So frustrated!

Here’s the thing I really want to talk about today (but first i had to get all caught up from the weekend in my last post):

I’m so frustrated about not knowing stuff about Endometriosis until years after information has been put out there. It is officially pissing me off now. Last week I wanted to know how alcohol affects my illness, because I’d had two binges this month and now I’m worried that I’ll be in worse pain or that george will be late. So I have been googling for information on diet and endometriosis, and alcohol and endometriosis.

Today I find good information to go off of, only the info came out FOUR YEARS AGO and I didn’t know about it.

That’s FOUR YEARS OF PAIN AND SUFFERING because my gynecologists and doctors don’t read up on the latest studies, and/or they don’t provide newsletters or phone calls to their patients to pass the good info on. I have to do all this myself. I’m all alone in this. It’s frustrating. It drives me to rage because I feel so isolated and left out to suffer and die when there’s this wealth of information just sitting out there. It’s not fair.

Diet Linked to Endometriosis (to view the article directly, paste the url to a google search window, then click through to the story. Otherwise, if you go to the url directly, they’ll try to make you sign in as a registered user)
News Author: Laurie Barclay, MD
CME Author: Désirée Lie, MD, MSEd

July 15, 2004 — Dietary fruits and vegetables seem to protect against endometriosis, whereas red meat and ham seem to increase the risk, according to the results of two case-controlled studies published in the July issue of Human Reproduction.

“We found … that there was a 40% relative reduction in risk of endometriosis in women with higher consumption of green vegetables and fresh fruit,” lead author Fabio Parazzini, from the Gynaecologic Clinic of the University of Milan in Italy, says in a news release. “But, for those with a high intake of beef, other red meat and ham, there was an increase of about 80-100% in relative risk.”

The investigators compared dietary patterns in 504 women admitted to obstetrics and gynecology departments for laparoscopically confirmed endometriosis with those of 504 women admitted for acute nongynecological, nonhormonal, nonneoplastic conditions. Median age was 33 years (range, 20 to 65 years) in the cases and 34 years (range, 20 to 61 years) in the controls.

Participants were asked about their diet in the year preceding the interview, including how many weekly portions they ate of selected dietary items, including the major sources of retinoids and carotenoids in the Italian diet. They were also asked about alcohol and coffee consumption.

Compared with women in the lowest tertile of dietary intake, risk of endometriosis was significantly lower for the highest tertile of intake of green vegetables (odds ratio [OR], 0.3) and fresh fruit (OR, 0.6). High intake of beef and other red meat (OR, 2.0) and ham (OR, 1.8) were associated with increased risk.

Endometriosis was not significantly associated with intake of milk, liver, carrots, cheese, fish, whole-grain foods, coffee, alcohol, butter, margarine, or oil.

If these findings are confirmed in prospective studies, the authors suggest that attention to diet could reduce the prevalence of endometriosis from 5% in Italy to around 3% to 4% or about 200,000 prevalent cases (and about 10,000 new cases a year) fewer in Italy and 800,000 fewer prevalent cases in Europe.

Study limitations include data for only a few selected indicator foods, no estimate of portion size or total energy intake, and the possibility that a high intake of green vegetables, fruits, and fish could reflect more health-conscious attitudes and/or greater likelihood of having endometriosis diagnosed. The authors recommend prospective interventional studies to address these issues.

“However, despite these limitations, our study does suggest that there is some link between diet and risk of endometriosis and indicates that we now need a proper prospective interventional investigation to study these factors,” Dr. Parazzini says. “Endometriosis is a distressing condition that affects the quality of life for many women and if there are adjustments that can be made in the diet to lower the risk it is vital that we gain really firm evidence about which foods protect and which foods increase risk.”

The Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro helped support this study.

