Since I had posted on my Twitter a promise to expound a bit upon my recent health issues, here goes. Ignore at will, I'm sure some of this will be boring/TMI.
In early January of this year, I was into the doctor's office/hospital for more tumour screening. I had found lumps--yes, multiple--and considering my last tumour grew nearly an inch a month in diameter the last time I was diagnosed, we weren't taking any chances. Well, after a few rounds of testing, prodding, ultrasounds, etc., we realised it wasn't a proper tumour (thank goodness!). It was a pregnancy that was going very wrong.
Some of you may remember me mentioning my last pregnancy -- and some of the trials/tribulations/emergency midwife visits/hemorrhaging. It has left a very... strong hesitation within me to revisit pregnancy, even if the last one was nearly four years ago.
Anyway, this left me with getting mixed messages from my doctors (yes, multiple -- My GP, to the PNs to my former surgeon & ENT). I was worried that the stress I was under from work would lead to complications, if not miscarriage--they told me they didn't think that would happen, they were more worried about my health. But overall, they assured me that things would work out and that I should keep the baby. I let them know I was very against this idea and would rather have some more time to plan a pregnancy properly, and ensure I was in better health BEFORE trying for another--they disagreed.
I gave it a day or so before confirming to my husband we were expecting again. While financially this could ruin us, we were both pretty excited--though I was trying not to get *too* excited. Just in case. (I've lost two other little ones to miscarriage.)
Fast-forward a week (to Sunday of last week), and I start to miscarry. I'd hoped it was a false alarm. By Monday morning, I knew it wasn't. The way my husband's face crumpled when I told him... It broke my heart--but it also made me angry. Angry when I'd already been feeling upset that we hadn't stopped it earlier.
By Tuesday I was in so much pain/so sick that I called my doctor and explained what was happening. They told me to go to the Emergency Room (ER). I was in to the ER for 5+ hours. The nurses left me unattended for 2+ hours, not even coming into the room to check on me. I didn't see a doctor--I didn't even see a doctor during the 5+ hours I was at the hospital. By 1am I was exhausted, racked with pain, and hobbled out of the ER to call a cab to take me home. If I was going to miscarry, I was at least going to do it at home. At least I'd have my husband beside me if it really came down to it. Again, I was upset but I was more angry. I'd told my doctors (when I was originally diagnosed with the pregnancy) I'd been expecting problems, and they had dismissed them. I had gone to the ER to see if there was anything that could be done to ease the pain, and after 5+ hours still received no help. My husband (I had insisted he stay home w/ the kids, since our regular 'babysitters' who may have helped us with the kids overnight were abroad), was almost as angry as I was that I'd been dismissed at the ER. At this time, it really started to feel like things were falling apart and that I had no one to help me/us.
By Friday (just a few days ago), I was worn out (still going in to work every morning), sick, frustrated, and still miscarrying. My temper was frayed and I started to lose my cool at work. I'm normally a fairly quiet person at work, so this shocked a lot of people. I got angry at an advisor who was trying to fraudulently settle a policy and called her on it--my boss yelled at me and had someone else apologise to this fraudulent scheister. This wasn't the worst I've had to deal with at work, but it is constant, and constantly frustrating. Things at work have been awful and I know they contributed to my stress levels (and most likely, to me miscarrying). When I started crying during a call to my support team (who are supposed to help us with finding answers), I knew my day was shot. I hung in until 5pm, then went home.
I was also stuck working evening/late shifts at work nearly all last week -- which was March break for my kids. I barely saw my own children.
So yes, the writing (and nearly all extra-curriculars for me) has stopped since January. Mentally/emotionally, between work & my health, I've not been in a good place. I hate my job and my supervisor in particular. She has been whoring out our team to other departments for over a year now, and because of this my team can't make our 'STIP' (bonus-related) work goals. Or even our regular work targets. I'm beginning to think she's doing this deliberately. Not a single other team has offered to assist us with our workload.
