So today was my birthday. Yep. The big two-eight. Another year older…another…ugh. I hate birthdays. Always have. It’s just the principle of the things, you know? I mean, basically you’re just celebrating the fact that you’ve made it another year in this crazy, messed up world…which I guess is kind of cause for a celebration–especially in this ridiculously screwed up world and society that we live in but still…birthdays just aren’t my thing. They just make me feel old. And I know that in the grand scheme of things that 28 isn’t all that old, but still. Two years to thirty. I guess that birthdays to me just feel like a slap in the face in terms of where I am in my life…like the world pointing out how far I STILL am in accomplishing the dreams and the goals in my life that honestly, I thought I’d have achieved by now. I mean, I had this plan…this set picture in my mind 10 years ago when I was graduating high school of where I’d be right now and well…to put it simply…I’m nowhere close to that. And I feel like a failure in that regard. And I hate feeling that way. I mean, I get that so much has changed and happened in these ten years and that when it comes down to it, I’m just not that same person I was at 18 so it makes sense that I wouldn’t be where I thought I’d be…but that’s not really a consolation. I thought I’d be set by now…career-wise, personally…the whole package. I thought I’d have this great career doing what I love, that I’d settled…possibly starting a family or at least on the working path towards that…and I’m just not there. I’m not even close.
That’s not to say that I’m unhappy, because I’m not. I’m happy with where I am right now…I’m just not entirely satisfied. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever be. If even when I do get there and I do achieve these dreams…will I be satisfied? I wish I could be sure that I would, you know? But I just don’t think that’s one guarantee I’ll ever really get…that we ever really get. I do want to believe that everything happens for a reason…even if I don’t understand the reasoning or the logic behind some of those things. And I want to hold on to the hope that one day I will get everything I’ve dreamed of having…maybe even more if I’m lucky…but it’s a hard thing to have faith in. And a hard hope to hold on to. That’s just the way it is. Life. Living. It really throws you for a loop, you know? Even when you think you’ve got it all figured out…even when you think everything is going perfectly and you’re on the right path…you don’t. You just don’t.
Anyhow, it wasn’t a good birthday. For starters, it was weird not having my family around. I mean, I think this is probably the first birthday that they haven’t been with me to celebrate. And it felt strange. A bunch of my friends and I had made plans to head out to Rock Island and do some cliff-jumping…but the weather didn’t exactly hold up for that and with all this concussion nonsense, I figured it probably wasn’t the brightest or best idea to go jumping from some cliff into the waterfall pool, some 20-30 or so feet below it. Yeah. No.
And speaking of the whole concussion situation, it’s not going well. At all. I ended up back at the ER yesterday, for the third time since the accident happened, literally desperate for any kind of relief from this headache from absolute HELL. They ran another scan, the results of which were alright, and gave me the same diagnosis as the previous ER…that the headaches were part of the post-concussive syndrome that some people–myself being one of them–are unfortunate to endure following a pretty bad concussion like the one I apparently sustained in the car accident. They gave me a shot of something that thankfully dulled the headache–it didn’t get rid of it entirely unfortunately–for a couple of hours or so, then released me with a couple of referrals to the Concussion Clinic at Vanderbilt and another medical clinic here in Murfreesboro. The headache was right back to its usual hellish intensity about an hour after I left…so no such luck in the relief department…only a few very, very fleeting hours. They prescribed me something different for the headaches, so no more of those nasty narcotics that have had little success in doing anything other than making me throw up 3 or 4 times a day. Yeah…it’s not fun. And the meds they prescribed for the nausea make me sleepy…so it’s a catch-22. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. If I take the meds, I get very little pain relief but even a little is something…but to take them, I have to take the anti-nausea meds, which basically make me pass out…and being unconscious kind of makes it half to do well…anything really. And I don’t take the meds, I’m stuck in bed, in my dark room, desperate for the room to stop spinning and feeling like someone’s little driving an ax through my skull and I’m somehow feeling every little inch of it. It sucks. And to make matters worse–none of the referrals I’ve been given had gotten me anywhere. Basically I’ve been getting the same roadblock everywhere I call. It’s either “sorry, we don’t take out-of-state insurance” or “sorry, we don’t handle third-party-auto-insurance/claims/injuries” or “sorry, you’re not a Tennessee-resident so we can’t help you”…so the impression I’m getting is that the only way I’m going to be getting any kind of treatment–outside of an ER–is if I go back to New York and go through my primary care doctor there. Which I don’t want to have to do. Not only that, but I have a lease that I can’t exactly break by going back to New York. And classes starting again in August. And work obligations to fulfill. I can’t just leave and go back to New York. And I shouldn’t have to. I mean, this wasn’t my fault. The accident wasn’t MY fault. And it just seems absolutely crazy to me that although the accident happened in Tennessee and I’m residing here and going to school–that because I’m a New York resident, I’m being denied any kind of further treatment for an injury that happened HERE, in TENNESSEE. I mean, it makes no sense to me. And I’ve tried. I’ve called each and every referral I’ve been giving and nothing. Today, I found out that the Vanderbilt Concussion Clinic I was referred to yesterday at the ER specializes primarily in sports-related concussions and not auto-related concussion injuries. And according to their Neurology department there, the doctors that DO treat outside of sports-related cases, won’t deal with out-of-state- insurances. And when I tried to explain how that while yes, I technically do have New York State health insurance, it’s not my insurance that is going to be footing the medical bills, but rather the auto-insurance company, that’s when they gave me the whole “sorry, we can’t help you” spiel. So, I tried the other referral, the medical clinic here in Murfreesboro. The lady that answered was real sweet and sympathetic and even spoke to the neurologist and nurse there in the clinic while I was still on the line, but ultimately told me that they too, don’t handle what they call “third-party-auto-insurance-involved injuries”. And they didn’t have any idea who to refer me to. So, basically…another dead end.
