October Warrior Check In

How do I feel today  -Better than I have in awhile.  I am going back to work tomorrow after a week off and I am dreading it for numerous reasons.  However, it appears the hurricane has passed us by, the sun is shining and I am focusing on the positive.  I have so much to be grateful for. I also feel that I am back on track.

What did you do for yourself today?

I read the Sunday Times, most of it, on Sunday!  I cooked something healthy and good.  I was indulgent and bought nail polish

What did I eat today and how did it make me feel – Eating right except for dinner tonight – will have small steak.  On holiday I did OK and tried to be in balance

Did I exercise?  What did I do?  How did it feel – Ah, every month there is a weak spot, still trying to calibrate Jawbone but I definitely have not walked nearly enough in the last week.  I feel weak but determined.

For whom or what are you grateful?  What matters most in life?

Friends and family.  Last night the boys and their girlfriends joined the nieces and I at a mystery dinner at the church.  The table read Reserved – “X – Family of 8″  It made me feel warm.  The fiancee declared in 10 months, I will really be a part of this family.  I was given beautiful presents for my birthday and a beautiful card.  I spent 4 days with one of my best friends on vacation last week.  It was restorative. I had all kinds of birthday wishes from near and far.  And as someone once said ” You know Santa and the Easter Bunny?!!!”  What more could I or should I want out of life.

Do I have a higher purpose or driving force in my life?   Make a mission statement

Ok, still a problem. Still believe deeply in joy.  In the last few weeks due to the situation at work where  I am no longer being allowed my medical accommodation,  I am planning legal action.  I have been told this will benefit other people.  So, there you go.

How long have I been treated with conventional medicine Ampyra since April.  On my birthday, I read in the Times that my medical insurance company is closing so we are scared that I will lose this drug.

The first time I had a symptom – June 2004 walking on the beach boardwalk.  Lately,  I have been using the cane which I am going to rename a stick more and more each week.

What symptoms are most troublesome  -still hung up on the ugly shoes!  And my hands seem to be weakening.  Same as last month.  Getting a little wobbly.

Do I blame myself for things –  Of course!Yes, I am still blaming myself for not being aggressive against this. However, getting back to me, slowly, slowly but surely!

How is stress level? Middling, as I have not been at the office Sept 23 but have to go back tomorrow and face the music.  I know I will survicw

What can I do tomorrow to make it better than today?   Continue to take positive steps in eating, exercise and most importantly the pursuit of balance.

Until next month.

Evaluating, Instincts and Perspective

It’s been a hard few months for me.  Particularly, the last few weeks.  I very rarely admit it but I have a streak of a workaholic in me.  Years ago, one of my friends told me I was the same as her except I did the extra work at home in the bathtub and in my bunny slippers.  My assistant used to go “Grrr, I see you wrote this in the bath again.”  That situation ended badly.  I was in that job for nearly 9 years.  I increased their business.  I literally made myself physically ill and as I have mentioned the roots of my present condition lie there.  I went to Asia on business when I could barely talk or breathe.  Forget experiencing Asian cuisine in Asia; every place I went they poured soup and tea down my throat.  Here’s what I did:  I left Taiwan at 11 o’clock in the morning, landed in LA 11 a.m. the same morning and worked till 11 p.m.  The men always stopped in Hawaii with their wives.  I  flew home to NY and collapsed in JC Penney.  Several years later I was let go from that company.  It was awful.  I had invested too much of myself.  I was left without myself.  I was severely depressed.  I got married.  Yes, I know.  And that made everything so much worse.  I was unemployed or under employed for 10 years and then I got this job.  Financially, I was back.  The first four years as an employee were great.  I left it at the office.  I worked late once or twice.  There was a downsizing and I was let go.  I said “Thank you.  Summer on the beach with shells in my hair.”  My condition manifested itself for the first time that summer and we put it down to stress and lack of activity.  Working, I walked miles a day, literally.

Cut to the present:  My life has been out of control and out of balance.  I went back as a part time consultant.  It was never really part time.  I joke the reason I was approved for my mortgage working part time was a major project went live the month they looked at my financials and I was doing over 40 hours a week.  Well, once I went back full time I started at around 37.5 a week.  I told my manager when I started back that  I knew hw he was and it would be more.  He swore to me I could be out the door by 4:30.  Well, that lasted a few weeks when I was told they needed more time.  Our agreement was that I could do it at home.  For years, I have done nights and weekends. 2007 – 2008 averaging 50 hours a week.  Note the word average.  Once this condition began to impact me I worked more and more from the house.   I work in an IT department so it’s relatively technologically advanced.  I laugh as every other Friday from home I am in a meeting with New York, New Jersey, London and Ireland.  This year even though I worked from the house I have been averaging closer to 45 hours a week with a lot of weeks 50 – 60.  Yes,   I do bill by the hour.