Hum Reprod. 2004;19:1755-1759

Clinical Context

Endometriosis is said to affect up to five in 100 women in Italy and Europe. Although its pathophysiology is unknown, a study by Britton and colleagues published in the May 2000 issue of Cancer Causes Control linked endometriosis with higher intake of polyunsaturated and vegetable fats, with no risk reduction associated with high vegetable and fruit intake. An inverse relationship has been shown between endometriosis and body mass index (BMI), for example, in a report by Missmer and Cramer in the March 2003 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America. There are also suggestions that the condition is related to exposure to higher estrogen levels, which also is associated with fibroids and endometrial cancer.

The authors of this study postulate that a diet high in fats increases the circulation of unopposed estrogens and may predispose to endometriosis. Fats may also influence prostaglandin concentration and affect ovarian function.

This report combines two retrospective case control studies to examine the association between dietary intake and incidence of endometriosis, relying on a single seven-day food intake recall of Italian patients presenting to hospitals.

Study Highlights

  • 504 women younger than 65 years with laparoscopically confirmed endometriosis from obstetrics and gynecology departments in 3 cities were matched in 1:1 ratio to 500 age-matched hospital controls without endometriosis.
  • In the control group, 31% were admitted for traumatic conditions, 23% had nontraumatic orthopedic conditions, 12% acute abdominal pain, and 34% other illnesses. Absence of endometriosis in these women was not confirmed by laparoscopy.
  • Both patients and interviewers were blinded to the purpose of the study.
  • Patients completed a structured questionnaire while in the hospital, on medical and gynecological history, lifetime oral contraceptive use, and food frequency diary for the last 7 days covering selected dietary intake of fats, whole-grain foods, retinoids and carotenoids, alcohol, tea, and coffee. Validity and reliability of this method was not defined or compared with other food intake assessment methods.
  • Alcohol intake was defined by amount of ethanol in wine (125 mL), beer (40 mL), and spirits (15 g). Wine accounted for more than 80% of alcohol consumed.
  • Recall of typical food intake for the prior few years was not recorded. Other lifestyle factors such as smoking and exercise, other gynecologic conditions, and use of hormones other than oral contraceptives was not reported.
  • There was no estimate of portion size or daily energy intake.
  • BMI was documented as less than 20, 20 to 23, and more than 23 kg/m2 with no separate category for overweight or obesity.
  • Intake was subjectively described by patients as low, intermediate, and high for each category which was then converted to tertiles of intake for milk, meat, beef, liver, carrots, green vegetables, eggs, ham, fish, and cheese portions.
  • Mean age was 33 years (range, 20 to 65 years). Women in the endometriosis group were more educated, thinner (lower BMI), and more frequently multiparous than the control group.
  • There was a significant reduction in risk of endometriosis associated with high intake of green vegetables (OR, 0.3) and fresh fruit (OR, 0.6).
  • Increased risk was associated with beef and other meat (OR, 2.0) and ham (OR, 1.8) intake.
  • The ORs were 1.0 and 1.8, respectively, for intermediate and high intake of beef and other red meat, and 0.5 and 0.3, respectively, for intermediate and high intake of vegetables.
  • These trends were still significant when age, BMI, education, and parity were taken into account.
  • Consumption of milk, liver, carrots, cheese, fish, whole grain foods, butter, margarine, oil, coffee, and alcohol were not associated with endometriosis.

Pearls for Practice

  • Endometriosis is associated with lower intake of green vegetables and fresh fruits, and higher intake of beef, other meats, and ham.
  • Intake of milk, whole grain foods, coffee, fats (butter, margarine, and oil), and alcohol is not associated with endometriosis.

There’s also this, which is restricted to paid members only.

Dietary factors and the risk of endometriosis
C. Williamson
Nutrition Bulletin
Volume 29, Issue 4 , Pages298 – 300
2004 British Nutrition Foundation

This really pisses me off, because I don’t have assloads of money to spend on medical journal after medical journal just to keep up with how I should be managing my illness! I don’t have a doctor to update me every time something new is reported in these journals! I don’t have a news feed to update me, people! I need SOMETHING! Make this information free! GAH!!!

