The Rheumatologist

Since this journey started almost 8 years ago, I have been looking for a good rheumatologist.  Actually, I did have one.  She was originally my mother’s.   It upset me that I had started down this path.  This was in the early days when I was still looking for a diagnosis.  She tested me for everything.  I tested positive for everything.  Well, Sjogren’s, Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis for starters.  I cried.  She hugged.  She told me I was asymptomatic.  Also, it wasn’t unusual.  She said that one disease could open the door for others.  Not to worry, I wasn’t considered progressive.  Three visits in, she retired  and moved to North Carolina.

Move forward almost a year.  I really thought I  needed a rheumatologist.  I am known for my smile.  Inside my lips started to hurt.  I could no longer smile.  Lipstick hurt.  I am also a makeup kinda woman.  My neurologist told me not to take hot baths, my favorite form of relaxation.  My ability to walk was fading.  I felt everything I loved was disappearing and being diminished for me.  At this time my mother also seemed to be deteriorating.

I went to the “replacement” rheumatologist.  First, he looked like he was 12.  Being a Hopkins (non-premed) graduate, I understand the importance of newly minted doctors.  I also understand that after a certain age everyone looks 12. But… he walked in with a laptop and I kid you not, surfed the Net  with my symptoms.  He gave me 5 possibilities – lupus, menopause, herpes, stress and something I forget.   Left in a hurry.  The symptoms had been easing anyhow.  A couple of days later I found  out my mother was dying – flare-up!  It was stress.

Next,  I contacted a roomie from college.  I said I went to Hopkins.  I went to school with a sh*load of doctors.  I see her every five years or so at homecoming.  She became head of rheumatology at a teaching hospital in NC.  I call her office and leave a message that I’d just like a referral, just a referral.  Still waiting…

Even my neurologist has said for the last few years I need a rheumatologist.  I have a friend who is also host to myriad autoimmune eruptions, disruptions and events.  In December, she looked at my right hand which unbeknownst to me was purple and beyond cold.  She warmed it up and announced you have Raynaud’s.

I am taking my usual happy hot bath one night in winter.  My extremities are always cold and always have been.  I wear socks to bed most of the year.  Over the past few years my feet have been getting worse but they warm right up in the bath.  So, I get into the bath and notice my hands are freezing and they are not white, red or purple but sort of dead looking, an  awful non-color.  I plunge them in the bath and swirl around and nothing.  They do not change! It must have been 5 minutes or more before color came back and they stopped hurting.

Fingers started changing color more frequently, especially my middle left hand finger.  Then at the end of March I stood up at the table with Tom right next to me and did a bizarre collapse and fall.  I really hurt my left pinky.  Tom made me a splint with a meat skewer.IMG_0919  I went in for research study and MRIs.  The doctors were much taken with his work.  My middle and ring finger started to go dead several times a day!  By the time I went to my neurologist, Tom had perfected the splint with a smartphone stylus replacing the skewer.  She says next time I fall like that I need to go to urgent care and uh, you have Raynaud’s.

This brings us to today.  I asked my autoimmune friend for her rheumatologist who also practices alternate medicine.  He is not covered under my health insurance.  No surprise on that one.  But I believe there are certain things you don’t skimp on.  Last year, my neurologist wasn’t covered under my insurance.  This year, she is free!  This guy is several hundred dollars.  He sends me a thorough and complex questionnaire on line.  I literally  complete 28 pages of questions!  I appreciate this as my handwriting has always been awful and lately my hands don’t work well all the time.  We get there today and I have to fill out another sheaf of papers.  They explain their systems don’t always cooperate.  No waiting and the nurse walks me back.  She weighs me and says “You’re tiny!”   High point of the visit.  The last time anyone said that was my other college roommate after not seeing me for 30 years.

