Something I’ve been struggling with over the last year is the fact that I fear being successful at anything because I don’t believe I am deserving/worthy of being successful. Every time I post another chapter to one of my fics or publish another episode of my podcast, I brace myself for the hate I’m certain is about to crash over me like a tsunami. I’m filled with so much anxiety and doubt about myself and my creations that I have to fight to keep creating and not remove every trace of their existence.
And why do I feel like this? Success is for people who are better than me. What makes them better than me? Being wealthy.
It wasn’t until last week I was able to put it into words. And now that I have, I’m both relieved and deeply angry. Because I know just how messed up all this is.
Growing up, my creativity was encouraged. We didn’t have much, and I know just how much my parents sacrificed to be able to provide me with instruments, music and art lessons, and music camp in the summer. I will be eternally grateful for that and it’s a debt that I can never repay. However, it was made crystal clear to me that trying to make a living by being creative was not for someone like me. That was a life for someone with money.
I think my parents were trying to protect me. They knew that if I ran off to New York, California, or some other faraway place and tried to make it as a performer, things would probably not go well. I’d end up broke and homeless and they’d be unable to help me. I spent my childhood in small towns where I was a big fish in a little pond. I really couldn’t comprehend just how many kids out there were far more talented than I was.
I know that memory is a fickle thing, but the memory of the day I told the most important person in my life that I wanted to be a singer when I grew up is so vivid. I remember the sharp bark of a laugh and then being informed that only rich kids got to do something like that. I feel just as sick to my stomach thinking about that moment now as I did that day all those years ago.
Unfortunately, all those music lessons and camps and honor bands/choirs only served to send me very mixed messaging. I didn’t know how to process any of it. The only thing I did do was give up on the entire concept of dreams. What was the point of having dreams if there was no hope I could ever accomplish them?
Again, I realize how messed up all of this is.
There’s so much self-doubt. So much impostor syndrome. I battle it every single day. I can’t say that it’s getting easier, but I’m working very hard to unlearn things that I’ve believed about myself for decades.
I know that as a performer and writer, I’m average, at best. But I still have a voice. I still have something to offer. I’ve let my talents sit on the shelf collecting dust for ages. This is wrong and I don’t want to waste them like that anymore. Music, outside of karaoke, tends to be too emotionally painful these days. That doesn’t mean I can’t use my voice for good. So, I’ll keep writing my fluffy little fics and keep recording my thoughts about books. I’ll go to my volunteer job and read books and news and hopefully make other people’s lives a little bit better.
It’s been a wild few months. Here are the three major things that have happened since I last updated.
I became a regular live news reader at the place I volunteer. So now I read books and the news. It’s great fun! And if you or someone you know have vision issues that makes reading more difficult, check this place out: rtbs.org.
I wrote a book. It’s not ready to be published yet, seeing as I only have a completed first draft. I will update when it’s ready to be published!
You’ll notice there’s a new page on here entitled The First Page. That’s my podcast! It began airing this week and I’m very excited about it! I also now realize why podcasts frequently have staff. It’s a ton of work, but it’s definitely worth it!
All eyes were on me. My social anxiety had kicked into overdrive. I was sitting in a restaurant I couldn’t afford, with a group of women I had little in common with. As the only non-mother at the table, I’d had nothing to add to the conversation for the first part of the meal. Then the topic of dates came up. We were all married, and as the conversation had gone around the table, I’d realized just how out of place I was. These women talked about going to nice restaurants, weekend trips to beautiful places, and other activities along those lines.
I stared at my incredibly bland lemon pasta (years later, I’m still baffled at how they managed to make what should’ve been a delicious dish have absolutely zero flavor). Even before we were married, Tom and I hadn’t gone on many dates. The majority of our time together was spent watching tv and talking. A little over a year into marriage, not much had changed. At the time, he was working a job with insane hours. Most days I only saw him when he’d come home late at night, collapse into bed for a few hours, and then get up and immediately go back to work. I was just glad for any time I got with him where he was awake. Going on dates wasn’t even a realistic option. Finally, I answered, “Sometimes we go to Sonic together, but with Tom’s work schedule we really don’t get to see each other that much.”