Catching up again

First, let me catch you up on george. He went away on Friday, the 25th. That night, I babysat for my friends so they could go see The Dark Knight. Then, when I got off work, my man and I went and caught the midnight showing of the same movie. ;)
It’s AWESOME and scary and nearly gave me a panic attack from all the suspense/thriller action blammo. Lordy. My heart and nerves just can’t take much excitement anymore, I guess.

On Saturday, we cleaned out the storage unit a bit so we can start sharing the space with a neighbor, which in turn reduces by half the amount of what we spend on the unit each month. Not a huge amount with the coming rent increase but still, every penny counts.
Saturday night, I got to witness a beautiful flashback to my man’s past by seeing a band he loved from the 90’s. The band 187 Calm played a one-off reunion show down in San Jose. My man got to connect with his old friends (the band he was in back then played some shows with 187 Calm) and it was fun to see them all together again. My man has talked so much about them over the years.
And can I just say, the bass player showed her bass a thing or two, and made out with it while giving it a what-for! I swear I was blushing some of the time, she was so awesome up there on stage. Holy shit. I mean, I don’t see grrrl bass players too often, so I dunno if they all do this. I’m guessing not though. Wow she is hot. I even told her after the show that I liked how she showed that bass a thing or two. She grinned ear to ear. A very smiley night overall.
My friend found video footage from the show, and clearly the person filming the event is friends with the bass player, cuz most of the time is spent watching her. :)

Sunday, I went over to a friend’s house and we looked at images from her wedding. I told her that I’d lost my bride’s dude (as opposed to bridesmaid), because he can’t afford to fly out. :(
So I asked her if she’d consider again the question I asked way back months ago, but told her I know she still has a lot going on family-wise and personally. I asked if she’d be a bridesmaid this time, instead of the wedding coordinator. To my happy surprise, she accepted! YAY! Oh crap I just remembered I forgot to update my other bridesmaid and I think my matron of honour with the good news. Will do that when I get home from work tonight…

After talking more wedding stuff and showing her pix of my dress, we got together with my man and spent a lovely afternoon hanging out at a bookstore and then a breakfast joint in Berkeley, and then we showed her a winery really close to our island home.

In all, a fabulous weekend.

George almost gone

I went to work yesterday and just took it easy. The parents I’m working with are so easygoing, it’s a quite a blessing compared to how I was treated on other jobs. We just stayed in the house all day (usually I take the infant for 1-2 stroller rides a day). Instead, the child got belly time on the playmat, got playtime in her new exersaucer, sit up time on the couch, floor and bed (with close supervision and lots of pillows handy to break any sudden falls), back-to-side-to-stomach assistance, tours around the house naming everything, and 60 children’s songs sung over and over and over again.

So, basically, a typical day, sans the stroller rides, and I napped when she napped because I was still so worn out from being bedridden from Monday evening through Wednesday.

The pain and bleeding set in again by 4pm, and to my dismay, I had forgotten to bring my pill splitter. I didn’t want to take a whole Tylenol 3 – this would make me obviously stoned and I didn’t want to be that way when the parents returned from work. I was already on Ibuprofen 600 and didn’t want to take another one of those because they tend to make my stomach hurt. So I toughed it out. I laid on the floor and stretched my back slowly while the child played on the floor next to me – it all worked out. I took half a Tylenol 3 when I got home, as opposed to a full one, because I had an interview with another family! They came to my house an hour after I got home from my other job. The interview was for occasional babysitting. I seem to have hit it off well with them and their son, who is an adorable two-year-old. I was told by a friend that he’s a handful, but he didn’t seem any different than most of the other two year olds I’ve dealt with in my time. Then again, I’m the teacher, whereas the person who told me the kid is a handful 1) has never had a child, 2) doesn’t want kids, and 3) has never spent any major amount of time around children. ;)

Today I am feeling better but I am cautious. Usually I have 2-3 days bedridden with the Endometriosis, and then I have up to a day’s break from bleeding and/or cramps, and then I get one last push – one last day of hell. My man calls it the ‘last gasp’ before the illness recedes back into its cave of do0m for another 26 days.