It’s just so frustrating, you know? I mean, I know that most car accidents are frustrating and all and that no one likes to have to be in/deal with one…but seriously…why me? That’s what I want to know. Why now? I literally had just gotten back to Tennessee a little over a week before. I was excited about the film and being back in TN and seeing all my friends again. I was getting settled into the new apartment. Things were going smoothly and then the accident. Now I’m in limbo with these headaches that god forbid can last months, even years–though I really and truly hope they don’t–in and out of ER’s, on meds that pretty much make it impossible for me to function at all–but I’d be screwed just as much–more likely more–than if I didn’t take them, and having to go through this whole kit-and-caboodle involving insurance companies and claims and lawyers…and it’s all just a mess. Just a big, chaotic, WHY ME WORLD kind of mess. I’m just so emotionally, mentally, and physically drained from it all and–to be perfectly honest–just plain desperate. I would truly give just about anything right now to get rid of these headaches and for all of this to be over and done with so I can get back to having fun while acclimating myself to a life here in Tennessee, and can actually start LIVING again. I just want to get back to my life and put all of this misfortune behind me. That’s all I want. And from where I’m standing right now, it doesn’t look like the odds are much in my favor. In fact, it kind of seems–and feels–like that’s just probably never going to happen. Like ever.
So that’s how I spent my birthday…on the phone for most of the day getting the run around by everyone and anyone in the medical profession down here in Middle Tennessee. Someone mentioned that I should contact the auto insurance and get a list of doctors from them that they can guarantee will work with me on this, but I can’t do that because when my lawyer called yesterday to introduce himself and explain some things, I was told NOT to have any further contact with the insurance company…and that all communication between them and myself will be going through him. I left the lawyer a message today though explaining my dilemma with the referrals, but I probably won’t hear back from him until Monday or Tuesday at the latest when he gets back in the office. So, in the meantime, I wait…and suffer through these awful headaches…and it sucks. It really, really sucks.
And to top off the birthday from HELL, I called my sister this afternoon to get her opinion on all that was going on and to ask what I should do and found out that my grams was going to the hospital. She’d brought the kids out to my sister’s place for a little “end of school/summer vacation” pool party and apparently while she was sitting on the deck telling my sister a story about something, her hands started to go numb and she was mixing up her words. I guess she seemed okay after a few minutes, but my sister insisted she be checked out first, so they took her out to Upstate in Syracuse, where they’re treating it as a stroke. My grams, of course, shrugged the little incident off and didn’t want to go, but she went. She hates hospitals. Like hates them. And we’re lucky if she even sees her doctor for her annual physical. The woman won’t go to the doctors no matter how sick or how much pain she’s in. She just won’t. And she’s stubborn as hell about it, too. Her only focus is the kids. She worries herself sick over them and doesn’t take care of herself like she should. Today’s incident was just an-all-too-real-and-unpleasant reminder of her age. I mean, the woman’s going to be 75 years old in September–though you’d never know it by looking her. She jokes that its the kids that keep her young, but the simple reality is that she’s not getting any younger. And she can’t do everything all at once like she used to. She needs to slow down…but she won’t.
When my sister filled me in on what happened with my grams…I nearly grabbed my things and left for New York. It was scary. I mean, this was one of my biggest fears…that something would happen to someone up there and I’d be 900 miles away, completely useless. Again–and its like I was telling the Bestie earlier when she called–I feel so guilty that I’m not there…that its almost like I’m essentially choosing and want to be in Nashville rather than be with them. It’s not that simple, but the principle is pretty much there. I mean, I’m happy here. Happier than I was when I was living with them. And I feel horrible for saying that, but it’s the truth. It’s nothing against them per se…it just is.
But hopefully come morning I’ll have an update and god-willing my grams will be okay and they’ll release her to go home. I can’t even begin to imagine–and hopefully I’ll never have to–what I’d do if anything happened to her. She practically raised my siblings and I. She’s my rock, my mentor, my idol, my hero, my biggest supporter/fan, and the strongest, bravest, most selfless person I know.
So that was my birthday. Definitely not the best one I’ve had…but hopefully everything starts to looks up after today. Oh, God, do I hope so…