A list of the careers my health has stolen from me

Careers I would have liked the freedom to choose, or not:

  • Military/police
  • Pilot/air traffic controller
  • University prof
  • Medical personnel (medical tech, EMT, nurse, etc)
  • Any entry level job (retail, foodservice, etc)
  • Reporter/writer for a weekly or daily publication
  • Chef

 

Basically any job where you can’t call in sick two dozen days a year and still keep your job.  If I work full time, I can make up hours if I work on a flexible schedule…the problem with that is that if I have a sick day and make up the time that is essentially a six-day week for me.  I then have to do chores on day 7 because I need to make hay while the sun shines, which means socializing and relaxation get pushed to the backseat, which increases my stress and fatigue, which increases the chance of migraine.

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This is why I don’t keep a migraine journal.

So when I opened this I saw the last two blog posts – from last Friday the 18th saying I had to leave work early to be sick, then on Wednesday the 23rd saying I rolled in halfway through the day, then had to call in sick Thursday the 24th.  I was still sick yesterday (Good Friday) and had a crappy sleep (up at 3 am) because I’ve been sleeping on and off so much.

So this morning I woke up and STILL had a migraine — are you kidding me?  and stumbled around the house looking for a Frova.  I found one, and then took a shower, and here I am now, at 12:30 pm on Saturday.  Of course it’s when I am under stress and need to do so many things that I get so many migraines that stop me from doing anything.

Anyway I missed my psychiatrist appointment on Thursday so that’s just dandy, and the house is a shitshow, with no milk or anything, and now I’m in that space where I’m like “things were much better a week and a half ago, how did they go to shit so fast?” and am tired despite having had hours and hours of sleep, and am in that old familiar panic mode.

I should do some laundry!  No, I should definitely go to the bank so I have quarters to do laundry when the bank is closed for the next two days.  Ok, I’ll go to the bank and pick up some McDonald’s to eat.  No, I should buy like milk and things so I have some real food to eat.  I need to check the bank accounts so I know where there is money to buy milk.  I haven’t looked up the amount of my last paycheck yet.  Um, I should load the dishwasher so something is happening, make a budget, then go to the bank before they close…and that line of thinking usually finds me at like 8 pm with one load of laundry done and being too tired to put it away.

Anyway keeping a migraine journal is encouraging and discouraging at the same time.  When I keep one I realize I haven’t just been fucking around, if I haven’t gotten anything done it’s because I’ve been ill.  But then it feels like I’ve been ill ALL THE TIME.  If I don’t keep one, I don’t realize why I haven’t gotten more done.  A classic catch-22.

 

Update: I went to the bank (laundry money) and the store, where I was overwhelmed by the idea of cooking and all the choices so I left with cereal, milk, yogurt, chocolate, and diet pop.  Not exactly a victory.

I feel like ass.

I tried really hard to make it through work yesterday but ended up having to bail half an hour early, and thank God I did because I was close to barfing — one of those migraines where you know It Is Unstoppable — headed directly to bed and now it’s 26 hours later.

I’m dehydrated, need a shower, feel like I have slept too much and too little and had weird dreams (about being underdressed in public – classic vulnerability stuff) and it’s Saturday night now so how am I going to handle my one day off with my four-day to do list before the next work week?

Scared to hope

So someone who works on my floor passed on my name to someone else, a colleague of his, who met with me briefly to talk about the potential for some part-time work.  I’ve never been on the inside or right side of these “it’s who you know” kind of things.  I hardly dare hope that anything will come of it as it is more ambitious than I would ever have conceived on my own.

It seems sad that I’m more comfortable with hopelessness and pessimism and it seems slightly crazy to actually be open to possibility.  Not to be open to it, I guess, but to have any positive expectations. Weird, and unfamiliar, and dangerous.  The whole cliche of “don’t expect much and you won’t be disappointed.”  I’ll just do my best and see what happens…

 

EI seems fucked up.

According to what I looked up on EI today, if you work while collecting EI, no matter how little or how much, it still counts against your weeks of eligibility!  So whether you earn $350 and they give you $50 in a week, or you collect $400 from them in a week, it still counts as one of your limited number of weeks!

I didn’t realize that before!!

So, if I do contract work part-time instead of hunting for a job full-time, it actually does me no good at all.

I just don’t think I can handle being flat broke and starting over one more time.

I tried to pick up milk on my way home — I have a good migraine brewing so I was taking a triptan and advil and swigs of Pepsi — and they were sold out of all of the milk I like as usual — so I got a carton of skim milk with omega-3 or whatever it was, and headed to the registers to find long lines and no express lanes open.  So fuck it – I dropped my basket then and there and walked out and drove home.

