Are you kidding me?

I’m only at 19 days since the last onset of my cycle, and I woke up bleeding! WTF! I’m not supposed to be due for up to ten more days!

First my cycle lengthens from 25 days to 29ish days, and now I’m starting it at 19 days?
Is this the start of peri-menopause?

I had prior warning signs for the last few days, but I mistook it for just being too active on the dance floor. I took half a Tylenol 3 pill after going dancing on Friday, because the lower back and left hip were killing me. The low back pain was a sign of george, though.

The pelvic and low back pain, combined with right hip pain and mild nausea from said pains has led me to take another half Tylenol 3 pill today. I’ve also consumed 1,200mg of Ibuprofen today. The pain of everything has had me constant at about a 6.5 on the pain scale today.

Despite the pain, I still went out and got my hair cut, then met up with two friends I haven’t seen in several months, then did a bit of retail therapy before coming home and setting up this year’s AIDS Walk donation page (I organise a team for the walk every year). I have been hobbling quite a bit today – mostly due to the hip pain – but dammit, I still went and lived my life. I will call the doctor tomorrow about the hip, and I will call my surgeon about the early menstruation. Of course, I should probably read up on peri-menopause again, too. I don’t know if it’s too early for me – I’ll be 42 in September. My Ma entered peri-menopause around this age, so it’s not unheard of.

Tomorrow begins a week of tearing down classrooms and setting up for the Summer session. This past Friday, my head teacher and I successfully graduated 17 first- and second-graders. I made it through an entire school year without missing much work from endo, because I’ve been on Gabapentin. I have seen more money in my paycheck as a result, and have earned my worth with the management, who are finally considering me for a head teaching position. So, I’m still in pain, but I’m no longer averaging an 8 on the pain scale. I modulate the amount of Gabapentin I take during my cycle, so I’m getting 300mg a day instead of 200mg. This helps, but the side effect is that I forget everything. So long as I’m not taking 300mg every day anymore, it’s worth the side effect for now.

We’ll see how this week goes for me…
In the meantime, here’s a pic of my new ‘do!

haircutbystarr06092013sideview

August downtime

On Sunday, July 31, I was driving with my husband when suddenly my lower back screamed in agony, leading me to cry out in a high-pitched wail mid-sentence. The stabbing pain lasted less than 30 seconds and was gone without a trace. What the hell!?

The very next day, PMS set in just over a week before I was due, in the form of Cleaning All The Things™Allie Brosh. The day after that, I got left side ovarian stabby pains, which lasted for two straight days. I ate a lot of Ibuprofen.
At this point, I knew the party uptime was over. I actually became quite depressed about this.

Befuddled by my depression, knowing I have dealt with this illness for almost 26 years now, I wrote the following:

Dear Steph:
You must acknowledge that you have entered Downtime. You are not lazy, you are not slacking – it is just time to go. You cannot fight this. You are Persephone. Just go to the Underworld quietly and do your time, as you have done for two and a half decades. You will emerge again – you always do. Stop thinking diet or depression or laziness might be bringing on the pain. It’s none of that. Just go under and do your time. Look out the window or go outside and enjoy the sunlight for one more day, but mark my words, by the end of today, you will either go of your own power or I will take you forcibly. Stop whining – you’ll be back by Monday. Sheesh. Be thankful that it’s only a cumulative of 3 months out of every year you spend in the Underworld. It could be consecutive. You don’t want that, do you?
-Hades

Still getting left side stabby ovarian pain, and having struggled through a hypoglycemic morning, I got my ass up off the couch and said, “FINE! I will go and enjoy the sunlight for one more day, you bastard!”
Well, I said a lot more cuss words than that, but you get the point.

I put on some sweats, a tee shirt, bicycle arm warmers, knee braces, bike helmet and off I went for a bicycle ride while my laundry was washing.

Here's me telling endo what it can do with itself.

Here's me telling endo what it can do with itself.


Foeniculum vulgare (fennel), a pretty but invasive plant on our shoreline.

