I’m awake since I feel a bit sick right now. Nausea has become a fairly common occurrence during my days now, likely from all the salt tablets I’m ingesting…and all the food I’m not ingesting. I really don’t care, either.
I haven’t done one of these in awhile. My last one was in December, I believe. Even in two short months, my life has changed a great deal. Not for the better, unfortunately. And since I’m having some painsomnia along with my general refusal to sleep at night for the most part anymore, I guess I may as well talk about it to some more sympathetic ears than I’ve been getting the past few days.
I lost my job last week. I understand why, but that doesn’t make it any easier to bear. My FMLA ran out last June, after which point my job was unprotected; they could have gotten rid of me then. Instead, they gave me as much time as they could for me to get well enough to return to work, which I failed to do twice, once in October, and again in January, when I was diagnosed with POTS. (Here’s a bit of what a day in my life looks like now thanks to POTS, except I pretty much stay in bed now.)
But anyway, now it’s prime recruiting season at the hospital and I’m not naive enough to think they would keep me any longer. They’d rather replace me with a new residency graduate who has some clinical knowledge, but has absolutely no idea how to actually be a pharmacist.
Although I don’t feel quite as bad sometimes when I think about what a literal revolving door my specific tiny department within an enormous department is. And it is a tiny department, with something like a dozen pharmacists total for a 24/7 operation. But since 2010, the year I started working there, I’m 99% certain, if my list is correct, that I am the 20th pharmacist to leave. In seven years.
Yet my emotions are still very raw. I keep crying periodically. Ok fine, I cry a lot. I want to scream and throw things and then go to bed and never wake up. I’m back in what I call my depression hole; I have periods where I just won’t talk and will only communicate via head movements or shrugs because I feel if I open my mouth to speak, I’ll fall apart. I took the picture on the right immediately after I found out so I’ll always remember how much it hurt.
So now the big question is, what do I do with myself now? Honestly, if I ever get well, I don’t know that I have the intention of reapplying in the future or to ever practice pharmacy again. What a waste of six years of education. I was never a good pharmacist in my opinion anyway.
But David and I had a heart to heart Friday night between us and God. We came to the conclusion that I’m basically going to start my life all over again. I’ve been through so much in the past year (or even really the past four years starting with my celiac disease diagnosis, then the endometriosis…) Between all my diagnoses, my surgeries, trying to get better on a deadline when my body wasn’t ready, being stressed out by that, getting worse, and so on, it’s finally time to take my foot off the accelerator. I’m setting intentional goals that I (hope) I am capable of and can work towards.
Not thinking about work or a return date or ever going back there ever again.
Do my cardiac rehab to the best of my ability in an effort to improve my POTS, and therefore my quality of life.
Do things I want to do that will make me happy.
Studying the Word
Listening to music
Take baby steps towards normalizing my life.
David will encourage me and I will encourage him.
Focus a bit on getting the house cleaned up.
So, really, living my life the way I want to, with as little stress as possible to maybe help promote faster healing. No deadlines.
A new me.
I started life over again in 2004 when I started pharmacy school, leaving behind my old life of dance and musical theater.
I started life over again in 2010 when I graduated from pharmacy school, got married, moved, passed my boards, and started my career.
And I’m starting my life over again in 2017 when my health is in shambles and my pharmacy career is over.
We’ll see where the road takes me. But after all I’ve been through, I can only hope it’ll be to a happier place.
I found this fun-looking and thought-provoking tag over at bluchickenninja (you should totally check out her blog) and decided to tag myself! Anything to distract me from the daily grind of my myriad of chronic illnesses.
1. Which book has been on your shelves the longest?
Audition by Michael Shurtleff. It was gifted to me by my high school musical theater director when I graduated in 2004. She was devastated that I decided not to go into theater, but gave me the book in case I ever wanted to.
On the inside, she wrote, “Laura- this book is a jewel- my theatre ‘Bible.’ I know you’ll love it…and I know you’ll always find a way to be onstage…it’s in you and you’re too good not to. I’ll always believe in you! Love, Ran”
2. What is your current read, your last read and the book you’ll read next?
I have two current reads: Ravensbruck by Sarah Helm and The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick. My last read was When God Doesn’t Fix It by Laura Story. And what will I read next? Hmm…probably The Radleys by Matt Haig.
3. What book(s) did everyone like and you hated?
Ok, I know not everyone liked these, but far too many people did and it irks me. That would be the disaster known as the Twilight series. I can’t stand Bella and how she completely shuts down when Edward leaves and how she is completely reliant on him for pretty much everything. What a pathetic reaction, and not a representation of a real, healthy relationship, yet the author has convinced millions of teenage girls that that’s how love is and what every teenage girl should strive for. And Edward is just a little bratty jerk anyway.
4. Which book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I attempted to read it while I was doing the show when I was 16, but I didn’t get very far through “the brick” before I gave up.