I have on the spectral leg and my cane aka walking stick.  Doctor walks in with laptop.  Tom flashes back but then sees he is using it to pull up records and take notes.  He asks questions and asks about blood work.  I don’t have any recent.  I  say I am here because my neurologist and friend say I have Raynaud’s.  He squeezes my hand and says my self-diagnosis is correct.  He doesn’t look at my feet. Nothing.  I need blood work to see if anything else may be going on.  I tell him that one of the reasons I chose him was that I understood he also practiced alternate medicine.  He does and goes into an explanation of auricular medicine.  Tom practically starts to levitate.  We grew up differently.  I have to be near death to take an Advil.  He is one of 5 children and any drug is a good drug.  Herbs are not doing it for him. Doctor says ‘Oh, you don’t like going to doctors?”  That is not my issue.  I go to the neurologist, gynecologist and eye doctor regularly.  I explain about Hopkins and how I saw them in their formative years so, I can be wary.   I get the scrip for the bloods, say goodbye and then doctor asks why I am using a cane?  Cripes, I had to be helped onto the scale. We had discussed the MS diagnosis earlier in my 10 -15 minute visit.

Back to the drawing board,  I need a rheumatologist.

 

November Warrior Check In

How do I feel today

Mixed.  I have been getting good rest.  Down side – I am out of work.  So,  I am not getting paid and there is confrontation in my future.  I am angry which is something that doesn’t agree with me.  However, it is an improvement of the stress that I have been undergoing since August.  I just want definitive closure which I don’t see for the definitive future.  It’s Sunday and I read the Times again!  I am slowly, slowly decompressing and getting back to me.

What did you do for yourself today?

I did my stepper and tried to recalibrate my tracker.  I am reading.  I will probably cook something healthy.  I will play with my tea business.  I calculated everything I have earned for the year so I can sort out my health insurance.

What did I eat today and how did it make me feel – Still thinking about food and making good choices.  I did do chocolate but I am doing so much less of it.  I am looking forward to cooking something from Two Moms  in the raw.

Did I exercise?  What did I do?  How did it feel – Well,  I did the stepper and will do so again.  I have been to the gym twice this week.  Being out of work, I will start going practically everyday as I know from previous experience, it’s the only way I will stay sane and healthy.  It feels good.

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

Ah, I am blessed.  Someone I knew a long time ago said I was one of the few people at school that was authentic and cool and still am.  Kinda validates what I am about.  Grateful that I have the wherewith financial and emotional to weather this storm.

I have an opportunity to focus on getting healthy.

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

Driving force?  Well, I am standing on and committed to principle.  Hope it matters.

How long have I been treated with conventional medicine   I am going to start Biotin this week.Ampyra since April.  Baclufen.  I am seeing more and more about food.  I am thinking about mostly committing through the end of the year.  I should be at home and can couple it with exercise

The first time I had a symptom – June 2004 walking on the beach boardwalk.  This week I walked 11 blocks slowly during rush hour with a cane.  YeaH!

What symptoms are most troublesome  -still hung up on the ugly shoes!  And my hands seem to be weakening.  However, see stress rearing it’s ugly head.

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?

Coming down a bit.  Last month, I was returning to uncertainty.  This month is uncertain in a different way.  I feel calmer all in all.  Not getting up around 4 a.m.  Is HUGE!

What can I do tomorrow to make it better than today?   Exercise, structure and move forward

Until next month.

Style and Grace and holding on to cry at home

I can’t tell you how many times I have said to myself hang on until you can get home and cry.  I was brought up not to cry in front of people, not my family particularly, but certainly the outside.  I have tried to live my life, especially when confronting obstacles and difficult situations, with style and grace.  It’s like a mantra for me.  Big girls don’t cry.  I have said “Style and Grace” every time I have been let go on a job.  I use it all the time, most recently in the situations I have been confronting on my job.  Okay lately,   I also take a bubble bath the night before potentially contentious meetings with Not Soap Radio – Bathing with Sharks.

I am getting tired of all of this.  I am hanging on.

So, I was not supposed to cry.  I didn’t receive my diploma on graduation day.  This was huge.  Additionally,  I never thought I would get married or have a wedding so this was going to be my day.  I was tapped on the shoulder and told I wasn’t graduating as we started the processional.  No one understood why I didn’t have my usual smile.  As we dispersed and I saw my parents, I started to cry.  My mother slapped me and covered my eyes with huge dark glasses.  I was out of work for ages and got a job.  I went in to have lunch with the owner.  He told me I didn’t have one; he had changed his mind.  Yes, here it comes another smack and dark glasses.  My husband was arrested and in jail right after my father died and I couldn’t get him out,  I sobbed on my sister-in-law till I wet her clothes.  Came home and started to sob.  My mother looked at me and said ” I thought I raised a grown up”.  And no, of course I didn’t cry when my parents died.  I gave both eulogies, no tears.  This comes at enormous cost. Yes,  I cry,  I gush rivers, just not publicly.  When I was diagnosed, no tears.  When the first physician’s assistant said “I think you have MS” I sobbed in the parking lot, not in front of her.  Maybe three times since 2008.

