A large alligator

Gratitude for care I cannot offer myself

Gratitude 29/40

The day after the MRI I meet with a neurologist who suspects I have Myasthenia Gravis – a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disorder. She subscribes a slew of tests to get us closer to a diagnosis: two blood tests, a swallow study, another CT scan and a breathing study.

It has been more than a week and I still do not have an appointment for the swallow and breathing study.

“Why?” asks a friend. “Just pick up the phone and make the appointment.”

I shake my head. “I wish it was that easy. The day after the neurologist visit felt like an old arthritic dog and did nothing. The day after that I did make those appointments. I made them for next year, because I’m trying to be wise with my money. But then, after making the appointments, I started to, or imagined that I were, experience the same tardiness of my mouth in my hands. I dropped a jar full of pickles, I had a hard time peeling an apple and typing felt forced. Then I panicked, thinking that my symptoms might be getting worse and that it’s irresponsible to wait. So I cancelled the appointments for 2023 and shifted them to 2022.

And then I called the estimation line to find out what my co-pay would be. Two hours later they called back; the two tests will cost as much as a new bike. And so I thought, “It’s only a week later and it’s really going to help me financially if I move it out.” So then I called to move it out to 2023, but the breathing office was closed. And the swallow study could only schedule me in the afternoon and I’m not sure I’m up to having nothing to eat or drink for fifteen hours.

And so here I am still—no appointments.

“I see. It’s not a task, it’s a spider reaching into many tender places,” Says the friend.

But today another friend did help me schedule the tests. I feel grateful for help with things that seem so simple, that I believe I should do by myself, but that I am not quite able to get done in this moment.