Surgery and red tape (again)

I went to the laundrymat today. When I got back home a few hours later, the phone was ringing. It was my friend who’d just had surgery for her endometriosis. So, thanks to her, she was able to override the major depressive moment setting in, because I had tons of questions for her about her surgery, since I’ll be getting surgery for endometriosis, too.

Speaking of surgery.

I was slated to go on the operating table on September 21st. However, last Thursday, the billing person from the gynecologist’s office called to tell me that my boyfriend’s insurance (Blue Shield PPO) is giving them a ton of grief over why they feel the need to do surgery on me, and they want to know if this is a pre-existing condition, for which no coverage will be given, because I fall within the “no treatment for pre-existing conditions within the first six months of coverage” clause that I didn’t know existed, becuase my boyfriend hasn’t told me anything about the plan he’s on (I wager he doesn’t even know or care much about the plan details himself).

Well, after telling my boyfriend about this, he was mad, and so he’ll be bringing the benefits book home for full review.
I hate that guys always do everything backwards. It falls under the whole “guys never read the assembly instructions” pet peeve, too.

So anyway, I have to call and reschedule surgery for sometime in January, now.

So much for my birthday present to myself. More pain and suffering each month for a few more months.
I can do it. I’ve done it for 20 years already.


My short stint holding down 2 jobs (again).

Twice in the past month, 2 companies have made me feel that what I experience and believe is not relevant or important. This in turn embitters me further towards continued employment.

The first company was a dotcom I interviewed for last month. They noted a lack of employment for the past six months, and, eyeing me suspiciously, asked me what I’d been doing since January.
So I told the truth – I told them I’d *just* gotten hired at a non-profit, scanning out-of-print books to preserve them in digital format before they go into deep storage.
I guess I sounded too happy about this newfound job, which is actually doing something MEANINGFUL and with PURPOSE, because I didn’t hear back from the place.
A week later, I emailed an inquiry as to my status, and got an emailed reply:
“I’m sorry for not getting back to you sooner. I really enjoyed meeting with you. Unfortunately, the concensus was that this is not an ideal match for our open position. I wish you the best of luck.”

My resume lists tech writing and documentation for the past three jobs in a row. This was an entry level, junior tech writer position.

So my thought was, “Screw them and the horse they rode in on – they didn’t like that I sounded cheerful about the other job.”

The second company was the above-mentioned non-profit that I waxed so cheerful about. I started with them on June 20th, and right off the bat let them know that I was in the process of moving, and had a long-weekend vacation scheduled, and would need days off if they wanted me to start right away. They said fine, no problem, and granted the requested days off.

Well, I was late on my fifth day to work. I called ahead of time to let them know this. I also told them it was related to moving. They said it was okay.

On my seventh day of work, I got george and was out for two days. I called well ahead of my shift on those days, too.

I wasn’t late again until my sixteenth day. I was late because I had a lot of cleaning up to do at the old apartment for final inspection. I didn’t HAVE to do this to myself, but I was mad at my boyfriend, who didn’t clean as hard as I had been doing, and I was hurting to get as much of the deposit back as possible (they still took $235 from us in the end).

On my twenty-third day of work (Hail Eris), my car died only a few hours before I had to be to work, and I couldn’t find a ride on that short of notice, and I’d never taken local public transit from start to end point in my life – I’ve never learned both the bus and the train system. I panicked at the mere thought of trying to figure it out on the spot, so I called in and explained about my car, and took the night off.

For the next couple of days, I DID figure out public transit and I DID get my ass to and from both jobs. This is a major phobia attacked on such short notice, but I did it.

On Wednesday, I called the night job and told them I was supposed to get my car back, but that by noon I hadn’t heard back yet, so I may be late again depending on the mechanic, whom I’d been constantly pestering.
I asked the day shift boss, who does the hiring and firing, if this would be acceptable.

This is when she said, “Well, actually, your attendance is an issue.”

I told her that nobody had ever mentioned this before, and that I’d always called in when there was an issue at hand. She replied that there would be staff reviews this week and next, and that they’d go over how everyone’s working out.

I knew then what that meant.

I wasn’t working out.

I did get my car back that day, and I did make it to work on time. When I got in, the boss was walking out and I could see from her body language that she’d glanced at me and turned away quickly with a twisted, sour face. She returned as I was setting up my station, and she called out loudly in a sarcastic tone to me, “Glad to see you made it in!”

I said, “Yeah! I got my car back from the shop!” and smiled at her as I walked past her to get to my station.

She left for the day without another word to me.

Then george arrived. My heart sank. I knew I’d have to be absent from work again.

