For those of you fortunate enough to have Love in your life...don't take it for granted. Love with all you have in 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

05 January 2010

5 days in and no change from 2009 to 2010

to be honest, i dont even know what to say. i mean, i know i can form the words to tell you what has happened in the first 4 days of what was suppose to be my new year with new hope and resolution. maybe 4 days isnt enough time to judge the remaining 361. but this year isnt turning around from the last, at all really.

first part of this post is about my phone... so if you just want my medical update, scroll down!

thursday i was out with ma getting some groceries, and my phone died. again. same thing that happened last time. just went to a blank screen and would not reboot. since we were already out, ma took me to the sprint tech shop in kalamazoo. most of you know that kzoo is about an hour from my house. but it is also the closest tech shop for sprint phone repairs. also, most of you know that this will be the 5th phone replacement in 11 months. so, i took it in. dropped it off. suppose to go back monday to pick it up. since i didnt have a phone over the weekend, the sprint rep emailed me with this: "We are going to replace your phone, but we do have special instructions that we will need to discuss when you come in." what kind of special instructions? this was odd. but i guess i would just have to wait and see.
well, sunday morning ma wanted to go to kzoo to look for some after christmas sales. so i tagged along, and she took me to the sprint shop. they gave me my replacement phone, but said they dont know why this keeps happening. the first time it happened, it was on the charger, and when i took it off the charger, it powered down and never came back on. the tech said it was entirely NOT my fault. it looked like it was in the middle of an update and froze. i said i was never prompted for an update, and he said it was probably an auto-system update. this time it was sitting in my lap in the car, and when i went to use it, it didnt work. the "special instructions" were that i must have again interrupted an update which caused the phone to freeze. so next time i am prompted for an update, select "no" and bring the phone to the store so they can do the update for me. i told them that i was never ever prompted for an update. i asked "cant you look in your system and see the last time a system update was made on my phone?!" they said no. they dont have access to that. they added that this would be the last phone replacement they would do for me since i have had excessive replacements. i was like whoa whoa whoa! this was not my fault! i did not break my phone! if i did something, i would tell you. but i did NOTHING. i went down the list of the 5 times the phone has had to be replaced and the 4 different things that went wrong with each phone. NONE of them were operator error. it was all tech stuff. i also told them that i had seen 7 different sprint reps in 3 weeks trying to get this fixed and they all said it was nothing i did, and the phone just needed to be replaced, not repaired. so the customer service girl asked if i wanted to talk to a tech. hell yes! she took me to the back to the tech area. there was more than 1 person back there, so i just talked to everyone hoping someone would feel my pain and have a better solution. i said, so, what youre telling me is that you have never seen this happen more than once before, you dont know why it is happening or how, you have no way to search your system for recent updates on my phone, but you are so sure it was my fault, that you are telling me if anything, at all, ever goes wrong with my phone again, you will not replace it?! then they pawned it off on a tech that wasnt there saying maybe i should come back and talk with her the next day. i said yeah, i would come back, but that i would also be speaking with sprint corporate because this is completely miserable. i had asked before about getting a completly different model phone. i said i absolutely love this lg lotus (aside from the fact the camera has no flash), but if it's going to have all these issues, i guess i need something different and more reliable. i was told it's not the phone, they havent seen this many problems with the lotus, and that i am not eligible for an upgrade anyway, so i would have to pay street cost for a different phone. i told them that a rep i spoke to at a different sprint store told me about a "secret department" that i could call and tell my story to and they would give me some crazy upgrade for a phone that was practically filled with rocket science capabilities. i told her i dont need something expensive and fancy, i just want my lotus and i want it to work!
fine fine fine, i gave up the conversation and said i would just take the replacement lotus and deal with any other problems IF they happened. all the while in the back of my mind i was composing my conversation i would have with corporate. so, i get back to the front and the sales girl is replacing the phone. she says maybe this one wont have issues since it is new out of the box. i told her i had new out of the box before. she was like "really? i thought they just repaired before?" i said nooo, i have all the boxes and everything at my house.