Recently, the two people I have always worked with except for a hellish 6 months were reorganized out of my area.  First hint – no one knew what to do with me and I heard unofficially I was going back to Hell.

In the interim, the group head starting signing my time sheets August 1.  I worked 48 hours one week to deliver a major project.  She said it was over time.  I said you owe me a lot of money then.  Upshot, not allowed to do more than 40.  Okay, I can live with that.

I work remotely on Friday and have done so for a few years or very, very short Fridays in the office.  It  is too dangerous for me to commute with the weekenders and I do have fatigue.  I have a doctor’s note.  I usually work longer on a Friday as I don’t have to commute.  The doctor wrote me a letter not to work when it’s 85.  This hurts as remember, summer on the beach with shells in my hair.  She apparently is not honoring this.  This means unless  I come in and jeopardize myself I lose a week’s pay a month.

A friend texts me Thursday night that the company has posted a job opening for Learning and Development.  I look it has been written to exclude me – must be able to sit or stand for long periods.

So, I  find myself in the same position I was over 20 years ago.  I did it again.  I put my heart and soul into this.  I cared. I did their work at the expense of my life.  They would call it scope creep at my job.   I can’t believe I bought into it.

I used to work in the garment industry and was laid off all the time.  I just had a sixth sense as to when it was going to happen plus someone would tip me off, too.  The only time that didn’t happen was when I was let go from my short interim position while I was doing little part time for the bank.  For the last three years,  I haven’t been feeling right there.  I have very positive moments and very positive reviews.  However,  this morning I said to myself “Face the facts.  You are going and sooner rather than later.”  I already had started taking things home.  However, when my credentials/capabilities were questioned. I brought in framed copies of my certificates.

I find myself feeling sad, nervous and betrayed.  I have to hold onto the belief that someone will hire me on suitable terms even though I am technically old, limp and use a cane.

I am resilient.  I always try and see the upside.  So being home for four days has been a blessing.  I am getting to catch up on my life.  I spoke to three friends on the phone yesterday, a luxury.  One was one of my exes (yes me and the eternal exes) and he had been with me for part of the first time.

I am approaching a milestone and am frighteningly aware of my mortality.  But this is an opportunity for new horizons and new possibilities as I approach this.

August Warrior Check In

Life is still intense. I am thinking about the “default future”

How do I feel today –   Pretty crappy.  I was in a slightly manic phase the last few weeks.  I couldn’t do things fast enough.  I knew I had to crash and I have.  I put in a high stress over 50 hour workweek this week.  Bed late every night.  I made a presentation to our head on Friday.  Well, all I can say was it wasn’t negative.  It is hard to live with the continual uncertainty about the job.  There never seems to be enough time.  I am a Libra and feel seriously out of balance.  I need to clear the decks and can’t.  I have started a new venture except I haven’t.  I have the skills and the tools to rock it and little Miss Sabotage strikes again.   The MRI shows no change but I seem to be getting worse.  I  think  I am going to look into genome testing.

What did you do for yourself today?

I tried to sleep late.  I read the Sunday times,  yeah!  Straightened up a bit.  Sent in a job application,  sat outside in the gazebo. Did NOT go grocery shopping or any kind of shopping.

What did I eat today and how did it make me feel – Getting back to clean and it’s the right thing

Did I exercise? What did I do? How did it feel – No excuse not to go to the gym and I didn’t.  Miss Sabotage.  My fitbit has been wonky lately and I know that I had at least two days closer to 12,000 steps.  Ain’t drugs grand?  But zip didn’t record

For whom or what are you grateful? What matters most in life?   I am blessed with the most amazing friends, truly.  I have a husband who watches over me.  I continue to have possibilities.  And this year, beautiful flowers in the garden

Do I have a higher purpose or driving force in my life?   Make a mission statement –   Never give up?