I’m always torn when this day comes every month. Part of me wants to take it easy and not chance anything, and most of me wants to get back into my regular routine and just BRING THE NOISE to get the damned bullshit overwith already. That’s likely what I’ll do again today. I’ll go around cleaning house and perhaps even go for a walk and just BRING IT. And then lay around moaning for a few hours in extreme pain, drugged to the gills, and then …. it’ll all be over.

The clock resets for 26 days.

Happiness would be that this month, the ‘last gasp’ part is forgone altogether. It’s happened before. It’s very rare with me, but it happens.

Edit: Happiness was granted. :)

Day 2.5 of bedridden

I just woke up nauseated and cramping badly, and feeling hungry.

Sometimes the Tylenol 3 makes me nauseous. Most often, it gives me false hunger pains. And sometimes the pain leaks through despite being medicated.

Then again, the last time I took any meds was almost 3 hours ago, so I assume that it’s also time for another dose.

I also had more nightmares. I was in a daycare trying to put children down for nap. The children were children I’d cared for 15 years ago back in Michigan. Nobody would listen and I found myself shouting at them. At one point I’d had it and left my co-teacher alone with all the kids in the room, and went for a walk.
I got about three blocks from the daycare and decided I should turn back around. But suddenly, no matter which route I took, I ended up further and further away. I hopped on a bus or light rail train, thinking I could get back to the daycare quicker, but when I was let off the train, I found that I was now up by 16 Mile road (in Michigan). Panicked, I walked faster and faster, trying to find out what had happened, trying to get to a place I remembered, so I could get back to work on time. It was all very anxiety-inducing.

The dream shifted from that to an actual real life memory of being down in the basement at the house my first sex partner was staying at. He was mad at me for terminating a pregnancy I did not want, and ending the relationship with him because he’d lied to me about purposefully knocking me up. He held a shotgun to my head. I ran upstairs away from him in sheer screaming terror, and tried to dial 911 on the phone at the top of the stairs. He grabbed me from behind, grabbed the phone from me, bashed the phone receiver into the wall, turned me around, grabbed my neck, slammed my head into the wall a few times and choked me. Then he stepped back and calmly announced he was going back downstairs to get the shotgun and take care of both of us. I ran from the house, got into my car and drove home in hysterics.

That is a real life memory.

I threw open my eyes and blinked rapidly and breathed deeply to force the memory to fade away again.

I get this unexpected flashback every now and then. All I can do is breathe and push it away.

The flashback caused even more anxiety and I think is what brought the cramps. The books I have on Endometriosis state that since the uterus is hormone-rich, whenever something happens to set off a hormonal surge in the body, the uterus is also involved. And for someone with Endometriosis, this is bad news, because when the hormones set off their signals, it also activates the hormone-rich adhesions on organs outside of the uterus. Those organs in turn set off their pain receptors, because they think something is attacking them. And voìla, that’s how I get to be in so much pain and gushing bleeding.


…and I breathe…

because anger sets off a hormonal wave again…

You see how it goes…

Good times.

I spent all day yesterday, from about 10am onwards in bed, because that’s when the pain started. I had cramps throughout the day but I remember my last onset of cramps was about 9:30 – 10pm last night.
And then this morning again at 9:45am. I keep wondering about this 12-hour cycle my body tends to go in with its cramping.

So much research still to do. Must make the time for it.

I *still* haven’t posted the research from fatty cells I was looking up last week. I had no idea that fat cells *produce* estrogen. Why did I not know this? The books I have on Endometriosis tell me this. I just retained the info til now. I need to finish typing up that entry and share it.