-flashback to when i asked a guy if maybe their store had a bad batch of lotus phones or something along those lines and he told me "no. it doesnt work like that. i think you just have bad luck." and i nearly broke down crying in the store. me?! bad luck?! he didnt even know a fraction of how those words hurt me.

anywhom... so, the girl is replacing my phone and a tech comes out to the counter. says that his store manager was back there and heard our conversation and didnt like anything that he heard, so for me not to worry, if anything happens to my phone, they will take care of me. they will not turn me away. they will do anything they can to make this right. they dont want me leaving mad. i told them, i am not mad with each of them as individual people. i am just frustrated with this situation and that no one would be willing to help me further. he said not to worry, i would be taken care of. so that was a relief. then the girl started up my new phone, and forced updates so that they could do them there. they said i should only get them about every 6 months, but when i do, bring it to the store to be done. fine with me. so an hour later, i left with my replacement phone.

i was told before i left that since i now have wireless backup for my contacts, that my contacts should be back on my phone in about 30 minutes. well, 5 hours later they still werent there. so i called the store. they said well, maybe give it about 24 hours, if they still arent there, call back. and wouldnt you know it, about 5 minutes after i got off the phone with the tech, my contacts popped up. hmmm...

but, so far (only 2 days in) it is still working. fingers crossed.

wow. that was long-winded!

okay, now for the medical update.
i have been on medical leave since may 15, 2009. tons of symptoms, no one can figure out what is going on. it has been almost 8 months, i have seen 17 doctors, been given about 20 different prescriptions, tons of tests and trial treatments... nothing is helping. the first neurologist i saw, dr mahmood, was terrible. he slacked on everything. he would be late to the office and my appointments, take cell phone calls during my appointments, i would show up for appointments (over an hour away from my house) and i would be told he didnt come to work and i need to reschedule - but no one called me ahead of time to tell me not to come, he told me i did NOT need an appointment to get test results - that i should call his office in 4 days and they would decide then what to do - i called 29 times in 19 days then finally showed up in person and asked for the office manager and told her my situation and she said that the dr had my test results, but since he didnt sign them before he went on vacation, they could not release the results for me. then when i did get the results, i was scheduled for another appointment that got pushed out twice in 3 months. this is not everything, and i wont list all of his incompetencies, but the final straw for me has been that i have 3 letters in his handwriting that write me off work due to disability, which i submitted to my employers medical leave center, but when the medical leave center sent him paperwork to fill out for my leave, he wrote that he had never taken me off work, and left the remainder of the forms incomplete. when i called his office about this, i was told that my medical records file was misplaced. needless to say, i have been talking with lawyers about him. but right now i dont have the money to do anything about it. so, my medical leave rep sent me a letter that my claim has been denied based what dr mahmood submitted. now i am in the appeals process, without pay, and if i am not able to return to work or get extended disability approved but april 2010, i am "separated" from the company.

two months ago i was referred to a new neurologist at a different hospital. dr jewett. yesterday, january 4th, 8a, was my appointment. they sent me a new patient packet i had to fill out and bring with me. so i did. i got there early. when i told the girl at the desk my name, she said she couldnt find me on the list, but that she was just filling in and the regular girl would be right back. i had a seat. then heard whispering and my name for a few minutes. i was called back to the window. they told me that on november 2 someone from their office rescheduled me for december 14 and i was a no show. what the heck?! nooo way! i was not at all happy, but i tried to stay calm. we'll figure this out. it's a new year and i need a new approach to things. they told me to have a seat while they sort it out. so i did. finally they called me back to a room. the nurse explained that on november 2 someone in their office called and left me a voicemail that my appointment had been changed to december 14. she also said that the dr was booked, so if i could stay, he would see me between patients. i said yes i would stay. but i also told her that i never received a message. i didnt want to start off on the wrong foot (me jumping down their throats) so i tried to keep calm and waited for the dr. he came in, said since he didnt have any file or records for me, he wanted me to tell him what was going on that brought me to him. so i started telling him from the initial onset of pain in april that landed me in the er. i got about 4 sentences in, and he was like "wait wait wait... tell me about such-and-such" so i did. as i would answer his questions about my symptoms, he would be "wait a second, you have this and this at the same time?" and i would say yes. and he would say that is not really possible, it's a mystery. and i would say, well, that is why i am here. this went back and forth with him writing on a blank sheet of paper since he had no file for me. and he would kind of shoot down what i was saying about my symptoms "you cant really have both of those at the same time." or " i've never heard of those 2 symptoms happening together." well, me fucking neither! i was getting frustrated, but i was quite pleased with myself for maintaining a civil attitude. so, he tells me, let's just stop right there and he'll have me put a gown on and he'll do an exam. so, he did the exam. i got re-dressed. and he said that he doesnt think i have anything neurologically wrong going on. he said that he would have to get my file, hopefully in the next couple days, and he would read through everything, but he really thinks i might need to see someone in the vascular field, because he's not sure it's neurological. i said, well, i have seen a vascular dr and that is who sent me to you, the neurologist. so the vascular thinks it is neuro, and the neuro thinks it's vascular. i also told him that the dr i see at the pain clinic thinks that i dont have one OR the other. he thinks maybe i have 2 or 3 different things going on, and other doctors are having a problem diagnosing because they are trying to lump them all together in one diagnosis... when maybe there is more than one. so, i left the office being told that they would not schedule me for another appointment until the dr reads my file and determines if he can possibly do anything for me.

