For those of you fortunate enough to have Love in your life...don't take it for granted. Love with all you have in you...like each day is the last. Always leave your partner with loving words and a kiss...and greet each other the same way. Cuddle as you fall to sleep...even if you stray in the night. Set your alarm 5 minutes early so that you can cozy up before starting your day. Sit on the same side of the booth in restaurants. Hide love notes for the other to find. Smile at each other. Hold Hands. Hug. Kiss. Touch...even if it's just hands passing in the hall or your foot to his foot in the middle of the night as you reposition in your sleep. It's the little things that mean the most. Whisper goodnight, sweet dreams and kiss him even if he's already sleeping. For those of you fortunate enough to have Love in your life...don't take it for granted. ~Angela Pearl
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12 October 2009

a day in the life of medical leave

my pain psychologist keeps asking me, "what do you do to relax?" and i reply to him, "well, nothing right now. because most of what i enjoy doing to relax i cant do with the pain in my hands and arms." drawing, painting, writing, artwork in general. he suggests that i write, since i fill our 1 hour sessions to the last second. but i tell him that i cant hand-write too much because of the pain. and just filling out all this medical leave paperwork is sometimes more than i can take. i type more comfortably... but still can only do it for short periods of time. which is why it has taken me a while between posts... because 1) i type until my hand hurts, then have to stop. 2) i end up re-re-reading everything because it sounds choppy with my here-and-there writing.

anywhom.

for those of you (and my pain psych) that keep asking, "what are you doing while you are off?" ... well, nothing. to be honest. nothing, really, at all. which i think is why my depression takes over quite often. i'm in a lot of pain that increases with movement and pressure. the more i use my hand / arm / shoulder, the more it hurts. even just sitting back in a chair that puts pressure on my shoulder blade or neck. laying down is a mess. i cant lay on my back or sides without pain on the pressure points... but i cant lay on my tummy very well either because i still have to crank my neck to the side on the pillow which pulls that nerve from my neck to my head. additionally, i have a lot of weakness in my right arm and hand, which makes even simple things difficult - even if i could work thru the pain. granted, i am doing my physical and occupational therapy along with the iv infusions and injections, but those leave me drained. i have difficulty sleeping for reasons my doctors and i cant figure out. one is pain, yes. but dr has tried me on some sleeping meds that are suppose to help with that, but they dont seem to help at all. i feel no difference when i take them. and i -d e s p i s e- taking medication. blargh. but, i do what the doctors tell me to do. they still do not have a diagnosis for me. the main dr i am seeing thinks that my previous drs couldnt figure it out because they were trying to lump all of my symptoms into one diagnosis. this dr thinks that i may have 2 or 3 different things going on. so he is doing pain treatments to see if he gets rid of one pain, what is still there and what might be causing it? ya know? he said these treatments could take about 4 sessions before i notice a difference. thing is, one can only be done once every 3 weeks and the other one is every 4 weeks. so that is why this seems to be taking forever. i am on my 2nd round of each treatment. last thursday i had the direct injections which totally suck! this thursday i will have the iv infusion. less painful procedure, but it makes me sick for about 3 days after.

so, i just sit here at my house. do a load of laundry once in a while. put the doggies outside for a bit. watch movies. look around online. read, when my head allows me to focus for a while. listen to music. eat. sit on my couch and stare at my doggies and think way tooo much about how the hell is this ever going to get better? i'm not driving right now, and even if i were it wouldnt matter because my jeep is broken. i am 100% broke financially, so i dont go out.

thats another thing that bothers me. i dread even going to the grocery store. my roommie usually takes me to my dr appointments or grocery shopping... etc. well, i tend to get weird looks from people i know from work that havent seen me in a while. i keep saying that i wish my skin would turn a different color so you could see where the pain is and that it *does* exist. ya know? i was so happy when i found this dr and he was doing my exam and he and 2 other drs in his office told me they could actually physically feel the damage in my arm / shoulder / neck. that may sound weird, but it was such a relief just to have someone say, "yes, i can feel that, too. i believe your pain."

all of this came just when i thought i was getting things in order. i was 2 weeks shy of starting a new job within the same company. a job that i believe would have been just what i needed and had been looking for. hours i wanted, new group of people to work with, less-stress job... i was really looking forward to it. i went on medical leave just 2 weeks before i could start my training, and havent been able to go back since. now, i am told, they are back-filling my job. so when i return to work, i will not have the job i was awarded before i left. i wont have *any* specific job. i will have to apply to whatever jobs are open, and i will still have to interview and be awarded another position.

most of you know that i have been planning to move, well, forever. my sis and her kids are now moving out of my house and i will hopefully be able to sell it quickly. otherwise, i have no income to pay for my house... or anything else for that matter. i have never had a credit card, foreclosure, bankruptcy, etc. now i fear my credit is going to be ruined. i dont need my credit taking a dive just as i get ready to move and will need to be filling out credit applications and all that jazz for a new place. ya know? i realize that everyone is having a hard time... in so many ways... but i'm the one that always has a way out. i take care of myself and everyone else. now i cant even take care of myself. i've never been in this situation before. if i need money, i work for it. i've had 3 jobs at once before. i am not afraid of work. now i cant do even one job. i always have a plan, or idea how to get to the next point. now, i cant see any good ending to this. i just cant find one, no matter how hard i look. "everything happens for a reason" isnt cutting it anymore for me. what possible reason could there be for all the bad things myself and / or my loved ones are going through? we are good people. why do bad things happen to good people? i dont understand. maybe i never will. i suppose until i am on the other side of this whole thing, i wont know the answer to that. maybe i'll never know.

well, i'm sure this post is just a mush of jumbled up depressing thoughts from a girl that feels trapped and hopelessly broken. no, i am not looking for pity. i do know that things will have to get better because, really, how can they keep getting worse? i know some of you think i am a downer... but really, i'm not always like this. i dont want to come off like "woe is me"... i just need to vent. and this is how i do it. i'll post this and send it to oblivion and no one needs to reply... but getting it out does help a little. and if you ever want to vent to me, please know that i am always here for all of you, as well.

i love you all oodles and bunches.
be well.
~angela

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