On the 'positive' side, when I got desperate last week, I managed to contact the local abortion clinic. Now, whatever your feelings on abortion are, they are YOURS. I am desperate at this point to just live through the pain I am in. They are the ONLY medical practitioners who have given me any support/assistance since I was diagnosed with this pregnancy-gone-wrong. We're going to see what we can do Thursday (they helped me arrange a surgery to try and end the miscarriage to reduce my risks of further complications). This is not a decision I made lightly--it was a decision I made trying to find a way to get back on my feet again so I can get back to being a good mother to my kids. Try miscarrying for a week where you cramp so much you vomit, and let me know about how chipper you are when your nurses tell you to 'just tough it out, it'll get better soon, it happens to plenty of women'. Fuck that--if there's a way I can get back my life again and reduce/end this suffering, I'm taking it. Do doctors think women actually have supportive work environments?! Don't make me laugh. Women have to work twice as hard as men do to get half the recognition (I see it in my own team), and the minute a woman opens her mouth to criticise or comment on things that are BLATANTLY wrong, she gets labelled as a harpy, a nag, a 'negative/detrimental team player' or complainer. A guy brings it up? "Oh, if he's saying something about it, it must be valid--or at least we'll listen and not mock you for it." *so frustrating*
I have two wonderful kids I love, and I need to take care of them. Not that a third wouldn't be wanted/loved as well, but not right now--too much of my body is at this time failing me physically. It feels like my insides are killing me. The clinic is the only place that has given me practical medical advice as opposed to a bunch of sympathetic noises over the phone or face-to-face platitudes (ER staff, I'm looking at you).
I have booked Thursday off work for the surgery itself, and decided to book Friday off as well for recovery since I really don't know what kind of shape I'm going to be in, mentally/emotionally/physically. And to be perfectly honest, a day to myself without BS is sorely needed at this point.
The only positive points to all this are that:
- I get time away from my shitty job
- I think my supervisor is taking some time off soon, so when I am around, hopefully she won't be
Writing just hasn't been in the cards recently. Reading has, while I've been waiting around in doctor's offices, but I've been so distracted it has barely taken the edge off.
Thankfully, my husband has been a rock and has helped me pick up the slack at home so the kids aren't completely aware of what's been going on. They just know that mummy's been going to see her doctors a lot recently to get checked to make sure things are okay. Because my daughter took it way too hard when I went through my tumour-saga for me to put her through that again if I don't absolutely have to. My son wasn't even a year old -- the less he knows, the better, imho.
I'm sure this comes across as melodramatic and bitter and frustrated -- that's about where I am right now. Even things I used to take so much pleasure in, like learning guitar, have taken a back seat to my exhaustion. I hate feeling like this. I used to be a semi-professional martial artist; I was trained to take my father's place in the secret service; yet everything feels like it holds me back these days. I'm surrounded by idiot supervisors at work and when I ask for help medically, I'm ignored. It's no wonder I fight myself on a daily basis to 'Remain Calm and Carry On'. Even trying to arrange interviews for other potential jobs is a hassle because my supervisor doesn't accommodate our requests for time off (because we're so short staffed and overworked at this time). We sent her our 2013 vacation requests in December 2012 and she STILL hasn't approved any of them. I've had to book my daughter into camps on the *assumption* that I'll have the time off--and my husband is requesting the same time off I have just to make sure we're covered.
At this point I'm trying to move to a different department at work, at least -- though with my health problems, no matter how good I normally am at my job, I can't even help myself there.
I have really really tried to be positive about so many things, but I am very tired these days. I do not want to work for someone else, but I'm not sure what else to do to ensure we have a steady income coming in for the kids. I'm really hoping that once #1
son gets into JK this fall I'll be able to pull back my hours somewhere, or perhaps by the time he is in SK/Grade 1, I can move to part-time. It isn't healthy to live this frustrated all the time.
For now, I'm signing off to try and get through 3 more days of work this week. Apparently our company has been sending out incorrect tax slips/receipts since 2004 to our clients, and that notification goes out this week to advisors/clients. Guess who's responsible for the calls we're expecting? *points at self* And we have no documentation or even a fucking FAQ yet for the call centre. No one has even confirmed the # of clients affected. Oh god this is going to be bad.
Wishing you a much better week than I know I'm going to have -- hang tough. It's a moment in time, as I keep telling myself, and it can't stay this way forever.
It's just not very fun to go through it at the time.