i got out of there without shedding a tear. but as soon as i got in the car, and called my sister, i was bawling. i just dont know what to do. (and her come more tears).

when i got home and looked at my calendar for november 2, i called the nurse i had seen that morning. i told her that now that i have looked at my calendar, i know for sure that my phone was working that day. november 2 i had 2 dr appointments, and i got out of the first one early so i called the next dr to see if i could get in there early. so i know my phone was working, and i did not get a voicemail. i asked " suppose someone did leave a voicemail... is it customary for your office to reschedule an appointment with a voicemail and without ever talking directly to the patient?" she said no, not at all. and she reassured me that they know who this was and it will be taken care of within the office. and she apologized to me for the hundredth time. but that doesnt help me now. i am out a lot of time and pain and suffering already... and as time passes without help, i am worse off.

i called dr mahmood's office and made an appointment. they got me in january 28th, 845a. i told the scheduling girl i just wanted a check up. however, i am going to take all my paperwork in there, and confront him about getting my medical leave denied. i need to get a witness to go with me, and i might to try to borrow a tape recorder from someone so i can record the conversation. the only way i am going to get my retro-pay and keep my job is if this guy corrects what he sent to my employers medical leave center. medical leave rep sent me an outline of contradicting paperwork that dr mahmood sent. the speed bump is that someone within his office told me that portions of my file were lost. how convenient.

i am wicked afraid i am going to keep getting bounced around then next thing i know april will be here and nothing will be better and i will get fired. i have never been fired. and, i have been with this company for 7 years! 7 years! and even though i have been there 7 years, in the 8 months that i have been off, only 3 people (all of whom i knew outside of work) have kept in touch with me to see how i am doing. when i was still working, i used to make posters, and cards and collect money for get well cards and flowers and such for other people. for me, nothing. --now, dont get me wrong. like i said, there have been 3 people that have checked in on me. but they are people that i know outside of work, so i dont really group them in as co-workers. ya know? i just feel like i have been forgotten. and maybe since they dont care enough about me, i shouldnt care enough to want their concerns. i dont know. it just hurts.

i havent received any paycheck since september. 4 months. i have never had a credit card. which i am sure is good in a way, but right now, if i dont have cash, i dont have anything. i have been racking up debt to friends and family by borrowing money. i never borrow money. this is killing me. i am trying like hell to sell my house. i need to get out from under this mortgage. i have been talking with a friend of mine that is in real estate, and i think he is going to get with me next week to try to help me with the house. fingers crossed. i applied for state assistance, which i have never done before, but i have been told i am not eligible. it kills me that i see loser drug addicts feeding their junk lives with government money programs, yet i am a clean, honest, willing-to-work citizen, and i cant get a cent. blargh. i really believe anyone on any sort of government assistance should have to pass drug tests and child support background checks before they are issued driver's license and / or money of any kind. but what do i know?! i have been trying to sell some household stuff. as i am sure some of you have seen posted on my facebook, myspace, and craigslist. i just need something to bring in a bit of cash to float me until... well, i dont know until. until i get my medical leave appeal approved and i can get my paid medical leave i deserve. until i uncover winning lottery numbers. until i am miraculously healed.

okay, i have rambled enough for this morning.
i know that there are people worse off than me, and i do feel guilty as if my woes arent important... but they are. and i am trying all i can to take care of myself. and for me, a lot of the time, that is writing and getting it out. so, dont feel obligated to read what i write. but if you do read it, thank you for taking the time. for giving your time. i appreciate it more than you know.

much love to you and yours.
be well.

ps for those of you that have asked about other behind-the-scenes stuff with me... i'll get to that update later! thanks for caring!

**click to read collage**

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