Fever dream

I was very drugged on pain meds and trying to sleep, but my man came into the room to tell me that ‘Steve’ was here to see the place. I was very groggy and tried to ask who ‘Steve’ was because I just wasn’t remembering. But my man left the room. He was busy with something and didn’t want to deal with Steve, and more to the point I got that he didn’t like Steve.
I was annoyed by this so I staggered out of bed and went to greet Steve, who was this guy with short reddish hair and a short reddish beard. He was dressed pretty normal if I recall correctly. I couldn’t place how we knew him.
I showed him around the house because I was paranoid that he might take something of value if not watched closely, simply because I didn’t know him. He refused to talk the entire time I showed him around the house. He took pictures of the place. His room would be in the basement*, so I showed him that. My friend Evil was also visiting, and I realised then that Steve** and Evil were also friends, and that Evil must’ve told Steve that we were subletting our place.

As I was showing Steve back upstairs, I shot a look over my shoulder at Evil, who had accompanied me through the house. He gave his usual smirk and shrug, and was not about to explain for Steve why Steve wasn’t talking. Steve was nice and smiled graciously and all, but just wouldn’t talk or answer questions.

We got back upstairs and I noticed that Evil was sitting in a recliner chair in the living room, and that there was a woman and young toddler in the room. They were waiting for Steve. He went to them and the woman began asking questions, and he nodded or shook his head to the questions. He may have talked to her but I never heard a sound.
The family went out the door to their van parked in front of the house, and started to pile in. I began to wonder if any of them took anything of value from our house. I was very mistrustful because my man showed no trust or liking towards them.

When I turned around to face the far end of the house (the living room became the kitchen which then became another sitting room or living room), I found my Aunt M had showed up. I was surprised by this, what brings her here, I wondered? I ran to greet her and hugged her and she hugged me back and we smiled really big at each other. And then my ma walked in (there was another entrance to the house between the kitchen and the second sitting room). What a surprise! Hi Ma! I gave her a great big hug and she was all smiles for me. And she looked great! Ma was wearing what looked to be a brown leather skirt – Aunt M pulled ma to her left side and went to zip the side of ma’s skirt, because the zipper was slipping. I stepped back and realised ma’s top was brown leather, too – a two piece. And ma was all skinny with firm taut younger skin and looked great as I said.

Next thing I knew, Aunt J was right there behind my ma, so I went to give her a hug but she was all standoffish as usual. She thrust out a card and some flowers but I managed a quick hug for her anyway. ;)
She’s one of those people who hates but wants the affection. She’s like a cat that way. It always makes her uncomfortable but she appreciates it when people try for her.

Then my Uncle E came into the room from the same direction everyone else was popping in from. He’s a tall man like grampa was. I gave a polite smile up at him but I wasn’t too thrilled about him being there. And then who was to emerge from behind him, completely concealed until Uncle E stepped aside, was gramma***!!!!!

It was at this point that it finally dawned on me – everyone was showing up for the wedding. The thoughts ran through my head…the wedding is still a week away****. People are much earlier than they said they’d be! I wasn’t ready to receive people, yet! But since they’re here, I’ll just have to make do.

Gramma was still pretty short but her hair was big and permed like it was in the early 90’s. She smiled big for me and held out her arms. Someone held out a drink to toast the family all being here but Uncle E told us to “wait, let’s all get a drink so we can all toast”. I rolled my eyes and gramma snapped, “We just came from the sandwich shop and so you still have to work off allll THAT jazz!”
I grinned ear to ear, and gramma smiled back at me, and we gave each other a big long warm hug. Gramma congratulated me on my wedding.

Next, my brother, my dad and his wife showed up. I hugged both my ma and my dad’s wife simultaneously cuz they were standing near each other. They had their back to the living room, and when I squeezed them a hug, I looked over their shoulders to see Evil and some of my Michigan friends sitting in the living room. Evil was still in the recliner chair, and everyone else was clustered around where that Steve guy and his family recently had been.

I was just so happy that everyone was here all at once, and yet a bit panicked because I knew that the wedding was going to happen Real Soon Now!

George woke me because he was threatening to leak all over and stain the bed. I was very groggy. When I came back from the bathroom to crawl into bed, I realised I could not get the dream back. I grabbed my phone and went to call my mom, but my mind was still on gramma, and I punched in ‘g’ on the phone pad. It was only then that all the emotions spilled forth. I left my ma a very teary voicemail letting her know that her ma had come to visit me.