On my break that night, I cornered the night boss, who is much nicer. I told him point blank that I just started my period, and that this is a known health issue with the day shift boss. I asked for his complete honesty – would this be the last straw for the day boss if I am absent again tomorrow?

He hemmed and hawed and beat around the bush, and admitted that my attendance had been crappy. I defended my position, saying that I’d always called in well before my shift. I also told him that they knew at the outset that I’d had moving stuff to deal with, and then the car – well that was out of my control.

He said that HE knew my reasons for being late or not showing up to work, but that the day boss didn’t care about reasons or excuses. All she wants to see are the numbers, and so all she’s been seeing is that I’m late here, I’m a no-show there, with increasing frequency.

He then asked me if I knew that I had been hired on a trial basis? He told me that the day boss told him about my health issues (george – which was admitted on my seventh day on the job), and told him that I’d be a trial employee, to see if this job would work out for me with my limitations.
I told him I’d never been told that I was on trial.
He then told me that this is how it went down with two previous employees, too. They’d had health issues such as back pain or other things going on, and the day boss put them on trial and within a couple of months, they either quit or were let go.

This guy then said something that I WISH I could have captured on tape. He said he wanted to find a way to just hire able-bodied people – and weed out or turn down those with such health issues.

I told him that’s illegal. He shut up at that point, and we resumed talking about the immediate situation – would I be fired if I call in sick tomorrow?

Again, he hemmed and hawed, and then told me that there’d been a massive hiring spree this week, and that actually, he’s pretty sure my replacement had been hired.

So I quit right there, and told him I didn’t deserve to be treated like this for my health issues and a car on the blink, both of which were out of my control.

He nodded grimly and said it sucks, because they go through so many people, and no one answering the ad realises that this will be such a physical job, and a production line to boot.
He told me there’s been a lot of changes in a very short time, and that the morning shift, who have been there the longest (some over a year now), are starting to revolt. He let slip that the hiring spree will apply to a massive overhaul of the morning crew. I felt bad for them, too. At least I got out without before being branded with a big red scarlet letter.

I broke the news to my friend at dinner break. She was hired in a couple weeks after I was. I sent her the ad for the place. *sigh*

At least I still have the day job for now.

Last night, after pondering how shitty it’s been for me having to work two jobs to make ends meet, and pondering how much worse off my mom was to work three jobs with two children, I began to read Nickel and Dimed: On (not) Getting By in America.

I’d been resistant to read the book up til this point, because it brought up sticky memories of childhood. I just told everyone I’d already lived it from the perspective of a child of a low wage parent, why should I read the damned book?

Now, reading the book, parts of it have opened my eyes. My mom cleaned houses for a living. I didn’t know just how low class that is in the eyes of even other lower class people until I read that book. I’ve always helped out the cleaning crews at the dotcom jobs I’ve worked. I’ve always left tips for maid service in the hotel industry when I’ve stayed longer than a couple of nights – precisely because my mother had been one of them. I always leave a generous tip for wait staff when I dine out – precisely because my mother had been one of them. And I always tip no less than a dollar to bartenders for each drink, because my mother had been one of them.

Other parts of the book – I know all too well from personal experience or through watching my mom’s suffering. Half of the time, I want to tell the author of the book to quit whining, because she’ll never truly know what it was like. Then I remember that she declared at the outset that she wasn’t trying to write from the perspective of what it’s REALLY like. And then too, I chill out because I myself do not have it anywhere near as bad as the people this author writes about.

So yeah, it sucked that I hit negative balance this past month (almost twice but I got a 2nd loan from my boyfriend in time before it happened again). Yeah, I had to take two jobs to make ends meet. Yeah, I was treated like shit at the one job. Yeah, I quit that job only a mere week after taking on the second job. I thought I would have lasted a bit longer, but I found out that all this time I’d been on a shitlist and was about to be fired, so I quit rather than be wrongly humiliated.

The wrongly humiliated part though – that’s a daily part of life with low wage jobs. I’ve had several flashbacks to shithole jobs I worked as a teen. I don’t deserve that. NOBODY deserves to be treated like shit – teenager or illiterate or college educated or foreign born or non-white or whatever. Nobody.

Well, that’s that.

Just got home from the night job.

I quit tonight rather than wait to be fired by end of week.

More details when I’ve got the time and energy to spew.

Oh, and george showed up this evening, too.

weight, diet, george updatey

Last Wednesday, I weighed myself:   159.9lbs (72.5kg).

On Thursday, I finally got my blood test results back from the allergist.

I do not have Celiac disease.

I do not have an allergy, which means I have to stop eating all wheat and yeast foods immediately, or they could eventually cause death.

What I do have is an intolerance or insensitivity. This bodes much better, says the allergist, because all I have to do is stick to the diet elimination a little longer, and then start adding in ONE ingredient a week, starting off with 1 serving per day, and noting any reactions, and then determining my threshold.