Have you ever felt an entire group completely deflate? Because that’s exactly what happened. There seemed to be this thought that I, as the most recently married, would have stories of incredibly romantic nights out. I had told them the truth, and in doing so, completely killed the conversation. Quickly, the talk shifted back to motherhood and the antics of their kids.
I’ve been thinking about that night quite a bit lately. Previously, I mentioned that I’m working on drafts for a novella. The first draft is fine, but as I’ve been reworking the story, I’ve come to realize that it has a very big flaw. This is a romance story, and I have written the most boring dates in the world. They don’t seem boring to me because they’re the kind of dates I’m comfortable with. However, I realize that not everyone else is a socially anxious homebody.
This means I’m now racking my brain, trying to figure out actual dates to send these characters on. I’m not even sure I know how to date. Back when everyone else was learning how to do those things, I was sucked into the world of purity culture. It didn’t exactly give me a solid understanding of how dating actually works.
And now I’ll go back to working on my draft and hopefully I can come up with a date for my characters that won’t put readers to sleep.
This is a story that begins with TikTok. Specifically, BookTok.
I’m not sure how important this is to the story, but I feel like I need to explain what TikTok is like for me. At this point, I’m fairly certain that the TikTok algorithm is confused by me. I don’t really fit into any specific community. So, my For You Page is a bit of a mess. My little ADHD-fueled brain gets so much joy from the chaos. I’ll scroll through and go from a video about cleaning dryer vents to a guy in Florida watching sharks swim down the street. This will then be followed by people rating the bat-shit crazy level of items they’ve found at Goodwill. Sprinkle in loads of theater, archaeology, autistic/ADHD adult experiences, healthcare workers, Bluey, and evangelical deconstruction. And trust me, that list is barely scraping the surface of what I typically watch on there.
Now, sometimes the algorithm will think it’s started figuring me out and I’ll start having more of a specific type of video fed to me. In fall of 2021, I was getting a fair amount of BookTok videos where people were gushing over a certain romance novel.
Yup, that one. The one that we’ve all learned got its start as Reylo fanfic. Nothing wrong with that, as far as I’m concerned. I’ve been very pro-fanfic since I first discovered it was a thing back in the early 2000s.
Anyway, I kept seeing these videos about this book, and I wasn’t very interested. I’ve been burned by book recommendations so many times, I’m very hesitant to base a reading decision on a stranger’s word. And yet, middle of November ’21, I found myself deciding to give the book a try.
When I say I went in with low expectations, that’s not an exaggeration. I fully anticipated that I would hate it, but I wanted to read a bit of fluff and knew that if it really was as awful as I was prepared for, I could toss it onto the DNF pile.
I didn’t hate it.
I REALLY didn’t hate it.
Was it the most well-written book I’d ever encountered? Nope. Did it give me all the feels and a happily ever after? Yes. Yes, it did.
My depression really got bad by early December ’21, and that was when I took to my bed (how’s that for a dramatic turn of phrase?). One of the only reasons I’d leave the blankets was to take the dogs out and feed all the pets. We headed into January 2022, and I’m not sure if I showered more than once that month. It’s entirely possible I didn’t shower at all. Things didn’t improve much when February hit, though I did start showering at least weekly, so that was a positive.
Everything changed Febraury 24th, 2022.
Throughout my entire stuck-in-bed depressive episode, The Love Hypothesis (which will be referred to as TLH from this point forward) had been the one thing that stopped me from completely giving up. During those few months, I read and re-read TLH more times than anyone probably should. Was it the most healthy coping mechanism? Some will probably say no. Whether healthy or not, I don’t really care at this point, because it helped me not completely give up on life and didn’t let the darkness win.
The book is told from Olive’s, the main female character, point of view (pov). While some romance novels will hop back and forth between the two main character’s pov, TLH only gave us Olive’s side. Adam, the other main character, we can only speculate about. Towards the end of January ’22, not having Adam’s pov really began to bug me. There was a story there that I needed to read.
So, I went to the internet and searched for fanfics that would fill this need. At the time, there were very few TLH fanfics, and the ones that did tell things from Adam’s pov were only short little glimpses into pieces of the story. That was not what I wanted. I wanted to read the entirety of TLH from his side.
