What would I do different, knowing what I know now? (Ill keep this strictly R.A. related, or I’d be here all night)
Knowing what I know now, I would have stolen, cheated, begged, borrowed, scammed; done whatever it took to get myself proper medical care when I first learned about all this. They always say how important it is to catch this disease early. How important it is to be aggressive with treatment. And I am a testament to this. I never had to get this bad. I never had to get to this point. Everything in this life boils down to money.
I’ve always considered myself non materialistic. Even in high school, I argued with my friends over how silly things like big TVs and expensive cars and clothes were. Things like that never have, and still don’t hold any appeal to me. I’ve always thought I would be ashamed and disgusted to spend money on petty and insignificant things while there are so many people in need in this world.
The point is, I’ve never really been very bothered by lack of funds. I’ve been working since I was old enough. I’ve always been very responsible with my money. I’ve taken care of myself since a young age, and when I haven’t had enough, I did without.
God, I wish I could go back. Those first several months, when I lost everything. I should have begged everyone I knew to help me. I was way too full of pride. I suffered instead. I would have rather suffer than beg for help. Oh the depths we sink. My father helped when he could. He was going through a nasty divorce, he lost his business. I didn’t want to burden him. I should have begged him. I should have asked for him to do whatever it took. But I downplayed it. Of course I can wait to go to the doctor. He was broke, he had to take care of himself. He needed to get out of that awful marriage that destroyed our family. That’s all that mattered. She took everything but my mothers house. She took everything that wasn’t bolted down. She took everything down to the kitchen cabinet knobs.
My older sister moved away as soon as she graduated. She also moved out of my fathers house while in high school. I eventually moved in with her. But after a year of that, it was too much on her. She couldn’t take care of herself and me. She made decent money, but I didn’t bring in anything. She is not like me when it comes to money. She does not save, she is not responsible, and she likes to buy things of no use. Every time she bought anything I’d feel a little resentment, and then guilt for feeling that way. It was her money to spend however she wanted. I had no right to say anything to her. I’m already mooching off her. Already eating her food. Already jacking up her utilities. So she didn’t have money to help with with meds or doctors visits. Who was I to say anything? I should have begged her. I should have pleaded with her to do whatever it took. Nobody understood how serious this could get. They still don’t get it. I shouldn’t have kept it inside. I should have told them to make it a priority because it never was.
My younger brother is my biggest help these days. He’s made sure I’ve had relatively steady doctors visits lately. Even if they are just the bare minimum. At the time all this happened, he wasn’t really in the picture. In fact, I spent more time worrying about him than anything. He and my father had a huge, nasty, violent falling out after I moved out. It was bad. Very bad. He moved in with me and my grandmother. He has always been a very loving funny person. He was so sad. I’m crying just thinking about all of this. I received more than one call from him at the time that he wanted to die. Well, he moved in with us. I took care of him. My grandmother couldn’t. She was living on a very low fixed income. She couldn’t afford to feed and clothe two high school students. So it’s always been me and my little brother. Eventually he started acting out. He had some serious anger issues. He was diagnosed with bipolar disease. He dropped out of high school, and moved here and there. Different states. He would just up and move. So at the time all this happened I didn’t want to bother him. He had enough on his plate too. He was barely keeping his head above water. But a small part of me hoped he would see how much I needed help. Without me having to beg. A small part of me hoped he would help me because we were always a team. I always took care of him. Even when he didn’t appreciate it. Even when he was so full of anger and depression to even care. So maybe I was a little bitter. And then of course I would feel bad for that. He always had it so much worse that the rest of us. He doesn’t need a sick sister to hold him down. I know if I had begged him he would have helped. I know if I had sat him down and told him I couldn’t make it unless he pulled it together and helped me, then he would have done anything he could. But I didn’t. I wish I had.
This is no ones fault but my own. But hell, even I didnt know how bad it could get. And how quickly it could go bad.