[This morning my sister sent me some family photos she took while she was in town, so I’m sprinkling them throughout today’s blog, even though they aren’t “on topic.” The last one is my favorite, since it didn’t really turn out but is completely authentic, at least for my nephews.]
Yesterday my dad started coming down with a cold–a common cold. Since I’m both already sick and a hypochondriac, I’ve spent the last twenty-four hours absolutely paranoid that I’ll catch whatever he’s got, wiping down every surface he touches with soap and water, hearing him cough and imaging his germs traveling through the air ducts and into my susceptible sinus cavities while I sleep. We’re all going to die keeps running through my head. Now all I can think about is whether I need to get out of the house and buy some more vitamins, search the internet for additional home remedies, or just pray to god I live long enough to see my new doctor next week.
This is me WITH a therapist.
It seriously blows to wake up and start the day overwhelmed. Even before my feet hit the floor this morning, I was obsessing about my physical health, wondering if I’ll ever feel like myself again or if this is just my “new normal.” Then I started worrying about money, being single, and male-pattern baldness, every problem for which I don’t have an immediate answer. Stumbling into the kitchen, I noticed I was low on groceries, which only further added to my anxiety, since groceries cost money. Finally I had this thought–Would you just calm the fuck down, Marcus? Why don’t you pour yourself a cup of coffee AND THEN see what the world looks like?
As it turns out, the world is better caffeinated, and after breakfast I decided to take a closer look at some of my “problems,” meaning I organized a stack of paperwork that’s been piling up since the middle of last year. Specifically, I sorted through medical bills, since I went to the emergency room a few months ago for a skin infection and my insurance didn’t pay for a dime of it. Well, I spoke to the hospital a while back, and they said they’d put in a request to charity services and that I should hear something within thirty days. So far, all I’ve gotten is more bills, so this afternoon I figured I needed to call them again. But before I did, I reread the letter the same hospital sent me earlier this year, the one that granted me financial assistance with the sinus surgery I had almost a year ago.
I don’t know how I missed it before, but the letter said that ALL hospital services received through the middle of November last year would be covered at–um–one hundred percent, meaning the emergency room visit should be covered too. Optimistic, I called customer service, spoke to the nicest lady, and told her what was going on. Praise god and all the saints, she confirmed that the services would be covered, that there was only confusion because the two places I received treatment (for the sinus surgery and the skin infection) were in different regions of the country and therefore in different computer programs. But no problem, she said, we’re getting it sorted out, and please ignore any further bills.
“Okay,” I said. “I can do that.”
And get this shit. Then she started updating my profile, asking about my current (and basically nonexistent) income. “I’m confused,” I said. “If the previous assistance covers the emergency room services, why do you need additional information?”
“Oh,” she said, “that’s because the financial assistance program expired for you in November, so I’d like to re-up your enrollment in order to cover future medical costs.”
How do you even respond to kindness like this? My first thought was to say, Holy crap, I don’t like girls, but would you go on a date with me? But then I realized you don’t have to sleep with every person who does something nice for you, so I simply said, “Thank you so very much. I really appreciate all your help.”
After the good news earlier today, I started to worry again, to re-focus on my health and other financial problems. (It’s a bad habit.) But then I remembered that in my journal this morning I told the universe I needed a break, that I could use a win. Well, obviously, I got one. (That was fast.) So now I’m trying to simply enjoy it, to bask in the relief, to show some damn gratitude for one big problem solved.
Like, thank you, Jesus.
But seriously, I can’t tell you what a shot in the arm this news is. Having worried about this medical bill for weeks now, it’s really a load off. My therapist says this is how you start believing in good things again, how hope begins to grow. You live most your years disappointed, really convinced that life isn’t on your side, that things will never get better. But however slowly, case-by-case, life starts to prove you wrong. Despite all your worrying and thinking This situation is impossible, miracles start to show up. You begin to believe you’re not in this all by yourself. Moved to the point of tears, you think, Healing really is possible.
Quotes from CoCo (Marcus)
"Abundance is a lot like gravity--it's everywhere."