I miss my gramma so much. It wasn’t a sad dream. I’m still very happy. I’m still blessed with her visit and congrats and hug. But I know, emotions are strange things. I am crying anyway.

* The house in my dream was a cross between what Evil’s house looks like and my friend Blau’s house looks like. It’s nothing like what the house I actually live in looks like. And only Evil’s house has a basement.

** I still don’t know ‘Steve’ in real life.

*** Gramma passed away in 2003.

**** The wedding is actually three months away.

George was a day early this month

George is here as of yesterday, one day early. I started to have pain yesterday but it wasn’t until today that the pain was so bad that I had to take Tylenol 3.

Coupled with being very sore and tired from walking 6 miles (10km) yesterday for the annual SF AIDS Walk, I ended up sleeping a lot today.

So far, the bleeding is light, compared to my usual periods. I know that I won’t be able to go in to work tomorrow, so I’ll be calling the child’s family tonight to let them know. They told me last Thursday that the husband was okayed to work from home this week should I not be able to come in.

Because george is a day or three early here and there, I’m now exactly a week away from disaster in October, should george decide to be that early due to stress just before the wedding. This of course has me mildly panicked, which doesn’t help the situation.

Last Wednesday or Thursday, I had started a post about some research I’ve been doing on Endometriosis. I need to finish that post soon, and share it on my ‘living with endometriosis’ pages, and also share it on the endometriosis forum I’m on.

Very tired from a long weekend

Overall, I had a nice weekend!

Friday in particular was great, because I got a lot of good news that day.

I was told that the company that fired me will settle for the last dollar figure I threw at them, PLUS they will revamp their disability training, PLUS they will remove the ‘fired’ status from my record and call it a ‘voluntary quit’, PLUS they will give a good review for me if employers call for reference check.
HOLY CRAP THOSE THINGS ARE THE VERY LAST THINGS I EVER EXPECTED TO COME OUT OF THAT COMPANY. This excites me to no end to know that they will restructure how they treat disabled people.
I can’t help but wonder if fellow coworkers finally found the bravery to step forward and also complained about how they were being treated.

On Friday, I was able to get a wagon and a boombox on loaner from a friend to use on the AIDS Walk, which I participate in every year.
Also on Friday, I went and did what I threatened to do – go looking for a wheelchair. I posted on looking for a wheelchair – someone actually had one right here on the island! I went and picked it up – it fits in the trunk of my car! I nearly cried, I was so relieved at having found a wheelchair, that it was free, that it was local, and that it fits in my trunk. I had no idea the amount of stress that would be lifted from me in just knowing I have a wheelchair handy in case I’m too debilitated at any event now or in the future. It’s not admitting defeat to my illness – it’s being prepared. *big happy sigh* I just didn’t know what a weight that would lift. I’m so happy.

We spent all of Saturday running around town, preparing for the AIDS Walk and a friend’s birthday party. And then we stopped in at the local German restaurant to see a friend who was celebrating her graduation from massage school. It was a coincidental delight to also see my other friend’s friend playing there that night – his band is called the Frisky Frolics.

We got home with sore feet last night and wondered if we’d be up for the AIDS Walk, after having such a long exhaustive Saturday running all over town. Our feet already hurt from that alone.

But we did it – we got up bright and early this morning and packed up my car with the wagon and a portable ipod speaker system that we got (we decided that would work better than the old boombox, and we can use the ipod thingy for the wedding, too), and we drove off to San Francisco for the AIDS Walk.

We met up with our friends – there were only six of us this year but we still got recognition from some of the other walkers who see us there every year, and we got compliments on our team shirts as usual. :)

I have blisters on my pinky toes after completing the 10km walk, but otherwise my feet and other toes survived just fine, as did my calves. All that walking the baby around town for my job has really paid off!

