So I used Jesse's phone and got the insurance thing worked out. I have a 1,200 deductible. I've paid out 100 of it so far, but it turns out I have an HSA card to help with that. I had to call and have it reissued. That will take a couple of weeks to get here and then I can set up an appointment.
I tried guessing what the doctor's visit would go like, the things he or she would recommend.
DOCTOR: Quitting smoking will help.
ME: Ahahaha, yeah right, no way. What's next?
DOCTOR: Your diet could use some work.
ME: Good point. I am a sugar fiend. I can cut down on sugar.
DOCTOR: Do you exercise?
ME: The only exercise I get is walking to and fro on my cigarette breaks at work.
DOCTOR: You need to exercise more. What do you do for stress relief?
ME: Uhhhh, I smoke cigarettes? And that's pretty much it?
DOCTOR: Erm, yeah, so you should totally work on finding other ways to relieve stress.
So on and so forth went the imaginary conversation in my head. Because regardless if this is a medical issue or a mental health issue (and it's probably both), the ONLY THING I currently am in control of is what I do to my body or mind. And that means identifying and learning stress-control techniques.
So, I'm totally open to diet and exercise advice now.
I told Jesse last night that while I loathe exercise, it sucks a hell of a lot less than losing my hair. I climbed onto the treadmill last night, at a walk of about 2.5 miles. I pulled out my old Pilates video. I have a workable workout schedule - treadmill 3 times a week, Pilates alternating three other days. Something manageable but that also does something.
No matter what the medical issue is, I realized that my stress is seriously exacerbating the condition. I've never been good at stress relief. I don't even notice I'm bottling it, at least not until my lovers and friends point-blank tell me I've been acting like a raging bitch.
A lot of people work out to relieve stress. If it's something a lot of people do, then I can damn sure try to do it, too. I don't need to go balls-the-wall about it. Even a few times a week should help.
The reigning advice for stress relief seems to be that a person should quit their stressful job, buy a ton of self-help books, and take up painting as a hobby.
For those of us who do not have the financial freedom to quit our jobs and renovate entire rooms with wall-sized canvases, we must find other ways.
Jesse also suggested meditation. This is good advice. It's easy enough to tailor most meditation exercises to be godless, so my atheism shouldn't be a problem. A belief in the Divine is not nesscary to quiet the mind. I need to find an ideal time to meditate. Evenings, I am exhausted and just want to sleep. Mornings are filled with cleaning and writing.
But surely I can find ten minutes a day to soften the noise in my head.
I've always been a ridiculously psychosomatic person. The smallest bit of stress always seems to manifest physically. And if my body usually signals stress with cold sores, lack of good sleep, then my body discarding its hair in droves is DEFINITELY A SIGN OF STRESS.
Regardless of the condition, I can do this in the meantime. So....
What do you guys do for stress? For diet? For exercise?This entry was originally posted at http://quirkytizzy.dreamwidth.org/985617.html. Please comment there using OpenID.