The morning of February 24th, 2022, I awoke with my brain screaming that enough was enough. If no one else was going to give me Adam’s version, I’d write the damn thing myself. What happened next was the most insane ADHD hyperfocus experience of my entire life. I started the fic that morning and finished March 4th, 2022. If you’re counting that’s nine days. In nine days, I typed 63, 445 words. Just to be upfront, I wanted to stay as close to canon as possible, so I did use quite a bit of dialogue from TLH. However, I also wrote decent amount that wasn’t in the book. And it was all from Adam’s pov.
On a whim, I decided that maybe someone else would be interested in reading the fic, so as I finished each chapter I posted it to Archive of our Own (AO3). I did not think that it would be read by more than maybe two or three people. This really was something I was doing for myself.
I was dumbfounded when people started to read and leave kudos and comments. It wasn’t just one or two people, either. In fact, as I’m typing this, that particular fic has had almost 20,000 hits. It was overwhelming, but it was a good overwhelming. The internet is such a cesspool of hate, I was terrified when I saw the first alert that I’d received a comment. My fears were unfounded because people were so incredibly kind.
What all those wonderfully kind people didn’t realize is that those sweet words did a tremendous job of yanking me away from the dark abyss. Every day, I was less inclined to crawl under the covers and hope that I’d never wake up again.
Over the next few months, I wrote piles of fics. The quality varies from story to story. (Trust me, I’m under no illusion as to the level of skill I have when it comes to writing.) The majority of them are finished. I currently have a handful that are waiting for me to finish.
It’s still a little crazy to me that novel had such a huge impact on my life. Thanks to it, I’ve made great progress in figuring out what I’m doing with my life, and I’ve made friends with people I’d likely never have met if it had not been for that book.
Two final notes regarding this whole experience:
If you want to read the fic that started it all, here you go: Fluke or Miracle? And from there, if you’re really wanting to read your fill of romantic cheese you can access my other fics. Fair warning, many of them have sexual content. It’s always consensual between adults, but it is still there and some of it is pretty explicit.
While I do have a very soft spot in my heart for TLH, I have been fairly disappointed by the other stories Ali Hazelwood has published since TLH came out. Her novellas are okay. I have many feelings about Love on the Brain, which came out this past fall. The majority of which are not good. One of these days my anger toward the book will ease enough that I’ll be able to express my thoughts regarding it.
Finally, if you want to see my TikToks, you can find me here: Memary84.
Is that enough shameless self-promotion for one day? Probably.
Shortly before I drifted off last night, I checked my phone and it said it was 23:23. For those of you who don’t read military time, that’s 11:23 p.m. (Years of working in healthcare converted my brain to operate on military time, and I tend to forget not everyone knows how to read it.) It’s not the first time I’ve fallen asleep before midnight on New Year’s Eve, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. I’m sure that child Malia would be horrified that I don’t sit up, waiting excitedly for the clock to turn over to the new year. Staying up until midnight loses some of its magic once you are out of your teens.
And now, it’s 2023. This May will mark twenty years since I graduated high school. And before you ask, no, I don’t plan to attend my class reunion. I didn’t attend my 10 years, and now I avoid Facebook as much as humanly possible, so I won’t know if there are plans for a 20-year.
18-year-old Malia had very little direction in her life. Oh, I thought I knew what I should do with my life, but I was really quite clueless. I had a talent for music and the next logical step was to go to college to become a music teacher. Did I want to be a music teacher? I told myself I did. It made sense. People in my life were very encouraging that this was what I should do, and that once I finished my bachelor’s I should become a music therapist. The idea absolutely terrified me, but people in my life were gung-ho about the idea, and ever the people-pleaser, I tried to reconcile myself to the idea of this future. A future I swore I wanted to pursue.
Kids, if you’re reading this and find yourself in a similar position, learn this lesson from me. Never make decisions about your future based on what other people (even the most well-meaning, loving people) encourage you to do. You will regret it (and possibly end up in a mountain of debt).
I’m sure it will come as a shock to no one that I didn’t become a music teacher, let alone a music therapist. My epic failures at attaining any kind of college degree deserve their own blog posts (stay tuned for those).