I had mild cramps on and off today – mostly when I *wasn’t* walking, but taking a rest. George showed up when I got home and went to a friend’s birthday BBQ party. I have been premedicating with Motrin so when the cramps did finally hit this evening, it’s been mild overall.

Oh! One last thing! This weekend I went to two different places where alcohol was present, and I did NOT take a full drink. I had nothing to drink last night, and today I only had a couple sips of peoples’ homemade vodkas, just to see what each tasted like. Never even came near catching a buzz. Even in the highly charged social situation where I ran into two unexpected people who at one time hurt me (one much worse than the other), I was not driven to drink. I am very proud of myself for this.

Now if I can just get through the wedding and dealing with family without needing to get drunk. Shit, THEY’LL be drunk, they’re promising it. They’ve said it’s not a wedding if people (themselves) aren’t trashed. Emotional cycles with certain people take longer to change than with others.

More on the job / sick front

Came home to a curious letter from the unemployment department today. I thought the gubment cut this out of the latest war funding bill at the last second, but apparently not. Dubya relented and signed the unemployment benefits extension on June 30, 2008. This extends unemployment benefits for 13 months.

Californians, see it here.

Other states – just look up your local unemployment office online, or phone them, or wait for your letter w/ contact info. ;)

This is excellent news for me and maybe some of you. Although I am working again, I am not full time, so I should be granted some money. Unless the labor board settlement happens, then perhaps the state will tell me to feck right straight off. But I’ll fight for it for April to my settlement award date though, because I didn’t go back to work officially for someone until May 16, 2008, and only then it was part time and not guaranteed (The agency’s had nothing for me for a month now since I asked to be reassigned).

Getting this letter in the mail was not without its troubles. I went online to fill out my application to be considered for the additional benefits, and in so doing I had to look up all former employers dating back 18 months – in essence, I had to fill out a new unemployment claim all over again. This of course caused flashbacks of all the nasty companies I worked for in the past 18 months. Not only was there the company that fired me for having Endometriosis, which I can now say with authority gave me PTSD, there was also the two jobs I held that summer; one of which was going to fire me for having Endometriosis, but I quit rather than be humiliated, and the other company in which I endured daily racial harrassment from someone who’s had a very rough time with racism in her own life, and wants to take it out on every white person she meets, and is not shy in admitting as much while abusing people.

I had to take a break from filling out the unemployment application, because I started getting chest pains.

Now that the form is submitted, I’m left with a stomach ache.

I am never, EVER going to work for a corporation or company again if I can help it. It’s only private individuals for me until I can become fully self-employed and not have to worry about working under anyone ever again.

Stress today is making me sick

The labor board called while I was out walking the baby I’ve been caring for. They said they were in a meeting right then with the company who fired me. They said they had a counter offer ready for me and wanted me to let them know if I would accept it right there on the spot: $17K, which is $7K more than their last offer. They told me this will cover five months lost wages plus $4K for my pain and suffering.

I told them no, I’m outside at the moment, I’ll have to call them back. The company pressured the labor board to ask me to make a decision. I told the labor board NO, I will NOT make a decision until I’ve had a chance to further review this once I get home, and I’m not currently at home. I asked for til the end of the day. They said that’s not possible. I said give me at least an hour. They said fine but weren’t happy with me. I told them they had no right dictating how fast I must move on this after what they’ve done to me. The labor board representative told me that my decision to call them back within an hour was fine by him, and that I can say no right now if I want. I thanked him and said I’d call back.

I called my father and my man, and talked it over with them. My father advised me to settle. My man reminded me that I was told the hearing between the labor board and the company was supposed to be tomorrow, so why are they calling me today? Good point.

