The lows and the highs of just being being human.

Photo: Rachel Hobbs/asprinkleofasian.com

About a month ago I went to an allergist. This appointment was in hopes to find out, for certain, what I’m allergic to. It’s a long story but I have pretty severe allergies and have been having a hard time pinpointing what they are. As a result, I’ve been through a lot of elimination diets to try and narrow it down.

The doctor was unable to pinpoint any specific food allergies that I have, based on the foods he tested me for at the appointment. (There’s a standard 64 foods their office tests for, and aside from two products I never eat, I’m apparently clear allergy free, at least on what I was tested for)

The doctor did agree that I have allergies, though. And because of that, he gave me a prescription for allergy medication that he said was better than over-the-counter and could quite possibly provide benefit for me in coping with the allergies I have.

I couldn’t afford the prescription.

It might have been my lowest point of my whole year. I’m not working so I don’t have insurance to cover prescriptions. And drugs are fucking expensive. This was also right about the time when my credit card information was compromised, so I couldn’t even just put it on my credit card.

I wanted to cry. I wanted to break down in tears in the pharmacy when they told me the price of the drugs I was prescribed. It was awful. I was sad, I felt helpless and I was baffled that an allergy medication could cost so damn much. I felt like a loser. I felt like I wasn’t capable of the basic functions of looking after myself. And that made me feel the lowest of lows that I think I’ve been through all year.

I didn’t end up getting the prescription. And, when I think back on that day, all I do is tear up/cry. I don’t ever want to feel like that again. The way I felt, so powerless, so pathetic. I was trying not to look upset with the person I was with but I think he saw right through it. I think he knew how upset I was.

I just couldn’t afford it.

It was just allergy medication, and I live in Canada. That shouldn’t be happening to me. But somehow this is the situation I am in. And I have been seeing a lot of news reports lately about people in the USA struggling to choose between taking their insulin or halving it to make it last longer because it costs so damn much.

While I’m aware that my allergies are just simple issues in comparison to theirs, I can’t help but feel a small fraction the pain they must feel. The dire need to want to take care of one’s self and the having to ask yourself if you can afford to do so.

That was a very low day for me. It was only allergy medication, and it’s something that I can do without. I’m not suffering without the drug. It was a very low day for my self-esteem, though.

Fast forward to last week. I went pick up my parents who had flown back from Denmark. Prior to picking up my parents I stopped at a mall to meet with a friend of mine for a cup of coffee.

This mall that we were meeting at, there were two options for parking. You could park on the roof, or, you could park underground. I have a rule against parking in underground lots when I am alone. It’s just a safety precaution that I choose to take. So I parked on the roof.

When I left my friend, I was walking towards my vehicle. A man held the mall door open for me to the outside, and then proceeded to follow me as I was walking to my vehicle.

The man persisted that he needed a ride and that he was going wherever I was going. He proclaimed that his friend left him there and that he needed a ride and that I was gong to give it to him. He was about a foot taller than I was, so I was nervous about this strange man following me, telling me that I was going to give him a ride.

When I made it to my vehicle, I opened the driver-door and told him that he needed to leave me alone. He put his hands on the driver door, in an attempt to intimidate me, and told me ‘Just reason with me, I just need a fucking ride’.

I looked him square in the face, in a calm tone and said ‘You have about 2.5 seconds before I slam your fingers in the door and kick you square in the balls so I can watch you keeled over in pain as I drive off’.

‘You think you can hurt me?’ He laughed.

‘Are you looking to test me?’ I replied, staring him dead in the face.

‘Fine, I don’t need a ride you stupid bitch’, he said as he walked away from my vehicle.

In that moment I felt so damn proud of myself. I was just so… empowered. I’m the type of person who’s always felt as though I’d cower in a situation of high stress. I’m the type of person who’s doubted my ability to stand up for myself a lot of my life. And honestly, I probably shouldn’t have continued walking toward my vehicle when I realized he was following me, but this wave of a ‘Don’t fuck with me’attitude came over me, and I just kept going.

