Update: Hanging in There

I've been having a rough time since my return from Finland, so I have not done as much writing as I should -- please accept my apologies for this! I have half a dozen essays and book reviews that I am working on, but I lack all confidence right now, so I have not published any of them. However, I expect I'll do so within the next week or so. I hope.

So what caused all this upset, especially at a time when I should be really happy? Shortly after I returned from Finland, I found two notices in my apartment mailbox (which is mostly a trash receptacle) from collection agencies who are preparing to take me to court to sue me for unpaid medical expenses. Not only was this the first I'd heard about this, but this was especially upsetting because I had thought that my medical bills from my 2006 hospitalization had all been sorted out -- at long last. Obviously, I was wrong. Very wrong. So I was completely unprepared, psychologically, for this nasty piece of news.

But things got much worse because then I went to my post office mailbox (which is absolutely NOT a trash receptacle) and found a notice for yet another unpaid medical bill, this time for my broken shoulder (remember that? It occurred in .. I am guessing .. March 2008) for $2700! Needless to say, after reading that bill, I almost had a stroke in the post office.

Of course, this is just the first in a long parade of bills, threats and lawsuits generated by a fractured shoulder (while uninsured and unemployed) that will torment and humiliate me for literally years into the future.

That was Thursday. Since then, I have been nearly paralyzed with overwhelming emotions; shame and fear and -- astonishing to me, at least -- fury. I guess it was my rage that actually kept me motivated enough to stay alive and at least somewhat involved with the world, electronically speaking, although I freely admit I've been hiding in my apartment all this time, secretly mooching wireless off my neighbors whenever an open connection was available.

But I am compelled to write. Driven. I must write. And I need to restore your faith in me and in my ability to write. So today, I managed to root myself out of my apartment and now I am sitting in a pub, sipping on a beer in exchange for as many hours of their free wireless as I can use.

So how are all of you doing? Are you managing to slay your dragons, one by one?

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I have moved back to NYC for a year now and I'm doing OK. I get my BP meds with medicaid, but I have some problems with side effects. I'm trying to go on disability until I am stable and employable, but that is proving hard to do. I have some bills to pay and I'm skillfully holding that particular dragon at bay. ;)

We know you got dem writin' chops, Grrl!

The shame part, now - no justification for that. Lose it!

And the fear? Some reason there - but most of what they can do is just harassment. You can't completely ignore yapping ankle-biters, but think of 'em as annoyances, not Menaces.

Obviously you've already knocked out the paralysis on your own. Rack up one more point for your personal score, and keeping moving forward...

By Pierce R. Butler (not verified) on 20 Mar 2009 #permalink

Oh Grrl, I totally feel for you. I know that quaking, infuriating feeling you get in your heart when faced when such horrid pieces of paper.

None of us have ever failed to have anything but the fullest faith in you and in your ability to write.

By the way, you really need to start carrying some kind of fake ID, and giving a fake address when dealing with medical people. That way they can't chase you down for money.
Just an idea.