I’ve spent the last two decades trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. Trying to find a place I belonged. While I did eventually get my associate’s degree to be a vet tech, working in vet clinics is not the right place for me. I eventually landed in lab medicine. There are aspects of working in lab med that I adore. That said, there’s a level of stress in that environment that I just can’t cope with. The nightmare that was 2020 (a.k.a. Covid: Year One), cemented in me that lab medicine wasn’t where I belonged either.
2022 is the year when I finally figured out the puzzle of where I belong and what I should do.
The first piece started falling in place at the tail end of February. I began writing, and for months the words flowed out of me. Life got a little intense this past fall, and I wasn’t able to devote any time to writing, but now that things have quieted down again I’m ready to get back to it. My next post will tell the story of what actually happened on February 24, 2022.
The second piece fell into place in December. I auditioned to become a volunteer reader for Radio Talking Book Service (rtbs.org). I passed the audition, and when I went into record for the first time, I fell in love. I feel like I finally found a place where I actually belong. And the joy I feel doing this has made me decide to revisit something I started trying to do back in 2020.
Back when the pandemic got going, I briefly did something I called Bad Accent Storytime. I was making live videos reading public domain books. Why the bad accents? I wasn’t intentionally doing bad accents, but I knew I have no skill when it comes to doing accents and just decided to own it. The effort was short-lived, mainly due to the fact that my job took over my entire life.
I want to go back to reading books on stream. No attempts at accents this time.
Now, I know in my last post I made a big deal out of how I hate that question, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”. I still hate that question, and while I have absolutely no idea where I see myself in 5 years, I do have plans for this year. What better day than today, January 1st, to share those plans?
#1. Finish and self-publish three novellas. I currently have 3 planned. One I’ve almost finished the second draft, one is still in its first draft, and one currently only exists as an outline.
#2. Revive my Twitch channel and stream live readings.
#3. Post new blog posts a minimum of once a week. While I’d like to be ambitious and say I’ll post new content every day, that’s just not realistic. However, once a week is.
Here’s to 2023. Let’s make some content and do some good!
I hate that question. I despise that question. And the next time I get asked that in a job interview, I’m tempted to go full Phoebe Buffay.
If you had asked me that question on 12/31/2012, I’d have stared at you like a deer in the headlights. Possibly, I’d have mumbled something about having a job. And if you’d asked me that on 12/31/2017, I’d have gone full panic mode while I scrambled to come up with something to convince you that I wasn’t just drifting aimlessly through life.
Ten years ago, nothing could’ve prepared me for what the following decade would bring. If you’d told me even a fraction of those things were going to happen, I wouldn’t have believed you. I might have even laughed at you.
And now? It’s the end of 2022.
It has been quite the year. I’m ending it in a much better headspace than I started it.
I spent the first two months in such a deep depression I could barely able to get out of bed. If I hadn’t had the dogs to take outside, I wouldn’t have left bed at all.
I began writing. Really writing. There are a few novels worth of words that have managed to leave my brain and take physical form.
I had to put Groot down in September. I don’t know that I’m ever going to truly heal from this loss. She was my closest companion for five years. Saw me through some of the darkest times of my life. I miss her more than I ever thought possible.
I end this year knowing what I want to be when I grow up. I’m not sure how to accomplish it, but I’m going to manage it somehow.
I have plans for 2023. I’m back. The blog is back.
That said, there are a few things I should mention before I proceed into this next year.
I’m not the same person I was 12/31/2012. I’m not the same person I was 12/31/2017. I’ve changed quite a bit. Mostly for the better, I think. I know that there are those who will strongly disagree with me about this. I spent decades being a person that pleased everyone else, and I can’t be that person anymore.
I have opinions now. Actual opinions. I’m no longer thinking the thoughts I’ve been told I have to think because they’re the only thoughts God wants me to think. God gave me a brain and I’ve started learning how to actually use it.
You must tell the truth if your dialogue is to have the resonance and realism that Hart’s War, good story though it is, so sadly lacks—and that holds true all the way down to what folks say when they hit their thumb with the hammer. If you substitute “Oh sugar!” for “Oh shit!” because you’re thinking about the Legion of Decency, you are breaking the unspoken contract that exists between writer and reader—your promise to express the truth of how people act and talk through the medium of a made-up story. -Stephen King On Writing
This is one of the most important lessons I learned from On Writing. Why do I bring this up here? It’s because this entire blog has not been truly honest. Oh, the posts are all true. I’ve never lied in what I’ve shared here. The posts have all been honest, but what you’ve read up until now has been the extremely sanitized version. I never wanted to post anything that might make people uncomfortable or that could be considered even the tiniest bit offensive.
