My bed is become mine enemy, I found myself saying at four in the morning, which is no time to be at odds with one's bed. Not that I'm picking a fight with it or anything: it's just that I can't actually spend any appreciable amount of time there anymore.

You may remember this from about a week ago:

There is now no position in which I can sleep comfortably, to the extent that I can sleep comfortably at all, which isn't much. Current speculation: bursitis, left hip. Treatment: same old muscle relaxers, same old pain pills. Improvement: so far nonexistent. I can sit without too much difficulty, so I have been trying to sleep sitting up, with not a great deal of success.

And since sleeping sitting up isn't going to be happening in my actual bed, which is simply not equipped for such things, I have been forced to relocate to the Big Chair in the living room. (How big is it? Here's the Big Chair occupied by a small woman.) As a platform, it's not so bad; however, it has serious drawbacks, the worst of which is that the combination of verticality of the airway and various pharmaceuticals intended to foster slumber induces a truly fierce case of dry mouth, the sensation that I am about to swallow a hedgehog, more than enough to wake me up after 80 or 90 minutes if I'm lucky, 50 or 60 if I'm not.

Still, inadequate as it is, it's still coping, which is something I wasn't quite sure I was able to do anymore. And eventually, I am told, I will be scheduled for a CT scan and they will presumably find out what it is that's pushing all the pain buttons on my left side. The holdup, I presume, is due to the ongoing effort by CFI Care (not its real initials) to insure that any treatment I receive will be absolutely the cheapest available. (All the disadvantages of a single-payer system, with none of the advantages: that's American health insurance, 2009.) And of course there's the question of how I'm supposed to pay for this treatment, since the yearly deductible has gone up again, this time to $2,000. This is handwaved away as "maximum out-of-pocket," although as a practical matter, it's going to be the minimum for most of us.

Between the spots of pain and the hits to the wallet, I have to conclude, this is going to be one of the roughest years yet. There are times when I want to stand up and scream "WHEN DO I GET MY LIFE BACK?" I suppose the real question is whether I really want the answer to that.

The Vent

  15 February

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 Copyright © 2009 by Charles G. Hill