 

Focus. Focus!!

I’m having such a hard time keeping my mind on the job today. I think the next task I have to do is pretty easy and could be done pretty quickly but I keep just zoning out.  Then I have a background feeling of mild panic because I realize that I have to file a bunch of papers and clean out my desk and everything and I think that job will take a long time and there will be lots of loose ends and so I just get jittery.

Then I went to try to go talk to the person who is supposed to be sorting out my contract with HR  and they’re not here today.  Not being able to plan really stresses me out.  I don’t know how much my last cheque will be, I don’t know if I’ll get anything out of my pension, I don’t know what the financial details of the contract are that they are going to propose, I don’t know how much my prescriptions will cost after this month, although I can at least figure that one out once I round up the slips from the last time I filled them all and see the prices.

I don’t know, it’s like I am paralyzed with indecision — back to the whole why-can’t-I-get-groceries issue, and speaking of which there is a carton of eggs in my fridge that expired Feb 24. I need to throw them out, obviously, but I think I should recycle the carton and so it’s been sitting here waiting and guilt-tripping me, because I bought them because eggs were quick! and a nutritious source of protein! and I think I cooked two eggs out of the dozen.

Anyway when I think of what I need to do I get totally overwhelmed, and it all seems equally important, so then I end up doing nothing, or starting something and not finishing it — I moved six boxes of books from my storage unit because it’s ridiculous to pay for storing stuff when there is storage room in the condo, and there they sit right inside the front door.

The EAP counsellor just keeps saying how I’m just in survival mode, treading water, until this job is done and then i’ll have the time to take care of this stuff, but I worry that when this job is done I’ll stay in bed and cry all day and get even less done.  And now I’ve used up 20 minutes of my “lunch” time blogging instead of making up for the time I wasted working. I have been melting an Ativan under my tongue this whole time so hopefully that will help…

 

Who profits, and who rewards?

I have been watching Intervention reruns.  Partly it is hopeful and optimistic — look at how these people turn their lives around, and how much better they look after recovery!  Then part of me is… bitter? Jealous? Resentful?  I’m not sure.  Maybe a mixture of things.  So they do drugs, or drink, and their families rally around them, and they get three months of full-time inpatient treatment… a pretty sweet situation, actually!

Applying for permanent government disability came up today in my counselling session (a weekly event.). It just isn’t enough to live on unless you don’t have to pay rent. It’s a tiny set amount, not relative to your earning capacity or anything.  The counsellor asked, isn’t there some kind of subsidized government housing?  Welp, if I had kids, they would put me up…

just frustrating to think that I might be better off if I were a drug addict, or had gotten knocked up… but I’ve done all rhe right things, and I’m trying so hard!

 

 

Spring ahead, my ass.

I haaate daylight savings time.  I was going to go on a rant about mornings but it is probably good that I have to get up and have to get out of bed.

I asked one of the girls at work to not try and arrange a goodbye lunch or anything, and she didn’t understand why.  So I tried the “I’m not really leaving, I’m still going to be working on contract one day a week”, and that didn’t convince her so I said “look, I would just find that stressful” and she said that we could cross that bridge when we came to it.

I don’t know how to explain it — they think I’m much less desperate than I am, and only this one girl knows I’m depressed, incredibly enough (thanks, Visine and Xanax) and it’s hard enough to play it off when people are like “what will you do next?” never mind a whole group celebrating my impending unemployment.

 

Small victories

I  slept in today, until super late (even worse with the daylight fuck-you time) and hate how I end up starting a work week feeling like I have got nothing done.  For some reason putting laundry away seems overwhelming for example, so it will stay loosely folded in the basket until I take it out to wear.

I thought it might help if I write down what I’m doing as I go — like a “to-do” list but just for the already dones:

  • showered and brushed my teeth
  • put on actual clothing (not pj’s)
  • emptied the garbage
  • filled the water filter

Not very impressive so far.  OH!  I should totally get points because I got the Blue Cross application sent off, and because it’s within 30 days of my previous coverage ending there’s no waiting period.  I totally thought I would have to wait three months for it to kick in so the continuous coverage is an unexpected bonus. The problem with prescriptions is I only get a month’s worth at a time, partly because of the benefits limitations and partly because my psychiatrist is strangely reluctant to give me hundreds of pills at a time (I’m not going to overdose, I’m going to hang myself – if and when, – I told him. Ha!). Anyway yay me for being on top of one big stressor at least…

 

Edit: Loaded the dishwasher then crashed for a three hour nap.  I’m totally exhausted so may not get up again until tomorrow.