The truth is, I cuss…a lot. I’ve been going through intense religious deconstruction, and I’m filled with thoughts and questions. My mental health is a constant battle. I read and write romance. Sometimes what I write is explicit, but it’s always respectful between consenting adults. I have handled many things in my life poorly. I’m neurodivergent. I screw up more than I succeed. I’ve hurt people and been hurt by people. I’m a flawed human being.
Think of my writing and me like pineapple pizza. Some people are going to love it, and some people aren’t. I’m slowly starting to be okay with that.
The days of people-pleasing, bland, non-offensive writing are done. If that’s the kind of writing you’re hoping to continue seeing here, you’ll be very disappointed. I completely understand if you’re not interested in sticking around because of this. Thank you for the support you’ve given me over the years. I have read every comment and felt a rush of happiness every time I’ve been sent a notification that a post has received a ‘like’.
Since 2001, I have been filled with pain, anger, depression, anxiety, and an overall strong sense of doom. There have been blips of happy during this time, but overall it’s been 20 long years of misery.
I remember mentioning to someone that I felt as though I was living under a curse. They thought I was being dramatic. All I knew was that everytime I came close to finally getting a grip on life my world would fall apart. And it was always in super strange ways.
About 10 years ago, I added apathetic to the laundry list of things I struggled with. Everything felt so pointless, and I was so tired of always being in pain. I think that’s when my dissociating began to get really bad. I spent my days watching myself making decisions that were typically unhealthy. It was a bit like watching a movie or a dream. I felt like I was living my life in 3rd person. My body and mind were on autopilot.
So much of the last two decades has passed me by, and I just let it. I have been ambivalent, apathetic, and I let my heart grow hard.
My undiagnosed depression, anxiety, and ADHD shredded my brain. I remember when I started college on 2003, and discovered my memory was deteriorating. It was frustrating and scary. Growing up my memory had been ok. I know that towards the end of high school I sometimes struggled to remember things when I was taking a test. But I wrote that off as just being a busy teen. I was heavily involved in extra-curiculars, and being a pastor’s kid came with it’s own set of responsibilities. Then when I started an actual job my senior year, my plate was beyond full.
Feeling your memory deteriorate is terrifying. When you know that you know something, but it’s locked behind so many doors in your brain, and you can’t access it; it’s overwhelming and frustrating and angering.
In 2018, I began getting serious treatment for things. It’s not been an easy road. Therapy dredged up so many things that I had locked deep, deep, deep, DEEP inside. So much anger and pain. It was hard. It’s still hard. The guilt and shame of every mistake, every pain I’d ever caused others, overwhelmed me, drowned me.
My promise to you, my readers, is that you get the honest, genuine version of me. I’m still not ready to share with y’all the nightmare that was March 2020 through this past February. But I will tell you, that I’m not exaggerating when I tell you it was the final straw. It nearly destroyed me completely. I spent months having people close to me watch me break apart. I had my own healthcare providers encourage me to quit my job. But I was so determined to stay. I had a bad habit of walking away from jobs when they started to feel a little too hard to handle. I was adamant I was going to break that cycle. That, no matter how hard the job got, I was going to stick it out.
Looking back, I now know that I should’ve left my job in May of 2020. It wasn’t until the end of this past January, when faced with the reality of partial hospitalization, that I finally said, “Enough.” I knew that if I went back I was going to find myself in some sort of serious health crisis, maybe a heart attack, maybe a diabetic coma, or just completely and permanently losing all touch with reality. I had this sense that if I went back, I would be dead before the year was out, because I could feel my body telling me it was ready to shut down. No amount of money was worth completely destroying myself.
In April, I was running some errands, and suddenly my brain shifted into autopilot. Before I knew it, I was driving to my old job. I hadn’t been near the building since January. I could feel the panic build as I got near, and when I saw it, I broke down. I was torn between missing my friends, and the rush of memories filled with fear and pain.