Foeniculum vulgare (fennel), a pretty but invasive plant on our shoreline, along with Spartina alterniflora x foliosa (smooth cord grass), another horrible invasive, in the background.


My highest speed that day was actually 17 M.P.H.  -pretty good for one on the verge of an endo flare.

My highest speed that day was actually 17 M.P.H. -pretty good for one on the verge of an endo flare.


 

After two days of stabbing pain, I then spent the next four days dealing with hypoglycemic attacks while my body went down the drain hormonally.
Despite all that, I still managed to exercise every day that week leading up to menses. I weight-lifted, I did aerobics, I bicycled, I cleaned house like a rabid meth fiend. After the bicycling, I got nauseous and weak in the way that only I know means it was pre-menstrually-related.

On Friday, August 5, the vaginal mucosa turned pink, and I knew the do0m was upon me.

So naturally I went dancing.

I wanted to go out to a club, but I could not predict how rapidly my body might go downhill, and besides, I’m flat broke financially after the traveling I did this summer, so I stayed in and held Club Steph:

Club Steph: A Gothic Nightclub Of One, held irregularly.

Club Steph: A Gothic Nightclub Of One, held irregularly.


 

In short, I went to the underworld to do my downtime kicking and screaming, like I always do. After dancing, the nausea set back in. Nausea has been big during this menstrual cycle, making me think I have another ovarian cyst.

Regarding the kicking and screaming…before my second surgery even happened, I had regressed to a crying, sputtering three-year-old, throwing a fit every time I was about to go into downtime again. After 25 years, I’d just had enough of it. I was no longer stoic, I was no longer accepting of my fate, or even willing to work with what uptime I had each month.

I had a lot of hope that the second surgery would give me more uptime, and you know what, IT DID, but not enough so that an employer would notice. This is what keeps my stress level up – the fact that I know there was some benefit to both surgeries to my quality of life, but yet it didn’t make enough of a difference to employers. I had to call in sick today, and I wonder if I’ll be well enough to go in tomorrow. This of course makes my employer unhappy. She has stated to my face that she is concerned about putting me in a head teaching position because of my illness. Because she has not denied me of the position yet, I cannot take action. Because all of her discriminatory remarks as regards my illness have been verbal, I don’t have much solid proof of things to take action with, and so I am in a constant state of mental anguish and a feeling of gross job insecurity.

In order to feel a bit more justified and dignified, I went back through the past five years’ worth of data on my menstrual cycles. It looks like it wasn’t until December, 2008 that I caught on to the idea of trying to pinpoint when mittelschmerz was happening.
Though I had caught on to the idea of tracking my uptime between cycles in November, 2007, it remained an abstraction. It wasn’t actually until August, 2010 that I actively employed this tactic on my calendar.

We already know that my first surgery in 2007 barely helped me in the grand scheme of things. Sadly, I did not have the tracking discipline that I now have going on, and I use the term ‘discipline’ loosely.
All I remember from the 2007 surgery is that it felt like I gained a week of uptime back in my life each month. This means that instead of getting pain and other symptoms two weeks before menstruating, I was, after surgery, only experiencing pain a week to a few days before menstruating. This meant that my uptime between cycles had lengthened.
Once menses hit, however, I was still bedridden every month and missing work. That part hadn’t changed a bit.

I wanted to find out if my second surgery fared better, so I have spent the last two days going through my calendar and my blog posts to gather data. Again, record-keeping was crappy in 2008 and pretty much non-existent in 2007 going by calendar alone, so I just focused on the past two-and-a-half years’ worth of data.

You can see immediately that surgery provided benefit where job loss and uptime is concerned. The fact that I’m still missing one day of work per cycle is still troubling to my employer of course, but dammit, I’ll take what I can get. Check it out:

george uptime & days off work, 2009 to 2011

 

It’s not much, but it’s what I have to work with. And I did all this data compiling while stoned out of my head on Tylenol 3. Too bad I am completely useless in my current line of work when I’m on the Tylenol 3. Maybe I should just go back to tech work and find a job working from home full time.