I am tired of holding on.

I had a meeting with the other ugly stepsister (work)  three weeks ago.  I thought I was being let go.  Stood outside and repeated Style and Grace, style and grace.  Summoned my grandmother’s spirit.  Walked into the room with my head held high and  SMILED.  Bathing with sharks.

So, this week:

I find out on my birthday that my health insurance company is closing.  Do you know how many years I had to wait to get covered for this drug?  It truly helps me walk longer and better.  If you saw me on the street you wouldn’t think so but it is better.  My new normal.  What happens with new insurance?  Scared.

Next,  I return to work and one of the ugly stepsisters wants a meeting with me to discuss what I do.  This is the woman that I reported to briefly.  I was like coyote ugly trying to chew my leg off when I was working with her.  So, once again we go through  “What do you do, how do you do it?” And  she is going to have someone who uses the word “wordsmith” to write something for me!  I can read the handwriting on the wall.

Husband has had a slip or several so I am back to being tense when I get home.  No real safe haven.

I had an appointment to discuss possible options yesterday.  Between the two meetings I literally couldn’t walk and was collapsing, bent over.

Today, I still felt still weak. Lots of training, walking, meetings.  Ran into guy who brought me back to this place. He’s been trying to save my job.  Calls me into a room so I thought I was finally getting the move and recognition.  NOT!!  My agent who handles my billing is going out of business.  No one else wants to take me on.  Essentially, this means I am out.  What do I do?  Go back to my desk and frigging smile!  Ok so I contact the trifecta- my doctor, lawyer, accountant.  In addition to my smile, I am known as a survivor.  Keep on murmuring style and grace.  My body is channeling all the stress and I lurch to the train.  They change the track and the escalator and elevator are broken.  Nearly fell going upstairs.  I do make it to the car.  My whole plan this afternoon was to get home like a pigeon and cry.  I started to cry close to home on the phone with my husband.  His response?  “Don’t be such a girl”.

No tears but my stress pattern is reverting to two I had years ago.  I used to have pre-fainting – pre hyposyncopia (sp).  I turn grey and my eyeballs roll  up in my head but I don’t faint.  Later years, I got palpitations.  Tonight both.  I know it’s holding the anger and the tears.  Now with this condition it goes through my body.

And tomorrow – style and grace.

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.

September Warrior Check In

I recently took one of those Facebook  quizzes and both my first and middle names mean warrior princess

How do I feel today  –   Mixed.  Recently, there has been a reorganization at work and my medical excuse is not being honored.  So, on the positive side  I slept till nearly 7 a.m. this morning.  And I am not allowed to work from home at all.  Upside, I am getting back in touch with me and what makes me tick and joyous.  Other side:  I am limited.  I am planning a tea with friends next weekend and am dependent on my husband to get things.  I have a wonderful tea set.  It’s upstairs boxed because he doesn’t like it.  It’s too far in the eaves for me to pull it out so I won’t be able to use it.  This frustrates and hurts me.  He is angry and moody today which also brings me down.  I realize this must be hard for him but it is harder for me.  I fell yesterday morning and that is upsetting him.  I am working on something, late as usual, that is pictures of both of us.  I was short some of me as a child and went upstairs to get a few.  It hurts.  I have no children.  My brother and I are estranged.  These photos mean nothing to anyone but me.

What did you do for yourself today?

Well,  I am taking stepson to lunch.  I am going back upstairs to straighten up.  I am planning my tea.  Maybe, just maybe I’ll get to read

What did I eat today and how did it make me feel – I have been moving more and more to eating in a way that will help me.

Did I exercise?  What did I do?  How did it feel – Replaced Fitbit with Jawbone and trying to calibrate it.  Gym is a possibility.  I am looking for a new job so want to be/appear stronger.

