So many of us use too many lemons in our lemonade…so many, that our lemonade really sucks. Most of us have just accumulated so many lemons over time, that before we know it, our lemonade is sour and well, it just really sucks. Makes us pucker. Sour and unpalatable. But we just keep putting more and more lemons in, without realizing that the other ingredients have to be added too, if we are to have a decent pitcher of lemonade.
You probably know where I’m going with this.
In my life, I tend to focus more on the lemons. I have accumulated a truck load of lemons over the course of a lifetime. There have been so many lemons for such a long time…and not a whole lot of water, and sure as hell not a lot of sugar. Thus, my lemonade is really nasty.
When I saw this picture of Grumpy cat talking about lemonade….it hit me. My lemonade is way out of balance. Yes, I’ve had more than my share of lemons dumped on me in this lifetime. Yes, I have been experiencing a drought in my life, especially over the last 34 years or so. And yes….the sugar seems to have been in very short supply.
But then again….if I hunt around in my pantry, I can sometimes find that forgotten bag of sugar, behind all the vinegar and seasonings. And then I turn around and lo and behold, there is the kitchen faucet…all I have to do for water is turn the handle. It takes a bit of effort to do these things but hey….they have been there all along.
So what am I getting at? I think you know.
Those of us who live with daily chronic illness and pain, or really any big, negative, life-altering issue…. can sometimes only see and taste the lemons. The sour, awful, nasty lemons that make our lives very difficult to swallow. The lemons that seem to overwhelm us and make our lives so incredibly sour and unpalatable. It’s hard to see or taste anything but lemons much of the time.
But if we look around…do a little hunting….we may discover that the other ingredients for making a pleasant pitcher of lemonade are within reach. The water is there, all we have to do is have the pitcher ready and we just turn on the spigot. Viola! Fresh, clear water to dilute those sour lemons. And there, behind all those other things in your pantry, is a forgotten bag of sugar.
If we measure out just enough sugar…and mix it with the water and the lemons….we can actually turn our sour, miserable, painful life…into something a little sweeter. More palatable. Even good. Or better yet, something to enjoy.
Sometimes it takes effort. If we haven’t stocked any sugar in our pantry for a long time, we might need to make a trip to the store. We may have to search the aisles for sugar. We might have even forgotten what it is, what it tastes like, and where it’s located. But if we can find a little sugar for our lemonade, it will make all that effort worthwhile.
So it is with our lives. If we haven’t felt joy, or happiness for a very long time….we may not see the sugar. We may not even know where to begin to look. We may not recognize the good stuff. But sometimes if we hunt for it, if we look for it….we can find some sugar. It may come in different forms. But it’s there. We just have to recognize it.
And the water. Many of us have grown so dry over the years. Dry from the terrible drought that has brought on more pain, more anger, more frustration. More lack of spontaneity. Fun. Joy. Maybe even to the point where you wonder why you are even here. A dryness of the spirit. But many times we forget…the water is right there. All we have to do is remember how to turn on the spigot. And all the water we could ever want comes pouring out. Life giving water….so we can make a super delicious blend of water, sugar and lemons all together. Each ingredient important in their own way. Each one making something wonderful for us to enjoy. To enrich our lives.
But you say….wait a minute. How can the lemons enrich my life. How can they make my life something to enjoy. Lemons suck. Literally suck. And they make life suck.
But sometimes, its all in how you look at it. I know at first glance, lemons can seem as though they have no real purpose in your life, other than to make you miserable. And if you see it that way, then that is how you see it. And nothing will change. But if you recognize that lemons do actually have a purpose, wait…even several purposes….you will start to see them as a way to enhance your life. Not to say that lemons (or pain) can enhance your life, per se….but mixed together with other things, they can bring a new, fresh way of looking at life in general. For instance, they can make you more compassionate. They can make you appreciate the good things more. And so on. Like I said, it’s all in how you look at it.
Three simple ingredients. We know we have the lemons. We always seem to have plenty of lemons available. But the water and the sugar…we just need to acquire them each day…seek them… and mix them with the lemons. Before you know it, things will taste sweeter. Life will feel not so sour. So difficult to swallow. When we find the sweet things in life, even if we have to really search for them, our lemonade will not be sour, but refreshingly sweet, tangy and delicious. The clean, clear, refreshing water will mix it all together. And we’ll have what we need to get through this life so it doesn’t suck so bad, as Grumpy cat says.
Drink up. :)
Today i want to address miscommunication with your doctor. In the days of ever growing medical practices across the country, there is more and more chance of this happening.