One last thing that is very important to note for my morale:

I had my second surgery in December, 2010. Upon recovery, I was not bedridden from endometriosis in February, March, April, May or June. I was couch-ridden from the pain in July and August, but there has been moderate nausea with these last two cycles, and as I keep saying, I think there’s an ovarian cyst going on, on top of the endometriosis. But I have not spent 12+ hour days in bed in my pajamas with the heating pads on me at all hours of the day and night like I used to before surgery. This is a vast improvement over the first surgery I had in 2007.

There is still hope that my condition will improve. I just need to get back on track with the dietary restrictions. I lapsed from May onwards due to graduation, travel to see family, and general summertime fun. I need to cut sugar and alcohol again. It will be difficult. I will cry again. I will wail and gnash teeth over it like I did last time, but I’m doing this to further the benefit of surgery.

Another job discriminates

George finally showed up last night, but the pain wasn’t so bad.

However, I woke in pain just before 3:30am and had to pace the house for a bit, it hurt so bad. I took a whole Tylenol 3 (as opposed to half, which I often try first) and drank as much water as I could. I microwaved the rice heating pad and went back to bed, where I spent the next half hour whimpering and readjusting my position in bed, until the drugs kicked in and sent me back to sleep.

I was of course groggy when I woke for work at 6:30am. The pain set in again before 7am but I tried to ignore it. I ate my breakfast and prepared something quick for the potluck at school today. I had all evening after work yesterday to get something for the potluck, but I didn’t do it because I was too grumpy and sore to go back out again, and couldn’t decide what to do for the potluck. That’s a major symptom of george – indecisiveness. Whether it’s PMS or endometriosis-related, I don’t know, and don’t care. But I do know that I lack completely the ability to make even the smallest decisions just before and during my period.
So anyway, this morning I ignored the pain and prepared something for the potluck, and set off to work. The pain slammed me on the way in to work. I drove – I did not bicycle to work yesterday or today because of the premenstrual pain I’ve been in.

I brought to work with me two pieces of paper – one from my surgeon and one from my current gynecologist, both saying that I have an incurable stage III illness which leaves me bedridden each month. I requested to speak with the director as soon as I got to work, and told her that until now, I’ve not had to miss work on account of my condition, but as of now, my body is not holding up well, and so it’s time that she knew about it.

The director was pissed. She said, “THIS is why we have the health screen.”

Now, the health screen issue… I started this job only two months ago, in April. I got the health screen and it said I had to have a physical. So I called to get a physical. There were no physical appointments until JUNE. So I took the earliest possible and let the director know.
The director got all in my shit about it and told me that IT’S JUST A HEALTH SCREEN, YOU DON’T NEED A PHYSICAL. She further lectured me about how doctors offices will force you to get a physical because they don’t make any money on just signing a piece of paper certifying me as healthy.
I went back to the doctor’s office and told them I don’t need a physical, just sign the paper to say I can work. They fought it for weeks. Back and forth I went with the doctor and the director, while keeping my appointment for the phsyical.
Then I went out of country on my honeymoon, so I was gone for most of May.
I returned to work and started the fight up again. The doctor’s office finally relented and said they’d sign the health screen only if I include my job description. So I took the paper BACK to the director AGAIN and told her they have to know what job I’m performing to certify me as healthy enough to do it.
So I just got the friggin paperwork yesterday from the director and as she was looking over it she read aloud the part where it says I MUST have a physical if it’s been over a year since my last one. She stopped herself short and her eyes popped out of her head, because she realised what she’s been saying to me the entire time. I just stood there and waited for her to pick up her jaw, then when she said, “OH. OKAY…”, I told her I’m pretty sure I still have my appointment, and will check with the doctor’s office.

This woman is always loud, brash, accusatory, demanding, condescending and lecturing in nature. Always. It bugs the shit outta me.

So today when I went in with my gynecologist notes, I knew there’d be trouble.
When she told me “THIS is why we have the health screen”, it meant point blank, “Had you gotten the paperwork filled out BEFORE we hired you, we could have found out that you have endometriosis and not hired you.”

But there’s no way to do the paperwork BEFORE hiring me, because they needed me to start ASAP and hired me on the spot. I didn’t even have a proper orientation because they needed me on the floor that badly, and I agreed to it.