I called the labor board back and got ahold of my representative. He informed me that the date he’d given me a couple months back for the hearing – well that was contingent upon whether it was a WEEKDAY or not, and therefore if it fell on a weekend, they’d do it on the weekday before the weekend. I wanted to hit him at this point. I asked him why he’d given me a definitive date then! I told him I didn’t realise the OFFICIAL hearing was in process when I got the call, else I’d not have been so rude. I apologised to the rep. He said it’s okay. He told me not to worry about it. He explained that if I say no to the $17k, I must give another figure for them to counter.
Well, seeing as the last figure I heard from the labor board was $66K, and my initial thoughts of getting one year’s salary was equal to $36K, I asked for advice from the rep. He said that if I give them a figure higher than their figure but lower than my figure, they can negotiate. He said this can go on until November, when my statute of limitations is reached for this case.

I decided to take it down by half of the labor board’s figure and told my rep $33K. He told me that was a good move, because now the company will see that I’m trying to resolve this, too. Yeah yeah fine fine.

He called back within three hours and told me the company countered again to $22K.

I told him NO. I should have said $30K but I came down to $25K. It’s what they’re counting on – wearing me down. Blah.

I’ve not heard from him for the rest of the day. I’m sure they’ll take the $25 and cut me a check. If they don’t, I’ll be enraged – I am NOT going down any lower than that, and I’ll raise it back up if I have to and start all over again.

Their settlement absolves them of any wrongdoing. This is why I’m so pissed off.

I spoke recently with my friend’s step-mother, who is a labor lawyer. She told me that the company is located in a city and county that she considers to be a ‘bad venue’, because they always get away with so much abuse towards their employees. This company is in the heart of silicon valley of course.

So it should not be surprising then that they are trying to pay as little as possible or of being allowed to just settle, or lawyers being afraid to tackle them. This is why I’m never going to work for a corporation again if I can help it, and I’m making good on my promise to never work in dotcom again, EVER.

In a perfect world, this company would pay me a year at full pay, then pay me a second year of the same to compensate me for what they’ve put me through.

As an example of what they’ve put me through – just the little bit of dealing with them that I had to endure today has left me near tears and having diarrhea. I’ve had two episodes already. I’m super tired and depressed. I just want to go home and cry, but I’m at work.

While all this was going on by phone, I was walking the baby, who started to fuss. After the call, she cried and cried because she was in her stroller for too long (note to self: baby’s threshhold is an hour walk, no more)(I was selfish and wanted to see how far I could walk today before the big AIDS Walk, and thought baby wouldn’t mind). I fed the baby in a local park on the way back to her house, but she was too upset by that time. She sucked down her entire bottle and demanded more, which I did not have. She screamed her head off for thirteen minutes before falling asleep.

Bad choice I made there, with the labor board thing happening today. If I’d known it would happen today, perhaps I’d not have taken baby for such a long walk, and I’d have had all my paperwork and calculator ready!!@!@%#$%^

So I got the baby home, fed her a little more milk, got her down to nap, and thankfully she’s been down for over two hours, now. I could have had it even rougher today than I did.

The being near tears, the diarrhea – if that’s not PTSD from a fecking job, I don’t know what is.

So in a perfect world, not only would they pay me a year’s salary times two, to cover emotional damage, but they’d also be forced to take employee sensitivity training, and they’d be forced to educate themselves on Endometriosis and other ‘invisible’ disabilities. And they’d have to give me an in-person apology in front of their entire company, while handing me a check with the dollar figure on the check large enough for everyone to read. Then they’d have to have individual team meetings afterward, in which their team leaders would explain how discrimination cuts into the company’s bottom line, all the way down to one’s salary, so DON’T DO IT.

In a perfect world, this abuse wouldn’t even happen.

Stupid hormones

I just got a PMS hot flash.

I suddenly felt very hot and had to open up all the windows. It’s breezy outside today so the cool air helped immediately. I felt better but my ears remain hot. MY EARS. and I looked in the mirror – my ears are beet red.


And as I type this, my face is getting hot again.

Please george. Do NOT arrive before Monday.

Sunday is the annual SF AIDS Walk. I’ve raised the money and want to walk the 10km like I do every year.

If george is early, I’ll …I’ll… I’ll hire a friggin wheelchair, dammit.