Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Marriage 301, Lecture 140: Driving me to therapy



Last week, I went to an acupuncturist, whom we shall call Steve and I don't think he's a doctor and I do not want to call him "doctor" if he is not truly a doctor and I also do not want to spell the word "acupuncturist" every time I want to refer to Steve.

Last week, I went to see Steve. My neurologist blah blah blah who really wants to hear about someone else's health issues? It is boring. I will leave it at acupuncture was suggested and I decided, after the withdrawal from lyrica, the latest of the Drugs that Do Not Work For Me but at least this one did not Make My Hair Fall Out, although the insomnia, nausea and back pain from the withdrawal was no picnic, that I had nothing to lose with acupuncture. And my insurance covers it (although I was just going to pay my own darn money) probably because SH's employer is headquartered in Portland.

When I made the appointment, I was advised to be ready to give a urine sample, which puzzled me because I didn't think Steve would be doing any doctor-type diagnosis. Plus I already know what my problem is.

The receptionist handed me a cup along with a clipboard holding 40,000 pages for me to read and sign.

As I read, I realized that Steve worked at a mental health and substance abuse center. I had found him by looking for Steves, so didn't know what the other guys in his practice did.

Drug abuse, apparently.

One of the 40,000 papers was a contract stating that if I missed more than two sessions, I would be fired as a patient. Another authorized my insurance company to be charged for urinalysis.

No. Nononono.

First, I hate that stupid peeing in the cup. I don't care how big it is, I always miss and I'll leave it at that. I might be the only person who is bad at that or the rest of you, at least the women, are nodding your heads saying, "I hear ya, sister. Hate those things myself."

Second, I am not signing a contract for a service I do not want.

Third, I am not going to have my insurance company pay for a service I do not need. Unnecessary treatment drives up everyone's costs. I am looking at you people who take your babies to the ER for a diaper rash or ear infection.

The receptionist told me I had to give the sample and I told her I did not. She was a smart lady and realized that this was not the hill she wanted to die on, so she shrugged and said I could discuss it with the Steve.

Who agreed with me that no, I did not need to give a urine sample.

And who then stuck me between my forefinger and thumb and it didn't even hurt.

Don't know if it will work. Hope so. Seems kind of silly that it might but I am out of options.

That was last week Monday.

I left town on Wednesday, got back Sunday night.

SH showed me the mail that had arrived.

There was a letter from the insurance company advising me how to seek information on depression, alcohol abuse, and ADHD. There was also a wellness assessment for me to show to my therapist. The assessment asked me how I felt about these statements:

I feel good about myself
I can deal with my problems
I am able to accomplish the things I want

Then it asked how much I'd had to drink in the past week and if I was bothered by nervousness, feeling blue, feeling hopeless, etc, etc.

I was puzzled. "What the heck is this?" I asked SH.

"I don't know," he answered. "I opened it because it was from the insurance company."

We both cocked our heads thoughtfully and looked at the letter, wondering what had come to pass in our lives. Was our insurance company doing an intervention on me? Except the problem is that I 1. feel pretty good about myself, although I wouldn't mind if my Milwaukee Roll would disappear, 2. am not blue and 3. can deal with my problems. Actually, I am convinced I can also deal with everyone else's problems. Just let me run things. Really, the world would be a much better place if I were In Charge.

And I drink very rarely. Really. I know a lot of people lie about that, but booze does nothing for me. For the calories, I'd rather have butter.

Then I realized what was going on. "The Steve I saw - he works out of a drug clinic," I told SH.

He exhaled. "I saw the part authorizing you to see a therapist and thought you were so frustrated with my political stuff that you had decided to get counseling," he admitted.

"What!?" I laughed. "Oh no. No! Your political stuff is annoying, but the idea that I would pay money to talk to someone else about it when I can just tell you to your face that I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT POLITICS! is to laugh."

He looked at me. I looked at him. He laughed. I laughed. Oh how we laughed.

And then we ripped up the letter and tossed it into the recycling.

The End.

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