Implying as she did that she would not have hired me had she known about my condition is against the law, which means I have to contact the labor board again to cover my ass.

I always knew since the first time it happened that I’d have to go back to the labor board again.

After our little chat this morning, I typed up a letter to the director, which referenced the doctor’s notes I gave her, and which also made mention to the FACT that for the two months that I have been working there, I have not missed one day of work due to endometriosis so far. I then mapped out the next four months and the dates that I could possibly miss work due to endometriosis pain. I dated and signed the document, made two copies, and slipped one into her mailbox. She thanked me at the end of the day for having done that.

AT THE END OF THE DAY. Because I stayed at work for the whole day. She even commented as I was leaving, “you’re still here! You did it!” But the fact is, there were no children at school today – it’s teacher week only this week. I took a Tylenol 3 and twice today took 600mg Ibuprofen to get through the work day. I fought to stay awake and fought through the pain all damned day. Every half hour was “I should leave. I really shouldn’t be here.” But I pushed on.
Had children been present, I would have gone home, because I could not have supervised in the state I was in.

Tomorrow I may stay home from work. I won’t know til tomorrow right before I’m supposed to leave for work if I’m going to be able to make it in or not.
And thus begins the “I wonder if I’m fired yet” monthly anxiety and PTSD that has plagued me at two other jobs in the past two years.

Always with the catching up

NOTE: This post contains references to relations between a married couple. You know, hootie hoo, insert tab A into slot B… that sort of thing. It’s on topic!

I’m looking for a job full time, researching and blogging for endometriosis awareness full time, and going to job interviews. So now my pain diary is falling behind. Don’t even get on me about ReliefInSite or CureTogether – I’ve barely touched those, either. Always playing catch-up.

So let’s go back in time once again, and then get caught up to present day.

Thursday March 12 was the ant invasion on the heaviest day of my menstrual cycle. My husband brought home peppermint and cinnamon oils. We tried those in dilution, to no avail. The next day, I said screwit and applied cinnamon oil directly. That seems to have worked.

I noted that I felt better on Friday, March 13. I continued to feel better. I did go to the doctor and saw whomever was available – Dr. Tsao was good to me. She told me black stools are normal when taking iron, and nothing to worry about. She sent me for a blood draw. A week later it came back that my iron levels, despite having taken all that iron, were still low!!! She said my levels were on the low end of “normal”, but still low, and to just continue taking the supplements as I’d been doing. I backed off anyway, though. I’ll just take the recommended dose for the next month and see how that goes.

labwork_ironlevels03162009-summary

I did get to Calistoga and had a nice time. I swam in a 102°F pool, I got an hour-long massage, and I giggled with a gaggle of women and we all helped our friend have a great, low-key bachelorette, just what she wanted.

http://www.indianspringscalistoga.com/

http://www.indianspringscalistoga.com/

I did get out to the nightclub for the 16-year anniversary party of that club’s existence. Had a fun time. Danced my little patootie off.
img_0058

I did get to the job interview on Tuesday, March 17, and I did great, but as expected, I did not get the job, because of my health condition. She stated it directly as the reason why she did not hire me, but thanked me for being forthright.

Now, I don’t really talk about this … but really I should…as uncomfortable for me as this is, it’s important for me to be able to track back and relay this info to my doctors…I was intimate with my hubby on March 17 but I had pain and spotting right after. I am clinically diagnosed with dyspaneuria (pain with sex) as part of the larger endometriosis diagnosis, though doctors can’t say for sure if it’s because of the fact that I also have a tipped uterus or if it’s because of the location of the endometriosis in my pelvic region.

The uterine/bladder pain continued into the next three days, with moderate low back pain as well. So Tuesday was mild to moderate uterine pain, Wednesday was moderate uterine plus low back pain, Thursday was on and off pain in uterine area and low back, and then on Friday, it worsened. I noted that I felt the need to urinate frequently. This began overnight, and worsened through the day on Friday. I had stinging pelvic pain, and I also developed hip pain after walking in San Francisco a mile and a half from my gynecological surgeon’s office back to bus station. I could have taken the bus, but I hate taking the bus because I really don’t like being in that close of proximity with strangers. I had too much mental energy going on and preferred to walk.