I stood up to him. I stood up for myself. I made him back down and I let him know that his intimidation tactics didn’t work on me. I was so fucking proud of myself.

I don’t think I could have been more proud in that moment.

There was such a dichotomy in how I felt about myself in just a matter of a few weeks. Two completely different scenarios reminded me of just how much the world can throw at me. And I think that’s an important point to note – that as human beings, sometimes life gets the better of us, it feels as though our powers have been stripped and there’s nothing we can do about it. But, life also gives us the opportunities to take that back. To stare the creepy giant down and threaten physical harm if he doesn’t get out of your fucking way.

There are days when it’s really not easy being human. There are days when it’s really not easy getting by. And then there are days when you stand up and remind yourself and the world just what you’re capable of.

I’m a fucking lion and ruler of the jungle, this life and whatever the world decides to throw at me.

65 thoughts on “The lows and the highs of just being being human.

  1. It’s in those moments when you’re backed into a corner and you find that kernel of courage to stand up for yourself that you realize just how strong you are. You’re so right; there are moments in life that can make you feel so vulnerable and helpless, then the situations that reveal to you just how brave you can be. And that really is the beauty of being human; these contradictory moments that reveal what balances us out and let’s us know we can overcome the things that come our way.

    Thank you for sharing 💛

    Liked by 3 people

  2. You are such a rockstar!

    I hate that Pharmacare coverage won’t kick in until the year after you’ve made no money. I was in that situation a few years ago when I was unemployed for 9 months, and too bad so sad that my psych meds cost a couple hundred bucks each time I filled them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There was no alternative of it. According to the doctor it’s only been available in Canada for about three months. He said it was brand new for him to be able to prescribe.

      And thank you.

      Like

      1. Yeah, it was disappointing. I mean obviously I’m surviving without it. So it’s not the end of the world. It was just disappointing to think that there’s this thing out there that could be helping me and I couldn’t afford to even try it. Ya know what I mean?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, I do. Certain medications hit close to home for me. My daughter is diabetic, so anything that mentions insulin my ears go to full attention.
        I agree with you about those south of us that have make a choice, either pay rent or buy insulin. The richest nation and they cannot have medicare for all. Makes me so angry!

        Liked by 2 people

      3. It’s silly! The wealthy are so damn scared about spreading the wealth that they won’t adopt universal health care. It should be a human right. But it’s not. It’s sad.

        Like

      4. Our health system if we are not careful will go the way that our neighbours to the south have.
        Alberta, and some other provinces already have a two tier system. If you have money you can jump to the head of the line.

        Like

      5. In Alberta, I was getting healthcare for free. When I moved to BC, I got that job offer in July, I transferred my medical over to BC so I could be listed on benefits from the employer. Then the job offer got rescinded. Then I started getting bills from BC Health… I have to pay $37.50 a month just to potentially be able to go see a doctor if I so might need to.

        I know it’s only $37.50… but we’re in Canada. It’s supposed to be free. I don’t agree with it… at all.

        Like

    2. I still can’t understand the extortionate prices for medication in places like USA, but I don’t known it was bad in Canada too..How ‘civilised’ are we when wellness is a profit game..
      Good on you for sticking up for yourself.. I’d have been terrified, it really angers me that some people just impose themselves on others liie that.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. And me, being in Canada, I know that I have things way easier than in so many parts of the world. But the price of drugs is astounding. Lately there’s been news of a lot of American’s coming across the border to get insulin because what would cost them $2,000 in the USA can cost them around $225 in Canada. WHICH IS CRAZY! I can’t imagine having an actual condition in which I needed to rely on drugs and have Pharma hiking up the prices 200 percent. It would be a scary world. Thank goodness that minus allergies, I’m a pretty healthy person.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t think that guy knows how to ask for a favor… Was that the price for holding the door open for you?

    I thought that Canadians are required to hold the door open for people, for free. Hahaha… 😛

    That was a scary ordeal, and you are not obligated to give strangers rides.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think he was using drugs, and I think that’s why he felt so emboldened to use that behaviour to try and intimidate me.

