Monday, March 2, 2009

Art Blog: I REMEMBER now!

PICTURE THIS: I needed to visit a doctor for my daughter’s sake. I don’t have any money. She can’t breathe. We go to the free clinic. They can’t handle it there. They send us to another facility. I am holding a 35 lb child on the hip of my 95 lb body. We both board a city bus. We get off at the stop in front of the hospital clinic. I kick trash from the walkway, just to make my way in the door. Rats scurry away from us. We enter an auditorium size room. People are coughing, look dismal, and obviously need lots of help. I go to the check in counter and I am told to sit and wait. We sit and wait for 5 hours. While I am there, I look around. There is the teenage mother with her three children running wild. There is the guy who looks homeless(?) He doesn’t look well at all. I glance face to face to face. The only thing that comes to my mind is “This can’t be happening to me. I have a Master of Fine Arts degree!” I am a self supporting fine artist! LOL LOL LOL Well, it didn’t matter who was smarter or more credentialed than whom. The thing we all had in common was we needed a doctor and we didn’t have money.

Flash forward to 2009: Now, I have physical issues. Even though I hardly ever go to the doctor for myself, I had to go today. I have been having a problem with my leg. This has been going on for six months! It is really pissing me off. I am not a couch potato. I need to move around! Despite my desires, my body seems to have other plans.

Finally last week, I just surrendered. I made an appointment and went this afternoon. Instead of a nasty clinic, I went to a beautiful medical complex. The total visit took less than an hour. My doctor said he doesn't think I pulled a muscle. He said he thinks my hip is shot. His hypothesis is that arthritis has taken over and my hip joint has gone bad. He gave me a script for an anti inflammatory drug and sent me downstairs to get X-rays.

I really don't care about any of this. All I want is my life back. I told him that! He smiled and said we will see. He told me he thinks I will either have to take the meds for a while OR if the X-rays tell him what he thinks is happening, I will have to have a hip replacement. SAY WHAT????????

I kept smiling and as I walked out of his office I said "Hey, see you in another five years!! (The first thing he said to me today was "Long time no see. I haven't seen you in five years!") Well, he looked over his shoulder and said "I don't think it will be five years this time Sheree.".

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. That remark sucked.

So, now I remember why I have a day job. I went to a beautiful complex with chrome and palm trees. This whole episode cost me 20 bucks. I was on my way home within the hour knowing that at least, I was dealing with all this. As I drove home, I realized how lucky I am. I realize how far I have come. I am so thankful I have health insurance.
Then I remembered, this is why I keep a day job.

I just don’t want to hear any of this medical mumbo jumbo! I don’t want to hear even a word. What I WANT is to continue being a JUMPER. I want to ride my Stingray bike, rollerblade, lift my kettlebells, slide down the twirly YMCA water slide, and jump, jump, jump whenever I want. I have a feeling I am going to win this battle. Watch me.


Gilda said...

Sheree, I have always known you to be a fighter! You will come out on top of this!

namastenancy said...

I wish you the very absolute best in getting your health back. AND yes, to all the reasons we keep/had day jobs. I had a very down and out period in my life and I remember the fear that I wouldn't be able to pay the rent. My one good pair of work shoes wore out and I stuffed newspaper in them to keep myself going without having to spend scarce money. Whenever things got bad at my long time job with the University of California, I had only to remember the bad times to keep myself focused. I was one of the lucky ones - able to retire with a tiny pension and health insurance. Everyday I count my blessings and hope that they aren't taken away from me - as they are taken away from so many.

Gilda said...

This is very distressing news, exercise you take care of yourself, do they really think you would need a hip replacement? I dont know much of anything about this, except that in the last few years several people that I know have had hips or knees replaced. Its almost like an epidemic! If there is anything positive about this is that, after the recooperation period, all of the people I know that have had these procedures are way better than before they had them! One of my friends had two knees replaced and was dancing!

Kathy Hodge said...

Sometimes I think I'm not a "real artist" because I have a full time day job, but I agree that having that security frees one up in a certain way to not have to scramble and worry. That's the best side, the worst side is that it's hard to keep any continuity of thought about your work.
Good luck with getting back up to speed. I have a feeling you will adapt to be able move and play and still be kind to your hip, (or kind of hip!)

Sheree Rensel said...

Gilda, Nancy, and Kathy,
First thanks for the well wishes. I am sorry it took me so long to reply. I had to think about all this stuff.
I am VERY glad to report the meds that the doctor prescribed are doing their job! In fact, I have only been on them for two days and I am already jumping up and down! The ENERGIZER BUNNY LIVES!!! I am going to wait until next week to start my routine of treadmill, biking, and eventually back to rollerblading.
Also, I have an appointment to see an orthopedic doctor so she can give me the scoop on what is going on and what I should do about it. It is going to take a whole lot more than this to get me in any hospital! YUCK!
P.S. Kathy. I have NEVER thought I wasn't an artist because I have another job too. NEVER! In fact, if anyone thinks that way about artist's who choose to work, that is THEIR problem. I kind of like being able to buy as much art supplies as I want. Also, I never worry about being late with my mortgage payment! There are a whole lot of "self supporting artists sans day job" who can't say that!