On Saturday, March 21, the pain was gone. I did get my hair coloured, and it turned out faboo! My husband liked my new hair colour, too. >:)
steph_newhair03222009_8
More intimacy ensued, and there was no pain during or after! (the month of March is by far the most action I’ve given my hubby in a long time. Wish it could be like this all the time, with no pain of course).

On Sunday, I had another job interview, and it went really well, but again, I’m not holding my breath.
Sunday evening, we joined up with friends at a local theater which was abruptly shut down after longstanding disagreements and negotiations between building owner and tenants failed to produce an outcome desireable to the owner. People were out collecting signatures to try to persuade the owners to reopen the theater. We saw our last show there with friends, and I had two glasses of wine. When we got home, my husband handed me a shot of whisky. It had been a tough day – we were both wrecked emotionally by seeing our friends literally weep because the place they got married in was now shut down. I promised the guy doing the paper petition that I’d help him also get an online petition going to further his cause, and now that seems to have become my third unpaid job.
I have a full time job of looking for work, a full time job of endometriosis awareness blogging, and now a part time job of monitoring signatures for an online petition (we’re already up to 316 signatures in just two days!)

Noting the fact that I drank alcohol on Sunday is important because…

On Monday night, I was preparing to go out dancing again. As I leaned forward in a chair to tie my boots, it felt like my entire pelvic region was frozen in place – it simply didn’t want to move with the rest of my body. The pain was sharp, stabby, and made me cry out. The pain didn’t dissipate like it sometimes does after a wrong move like that. The pain just continued, like waves fanning out after something initially hits the water. I popped half of a Tylenol 3 and went out dancing anyway, because I’m stubborn like that.

Movement and exercise did not help.

I am here to tell all doctors, friends and family members, that telling anyone with endometriosis that you’ve heard that exercise helps – IT’S ALL LIES.
So shut the hell up!

The pain was pretty unbearable at times, but I still tried dancing when I could. I rarely lasted an entire song, because I was so fatigued and/or in pain. I took another half Tylenol 3 on the way home from the club.
Late Monday night, the hubby and I were at it again. I was drugged on Tylenol 3 so I thought I was feeling better, right? HAH. The fun didn’t last long. The pain was razor sharp and I started spotting.

I woke up Tuesday and POOF! The pain was gone.

I had yet another job interview on Tuesday, and while at the interview, the pain returned. Go me! :(
I was handling a 6-month-old baby. He’s not heavy – he’s kinda small for his age. So lifting and carrying a baby can’t possibly be what set off the pain, could it? I have no idea.
The pain continued on and off for the rest of the day.

I accomplished putting away some laundry and catching up on endo awareness blogging, but found it hard to wind down at the end of the night. I’m sick of having pelvic pain when I’m not even on my period. I’m bitter. I’m angry. So in that, I become weak and I cave into coping mechanisms. Like drinking. I had a glass and a half of wine last night before bed to chill the hell out. It worked – I was able to get in some leisure reading (oh it’s never JUST leisure with me, I ended up taking notes for later research – the books I was enjoying had to deal with stuff to see in the UK).

Woke up today, and so far, I’m feeling fine.

Today I plan to hang out with a friend in SF whom I’ve not seen in awhile. We’re supposed to go thrift store shopping. Let’s see how well my body holds up.

So to summarise, let’s put it all in perspective, my month so far:

march2009

The bullshit continues

In an update to yesterday’s post:

The company that harrassed me and discriminated against me and refused to make reasonable accomodations for me, and who fired me for missing 1-3 days of work per month on account of a chronic, incurable, congenital stage III illness (Endometriosis) told me yesterday that they’d get my 1099 tax form out to me sometime in February. If I recall, the woman had told me mid-February, but don’t quote me on that. In any case, today they called me back.

They said that this year, they were told that since January 31 falls on a weekend, they have until February 2 to postmark 1099 and W2 tax forms in the mail.

