Yes, I know I’m writing on the Sabbath again. It was a choice between that, or taking lethal doses of drugs that I have especially tucked away for the purpose, should the time come when I really can’t bear it anymore.
I went before a federal disability judge today. He looked exactly the way I saw him in my dream last night: 40-ish, dark haired, looking beneficent in his dark robes. If he were not so cherubic he might recall the Grim Reaper.
The hearing lasted all of fifteen minutes, quite the anticlimax for a two year span spent gathering a stack of paper charts and reports several feet thick, going to court-appointed mental health examiners, showing up at lawyer appointments, ad nauseam, and for all that not really knowing what the benefit to myself could possibly be. I have a very nice (thank God) private disability policy that I paid for out of my pocket while I was working, and I had to fight tooth and nail to force the *&^% insurance company to pay up when I got sick, all the while so deep in depression that I could not get out of my chair, let alone fight a battle with an insurance company that would stop at nothing (including surveillance) to keep from parting with their money. That was in the early years of the 2000’s, and I have been kept not nearly as comfortable as I was when I was working, yet certainly not starving.
And now comes my therapist and starts pushing me to apply for Social Security Disability, mostly because half of my present income goes to paying deductibles and co-payments, and she feels that the Medicare that comes with the SSD would provide substantial financial relief.
I suppose that is true. I won’t receive more income really, because the private insurance might possibly decrease in proportion to the government payments, which won’t be much anyway because of the twelve years that I was a student becoming a doctor and did not earn enough to pay taxes. Ironic, that.
But all of that financial stuff is not what has me writing on the Sabbath.
It is the judgement, the final judgement, and the finality of the judgement, that I am mentally disabled. That I cannot go back to work in the profession I love, that I was so deeply in love with that I sacrificed almost everything.
I am Officially Crazy.
I feel like I should immediately take shopping bags and fill them with dirty clothes and go out on the street with my hair looking wild.
Maybe I should have a scarlet letter “C” tattooed on my forehead.
I’m glad I have an anti-suicide pact with my oldest friend (I wonder if he remembers). It helps me to stay away from the lethal cocktail.
I wonder, will the news reach the State Medical Board, and will they take away my license? Even though I haven’t practiced medicine since April 4, 2000, I have carefully maintained my license, religiously racking up the Continuing Medical Education points every year, even though I can no longer afford to go to the snazzy conferences that I used to go to, to learn about all kinds of tips and tricks and topics and shmooze with the colleagues, when they would speak to me: after word got around that I am mentally ill, I found myself shunned by my pediatrics chums so I took up going to surgery meetings instead, where nobody knew me and I could learn in peace. Ah well, those were the days; they are no more. I will never practice medicine again. It has been too long, and the disease and the drugs have taken their toll on my cognition.
I think I’ll just keep on getting drunk tonight. I have a pretty good start already. I don’t like being drunk, generally speaking; but I need something to numb the pain, and I don’t dare open a pill bottle.
Crazy Person, good night.