The conversation spun round and round until I finally stopped her, having been sufficiently spanked for not picking a primary doctor sooner.
Dr. Rheumy's medical assistant seemed angry with me, her tone curt and unhelpful. She said things I know are not true. (She was adamant that some blood work, ones she has ordered for me before, are outside of their scope.)
So, I stopped asking questions and told her I would search for a new doctor without her input, and her response was to give me a customer service line, as if I called to complain.
I had called for her help, and when she called back days later, my request was met with fear and threats. Threats that if I don't 'take care of myself', the consequences could be serious.
(I called to get an appointment, to be seen. Oh well.)
I got off the phone and realized how often I react to fear. Fear if I don't take certain meds, my autoimmune disease will take over my life. Fear that if I take immunosuppressants, I will trash my liver or face lymphoma.
Fear my kids are not prepared for the future, when I visit the school.
Fear over the economy.
Fear I will pick the wrong candidate.
And when I am scared, I am easy to bully.
I am capable of making difficult decisions and taking charge when I need to. I tend to forget that. I tend to look too long and hard at the experts - the church, the politicians, doctors - for answers.
I'm sick of it.
The bus rolled up and soon, my garage was full of neighbor kids, ones I worry about during these hard times. I tend to hold my fear inside; cry privately over their often neglected lives, their families stretched further than mine.
I feel powerless.
But I'm not. Neither are you. I made simple snacks and sat out on the porch, watching the kids run and play.
One of the boys - one that's in foster care and has already suffered enough, born to meth addicts and saddled with chronic health problems of his own - smiled and thanked me for the snack.
I told him he is always welcome here, and I meant it.
And at the risk of sounding trite, I believe we have the tools to make our world whole, to make a difference, each in our own small way.