I told them they’re full of shit and that if the 31st falls on a weekend, they need to get the tax forms out BEFORE then. I threatened to call my lawyer. I shit you not, I was told to update my lawyer on the current news that they have until Feb 2. However, they told me that since I’m so insistent, they’ll get my 1099 in the mail today.

I then went to H&R Block on the way home from work today and asked, “Since January 31st falls on a weekend, when technically do tax forms have to be in the mail to employees?” I was told regardless of weekend, all forms must be in the hands of employees NO LATER THAN JANUARY 31…BY LAW.

The company is in the wrong and I once again am right. They will always be in the wrong, because of what they did to me, and the fact that the federal and state authorities agreed with me, and the fact that the company settled rather than go to court. So there’s no amount of their bullshit they can dish at me that I will just take without a raging fight. I rest confidently and guilt-free in the FACT that this company is wrong, I am right, and I will be victorious.

I just wish this goddamned company would finally learn its lesson so I don’t have to get flashbacks and the whole PTSD going on every time I have to interact with them.
I can only hope that with receiving and filing the 1099 form, ALL of it is officially behind me, and I can get on with my life.

The company that fired me is at it again.

I am SO MAD!!!

I’ve been wondering where the hell my 1099 tax form is from the company that fired me in October, 2007 for having Endometriosis. I took them to the labor board and the company settled. Now I have to file a 1099 but HELLO they’ve not gotten it to me, yet.

(Note to my friends: if you know what company I’m talking about, DO NOT NAME THEM BECAUSE THIS WILL SCREW ME LEGALLY)

I tried to get ahold of them last week but couldn’t get a live person or even connect because somehow the place was operating on phone tree labyrinth.

Today I tried again and got through to the secretary (perhaps she was out last week and that’s why the phone tree labyrinth of do0m?). She patched me through to H.R., who had to check with Finance. Got a call back a bit later and was told I’ll get my 1099 sometime in February. I said, “What?!? Isn’t that a bit late?” and I was told sorry, that’s how they do it there.

So I consulted with my current employer and my husband, who all said tax forms have to be sent to employees no later than January 31st by law.

And the interwebs concur: “The returns must be filed with the IRS by the end of February immediately following the year for which the income items or other proceeds are paid. Copies of the returns must be sent to payees, however, by the end of January.”

So I called back and asked for the Finance department. I was patched through to voicemail. I left a message telling them they have until January 31st by law to send me my 1099 and to contact me ASAP. Tomorrow I’ll be calling the labor board again to see if this is still their jurisdiction or not.

And so after that, all I can say is, the PTSD returned. My back is locked up, I’m having flashbacks to how I was treated for seven months before my illegal firing, and goddammit I thought I had all their bullshit behind me!

Gah.

Another day off

Got up and got ready for work today. Felt like shit. Bleeding like a stuck pig. Moderate cramps on the verge of severe, but I got ready, anyway. I felt nauseated and sugar crashy, even though I’d eaten andouille sausage and two gluten-free waffles for breakfast, and had gluten-free rice milk to drink.

Dragged myself out of the house, set off for work, turned on the traffic report, and that was that. My decision had been made for me.

Body in road closes I-880 near Hayward
By Robert Salonga
STAFF WRITER
Article Launched: 10/11/2007 07:16:57 AM PDT

The California Highway Patrol has closed southbound Interstate 880 beginning near A Street in Hayward after the discovery of a body on the freeway that was initially thought to be a dead animal, authorities said.

The incident was called in to the CHP around 5:55 a.m. It took responding officers several passes to find the body, which was found lying in the second-to-left lane. Reports also indicate that clothing was found in an adjacent lane about 100 yards south.

No explanation was immediately available for how the body may have gotten on to the roadway. No vehicle accidents were reported near where the discovery was made.

An Alameda County coroner has been called to the scene, but it apparently stuck in traffic. The CHP is advising drivers to avoid the area altogether as traffic is being diverted to city streets. Officers also said no estimate was available on how long the closure will last, so motorists who haven’t started their commute should plan alternate routes.