When Tom had surgery in May, it was the first time I’d been back in a hospital in months. I briefly wondered if I’d find myself second-guessing my decision to leave my job. The short answer? No, I didn’t. I remember watching the medical professionals doing their jobs, and not even the tiniest part of me missed being a healthcare worker. Instead, all I could feel was relief that I was out of working in the world of medicine.
Last Friday, Tom put on Sweet Tooth. Overall, it was a really awesome show, but it was an incredibly hard watch. The first episode and seventh episode hit especially hard.
MINOR SPOILER ALERT
Watching a fictional hospital deal with a pandemic hit a little too close to home. It was a little too real seeing a disease that progressed fast and overwhelmed all the healthcare workers. I stuck it out, but I also texted and warned my friend who is still working in the lab. Just in case she was going to watch it, I didn’t want her to be caught off guard. That night, I prayed and took the meds I usually avoid, in order to help me sleep, cause I was scared that the nightmares that plagued me throughout last year would be back.
A few weeks back, I wrote about starting a new med that was giving me all the side effects. When I contacted the doctor, she asked that I try to stick it out for two weeks, because she thought it might settle down and the med would start working. Last week, I wrote about how mentally I was feeling loads better than I have in a long time. The side effects are definitely better now, I’m glad I agreed to stick it out the two weeks. My body, once it finally adjusted, has been feeling good and my blood sugar numbers are slowly getting lower and steadier.
I’m a bit of an odd duck, because I believe in Jesus and in science. I firmly believe that God gave us science, and if anything the miracle taking place in my body reaffirms this belief. My body doesn’t make neurochemicals or regulate my sugars like it should, but science has created medications that help with all these things. Over the last several days, I’ve been feeling really good. Everything has been working the way it should in my body. And I’ve made a shocking discovery.
I like myself.
I’ve despised myself for so long. All I could see were the bad parts, the mistakes. Am I perfect? NOPE. But I am silly, smart, kind, funny, generous, and phenomenally gifted (especially in music). The me that has suddenly woken up after decades of slumber, is actually pretty awesome. I would want to hang out and be my friend.
So, am I healed/cured/completely fixed? I can’t really answer that. I know that I’m healthier. I know that it’s likely the dark feelings will be back, maybe tomorrow, maybe 5 years from now, but I’m okay with that. I know I can survive the storms, because I’ve already survived so many of them.
I had a really odd moment in therapy this morning. I went in with a few things to talk about. Nothing too exciting, just some things I’ve been processing and towards the end of session my therapist asked me, “That’s a lot going on. So, how are you doing with all this?”
I thought about it. I thought about how over the last several years (basically my entire adult life), when faced with similar things, I would’ve been sent in such a deep depressive spiral. About how all I would’ve wanted to do is lock myself up and hide away from everyone and everything.
And you know what? That’s not how I feel right now. Sure, I’ve got things going on that fill me with dread and anxiety but good or bad, these things will eventually be in the past, and I’ll hopefully still be here.
I’m learning to be kind to myself. My entire life, I’ve been my biggest critic, my number one enemy. I’ve been fixated on my flaws. Figured that if I made the joke first, I took the stick away from others and the bullying would be lessened. I’ve always been worried about everything, and torn to shreds with a load of guilt for every single bad thing that has happened my entire life.
I’ve come to the realization, my worry has accomplished nothing. For example, I can spend the next 5 months a ball of nerves, constantly freaking out about whether Tom’s cancer is still with us and spreading. But my worry will solve nothing. In November, he will either get good or bad news. There’s a 50% chance of good news, and if I’m going to fixate on anything, I should fixate on having hope. Instead of being my biggest hater, I need to be my biggest fan!
So, what was the odd moment? It was odd being able to look at him and honestly say, “Y’know, I’m actually doing okay with all of this.” And even odder to leave and not be overwhelmed with self-doubt, questioning if I really am okay or did I unintentionally lie to make myself look better than I am. I feel this sense of lightness. Almost giddiness.
No, I’m not cured. But I am mentally healthier. I’m seeing actual progress, and I want to celebrate that!
P.S. While playing with Snapchat earlier today, I captured this magical moment:
I’ve had food issues my whole life. Add in the fact that I’m a super picky eater, and eating is a challenge.