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

I have been thinking a lot this month about the stepkids.  I am so blessed.  And I get along with their girlfriends/fiancee.  I asked fiancee to lunch and she thought I was mad at her but accepted anyway.  How cool is that?  It was to give her something for her wedding day.  After a certain point I never thought I would have children in my life.  I guess I do. It’s hard for me to believe they care for me. It’s a great gift.  And one of the reasons I have them is because of my friends.  I have friends who are amazing lifelines to me.  When I first became involved with the boys they were my guiding lights.  I am blessed!

Do I have a higher purpose or driving force in my life?   Make a mission statement –   I still have problems with this one.   I had a minister who once said I had a great capacity for joy.  Let’s go with that one for now.  I do an elves workshop for nieces every year and I tell them it’s about spreading joy.

How long have I been treated with conventional medicine Ampyra since April.  The Ampyra continues to work.

I met a man with a walkaid device and that looks appealing

The first time I had a symptom – June 2004 walking on the beach boardwalk.  Fell twice at home recently but it’s due to stress.

What symptoms are most troublesome  -still hung up on the ugly shoes!  And my hands seem to be weakening.  Same as last month.  Being dependent or limited is driving me wid.

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.  This month thinking about the self sabotage

How is stress level? Very bad.  Work is worse and it’s having a financial impact.  Like Scarlett O’Hara, I’ll think about that tomorrow.

What can I do tomorrow to make it better than today?   Continue to get back in touch with me and what gives me joy.  Organize the clutter

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.

July Warrior Check In

Back for July and late again.  Life has been a little intense lately.

How do I feel today –   Better than I have for the past few days, see previous blog.  I know I will never go back to the way we used to live.  Today is a holiday and the weather is uneven.  This works out as my plan for this weekend is/was to paint the office and catch up on my life.  I blog sometimes on another site and haven’t done so for ages. I am starting a new business and need to get cracking.  I really need to clear the decks.  It was great not getting up early today and not going anywhere.

What did you do for yourself today?     I slept, I am cooking, blogging and cleaning.  It feels peaceful.  I like spending time in my head.  I think I will read trashy novels.

What did I eat today and how did it make me feel – Still cheating with the good stuff.

Did I exercise? What did I do? How did it feel – Thinking about getting on the Wii and playing games, particularly balance ones.

For whom or what are you grateful? What matters most in life?   Grateful for friends. Grateful husband is back on track. Grateful that I can afford to take the time off and for the little things in life that are huge.

Do I have a higher purpose or driving force in my life?   Make a mission statement –   sounds too affected for me.  Working on the Mission statement, something along the lines of do no evil and never ever give up

How long have I been treated with conventional medicine Ampyra since April. I have walked more than I have in years.  The Ampyra continues to work.  I am walking more with less fatigue.  I even handled Grand Central and Penn pre-holiday!

The first time I had a symptom – June 2004 walking on the beach boardwalk.  Think it’s time to add last time -uh this week cramping and off balance

What symptoms are most troublesome – wearing ugly shoes and not being able to really walk.  Problem with the new spectral leg is my foot is too weak to get into the shoe

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.

How is stress level? Stress is still there but I have taken time off and am trying to keep things in perspective

What can I do tomorrow to make it better than today?   Go to the gym!  Continue to do what makes me happy on my day off.

Until next month.

The Kindness of Strangers and Providence

Continuing on my “winning” streak.  Monday morning.  The bus is late and doesn’t pull up to the curb.  I have enormous difficulties climbing on.  The good news is that since it was Monday, I could get on.  I made great time.  I was even able to cross Park Avenue in one go without help.  I haven’t been able to do this in months by myself.  There is a security guard in the building who sees me in the morning on his way into work and helps me cross and get in building.  He always tells me he has my back.  And there’s another guard at MetLife that watches out for me and helped me when it had rained and the floor was like icy glass.  I am so excited crossing that I don’t notice the sidewalk is closed.  I have to pick my way to the building entrance in the street.  There is no cut out and after the bus, I can’t manage the curb.  I ask for help and a young guy ear buds and all lifts me up, then asks if I need help with the building stairs.  People always say New Yorkers are rude but I have never found them so.  Perhaps fast and rushed but always helpful.  And that was even when I was well!

