Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Reality & Staying Ahead On The Point System

Remember the immortal words of George Koztanza "It's not a lie if you believe it!" I live by those words. It's how I bullshit my way through life. I "fake it till I make it".

But once in a while some piece of reality pierces my protective bubble.

I have recently felt so well, so healthy, so ALIVE, that I had once again convinced myself that I am not that sick. I've done it before, reality knocks me down, I get up and start again.

Lately my Multiple Myeloma email group is discussing statistics on longevity and our various and collective prognoses. Some people are getting upset that we are having the discussion. I understand their point. It's hard to pretend you are not dying if you are getting dozens of emails citing studies that say only 40% of us will make the five year mark.

So I had once again succeeded in getting into that head up my ass position. Where I almost felt guilty about people's sympathy. I was almost waiting for someone to call my bluff and say "Get off your ass, you faker! Get back to work!" I was acting like my slow stroll around Boston was like running a 5K - like my hour of yoga was like an 8 hour day at work. See what I can do!!!

But yesterday I got an envelope from the Social Security Administration.

You know they have 4 months before they have to even answer a disability claim. And something like 50% of applicants are rejected out of hand and have to fight for it. Some people have to go in and be interviewed by doctors.

But there was that envelope, less than four weeks after my paperwork was complete.

I shouldn't have been surprised - Dr, Miller said that I "wasn't up for discussion". Everyone, even the SSA interviewer agreed I should have done this long ago.

I opened it and walked out in the kitchen to tell me Dad..........and I started crying "I don't want to be this sick!" So of course, the practical Frank says "None of us want this. But there is nothing we can do. So concentrate on what you have control over. Do positive things."

So that's what I did. I helped tourists with the Charlie Card machine; I gave directions to a woman who was trying to find the Theater District; and was positive and smiling to everyone I came in contact with. When I was waiting for the (very slow, aggravating) bank teller in Citizen's to process my mind boggling transaction/sarcasm....I heard this woman next to me. She was overdrawn and distressed and babbling. Finally she said "I can only give you enough to cover the amount overdrawn." She was so upset, there was a line forming because she kept counting money and rifling her handbag....and my clerk kept saying "Ummm." At long last, my bank teller figures out how to accept my check for deposit and give me a hundred dollars out of the total. I take my cash, walk over to the woman, putting a twenty on her pile "Here deposit this too."

God knows I have to hurry up gathering these points or I'll never get out of purgatory. Grace says it's not a point system.....but I can't count on that.


Charity said...

I'm still sticking to my longevity theory. Stats are just stats, no one is the same, and you're definitely not like anyone else I know. I would try and put my head back up where it was.

I like the idea of a points system whether it's true or not. An older man insisted on loading my bags of potting soil at the hardware store and it made my day. People aren't kind enough to one another anymore. Plus now those tourists probably think everyone in Boston is polite and helpful!

Anonymous said...

Random acts of kindness, rock, whether you are the recipient or the giver. Chin up. The reality may bite you time and again, but remember you have the power to rise above it and still make a difference. You done good!

Stella said...

Dearest Maggie, Charity's right. As Mark Twain (or Samuel Clemens, if you prefer) wrote, There's lies, damned lies, and statistics.

Your dad is right. Go out as much as possible; enjoy yourself. Have a spa day. Spoil yourself as much as possible. And don't believe everything you read.

What you did for that woman in the bank is typical of who you are. It's one of the many things I admire about you.

BostonMaggie said...

Thank you all very much.