Atlas Shrugged

If you’ve ever read any of Ayn Rand’s writing, you know the focus is on a dystopian future filled with philosophical implications. I originally read her works over 30 years ago as a teenager. Then, they seemed to be a rallying cry for my rebellious self to shirk tradition and become a “forward thinker.” Now, her writings seem more predictive in that many of the situations presented in her books seem to have come true.

Atlas is a Titan from Greek mythology who crossed the Gods and must now hold the sky up for eternity. Many people believe Atlas was charged with holding up the Earth. Either way, the implication is that a sole being is responsible for maintaining the balance. That is a mighty burden.

Until recently, I felt I had found a kindred spirit in Atlas. I had crossed the powers that be and my punishment was to forever battle the weight of the world. For 4 years now, I’ve been fighting to find out what was making me so ill. My doctors fought me literally every step of the way. I would research a possibility and then be told that there was no way that could be my problem. As this process repeated itself, I became very depressed. I felt like I was the only one who was interested in discovering what was happening to me.

Last year, I was able to convince one of my doctors to send me to The Mayo Clinic. He did it reluctantly and told me that the only reason he was writing the referral was to convince me that my illness was psychsomatic. When all was said and done, I received two diagnoses. Neither one could be “faked” or deemed psychosomatic. From November until January, my doctors continued to deny I was physically ill. They refused to provide treatment for these illnesses, claiming that I was making up my symptoms. At the end of January, a decision was made by the medical group to fire me as a patient. They claimed I used too many resources and filed too many complaints about my care.

I’m sure the medical group felt they were punishing me by forcing me out of their system. In the last 6 weeks, I’ve discovered that the medical group actually did me a favor. And today, I shrugged.

I now have providers who see me as a person and are at least professionally concerned about my well being. Today, I had a provider caution me about corporate policies and what I needed to do to ensure that my medical needs were being met without crossing corporate decision makers. I have been reassured that I have physiological issues that are severe, but manageable. I was told, very compassionately, that this is my life now. No more tests, no more medication trials, no more feeling like a guinea pig. We’ll follow new developments and talk about if they are worth trying for me. I was given permission to live again.

This. Is. My. Life. I don’t consider that a death sentence. It’s a challenge. Live fully. Love unconditionally. Enjoy every sunrise and sunset. Stop worrying about my medical journey. “We’ve” got your back. And with that conversation, I realized that I was going to be okay. No promises of smooth travels, but it will be okay. And I can live with that.

“Home” by Phillip Phillips

Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave (wave) is stringing us along
Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m gonna make this place your home

Settle down, it’ll all be clear
Don’t pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
You get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m gonna make this place your home….

2 thoughts on “Atlas Shrugged

  1. I too am at that point and I commend you for puttong into words. You write well and really capture the feelings some many feel yet can’t express.

  2. You deserve a life worth living and by that I mean having a medical support system that works with you, not against you. I’m so happy to hear you sounding a lot more confident, happy and most of all accepting. While this was so terrible what you have been through, I am very happy that you moved on to accepting doctors, that care about you.

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