My Nurse Practitioner, who I just got established with as a patient, just moved to a new facility, much larger than her small-town place previously. I needed to contact her the other day, and so I called the new number. And I was informed by an automated voice that my call was important to them and that they would answer my call in the order it was received. Huh? So I proceeded to wait (with loud music blaring in my ear) for not 5, but 10 minutes before I pulled the phone away from my melting eardrum and hung up.
I thought, seriously?? It takes the RECEPTIONIST over TEN MINUTES to answer my call? It’s a doctor’s office, not an insurance company! So far my impression of this new facility is plummeting like a nose dive. Wow.
So I called her old place back and I just asked her to confirm that this place was indeed where my NP had gone when she left, and if it was the usual thing to have to be on hold for ten exceptionally long minutes? She said, Oh yes, that facility is MUCH larger than ours here. You’ll need to just be patient and hold on….they will be with you eventually.
I thought….oh goodee. Harbingers of things to come. Long wait times. Frustration. Irritability. Anger. GRRRRR!
So anyway….I eventually got through, but here’s the thing. I called because I needed to know why my NP hadn’t done what she said she had done, which is expedite my appointment with the spinal surgeon. Because I spoke to the scheduler at the spinal surgeon’s facility today, and she said there was nothing in the referral that said to rush it. Sigh… So I proceeded to explain to the scheduler that indeed the NP had told me that she HAD said to put a rush on it. The scheduler said Nuh UH. I said Uh HUH. (okay no we didn’t say that lol…..but you get the feeling of where things were going)
So I said I’d call the NP back (oh freaking joy) and ask if she would PLEASE call or fax the Ortho guy and let them know over there that an appointment of February 23 is not acceptable and that I need to be seen, like, TOMORROW.
So I called. And of course, the mandatory wait time, approximately 10 minutes again. Finally a receptionist picked up. I explained that I needed to get a message to my NP about speeding up my appointment at the spinal surgeon. And she tells me that she would transfer me to the “referral center” and I could “check on the status” of my referral. I said NO…wait a minute. The “referral center” cannot tell the spinal surgeon to expedite things, the NP has to do that. The one who the referral did make! The NP!
And after bouncing back and forth with her, she finally seemed to understand and said she would let her know. Yeah. LOL. I bet she will.
So…….I’m so super pleased to live in the information age. I’m so pleased to have the internet. I’m so pleased to be able to communicate with my NP via MyChart.org (through the huge new medical system here in Central IL) and leave her messages (which, yes, she actually does read and respond to). I in fact DID leave her a detailed message and explained to her what I needed, and hopefully she will get it and do it and then maybe I can get in to see the spinal guy before I end up in a NURSING HOME for cripes sake!
Its such a huge relief to know that there is a way now to communicate with your doctor or NP, knowing that they will see your message in its entirety and respond back accordingly. Even though she did tell me 3 days ago that she “asked to put a rush on it”…….evidently there was some miscommunication there, but at least now I know she will see my message and hopefully correct any issues quickly and without too much aggravation.
I remember not that long ago, that if you did not get things straight with your doctor or NP the first time, you were basically screwed, and at the mercy of whoever ended up on the other end of the phone when you called to let them know things weren’t right. Sometimes they passed the message on, sometimes they would give the message to the nurse instead of the doctor and SHE would call you back without even talking to the doctor about it. (which used to drive me nuts) Or sometimes they might even throw your note in the garbage can, who knows?
Then you would just basically have to put up with miscommunication….or NO communication, if they didn’t even bother to respond at all.
One thing I’ve learned…..try to be pleasant, not upset and yelling. Being upset and yelling does no good. In fact it can really mess up your entire situation even more so. If you offend anyone in the chain of command, you are sabotaging yourself and your reason for calling. You might as well just tell whoever you are talking to that they are a Bitch and thank you, have a nice life, Idiot! For all the good it will do you. Because after you have offended anyone in the chain of command, you can almost guarantee that the doctor will never in a million years get your message. Your name will be placed in a special “file” and you will be targeted as a “difficult” patient. Your life will become a living hell.
But thankfully, things are getting better. My NP is reading my messages. She is responding. I am cutting out the middle man and actually communicating with the Big Cheese! YAY! Happy Dance.
So anyway…….that’s the latest installment of The Nocturnal Laundress……now it remains to be seen if I actually get my appointment moved up earlier than February 23. Wish me luck!
And remember to take deep breaths when you call your doctor’s office. :) Deep breaths.