rough – they managed to get the gastrointestinal symptoms that had sent me to the ER in check that night, but I’m sure you all know how it is with the flu – you just have to slog through the symptoms, and sleep a lot. I did both, and I’m STILL feeling the after-effects.
That’s enough to make the world a little dream-tinged, but that’s not the whole of it.
My health insurance that I’ve gotten from school for the past two years doubled the premiums. I couldn’t afford them without some serious financial hardship. Fortunately for me, I have medicaid. I could drop the insurance without worrying about what will happen to me, because medicaid will cover things. I know I am very lucky in this.
I dithered over it, though, and ended up making the decision last minute. While the medicaid is going to save my ass, the thing is, medicaid is not in all ways equal to my former health insurance. I have fewer options on where I’m going to go for certain types of care, and one of the specialists I was supposed to see isn’t covered by medicaid so I’ll have to find another one in the same specialty. I’m limited on how often I get to see some of my specialists.
The switch in insurance has also meant that one of my medications was no longer covered. I had to stop taking Avinza, because without my insurance it was about $15 per pill. Ouch. Now, Avinza is a slow release morphine medication. The slow release is a good thing, because it means you maintain a relatively stable amount of the medication bio-available, rather than the swinging dips and peaks you get with short-release medications.
Unfortunately, because I dithered, I could not get in to see my pain specialist before I ran out of Avinza. I went through a day and a half of withdrawals – always hot or cold (and occasionally both), diarrhea, muscle spasms, nausea, headaches, irritability, anxiety…morphine withdrawal is a nasty beast to deal with.
It also added more intensity to the odd dreamy feeling. My pain couldn’t be caused by my body, it had to be related to the medications. Maybe I was imagining everything – the whole thing just a product of my over-active imagination.
Now, I know that’s not the case. After all, I have a therapist and a psychiatrist who are both quite certain that my pain is organic – that is, caused by the body – not a matter of psychoses. My doctors are all firmly convinced that the pain is real, and my illness(es) is/are real, and all of my symptoms are real.
…so why is it that sometimes I’m not?
Well, I know the most likely answer to that, and I’m sure you all do, too, if you think about it. If this is reality, and I’ve got such an active imagination, why wouldn’t I dream a ‘reality’ where none of this has come to pass?