10112007_trafficfatality_all_lanes_shut880s_pic1.jpg 10112007_trafficfatality_all_lanes_shut880s_pic2.jpg

I hadn’t even gotten off the island when I heard the news, so I turned right back around and went home. Good thing, too, because the cramps got worse, anyway. My shoulder is not any better today – it feels so pulled tight that I’m afraid something will snap. When I got home, I took more muscle relaxers and ibuprofen, and called in sick to work again. This is now day three, but get this, had I actually tried to go into work in my miserable state, I’d have been late to work due to the highway being shut down, because I’d be stuck in the backup trying to go further east, up the hill to highway 580, and back down again heading South and West, snaking towards the Dumbarton bridge.

And what happens when Steph is late? Steph gets a “tardy.” And Steph is on her very last tardy because of uncontrollable traffic conditions such as this. What was I supposed to have done? Got up and listened to the news at 5am, expecting the traffic to be that bad, when my shift doesn’t start til 8am?

The workplace will answer ‘yes’.

Well screw that. In any case, I was justified. I’ve been drugged and bedridden all day. I just got up again, and it’s approaching 5pm. And I’m STILL not done taking pain meds. I still have quite the messed up shoulder.

Tomorrow, george will not be killing me. I can live with the damned shoulder out of whack. I’ll go in to work and see, once again, if this time I’m fired for having a health condition. Dontcha just envy me? Dontcha wish YOU had this hanging over yer head every time you had to take a day off work?

Off again today

For the last few months, I’ve been only missing one day of work rather than two when george is here. I normally need two days off because of the heavy bleeding and pain. But I’d become afraid of losing my job, so I’d panic and go in to work and be miserable in pain, and I’d be groggy all day.

But then the new assistant head honcho came in and gave everyone five additional PTO days and wiped out slate as to how many warnings we’d already accrued.
So this month, on top of having a new lease as it were, I’m also sick to death of being afraid of these assholes, and of being afraid of losing my job.
I’m sick. I’m not feeling well. I’m bleeding like a stuck pig, and by that I mean I’m filling a pad in less than an hour at a time. I’m in pain. Screw you, I’m not getting on your goddamned call center phones and taking calls under pressure when I’m this ill. I’d done this for years on other jobs and I’d stopped doing it once I realised the other call center jobs were ok with me missing work only twice a month. But this job, this job has a problem with it. It’s not my fault they have a problem with it. This is their problem, and I’m not going to pander to their problems.

So my boss wrote back to me yesterday, thanking me for letting her know I’d be out sick. Then she wrote, “This will be considered your first occurance.”

When the new assistant head honcho gave us the new PTO policy, he’d mentioned that if one becomes ill and misses more than one day with the same illness, then THAT is counted as one occurrence, so long as you have a doctor’s note to back it up.
So that next Friday in the one-on-one meeting with my boss, I brought that up to her, and she said, “oh yes, unless you’re down to your last PTO days, then when you run out, you can still be terminated.”

So, WHAT’S THE POINT IN THE NEW POLICY THEN???

Eh, this means I have used up 2.5 PTO days already under the new policy. The half a day was because I went to a doctor appointment in the middle of the day last week. I have 2.5 PTO days left before I’m fired. I now have to figure out if I want to go ahead and use two more next month when I fall ill with george again, or use only one and go in sick again, then do the same thing in September. If I do that, then I can make the home stretch – I will be at this company for exactly one year before quitting or being fired.

We’ll see what happens!

Yesterday, I created a list of things I wanted to do on my day off, but complained that since I was in such pain, I wouldn’t be able to accomplish said list.
I fell in and out of deep sleep til 4pm because of the medication. Then I started to go through the stack of newspapers I’ve accumulated over the years for scrapbook purposes – made a tiny dent in that. I did also do some more research and development of the endometriosis reference site I created. I also did the dishes and cleaned the catbox. That wiped me out for the day, and I was in bed again by 10:30pm.

Because my lower back hurts so much to sit in a chair, I’m going to go back to bed again with the laptop, and probably work on the endo site some more today. Maybe also do some genealogy work.

