Pondering stuff

I’ve been pondering creating a journal just for george. Not just a journal, but a full website dedicated to what it’s like to live with Endometriosis, including stories of others, treatment options available, the latest discussion in the medical community, etc.

Of course, I’m too stoned on pain meds to actually create this site at the moment. :p

I’d have to have time to maintain this site.
Hm, I’ll have lots of time coming up real soon, if the job fires me on Monday…

I did a financial workup for the unemployment benefits aspect, which I’d have to fight for if fired. If I won the fight, I’d qualify for $270/week in unemployment money for six months. I’d likely get another job in that timeframe, but any money helps.

In Limbo

Today I spent from 5:30am until 2pm in a constant state of, “should I stay or should I go?”
I woke up and had cramps and heavy bleeding. I waffled for a few minutes before getting into the shower. When I got out of the shower, I waffled before eating. I kept thinking, “Should I go back to bed? Will this get worse? Should I just go and tough it out and maybe it won’t be so bad?”

I could only eat a bowl of cereal – everything else did not seem appealing AT ALL. I was barely hungry – how can one be hungry when one is cramping and bleeding profusely? I just wanted to go back to bed, but I was in limbo. I felt like a zombie. I had no idea why I should keep moving, but I just had to.

Then I started thinking, “are you doing this because your father always says, go in even if you have to crawl in?” And I thought about it, and I had no definitive answer. My head was clouded with pain and hemorrhaging.

I found myself putting on shoes and heading out the door at 7:05am and I thought, “well, I guess I’m going in!”

The cramps hit harder about ten miles from home. I thought, “I could turn around right here…”, but I kept going.

The cramps settled down, then flared up right as I was about to get on the bridge to cross the south bay. “I could turn around right here…”, but I kept going.

I got to work, and parked my car. Suddenly it hit me – today is payday. I needed to show up because today is payday, and those assholes never gave me the option for direct deposit, so I have to be physically present to collect my paycheck.

I went inside and started my workday. I spent most of the workday wondering if I should take the next phonecall or call it quits and go home and back to bed. I was literally falling asleep at my desk and my thighs down to my knees throbbed and pulsed because the Endometriosis always affects me bad in my legs.

At 9:30am, my boss called me in for the weekly one-on-one meeting and said that now that the director of support has returned from his vacation and has met with my boss and HR about me, she said about my employment there, “it’s not looking good”.

I marvelled at how they can go on for the last three and a half weeks like this when I’ve had no indication of being sick, working my ass off, remaining in the top ten performers, and here they continue on, going about deciding my fate for the next month, blind to any of the work I’ve done for them. Every Friday, telling me, “we’re still deciding. We’re still unsure.”

In Limbo.

So I broke the news to my boss that it’s been another month and here I am, in case she hadn’t noticed, in pain again. She took stock and realised, then told me I don’t look so good.

No shit, sherlock.

I told her I’d been falling asleep at my desk all morning and that it was highly likely that I wouldn’t last the day. I asked if I could have my paycheck. She said she’d get it for me.
She then told me that the other two who’d been fired this week were let go due to “ongoing performance issues”.

I asked her why, when there is a serious shortage of people in this department, with people leaving on their own due to morale issues, would they go and FIRE people on top of it all?
She answered that since it was ongoing parole basically for those two, and not expecting people to leave on their own, they had to go forward with the firings when the two guys didn’t clean up their acts, because no matter the staff shortage, they don’t want people who are not doing their job well to continue to be employed there.

When I had my first break at 10am, I got on instant chat. My man couldn’t believe I’d had the stamina to go in to work after how tired and wan I’d looked yesterday evening.

I was surprised that I made it to my lunch break, and went out to fetch some fast food because I hadn’t packed a lunch today. The act of walking down the stairs, driving my car, and climbing back up the stairs made the pain return, and with that the intense fatigue and bleeding.

At 1:30pm, I declared I was finished for the day, citing I was now slurring on the phones and couldn’t keep with the conversations and troubleshooting.
I’ll have you know that the only meds I was on at work today was the 600mg Ibuprofen.

