Thursday, September 27, 2012

35. Whiny Post.

Last week I turned 35. There was not a big celebration. My mother bought me some clothes, my grandma bought me a necklace, I got a text from my cousin and the regular slew of impersonal facebook messages. I was feeling a little bit sorry for myself. Then I realized I was being a spoiled brat for being upset I had no presents to open on my birthday. I had food in my belly and a roof over my head, so I needed to suck it up and just deal.

I've been dreaming a lot about my dad, and continual dreams about packing up my dad's things. His birthday is three days before mine and we always used to celebrate together somewhere in the middle. This was also a huge hole this year and the last.

Financially things are a nightmare right now. I had to get a new job. Again. It involves a $4 an hour paycut at the outset. Eventually its supposed to go up $2 or so. Right now is very much an employer's market. My last job that I love ended - the company was bought by a larger company in New Jersey, and New Jersey is where all marketing and office jobs went. I am now an Office Manager for a local business. There's a lot of stress involved, my boss is a stress case and it all rolls downhill. We are still trying to get a groove.

There's been some ugly stuff related to my husband's ex wife's debt and old hospital bills from the boy that are making it difficult to make ends meet. Things are not good right now. We are struggling to save the house, and not finding much help anywhere. He's going to work on getting a garnishment for the judgment we have on his ex wife to help make ends meet. She owes us thousands, and also has never, ever paid her percentage of the kids' medical bills. Who knows what will happen.

I've also had to be paying COBRA prices for insurance, which is nearly $500 a month. With several preexisting conditions, if I let the coverage lapse I am suddenly uninsurable, which is a huge problem. The meds that allow me to get out of bed and work are hundreds a month without insurance, so I might as well pay for it.

I'm just really down and out, and now that I'm this big official ADULT number of 35, I feel like my shit should be together and its so so not. And that kind of makes me feel like a failure.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Still alive and kicking

It’s been a while since I last updated. A whole lot has happened.

In May I lost my job. I got to “resign” under the terms of a settlement agreement I can’t discuss. It all ended up okay, as I quickly found another job, that I absolutely LOVE. Now I am marketing gummy vitamins. This is actually a great product line that my family used long before my employment. I got a slight raise, its close to home, I have a great boss. I love being back in marketing.

The tricky part is I’ve already been talked to about “attendance”. Next time it goes in my “HR File”. I got sick twice and was late twice since I started working here. If only they knew how hard I worked to get here in the morning… knew how I woke up early to take my morning meds, so they could kick in before I had to get there. (These meds have caused me to gain about 20 lbs, as a side effect). How I cry in the shower as I stretch out my muscles. How I hobble around, take twice as long to get into my clothes (especially pants… damn you pants!) as I should because I am so stiff and sore. How I have three lidocaine pain patches that I can apply (for 12 hours – I dread the 12 hours “off” patches), and I have to choose what hurts the most to stick them on. “Hmm, ankles or thighs? Biceps? Definitely my back…” How I would give my left arm to be able to just go back to bed and sit on the heat pad for a while… So, I go to work and pill up if I have to. I have no choice. I feel like I have an 80 year old body. I am just perpetually so, so tired. My body does not want to work. Unless you have FM/CFS I don’t think you can relate to the level of tired that happens. Every cell screams just to be left alone.

I’m not a complainer. I try not to let fibro rule my life. I joke a lot of it off. I usually answer “Fine” or “Good” when asked how I am (unless you are hubby – he is privy to the uncensored answer – ha). I want to work. I want to be able to do whatever I want and not be physically limited. I want to have energy. I am basically “in the closet” about all of this in general. Three people at new job know – immediate boss, office roomie, and a friend I have made here.

The pressure of being the primary breadwinner for a family of four is hard. If it was just me I wouldn’t worry so much. If I could find a decent paying job with some flexibility on hours… if I could just work part time…but there are two kids, a house, a herd of cats and the dog to care for. I need insurance. My job means we are all secure - I lose it and we aren’t. I try to have that motivate me to get out of bed in the morning. Honestly, at least two days a week that is what motivates me to get out of bed. That’s it. If it were just me I’d be living in some hovel watching daytime talk TV. So I guess I should be grateful that I have responsibilities?

One more good thing is that obviously hubby is in this for the long haul, as this has put a strain on a lot of things, and he still loves and supports me through it. I am so lucky.

The gabapentin works. Or better yet, I should say it helps. I know this because if I forget and miss a dose I end up in real bad shape and sit there wondering “Why do I feel like death?” Then it dawns on me. An hour or so later I can function again. I have been bumped up on this drug twice in the last year and a half since I started it. I already am terrified of what I will do when I “max out” on the dose. I hope beyond hope that they have found something else that will work for me.

Right before I lost my job I tried Savella – the “new miracle” drug for fibro. I took ½ of the smallest dose. I ended up throwing up, diarrhea, dizzy, nauseous. We went to the movies as a reward for the kids (it was promised). On the way out I fell over a curb. I ended up in agonizing pain and at the Urgent Care. I had X-rays which revealed that I had only bruised my pelvis, not cracked it. I had contusions and bruises all over my body. It was awful.

God, I hate fibromyalgia.

Vitamins/supplements seem to be helping. I take Calcium, Vitamin D, Omega-3 and a Multi.. I just started to take some D-Ribose, but it’s likely in a low enough dose not to be that helpful. B-12 vitamins help a lot. They get me through the afternoon. Omegas have helped with dry eye and dry mouth. Magnesium Malate is still a major life saver for evening leg cramps and RLS.

My mother and I are doing ok. We have a lighter relationship. I don’t discuss the fibro with her. I don’t discuss anything serious with her, anything I don’t want repeated or given advice about. Just this last weekend I had to cancel a planned lunch with her as I felt bad. I just told her I felt rotten and left it at that. It is working. I wish it was different, but there’s no point in wishing for impossible things. At least we have a relationship.

The kids go with their bio-mom on vacation this weekend for a week. The one gloriously quiet kid free week. This weekend hubby and I are going to Seattle to see the King Tut exhibit. I am concerned that my stupid fibro is going to flare (I’m in a baby flare right now). Usually we walk all over the town exploring. I can’t do that anymore. I am going to have to be more selective over where we go. Hopefully we can find fun places to linger, to stop and people watch. There are certain places I definitely want to go – the Pike Place market, Hot Pot Donuts, La Panier Bakery (Best. Macarons. EVER.), Lowell’s. Then of course we have to go to the Museum to see King Tut and the outlet mall in Tulalip. I have purchased some WONDERFUL shoes (Alegria) that really help foot/knee fatigue, but nothing is a miracle. This is our one chance to have a vacation though, so I’m going to make the most of it.