In the last few months I’ve been finding that more and more foods seem to make me sick. It’s not great when the list of foods that don’t make you sick is basically chicken, bone broth, yogurt, and crackers.
I’ve been tested for allergies before and everything has come back normal. I came to the assumption that it must be my anxiety causing food issues.
It has been suggested that maybe tomatoes are part of the problem. Initially, I shrugged this off, because I hate tomatoes. But then I realized that while I hate raw tomato, quite a lot of the things I eat have tomatoes in them.
So, now I’m trying to revamp my diet to avoid tomato. It does seem to be helping a bit. It’s a bit of a challenge, and I have messed up a few times. This past Sunday I decided to make Tika Masala with this kit that came with the sauce already made. It was as I was playing the food that I remembered what one of the ingredients in the sauce is.
Fortunately, I survived without getting too sick. But I do dream of a day when I can eat pizza again without spending the following night in agony.
If you were here in January 2020, you might remember me writing about an absolute nightmare experience at the pharmacy. Strap in, kids, it’s time for another round of “Malia has fun at the pharmacy.” Different pharmacy, same level of “fun.”
Earlier this spring, I went to the endocrinologist, and she decided she wanted me to start taking Farxiga along with my regular diabetes med. So, the script got sent to the pharmacy, and I waited. The first few days, the app showed me that filling the med was “In Process.”
Okay, sure. New med, needs time to get all the insurance cleared, etc…
Then the status changed to, “Contact the pharmacy to fill the prescription.”
I had a few other meds that had been filled, so when I went to pick them up, I asked about the Farxiga. I was informed that my insurance had declined to cover it, and was recommending a med called Jardiance. They offered to contact my doctor about this, and I gave them the go ahead.
A week passed and nothing changed. No new script was listed for the Jardiance, and I had heard nothing from my endo. So, I sent a message to the endo to find out what they wanted to do.
I received back a message from the nurse telling me to go to Farxiga’s website, and there should be coupons there. Now, the pharmacy had already told me that I was looking at well over a thousand dollars if I paid out of pocket. I received the message right as the fun with Tom’s kidney began, and so dealing with it fell by the wayside. Besides, I reasoned, I had another endo appointment coming up soon, I’d deal with it then.
Fast forward past the surgery, to the next endo appointment. The endo told me they had sent a script for the Jardiance to the pharmacy when they had been informed it was the recommended switch from the Farxiga. Since the script had never shown up in the pharmacy app, the endo resent it.
After the appointment, I checked the pharmacy app and saw that a script for Jardiance was there, listed as, “In Process.” I breathed a sigh of relief.
Which was a dumb thing to do.
The next day, I checked the app and found that “In Process” had changed to “Contact the pharmacy to fill.”
So, I called the pharmacy and asked what was going on. They informed me that Jardiance isn’t covered by my insurance.
So, I sent a message to the endo. Two hours later the doctor called me and told me that the person in their office who talks to the insurance people (there was a title for this person, but I’m blanking on it), had called and gotten the med approved for coverage. The doctor told me they’d contacted the pharmacy and the med should be filled by end of day.
Again, I breathed a sigh of relief way too soon.
At this point it was a Thursday. I watched the app and the fill status remained unchanged. And it stayed unchanged through the weekend.
The following Tuesday, I received a letter from my insurance showing that they were going to cover the med. I stupidly assumed this was going to mean my med was going to get filled.
I gave it two days, and then when nothing had changed, I went in to the pharmacy, clutching the letter from the insurance.
The pharmacy tech pulled up my info and after looking it over said, “Yup, I show we got approval for this last week.” Which he followed up with, “So did you want us to fill this?”
Yes, I contained my rage. Yes, I remained nice and polite. Yes, they finally filled it and I was able to pick it up and start taking it this last Tuesday. (Delay in pick-up was on me trying to conserve gas. I waited until my other diabetes med had been refilled to go pickup.)
After all that, turns out my body really doesn’t like the Jardiance. I gave it until today, and it’s just kept making me sicker. I was so baffled, because nothing I was experiencing was listed on the bottle as a side effect, so I had to go to Jardiance’s website, and I found that I’m having most of the uncommon side effects.
So, now I’m waiting to hear back from the endo since I’m fairly certain I probably should not be continuing to take this med.