How long have I been treated with conventional medicine Ampyra since April.  The Ampyra continues to work.  I am walking more with less fatigue.  Friday high stress day and took subway to Village during rush hour

The first time I had a symptom – June 2004 walking on the beach boardwalk.  Think it’s time to add last time -off balance, weak knees

What symptoms are most troublesome -still hung up on the ugly shoes!  And my hands seem to be weakening

Do I blame myself for things –  Yes, I am still blaming myself for not being aggressive against this. Still!  I let go of me and who I am and could be.  Same as last month

How is stress level? Skyrocketing with work issues

What can I do tomorrow to make it better than today?   Rest, take a step back.  Contemplate that default future and SMILE

Until next month.

Ampyra, Being a Libra and what else can happen

Yes, it’s been a long time and so much has happened. And I am out of balance.

This is going to be long as I have lots of catching up to do.

I have had good luck with the Ampyra, no side effects. I am able to stagger longer. I actually am able to walk longer than previously without staggering. I may have plateaued but am not sure. I do seem to be picking up speed. This is relative. I used to walk a 17 minute mile easily. I have walked more than I have in over a year.

Now that I have this drug/tool I need to work on the surrounding bits like diet and exercise to maximize the impact of the drug.

Which brings me to the being Libra/out of balance bit. As I am regaining some mobility I have been reflecting. I have wanted to write for ages! But…. As my walking has minimally improved, I am realizing how narrow and unbalanced my world has become. I know part of it is due to the mobility issue and the rest I am not sure. I wake a little after 4 a.m. Monday through Thursday. I am out the door usually by 5:25 a.m., in the city before 7 a.m.; at my desk by 7:30 a.m. I leave at 3:18 p.m. I have shortened my hours. I am trying not to cut off my nose to spite my face. Most days I work straight through. I then struggle to make the 4:12 p.m. When I was well, if I left that time and walked, I would have been on the 3:46. Since the Ampyra, it’s been a bit better but some days I can barely get myself onto the train. I get in the door around 5:45. I check my work email since I am conscientious. I have mostly checked my email, F B and blogs on train. My husband has the news on. I make a smoothy and/or salad, pack my lunch for the following day, oh yeah maybe fill Tom in on how my day was. By this time, it’s nearly 8, time to take a bath and get ready for bed. I used to go to Zumba twice a week but with winter that stopped. I read in the bath. I used to read a book every two days or so (seriously, I need to read to live) write letters, call friends and do things like hobbies. Ok, I did stay up an hour or so longer and sleep an hour so longer.   I almost never watch a TV program from 8 -9. I never used to see programs at 10 but I could watch between 8 and 10. Yes, I was a little younger, too. But lately I feel really out of balance. As a Libra, funny as it sounds, it hurts even more. I need equilibrium.

And what else can I deal with? Well. I have had dense breasts for years. I always picture them as saying d’uh. So years ago, in the beginning of this downward spiral, my mammo showed something. I told them I had fallen and it could be a bruise but no. So I had a sono and they said biopsy. I had this December 23. New Year’s eve they said it probably had been a bruise. 6 months later, it was the other breast. I call them equal opportunity breasts! It took about 2 years but things finally calmed down. So went for my mammo two Fridays ago and received a voice mail at work on Monday. Husband says it’s nothing. I said they don’t call if it’s good news. Who was right? Me! I wasn’t giving up my time off so next Friday more studies and a sono. I am trying not to think about this. I just can’t take much more.

On a more positive note, even though I am not liking my job (another blog) I am getting more projects. I don’t feel warm and fuzzy. I did apply for a job close to home. I usually don’t like working close to home. Snotty me thinks they are much too insular. You make less money and people think less of you as a woman working. Seriously! All that being said, I am in discussion with an LI company. It would be less than 20 minutes from the house. Ironically, I would have a longer work day. I am slightly optimistic but nervous about showing up with a cane. My argument – I commute and there’s nothing wrong with my brain!

I did get my new spectral leg on Thursday morning and have high hopes. But even though it’s thinner, it looks more permanent. I haven’t really worn it as I am on holiday over 100 miles from home and didn’t want to drive with it untested. I have walked lots. Yesterday over 4 miles, which for me right now is awesome.

Today we went back to Hyde Park and a park ranger suggested to my husband that we could get a wheelchair to use there for free. I thought I was walking ok, not great but alright. After he left I started to cry. Is this what I have come to? Is this how people see me? It’s not how I see me. I don’t want this. We were at Hyde Park and I felt if FDR could be president, persevere with polio, what is going on with me is piddling and surmountable.

Back to staying strong and moving forward, literally one step at a time.