I told her that I’d tried introducing yeast back into my diet a few weeks ago. I had a flour tortilla with my dinner.
For three days afterwards, I was in excruciating intestinal and anal pain.
So basically, I should try a flour tortilla again, but this time only do half or a third of a serving, instead of an entire tortilla…to determine my threshold.

IF this does not work and I still have reactions to even 1 serving of the food in question, THEN I have to go back to the allergist and schedule a colonoscopy, so they can rule out any other issues that might be going on. :(

On Friday night, the george cramps set in again. I’ve been having moderate george pains on and off for the past two weeks, but the pain reached the point where I wanted to cry as I worked the foot pedal on the night job on Friday, scanning books. I called my boyfriend for an early ride home, but the voicemail didn’t reach his phone for an hour.
So I basically worked all of my shift that night, which is good, financially speaking, but bad, pain-wise. I could have tried calling my boyfriend a second time, but I resigned to self abuse.

Saturday I worked at the day job (their work week is Tuesday through Saturday). Saturday was also the hotest day of the year so far. Our town experienced 88F (31C), when it is known for more milder weather in the 70’s (20’s C). The hotest area was Vacaville, which reached 112F (44C). Glad I don’t live there (for more than one reason – that’s the ‘hood, too).

After I got out of work, my boyfriend proposed that we spend the rest of the day in the movie theatre to keep cool. But first, we needed lunch, so he took me to sushi. I forgot to bring my wheat-free soy sauce, though.
After lunch, we went back home to sweltering heat and prepared to find 2-3 movies to view for the rest of the day.
However, I had a food reaction to the soy sauce, which gave me a total GI reaction, and wore me out. I laid on the couch waiting out the intestional spasming.
Then, when we finally were on our way out the door to the movies, I remembered that we’d committed to be at the local coffee house for a sending off (one of the employees is joining the Peace Corps) and a birthday (the coffee house owner).
So we went there first and it was even hotter inside the coffee house. I began to feel sick again, so we only stayed for about a half an hour, then took off for the movie theatre.

We couldn’t find parking on the street, so my boyfriend found the closest parking garage. We paid, parked, and walked over to the theatre. I was feeling craptastic but he was so looking forward to going, and I always let him down with regards to seeing movies, that I resigned and did this for him.

We saw Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man’s Chest. It was darker than the first movie in the series. I mostly dug it. What I did NOT like was all the commercials before the movie. It didn’t used to be this way. There used to only be movie previews before a movie was shown in a theatre. Now, if you want to arrive early to find a good seat, you are held captive by thee worst teevee commericals on the planet. Bombarded by consumerist ads. It put me in a right foul mood and I vowed to my boyfriend that this would be the last movie theatre experience for me. He’ll just have to find other people to go to the movies with.

When the movie ended, we walked back to the parking garage….and found it had closed at midnight. It was now 1am.

To avoid my boyfriend going apeshit and hitting things, I accepted half the responsibility for failing to note the hours of the garage, and with that, I accepted half the financial responsibility for getting us home via cab, because the BART station had already closed for the night, too.

Although in my defense, I was completely craptastic due to george pain and food reaction hell. How the hell would I be expected to pay attention to parking garage hours? Whatever. Mass destruction was avoided. That’s all that matters.

The next day, my boyfriend got a ride from a friend to the parking garage that held his car captive overnight for $1.50/hr (assholes!). His car was fine and he got home safely.

On a nicer note, today I weighed myself and I checked in at exactly 158lbs (72kg). Go me! At least there’s one good thing going on with this food intolerance crap I guess. :/

That’s all the news that fits. Stay tuned.

weighing in

Today I weighed in at 162.8lbs, so technically I’m still holding steady around the 163 mark.

I reintroduced cheese into my diet on Saturday and Sunday. I tried a flour tortilla with mozzarella cheese on Saturday and it hated me. I was bloated and feeling way too full and uncomfortable. The next day, I tried a corn tortilla with mozzarella cheese and was fine. So once again – gluten is in flour. Gluten bad.

Also, george is taking his time leaving the premises – he should’ve been gone by now. But at least the pain is gone.

Back to packing – the big moving day is this coming weekend! We get the keys on Friday, so we’ll be taking fragile stuff over there Friday night – I took that night off work.

Speaking of days off work, tomorrow is a national holiday – Independence Day.

meanwhile, back at work…

I went into work last night, despite feeling crappy. The bleeding and cramps had subsided by around 2pm, so I threw myself together, popped 600mg Ibuprofen, and drove to work.
Everyone seemed to keep their distance from me – I think perhaps they were under the impression that I’d been out with the flu or something contagious. No matter – they’re all guys, anyway. Telling them about george would likely spook them off.

