New patient

There are few things in life more embarrassing than going through the new patient workup required when changing doctors. First, you sit and sit and sit for your 9:45 appointment to begin at 10:45. Then they finally call you back and do all of the preliminaries. Weight (same as on the scale at home – you didn’t really think that I would tell you), blood pressure  (172/115, we might should worry about that), and finger prickly  (yay, no diabetes). And the real fun, peeing in a cup and listing all of my medications. Seriously, all of my medications and I am glad that I had the prescience to bring those.

The thing I hate the most about new patient visits is that feeling that the doctor thinks you are there for nefarious purpose. Like my constant joint pain and other issues are things that I am making up. Or, that my digestive ailments are merely a figment of my imagination. I always particularly feel like this because even among medical professionals Bipolar Disorder is misunderstood.

More than anything they leave you sitting for hours in small yellow rooms in what used to be your childhood doctor’s office.

Lent

For 20 years, I have observed Lent. The purpose of Lent is to sacrifice something that is difficult for you to give up as a way to prepare for Easter. For 20 years, I have made the promise to give up soft drinks, sugar, alcohol, etc. Some of those were more difficult than others. Alcohol was particularly difficult to give up when I was teaching (university and middle school equally). However, I haven’t been able to drink alcohol for a couple of years now due to migraines, so that isn’t an option. Giving up soft drinks has also proven to be painful to me as Coke Zero and Pepsi Max flow through my veins. But, soft drinks started making me feel unwell a few months ago and it seems like cheating to give those up.

I had been struggling with Lent this year until I attended my church’s Ash Wednesday service. Then, I heard my priest’s sermon and I understood that I had been missing the point of Lent for the last 20 years. Lent is about sacrifice, but it is also about making changes within yourself that prepare you for Jesus’s sacrifice. The sacrifice I make shouldn’t just be something that causes me discomfort; it should be helping someone else.

So, what am I giving up for Lent this year? Well, I’m doing something for my health and giving up soft drinks and refined sugar. More importantly, I’m giving up some bad habits that I’ve acquired over the years. I am giving up bitterness and resentment. I am giving up self-pity. I am giving up feelings of unworthiness. Finally, I am giving up negativity. I may have to avoid social media to accomplish the last one.  I am a realist, though, and I reserve the right to point out problems that I see.

I’m also going to do something for me and for the Queen, I’m going to take her out as much as possible for runs in her stroller. We did buy the running stroller anyway.

Will I be successful in my Lenten sacrifice? I can’t make any promises, but I will try my hardest.