      Ain’t nobody gonna push me around and try to intimidate me like that.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I really like how detailed this post is and i think it really captures the nuances of the generic “highs and lows” in our lives. I am so proud of you for being able to take command of that situation and protect yourself! Even though the allergy medication was out of your range but I know its only temporary! You are going to rule the world, V.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Well done! If there was an option to get the medication you would have done that too. There was no cardoor to slam and to obtain the meds. It is a horrible system. In my country insurance is not tied up with your work situation. But I need to get the meds really in advance because we sell so much to other countries, that sometimes there is nothing left in our pharmacies. That’s the system here. But well done in the parking lot, sometimes you need to be a little b*tch nothing wrong with that.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There’s been more and more talk lately about sending our pharmaceuticals south of the border because they’re so expensive in the States we could help with shortages. I’d be interested to hear your perspective in how that works in your country and having to get meds in advance because yours are given to other countries. It seems nice at face value- spread the health kinda scenario but it also seems like it could have some ramifications as well…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh no, we are not giving them to help. They are selling them to other countries because they can make more money from them. Meds here are a little cheaper than in the countries they sell too. See the picture here?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I didn’t think they were being given away. Sorry for my lack of clarity. I just meant… if there’s a need for them in Country B and Country A gives them to Countet B at a price, what are the ramifications for the citizens of country A? Does that make sense?

        I figure there are ramifications of choosing to sell your drugs rather than keeping them for your citizens…

        Liked by 1 person

  6. That’s such a scary situation to be in. My mom’s friend was robbed while she was driving after she had stopped at an intersection in Kitchener. The dude just opened her driver door, stole her purse, and took off! I’m happy that you didn’t have this happen to you and put your safety first. Takes a lot of guts to do that and idk how I would have reacted to that situation. You would think Canada is a safe country. I’m just relieved that you are safe. 🙏🏻💕

    Drugs are expensive without coverage and it’s so sad that people struggle to fill their prescriptions. Again, you would think that Canada would have this kinda thing figured out with the “free healthcare” we have, but that’s not the case. 😕

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What’s really sad is that I had free healthcare in Alberta. In BC I have to pay 37.50 per month for health care. In the grand scheme of things I realize I shouldn’t complain because I know people in the states and other countries have it way, way worse… but it just baffles me that in Canada I have to pay money each month just to have a right to see a doctor if I potentially need it…

      As for your moms friend, that’s so scary! I dont know what I’d do in that situation. Probably drive home and cry. Or drive right to the police station! Still, so scary though.

      Argh. I typed this on my phone and my grammar is horrible… I can’t be bothered to edit it. Sorry for the terrible spelling.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I am not a doctor but you can try Neem soap. Neem (Azadirachta indica) tree is found in Indian subcontinent. It’s leaves are good for skin and help in skin allergies. If you can find Neem leaves, boil them with water. After boiling, strain the water and mix that water to the water in bucket and bath with it. You can order Neem soap online. Aloe vera is also good for skin allergies. You can use Aloe vera gel also for skin.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Part of me wanted to, but the part of me that was like ‘Fuck you, you fucking creep’ took over and he didn’t want to risk infertility, apparently. Guess I’m fierce when I want to be.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Seriously?? It was so old on my instagram I deleted it as i was going to re draw it 🙈 I have drawings there _lifewithrachel and _asprinkleofasian_ which is a nee art account and Rachel Hobbs on pinterest Haha this is super cool 😍

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Well you’re an incredible artist. Usually when I’m thinking of something I’ll google random topics like “ticking time bomb” or “girl looking in mirror” and then add “drawing” on the end. I’m pretty sure i found that one on google by searching “girl looking in mirror drawing”.

        I’m so sorry you didn’t get credited. Please forgive me.

        I have posted credit there now. Also, I’m following you on instagram, since you shared your handle!