I asked to be taken off the phones to finish up my emails. I left work at 2pm, and as I left, my boss asked me if it hurt to walk. I told her yes and felt like saying, “Duh! Haven’t you seen me shuffling around all day and staggering every time I got up to use the bathroom 900 times?” But I was nice. She’s been nice. She’s acted as though she’s on my side. She even at one point in the past month told me she has to say the royal ‘We’ when telling me that the company doesn’t like me being off work, but she doesn’t like including herself in that.
So I was nice, told her yeah it hurt, and that the drive home would be hell because I have to press the gas and brake and that always makes the cramps worse.
She looked really worried to release me from work in my state. I told her I’d take a nap in the car, first. I needed it.

While I was in the car, driver side window open, reclined in my driver’s seat and trying to nap, I heard footsteps and smelled cigarette smoke. I opened my eyes to see my cow-orker standing there, asking if the reason I was sitting there in my car with my hand resting on my head was due to a headache. I told him no, that I have a disease which affects me monthly and so I’m napping before making the trek home.

He then told me that he’s about to be fired if he misses any more work, because he suffers from migraines, which he takes medicine for. He told me that the most recent day missed was because he woke up WITH the migraine and therefore had no time to take the medicine before it got bad. I told him I had a friend who suffers migraines and she has to be hospitalised for them. I told her how she vomits from the pain. He nodded and told similar stories.
So I told him I’m likely fired because I left before the end of my shift today, and that I’ve been on probation with these people for missing 1-2 days a month due to my condition. We comisserated, being two of the top ten performers in that damned place.
He said, “I don’t get it, why don’t they just fire you now then? Why make you come in on Monday just to let you go?”

I know. WTF.

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.

Catchup and pre-george

Catching up from last week again…

Thursday I stayed home instead of going to Pissup Night at the Tiki bar because no one was around. So I had two drinks on my own. Mind you, I’m supposed to be on the wagon again since declaring this after June 10th…

Friday two of my friends flew in from Seattle and came to visit the now famous Tiki bar on our island. We drank and drank. And they asked if I’d be joining them in San Francisco for a party on Saturday. I declined, citing traffic would be nasty all weekend due to the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade, which my friends like to call Disneyland for Gays. Not just any Pride Parade, but THEE Pride Parade.

It’s huge, kind of like New York’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

My friends, undaunted by my fear of being caught in traffic, offered to take me home with them right then and there. How could I refuse? So I abandoned my poor man, got into the car, and was whisked away to San Francisco to stay the night in a condo full of gay boys.

We spent most of Saturday lazing about the house, and finally went out around noon for brunch and a walk around the Castro neighborhood – Ground Zero for all that is gay and prideful.
The party at the condo got started at 4pm and was still going when I left, happily buzzed on hours of booze, around 11:30pm.
The evening was not without my share of feeling VERY socially awkward and anxious. Drinking as always helped ease that immensely.


On Sunday, I got up, had breakfast and showered, and headed to….the back yard….
where a going-away party happened for our upstairs neighbors. We sat in the hot sun drinking Sangria and eating munchies. We decided it’s high time we ask our landlady for an umbrella for our table in the back yard, as we sat holding regular rain umbrellas to shade ourselves from the sun! Too funny.


So basically, from Thursday through Sunday, I drank booze.

Yesterday, the first big pre-george symptoms hit me. He’s due on Friday. The pain was dull in my uterus and radiated down to my knees. I was utterly exhausted from the moment I woke up for work until the time I went to bed again at the end of the day. I didn’t feel like eating healthy food or much food at all. When I did eat, I had to force myself to eat a piece of chicken and a waffle. When it came time for dinner, I had Cheetos and cheese dip. My legs felt swollen down to my ankles and hurt to the touch, probably because of all the sodium I’ve been consuming.

Today, the dull pain continues, and radiates to my friggin ankles. Today I started feeling like george had arrived, so I had to keep checking myself. I didn’t feel like eating a big breakfast, so I had a flax shake. This is my latest favourite thing in the morning:

6oz of 100% apple juice
6oz of water
2 bananas
4tbsp of flax seeds
Mix in a blender, pour into a pint glass. 2 servings.

Normally, I can consume 1-2 servings for my breakfast in the morning and be totally sated until lunchtime.

Today, however, I had a major hypoglycemic crash an hour before my lunch break. This of course left me exhausted again. Today also started the hot and cold flashes. Every half hour I was either putting my sweater on or taking it off. The hot flashes were so intense that my face felt like I was having a niacin flush.
I ate lunch, which again consisted of a piece of chicken and a waffle. I then experienced a second hypoglycemic crash within an hour and a half. This was preceded by a sudden bout of dizziness which left me holding onto my desk for dear life and wondering if I was going to pass out. Add to this hell a nice steady pain from my right elbow to my wrist because joint pain just HAD to factor in with me using a mouse all day at work (I’m right-handed).