I’ll see what’s possible.

George is here.

Felt faint again today. It would be a woosh of dizziness and pass suddenly.
I also had low level hypoglycemia for most of the day, despite having a chicken sausage with cheese for breakfast and two bowls of cereal, and having tuna fish and gluten-free crackers again today for lunch. No sugary drinks today – only water.

George let me have the entire day – I thought he’d have been here already. But I got off of work, went to the bathroom, and there he was, ever so faint.
On the drive home, fatigue hit me like the sports coupe’s entire front end that I saw underneath the rear of a giant pickup truck in the lane next to me just off the Dumbarton bridge. I just came to a dead stop physically and needed my bed NOW.
Hi George.

Got home and had to log back into work mail so I could finish offloading all the metrics for the time I’ve worked there, so I have something to prove to future employers (and mainly to myself) that I have done nothing but stellar since I started that fecking job.

They let two people go AGAIN this week. Two people who were there longer than me. That place can’t get through a single week without losing someone.

Week of June 25 – 29, 2007: Lost 2 people
Week of June 18 – 22, 2007: Lost 2 people
Week of June 11 – 15, 2007: Lost 3 people
Week of June 4 – 8, 2007: Lost 2 people
Week of May 28 – June 1, 2007: Lost 4 people

Prior to mid-May, the company averaged a loss of about 1 person a week, mostly in Sales. But throughout June, most of the people cut or leaving each week are in the tech support department, where I work. That’s BAD.

I don’t know if I’ll miss work tomorrow or not. All I know is that my body feels VERY tight throughout, and I’ve taken a couple of muscle relaxers. It is “normal” for my body to be too tightly wound like a bridge cable about to snap when george is here. It’s going into protective mode. It’s shouting WTF!.

We’ll see if I can go into work tomorrow. If not, we’ll see if I still have a job on Monday. I can’t wait for this to be over. I want to get past this month and next month. I just want it all behind me. I want the last word. That’s why I’m hanging on til the bitter end til they fire me for missing work when I’m sick. I want the last word.

That way, I’m in control. I win the argument. I walk away saluting a stiff palm in their direction for them to STFU. And I’ll feel better, then.

ack

What a long stretch of time to update!

On June 1st, we celebrated a friend’s birthday. At said birthday shindig, a woman whom I’d met this time last year began chatting me up about Endometriosis, since she also has it. She informed me that the latest news on Endo is that it’s a CANCER. And she was weilding that word like nobody’s business. I told her I’d have to research this myself, and that I wasn’t ready to hear that a disease that I have is cancer.

So I did some reading up. Turns out, the Experts are debating as to whether or not Endo is in fact a cancer, and for the time being, they are calling it cancer-like. Not only that, but women with Endometriosis have a higher incidence of breast, endocrine and brain cancer according to the studies done!¹, ², ³
This didn’t make me feel too good emotionally, but I have to keep my spirits high, otherwise I fall into that horrid hypochondria. My own surgeon has not said I have cancer. She has not said I would die from this disease. So it’s not a cancer and I don’t have it. I just have Endo.

Then, of course, I got george the next day and I was out of work on Monday. I returned to work on Tuesday and my back went out due to anxiety/stress over the damned workplace and having missed work again. I spent the next two days on muscle relaxers and george dried completely up.

I got written up for my unauthorised time off work at the weekly one-on-one meeting on Friday. I was informed that I could be fired after being written up for missing work after having used up all my Paid Time Off. Now every time they bring up my possibility of being fired, I always add, “even though this is a documented medical condition?” and they always say “yes.” I always shake my head and say, “oookay…” and proceed to collect more data against them.

My back was better by Saturday, and just in time, because we volunteered to help some friends move from San Francisco to our little island (eh, it’s not so little though; the place has over 70,000 people).

I am now seeing a health counselor every two weeks, so I had to report to her that no, I have not stopped drinking like the weekend alcoholic that I am, and no, I have not started to improve my diet aside from adding in greens with my lunches. Then I was back on muscle relaxers because the back started feeling shitty again.

Until next time…