26 July 2011

Mental + Physical Health

My posting has been pretty light lately and I want to talk about WHY.
I mentioned previously that I've had some chronic health issues and have been on the best worst drug, prednisone, for months. I found out last week that the prednisone train is stopping and I'm being kicked off - not voluntarily. My sinus issues have caused me to develop asthma, and without the prednisone, I have A LOT of trouble breathing. I'm still job hunting, which means I'm still uninsured and I'm broke, so I can't really afford to go to the doctor right now. Because I have a pre-existing condition, private insurance companies won't look at me and I'm not eligible for the state health insurance pool for a few more months. I understand my doctor's decision to take me off prednisone, but it's really frustrating to be left with pretty much NO options. I've been feeling AWFUL lately - emotionally and physically - and I know that these two things are related. You cannot underestimate how your physical health effects your emotional and mental health.

I've been trying to take care of myself in a way that nurtures health in both senses, but, you know, my emotional health wants brownies and pizza and that doesn't really benefit my physical health, so it's been a balancing act. If I'm honest, my emotional health usually wins, and prednisone LOVES storing fat (it is, after all, a stress hormone - fight or flight, baby) so I've gained a lot of weight.. which makes me feel badly for myself, which feeds right back into that emotional eating.

Going off prednisone is 90% completely terrifying to me and 10% exciting. I'm excited to not have to deal with all of these side effects, but I am so scared of how uncomfortable I'm going to be without it; scared to the point that I spent Friday morning crying on my couch, imagining trying to go to a job interview or learn the functions of a new job while in that wheezy, congested, non-medicated state. Even on my current low dose of prednisone, I find myself avoiding activities that might make it hard for me to breathe - simple things like vacuuming the apartment have triggered my asthma. Though I've been sick for much longer, I've only been dealing with the asthma for a few months and it's still very new to me - I don't know how bad it can get, or what to do if it does get bad.

This post is significantly more personal than I'm used to, but I really want to take this opportunity to say two things:
  1. As far as I'm concerned, health insurance needs to be a right, not a privilege. I'm lucky enough to have a support system - both financial and emotional - that allows me to function even with a chronic illness, but most uninsured people in the U.S. don't. If we're the richest, most powerful country in the world, why aren't we taking care of our citizens?
  2. If you're sick, go to the doctor. Find a doctor who will see you for a reduced rate. Go to a free clinic. Do what you have to do. Your health is IMPORTANT. Although my doctor won't blame me, I believe 100% that if I had gotten proper treatment when I first began feeling sick, I would not be sick right now.
So that's the state of the Princess & the P. Like I've said, blogging usually makes me feel better about things - if nothing else, it takes my mind off the fact that I am woefully unemployed - and things are looking much more positive in the job hunting department, so hopefully this is the turning point. Like my homeboy Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said, the lowest ebb is the turn of the tide.


  1. Honestly, I have a good job and though I'm on my husband's insurance now (his is better than mine was) it SHOCKED me to realize how much my company and I were paying (combined) for my health insurance. I'm in the finance department and the first time I saw the numbers I thought it was a joke. Over $400 a month for [crappy] health insurance! For a healthy girl in her mid/late 20s! And this was the type of insurance that only covered preventative care, so even though my yearly appointments were "free", if I got sick I would have to pay over $130 to go see my general practitioner. Now, I'm not complaining per se, but I don't understand how people can't see how ridiculous it all is that people who don't have jobs really don't have a choice over health insurance. Had I lost my job and cobra'd out my insurance I'd be paying even MORE than what I and my company were paying on a monthly basis! I truly feel for people who have to make the choices you're making.

  2. @Tara, it is RIDICULOUS, isn't it? The worst part is that even having insurance doesn't guarantee that you'll be able to get the treatment that you need.. when I was on my parents' (awesome) insurance, they still gave me the run-around for SIMPLE things like birth control. It's crazy to me that some people aren't in favor of universal health care :(

  3. I'm sorry you're going through a lot of shitty health stuff. I hope you get it figured out soon!

  4. @Stacy, thanks lady. I'm actually feeling a lot better emotionally.. it was surprisingly hard for me to accept going off prednisone. at least health insurance is on the way :)