        Like

      3. Yeah that’s how I usually list my drawings Haha no no it’s fine honestly! I never thought any of my art would be noticed but they seem to be doing good on pinterest Haha I’m just happy you’re using one. Strange coincidence!

        Amazing thank you,and I’ve given your blog a follow too! Its 2.30am here so I’ll read tomorrow

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Wow! What a post!

    Hope you get to feeling better, allergy-wise. My friend has serious allergies and is so careful about what she eats, though is sometimes taken by surprise. I can believe your medicine is too expensive, as that appears to be the current way of practicing health care. 😞 Patient assistance by the pharmaceutical company? Hope so.

    Way to own up to one’s self in the parking garage though! I trust you can find your way through the health stuff after reading of this episode of you standing up for yourself. Inspirational! Thank you for sharing this story of courage.

    Please keep us posted about the medicine, and please keep learning about how to take good care of yourself. I trust your mettle after reading this post, for sure. Way to go! Now tell those allergies who’s boss by figuring it out nutritionally. I hope you find somebody to help you, and trust that you will after reading this story! Best wishes.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks. The prescription is good for one full year from the date I was given it, so I just have to go back to Alberta in the next 320 or so days, and if I have the money then, I can get it.

      I’m hoping that I can get back to Alberta soon and actually get the prescription. Then again, I’m also hoping that I’m employed soon so when I do go to get it, it’ll be covered by insurance.

      We’ll see how the future unfolds.

      Like

  9. I am right there with you with all the highs and lows. After nearly 3 years of being (mostly) in control of my anxiety, I feel like the last 6 months or so have been back to uncontrollable turmoil. I had three really good days this week, but also three bad ones — and none of them are in succession. Some days I feel empowered and unstoppable, other days I’m having panic attacks constantly. I hate that I feel like I can’t even predict my own reactions.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. OH Stace, I know how you feel. I really do. I’m so sorry for what you’re going through. I wish I could be a little angel sitting on your shoulder reminding you what a badass you are and to keep going.

      But, since I can’t – YOU’RE A BADASS. PLEASE KEEP GOING.

      Also, remember you’re not alone. I’m there with you. Some days it feels like my anxiety isn’t even there and others, it’s all I can do to get myself out of bed. So I feel you. I really do.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Good for you for standing up! Also I thought Canada is socialist & everyone gets insurance :(. I have insurance now but for 10 years I couldn’t afford the deductabe or didn’t have insurance. Also your min wage is HIGH. Oregon’s is 10$ hr roughly, and in many states it’s lower. I make about 1$ an HR more then you are quoting and that’s a good wage here. No on

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So our Medical Coverage in Canada is for medical care. So if we go to the doctor or we break our leg and need a cast or if we have a baby and need to stay in the hospital – that is all covered because it’s necessary medical treatment being administered by a doctor. My mom’s been through cancer in the last twelve months – all of her surgeries, all of her treatments, all of her radiation and such – that was all covered. Thankfully she went through all of her treatments and the only thing we had to pay for was parking when we drove her there.

      When it comes to Prescription drugs that we take at home, ourselves, most insurance is paid for by employers – as a benefit of employment. So if your employed, the employer is essentially paying for any prescriptions you might have because they pay for your drug insurance. As I am unemployed, I don’t have that right now. I can opt to purchase private insurance, but, that is about $200 a month, for the potential of maybe one day possibly needing a prescription. I guess I just saw that it would be 2400 a year that I don’t necessarily know is going to be worth it if I try to keep myself healthy and away from the doctor.

      So, for the most part things are covered. But, if you’re unemployed that throws a little bit of a wrench into the picture if that makes sense.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Also yes, we’re very blessed that our Minimum Wage is at the level it’s at. We also strategically set up our government to ensure that’s possible though. As it’s done at the provincial level here, and from the sounds of it done at the State level there, I think it’s something that could probably be done in states if they were willing to structure their government that way. But then again, it’s all in priorities. Governments in the States have vastly different priorities than those up here, at least that’s what I think from what I see.

      Like

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