So today when I got home from work, I slipped into my pajamas right away. I’m in official downtime. I have no idea if george will be here tonight, tomorrow, or Thursday, but I know he’ll be here before his scheduled Friday visit.

George once again ruins plans for me. I wish I could go back and prove how many times george has ruined plans for me. I’ve only been keeping an iCal for about a year, now. Hmmm, let’s see…

  • Housewarming party, July 19, 2006. George shows up.
  • Pat Benetar in concert, my friend’s birthday party, my birthday weekend, and Alameda House tour. Weekend of September 15, 2006. George shows up.
  • A friend’s birthday party, October 14, 2006. George is there.
  • A friend’s going away party, January 27, 2007. George had gone AND CAME BACK to kill me.
  • Two weeks post-op for surgery diagnosing me with Endo – February 20, 2007. I’m told I should experience relief from george. He shows up and kills me just to spite me.
  • On April 4, 2007, I got off the hormone treatment because it made me suicidal. Guess who showed up the next day and resumed the death squad like normal?
  • The True Colors tour is this Friday. Guess who is due that day? I’m already ready to cry over that.


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…

more updatey on back and george (somewhat graphic)

So it appears that george had given me five days worth of bleeding and cramping all in one day back on Monday, because he’s barely been around on Tuesday and Wednesday. I don’t trust the bastard – I won’t believe he’s gone for another month until this week is OVER.
Monday sucked. I couldn’t even sit up straight without having to change a pad.

Then on Tuesday morning, my back went out. I medicated like hell with muscle relaxers Tuesday night. George returned with light flow and cramps on Wednesday on top of the (now diminished) back pain, so I popped an Ibuprofen 600. I got through work yesterday, but not without my back seizing up again, so I took more muscle relaxers (soma) last night and went to bed again with a heating pad.

Still not 100% this morning, but george appears to be in hiding.

On the workplace front, there’s yet MORE restriction handed down from management to further drill morale through the foundation of the building. Now they’re telling us we could be fired if we take our appointed breaks too early or arrive back too late from them, so to ensure we go on time and return on time, we have to wait to be tagged by the person on break before us, and return in time to tag the next person on break. We get three strikes for violating this new rule, then a firing.

My latest mantra is one that has been told to me before: “Don’t give them a reason”.

I’ve been trying to be good. Trying is so very difficult.

George is due again this month, just like a blue moon – he’s due to arrive by June 30th. So I could be fired for taking time off due to my medical condition by the end of this month. Stay tuned! I now have a note from my primary care doctor related to my illness AND a LETTER from my surgeon – both on the way to me in the mail, which I will hand to the HR department at work.
We’ll see how well that goes over.

As long as I have documentation, things swing a bit in my favour.

June george update

I went to work yesterday. George decided to take a back seat so I took advantage of it. Problem is, the company has been causing me so much mental duress, and george had been SO mean to me on Monday – I gushed non-stop all day, that two things happened by Tuesday morning:

  1. My neck and shoulders seized up from worry over whether I’d be fired for not showing up on Monday, because my boss had written to me on Monday to remind me that I am now “borrowing from the company’s time” because I’ve used up all my PTO days.
  2. My lower back seized up from all the hemorrhaging done on Monday.

This didn’t stop me from getting ready for work on Tuesday, though. With george taking a break from beating on me, all I had to contend with was the sore back.

However, when I went to get into my car to drive to work, the neck/shoulder pain worsened. By the time I got to work, I could barely move my neck up or down, much less side to side. By mid-morning, it hurt to take a deep breath to yawn, and I thought a sneeze would kill me. I popped 600mg Ibuprofen throughout the day and considered taking Tylenol 3 on the job, but didn’t. I made it through the work day, came home, refilled my muscle relaxer prescription, took two, and passed out with a heating pad.

After over six months without my back going out, the back has now gone out twice on me in the past 20 days. The first time was because I was lifting weights again. The second time I’m convinced is due to job stress.
I woke up at 3am to take a third muscle relaxer, and this morning I have much more mobility back.