I walked well in the .  My left knee started to twinge as I left the office.  My right leg is the problem.  Breezed through Grand Central,  Times Square,  a little buckling.  Penn, just a little.  I always go down to the platform even when they say not to.  Yesterday, something stopped me. My left knee starts to buckle as I am standing there.  It’s odd.  Track change!  People held the elevator for me and I got on the train.  I sit in a car that is way off where I normally get off.  So, I walk to my stairs.  Not bad.  Top of the bannister is gone.  I need this.  However,  I manage to grab on.  I go down stairs one by one sideways.  I see a group of kids at the foot of stairs, look like clean cut teens. Maybe Eagle Scouts?  Crap!  After all this and knee is twinging like mad, I am going to have to say I don’t want to buy candy, chances, donate, whatever.  I go down two long flights of concrete stairs every night.  I do not want to deal.  I get to the second flight and I am beginning to count and I have to go to the bathroom sooo badly.  I get three or four stairs from the bottom and my left knee collapsed meaning I collapse.  Hanging onto bannister with both hands and can I tell you I have on a beautiful cream lace sheath?  Aside from injury, I don’t want this dress ruined.  Teen boys rush up, catch me, straighten me out and help me down stairs.  Nope, not scouts.  Missionaries!  Yup, even offered me water.  That’s what they are doing, offering cold water.  They “saved” me.  And they were there again tonight!  Kindness is all over the place.

Zombies, Dreams and Other Bumps in the Road

Disclaimer:  Life isn’t always about the disease or the condition.  When this journey started, I said I would not be confined or defined.  Well,  I started to let that happen.  I am fighting my way out of it.  I really dislike fighting.  I don’t like conflict.

Fact about me:  I am an avid, voracious and catholic reader.  However,  I don’t really do the supernatural or horror. Mysteries?  Yes.  Literature – smiles.

Disclosure:  My area of concentration at college was the synchretization of African religious beliefs in the colonial world.  I know, I know what was I thinking.  It is seriously interesting to me .  And that means I studied obeah, santeria, macumba, voudon.  But so not into zombies and if you really look at voodoo that’s not what it’s really about.

About conflict:  Work has been in turmoil for awhile.   I discovered earlier this year that my group head does not believe I am qualified to be a trainer!  It’s my job and I have been doing it with this organization for 15 years   11 years ago this month the training department in North America was disbanded as it was considered an expense not an investment and I was let go.  I was hired as a corporate training manager for a major US retail chain.  6 months later, I was asked back to finish some work.  So I did both jobs.  When the retailer went into bankruptcy, they were thrilled and I started working more hours, lots and lots.  Even now I average over 40 (billable) hours a week, have trained literally hundreds of people and created numerous successful programs.  So d’uh?  When I came back simplistically because of the expense thing they couldn’t call me training.  There are also corporate cultural and political issues so I do not identify there as a trainer because I seriously love what I do and yes, it pays well.  Also,  I work in I.T.  And am not technical.  I am the translator.  For those of you of a certain age,  I am the Mikey likes it of the department – if I understand and can do it, anyone can!  She says I told her I wasn’t a trainer.  Uh,  I made a  comment on 2nd day she was here!  In fact, one year they called me BUST – business user services/ testing!  My immediate manager and my former manager are moving to the other side of the business.  I was told that they didn’t know who my supervisor was going to be or where I would be located.  Unsettling.  And you know stress goes right to my legs and it’s not good.

Ok stage has been set.

Sunday night I dreamt that this woman (group head)  was a zombie!  She was on the ground disabled.  I was there and someone had given me a HUGE cartoon-like Chinese cleaver.  In my real life I have problems literally killing flies.  So,  I am holding this cleaver and there are people standing around me telling me I need to cut her head off.  It’s easy, the cleaver is big enough, it will be a clean cut.  I hesitate but they tell me I need to and can.  I visualize a dressed chicken. At the last minute  I smash her face.  There’s blood all over her face, rivers of it.  Then she starts to get up and I wake up screaming.

In the real world, I don’t talk to her or interact with her.  And I don’t do blood.

Cut to next day,  I go in and get a note from my former manager, there is a training job open.  Oh, I am not an employee. I am freaking and bouncing off the walls.  Tell husband to be ready and get me.  I literally stumble in.

For now, all is good.  It may even work out.  And I am walking really well.  I have had some great meetings and interactions.  It will be alright.  I am beginning to feel like me, the old confident, creative me!

But what did that dream mean?  Why did I have it then?