Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Post Office

I've been selling some of my used books through amazon.com (redhummingbird). It's been fun. I love books. I love the weight of them, the book covers that shows the glimpse of the promise of a good story within. My classmates in grad school would say I have an addiction to them. They often joked about the number of books I would buy each month.

It gives me a sense of small joy to put a book in the mail as soon as I get notified that someone has ordered a book from me. I wonder if the buyer has that same sense of anticipation that I get when I order a book. Sometimes I pay a little extra so the buyer will get the book sooner. One woman ordered a book on grief. I payed extra so she would get the book priority mail.

So today I walked to the post office to put a book in the mail. I have to do this at the post office so they can weigh the book in order to determine the correct postage. Before I left I carefully counted out what I thought was $2.75 which I figured would cover the cost of shipping. I considered my energy level and whether or not I was lightheaded or not. A couple weeks ago I arrived at the post office and thought I was going to pass out. That freaked me out.

I get up to the counter. The postmaster weighs the package and tells me the cost-$2.13. I take out my money feeling good that I'd come close to estimating the correct postage. Unfortunately even though I'd calculated correctly I didn't count correctly. Instead of $2.75 worth of quarters I'd only brought $1.75. This was a little emotional for me because each time something like this happens I get reminded how much this illness has affected me cognitively. I sheepishly told the postmaster that I didn't have enough money. I felt about 8 years old. He said but it' s only $2.13. I said "I know. I, um only have $1.75." From behind me comes a cheerful offer "how much do you need?" I turn around with relief since I didn't know if I would have had to return home with my unmailed package. For most people this would mean a simple return later on to the post office. I didn't know if I would have the energy to return. I turn around and there is this very kind looking woman with a strange hat on holding out a 1 dollar bill. I felt like crying. I thanked her profusely. She said oh, don't worry, it will come back to me somehow. I blathered on about feeling relieved at having to not make a returned trip. She casually replied, "oh, I know how difficult it can be to get to the post office." She has no idea.

This simple gesture really moved me and I could not hold back the tears as I walked the 2 blocks home. So thank you whomoever you are. Many blessings and much peace to you.

I get home and to find a very important piece of mail had arrived. It was the letter from the doctor that Roche needs in order to process my application for medication assistance. So on Monday I'll have the application faxed to Roche and then put the originals in the mail.

I dreamt last night that I accepted a job offer from an old agency I used to work at. I was so grateful to have some work. It paid only $10/hour but I didn't care. My entire work life has been dedicated to helping people. It's something that gives me a sense of purpose and joy. It hasn't been easy but it's been my calling. It felt great in my dream to be re-engaged in that.

I also dreamt about my echocardiogram. I dreamt there were 2 jets. One was minor but the other was more major indicating more serious heart damage. In real life, the echocardiogram showed a tricuspid valve regurgitation indicated by a small jet of color on the screen-it was interpreted by the cardiologist as a common abnormality. However, in cfids it's not normal. The doctor I saw who specializes in this stuff said that a "good cardiologist" would have caught this and explored it further.

I need to research how successful valcyte is in treating heart dysfunction associated with this illness. If it is then my decision is made. I think my decision is made already anyways. I think I need to try it. It's a very rough road-no different than chemo. The alternative though....I'm the type of person that has to take action. I can't just sit and wait. And the truth is that I'm getting no better by resting.

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