However, this was george’s cue to return. So now here I sit, just minutes before I’m to leave for work, wondering if I should go in or if the cramps will get any worse. I am fully aware that if I take even a half a day off work today, I could be fired.
Yesterday I called my surgeon and my primary care doctor and asked for doctors notes for the days I’ve been off work due to george since my surgery. The primary doctor is happy to oblige. The surgeon for some reason wants to discuss it today before writing me the note. WTF.

More later.

The job is getting worse

On Friday during the weekly one-on-one meeting with my boss, she told me that she’d checked with HR and found out that they do not allow people to work from home for any reason.

Then she said that I am in danger of losing my job if I miss any more time. I asked if she understood that I have a health condition. She said yes and said that HR thought I’d be cured by having surgery. She said she continues to fight for me to stay on, but it’s getting increasingly difficult to convince the HR department.
I told my boss that I was due for menses this coming Sunday, and that likely I’d be out of work again for part of the coming week. She said the only thing she could do is keep trying to make a case to keep me to stay. She again raved about my numbers and the fact that I’m still in the top half of the department call ratings.

That day, I spent half of my lunch on the phone with my boyfriend, discussing my impending firing. He suggested I call the labor board. I did, and they booked me for an appointment. That made me feel A LOT better about my situation. That company is not going to get off easy.

I spent the rest of my lunch hour writing to my boss. I realised that most of our discussions about my disease and time off work had been oral conversations. I want this shit in writing. Part of what I asked her was,

“Just to sum up what we talked about this morning: I informed management from even before day one of my permanent hiring that I have a health issue (Endometriosis), which I was having surgery for. I was told that [the company] was waiting for me to have surgery before hiring me. I interviewed the week before my surgery. I informed everyone that my disease is incurable. I informed everyone that the surgery might help with the pain. Since April, I have been informed by you that HR thought that the surgery would cure me – do I have that right? And I was also told since April that continued absences post-op will be a threat to my continued employment. I just want to know for certain – if I have to miss more work this week (because menses is due on Sunday), is it certain that I could be terminated as of next week? Or do I have a month left where HR will decide whether to keep me on? I need to be prepared and let my partner know ASAP what my financial situation will be like.”

She replied with,

“You are correct. [The company] was under the impression that you were going to be cured after the surgery and it is unfortunate that is not the case. Unfortunately, continued absences is a threat to your employment. You have 1/2 PTO left for this period until July, and if you are in real pain next week and cannot come in, you will be borrowing time from [the company]. We will continue to review the situation with HR, but there is no definite date if/when you will be terminated.”

This weekend, I went over my monthly expenses with my man. He says he can support me when I get fired.

I had a nightmare this morning whereby I was starting a new job at some clothing factory. I went in to work with a basket of some of my own clothes, which were for some reason bright green tie-dye… and I carried a big ladder with me in to this job.
I was there for all of ten minutes and received the worst demeaning treatment from the new boss. I was talked down to and even scoffed at for asking simple questions. The manager was a blonde barbie doll type bitch, as was most of management.
So I up and left and spent the day walking around the mall that this factory was attached to. When I came back at the end of the day to retrieve my belongings, the management wanted to know where I’d been and began to berate me. I told them I wouldn’t stand for such aweful treatment and as I began to say I wasn’t going to stay on as their employee, I was held down and forcibly tattooed below my bottom lip. It was a circle with some design in it which I now forget and in it was a tracking device so they couldn’t lose sight of me on my breaks anymore. I told them I’d sue, because I never consented to this shit. I fled the workplace after shouting at length with the management and telling any co-worker within earshot what had happened to me. They were too afraid to run and liberate themselves. I fled and management fled after me. A car chase ensued in which they tried to kill me. I somehow lost them while driving a comandeered tractor trailor, which I ditched down a road off the highway. Next thing I know, I’m being taught by some guy how to clean up after a sewage truck on the side of the highway while looking around anxiously for the goddamned killer management from the job I’d just fled.

Last night I went dancing with my man and a friend. Right before I went dancing, george arrived. The cramps were light at first and became more moderate throughout the night, but remained manageable. At the end of the night, I sat down for a moment before we left the venue, and for some reason that spurred the cramps into high action. The car ride home was grueling, and I took Tylenol 3 when I got home and went right to bed.

Today I have spent the day bleeding like a stuck pig and doped up on Tylenol 3.

I know I’ll likely miss work tomorrow, and stress over whether I’ll be fired or not.

I will be selling CDs and DVDs, a Mac G3 and CRT monitors – let me know if you are interested. I will be making a list of those items in a moment.