Later, on break, one guy did ask me what happened and was I ok. I shrugged, told him I’m drugged still, and that it’s “girl stuff.” He paused and said, “…oh..”, looked at me kinda funny, like he’s never encountered someone with girl stuff so bad before, and then walked off. Heee… he’s only 19 years old, anyway. He could use a good mind bending, I’m sure.

About 2 hours into my shift – around 6:30pm – I started experiencing really bad ass pain. This is the “someone is shoving a sharpened broomstick up my ass” feeling, which always accompanies george for the past ten or so years. I know that I alarmed the person working next to me – who is genderbenderific like me – because every time I jumped from the pain and stopped my book scanning work for a second, I could see out of my peripheral vision that he’d look up from his work and give me a look for a second, then cautiously return to working. Yet, he’s not good on making small talk or conversation, cuz when I was on dinner break later, and he came out for a break, I tried to say hi and engage him in some chat to no avail.
Still, he seems to dig me, and seems concerned for me.
He had pulled down books on genealogy for me and sat them on my chair for me to see when I returned from my dinner break. So I’m sure we’ll be friends before long. He’s just painfully, painfully shy.
He knows I’m into genealogy stuff, because on Tuesday, when our nightshift boss ordered pizza and told us to go eat, I’d politely declined, and was teased for being some kind of health food nut. So I told the boss about my wheat allergy and how per my doctor I have to be on a gluten-free diet.
Well, the place is so small – there’s only 8 to 10 of us on a given night – that everyone listened in and started asking questions about Celiac. One guy rattled off symptoms, which I nodded to. He then asked if I’m Irish, and declared that his whole family is sensitive to wheat, and that he is convinced that all Irish people have some degree of wheat intolerance. I told him I’m more Appalachian, but that Appalachia is made up of Scotch-Irish descendants, and I told him that his theory was interesting, and that I’d love to really dig in and research that.
Well, the Appalachia comment spurred even more commentary and questions, and that’s how I got to meet most of my co-workers, finally – through this conversation! That’s how they found out about my love of family preservation work (genealogy), and why I came to interview for this archival job – because preservation in general is dear to my heart.

So anyway, Genderbenderific Boy paid attention, cuz now every time he sees books on ancestry and genealogy, he leaves one on my chair for me to look over. :D

Back to the pain issue….
The broomsticky ass pain went in waves and lasted from around 6:30pm til after 9pm. By 9pm, I was so exhausted from fighting and steeling against the pain (I’d taken 400mg more of Ibuprophen, too), that now I was dizzy and very drowsy.
On top of that, our boss tried to cool down the room by sticking a fan on the floor and blowing it down the aisle we were all sitting in. Well, this is a small room built up industrial style – and it’s full of carts of old books, dating to the late 19th century. There’s a lot of dust. The fan was turned on high, right next to me, and stirred up a ton of dust. This inflamed my eyes and nose immediately. My eyes got sore and itchy and puffy, and my nose got instantly clogged.
I began to wonder again if this job would do me more harm than good, health-wise, and I started to worry that I wouldn’t hear back from the other job I interviewed for on Monday.
Genderbenderific Boy and I complained about the dust, and the fan was removed.

But as I said, the pain was so long-lasting that it wore me the hell out.
So there was the ass pain, the dust issue, and then… I started repeatedly sugar-crashing! Yes, no sugar has been present in my diet, and I’ve been eating protein and vegetables and LARABAR fruit protein bars, but because george is here, I have experienced hypoglycemic attacks every day this week. However, last night, I had one attack after another – I couldn’t stop it – I didn’t know how.
Those alone will make one want to sleep for a week after an attack, but combined with the ass pain and dust allergy…. OMG I just wanted to go lay down on the railroad tracks outside and wait for the next train to put me out of my misery.

I asked if I could leave an hour early, and was granted permission. But the last hour on the job was grueling. My scanning average was sucktastic for the evening as well, and I told this to my boss, who chuckled and told me to just go home and get some rest.
I’d expected to be paid last night, but forgot to ask about it when no check was handed out. Perhaps they pulled my check cuz I’d missed two days, and now they have to recalculate. Oh well, I did get my last unemployment check, though, which is good.

I came home and went right to bed last night.

Today, I woke up and immediately started to sugar-crash again. I ate 2 scrambled eggs and 2 gluten-free waffles with gluten-free butter. I’m still fuzzy-headed from the morning attack.

I’d like all of this to stop now, please. I’d like george to vacate the premises and let me go back to feeling reasonably healthy now, k thx.

…apparently this request is being denied, as I’m feeling the bleeding and slight bent of cramps creeping back up again. Go me.