As I wrote in an earlier blog, Transitions, I’m struggling with the perceptions of my invisible illness, COPD, with the reality of living. I don’t “look” sick. Because I’m out here trying every day. Because I don’t sit around bemoaning my fate. Apparently, because I’m still trying to find a solution, I must not be “really” sick.
Everybody is in my business. Not just my employer and their insurance agency.
While the sarcastic meme below isn’t what they are saying, it’s what comes across to me in unspoken challenge of what I’m going through and experiencing because I’m still out there and trying. Trying to survive. Trying to improve my quality of life. Trying to improve my living situation so that I can afford to have some fun and not just live in fear of the next bill hitting my doorstep.
While Living in a Limited World’s blog, “Two Rooms Plus Utilities” has a much more serious series of illness complications than I currently experience, her writing on how sick she is about everyone offering her sure-fire cures hits home. Especially this week.
So far, I’ve been told that so-and-so has a “cure” for my COPD. This from a person who believes that positive thinking, “The Secret”, faith in Jesus Christ as her personal savior, and being a vegan is the only way to live one’s life.
So, so, SO very much NOT ME.
While I appreciate her thoughtfulness and caring, she refuses to hear “no, thank you” as an answer, being sure that if I just used the right essential oils, she could cure my breathing problems.
Add into this situation the challenge of having others “help” me with my remodel. Now, not to poke holes at anyone and their opinions, but our tastes are different. And, how I live is a matter of choice. My choice.
As for another friend… No, I don’t want to change my mind about putting in linoleum, and allowing you to buy me wood floor “squares” that link together, and which don’t require any additional work. Believe me, the work is there if you don’t seal the floor, and I don’t want the sanitation issue. This house is a temporary solution, and I’m not willing to over improve the minor upgrades I’m doing to make it habitable.
No, I don’t want to have a friend of yours come in and do a granite install on my breakfast bar. I plan to rehab the formica, and I’m happy with my choices. (It may not be your taste, but just because I’m on disability does not mean that you get to tell me what is tasteful and what is shoddy. I know it’s shoddy, and I’m ok with it being “good enough”).
So, while my friends mean well, it’s been a very long week. I allowed them to help me, with various results over my loss of control. Yes, I got free labor. But, I also got some mess and the supplies were consumed at twice the anticipated rate, adding to my overall expenses. I can deal with that, but… Thank you.
Had I been receiving the supplemental income benefits I’ve worked to earn, none of this would even be an issue, as I’d be making a different choice on buying a home. Since the situation is what it is, I’m making the best of it, and am grateful to my friends for their patience as it’s been a VERY LONG week learning to take instead of giving or going it alone, at my own pace. And being gracious while trying not to bite my tongue in two.
So, in light of the progress being made despite “The Man’s” effort to keep me down, I will close with a wonderful poem written by Maya Angelou. It may not be perfect for my friends, but it’s certainly appropriate for my employer and its insurance company: