I’m having a decent day. I made a big decision. I’ve decided not to seek medical care in the future. As a service connected, disabled veteran, I’m entitled to health care at the VA Medical Center. I’m also still on the health plan for my software company. (I no longer work there, but I still own 50%.) I’ve never used it. In the past, I’ve gotten all my care at the VA. I’m no longer willing to put myself through the experience. I’m hoping this will make the nightmares stop. At least the VA nightmares. I’m confident it will work as I usually have them the night before an appointment, or if I’m having an episode of depression.
When depressed, my mind recalls every terrifying or soul crushing experience from my life and plays them back like a really fucked up movie. Good times. All my life I’ve bent over backward to avoid stepping on others. It’s my default, and so it shall remain. I know I’m naive. I don’t see it changing at this point. I acquire more information, but my mind still processes thoughts from a compassionate viewpoint. I value life. It hurts to care. But pain is the only negative consequence I’ve discovered.
Seeking medical care is a nightmare for me, every single time. It’s illogical to subject myself to trauma when I have a choice. I’m tired of the astonishing ignorance of some medical professionals, who in 2017, still believe African Americans don’t experience pain as strongly as Caucasians. It taught me how to cope with physical pain intense enough to render me semi-conscious. It taught me to be wary. It taught me never to rely on medication I can’t purchase at a convenience store. It proved my military service doesn’t count because I have a vagina and brown skin. I’m no longer willing to enter such a hostile environment.
I realize I’m shortening my lifespan by this decision. I have a week of medication remaining, both for depression and hypertension. Eight days, to be exact. Prozac has a long half-life. It will stay in my system for a while, but as my body transitions, I’ll have the random brain zaps from quitting cold turkey. Honestly, when I consider how long I’ve taken it, that’s getting off incredibly easy. I know you’re not supposed to quit a beta blocker cold turkey, but oh well. My body can handle it. I’ve had hypertension since I was a child. I sincerely believe it’s a physiological reaction to my environment. It’s like White Coat Syndrome on steroids. When I’m running, my blood pressure is lower than when I’m walking into the VA. I eventually refused to have my blood pressure checked at the VA. It’s like checking for a fever while in a sauna.
The positive changes will include a return to writing poetry and songs. Prozac stifles creativity in a noticeable way. It’s probably why a lot of famous artists and writers die from suicide. The tortured artist is such an accurate term. Creativity has a cost and usually exacts its toll in tears. I entered a poetry contest when I was a Private (PFC) in the Army. It was the first and last contest I entered. I won first prize, and it deeply disappointed me. It wasn’t my best poem, just my latest when I entered. It wasn’t very good. For it to get first place depressed the shit out of me. My Commander was excited I won, and I was in The Army Times, and the newspaper at home. I didn’t go to the ceremony in D.C. I stopped writing altogether for a few years.
While on Prozac, it’s rare I’m inspired to write a poem. I’m looking forward to being a tortured artist again. At least it’s the type of torture I can endure. I’m getting ready to go on vacation. I’m in the planning stage (which usually lasts as long as the vacation.) I probably enjoy the planning more than the vacation most times, but I’m aiming to have a lot of fun this time. Off to the whiteboard.