5. Which book are you saving for “retirement”?
Probably Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. The movie is one of my favorites of all time, so I tried to read the book when I was 12 or 13 and just couldn’t get into it.
6. Last page: read it first or wait till the end?
Wait until the end! If I accidentally end up reading the last page (like if I’m checking to see how many pages the book has), I get very sad, because then why bother to keep reading if you know how it ends?
7. Acknowledgements: waste of ink and paper or interesting aside?
Kind of both. I always skim them to see if anything interesting catches my eye.
8. Which book character would you switch places with?
A Hogwarts student, most likely a Ravenclaw, since that’s the house I always seem to be sorted into.
9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life?
One Million Lovely Letters by Jodi Ann Bickley. This is an absolutely beautiful book, “The inspiring true story of a young woman who survived a life-threatening illness and sends uplifting letters all around the world- a lifeline in her own darkest moments.” I read this book in February 2016 when I was beginning down a path of chronic illness that, four diagnoses later, shows no signs of slowing down in the diagnosis department. I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, a hernia, an aneurysm, and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) and I may also have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS). My life is far from a picnic, but this book reminds me of when it all began a year ago. Ok, now I want to read it again. Add it to my list!
10. Name a book you acquired in some interesting way.
See answer to number 13.
11. Have you ever given away a book for a special reason to a special person?
No, but I remember I loaned a book to my ex-boyfriend from high school and I never got it back.
12. Which book has been with you to the most places?
Probably Eyes Wide Open by Ted Dekker. I carried it back and forth in my work bag for ages, hoping to have some down time to read it. I brought it with me on our hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, where we stayed at Phantom Ranch. I think I brought it with me on our trip to the U.K. And I believe I ended up finishing it during a slow night shift at work about a year after I’d started it.
13. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?
Walden by Henry David Thoreau. Our English teacher was obsessed with Thoreau and it was the hardest unit to get through because he expected us to understand fully what we were reading and produce stellar essays from it. But since it was the first unit we did at the start of the school year (to show us what was expected of Advanced Placement English students), our class really bonded with each other and our teacher. When he was forced to retire at the end of the school year due to stupid politics, he knew no teacher after him would ever attempt to teach Thoreau, so he let us steal have the school’s copies of the books so they wouldn’t be thrown out. I still have my copy and treasure it.
14. What is the strangest item you’ve ever found in a book?
I don’t think I’ve ever found anything strange in a book, except maybe the name of the previous owner.
15. Used or brand new?
It depends on the condition. I adore used paperbacks, but prefer hardcovers to be brand new.
16. Have you ever read a Dan Brown?
No, and I really don’t intend to.
17. Have you ever seen a movie you liked better than the book?
The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Don’t get me wrong, Tolkien was a one-of-a-kind writer. His books are beautiful. But seeing the characters come to life in such a beautiful way is just breathtaking.
18. A book that NEVER should have been published.
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. Because really, who attempts suicide by sledding into a tree?
19. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks being excluded from this question?
Reading The Plum Tree by Ellen Marie Wiseman made me crave schnitzel and spaetzle because the book takes place in Germany during World War Two.
20. Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?
I love fun stuff like this. It’s distracting me from the hell hole that is my life lately. Thanks Dangerously Normal Spoonie for the idea!
1. What’s your favorite candle scent? North Pole from Yankee Candle.
2. What female celebrity do you wish was your sister? Emma Watson
3. What male celebrity do you wish was your brother? Tom Hiddleston (seriously, he’s only four years older than me.)
4. How old do you think you’ll be when you get married? I was 24 when I got married, which is about how old I expected I would be.
5. Do you know a hoarder? Not as bad as on the show, but my husband is definitely a hoarder.
6. Can you do a split? Yes. I’ll have you know I haven’t stretched in two years and didn’t before taking these pictures just now.
7. How old were you when you learned how to ride a bike? I think about five?
8. How many oceans have you swam in? Umm…Atlantic, Caribbean, Mediterranean, and Adriatic. So four.
9. How many countries have you been to? I think eight…(excluding the U.S.) Canada, Honduras, France, Italy, Monaco, (is Monaco its own country?) Germany, United Kingdom (including England, Wales, and Northern Ireland), Republic of Ireland.
10. Is anyone in your family in the army? Nope.
11. What would you name your daughter if you had one? Alexis Ruth
12. What would you name your son if you had one? Jacob Daniel
13. What’s the worst grade you got on a test? F. Very, very F. (In the apt words of one of my uncle’s college professors, “Oh, you don’t get F, you get F minus!”)
14. What was your favorite TV show when you were a child? Adventures in Wonderland and Saved by the Bell
15. What did you dress up as on Halloween when you were eight? That would have been second grade…a black cat.
16. Have you read any of the Harry Potter, Hunger Games or Twilight series? Yes. I loved and need to reread Harry Potter. I need to finish Hunger Games (only finished the first book). And I need to set fire to Twilight.
17. Would you rather have an American accent or a British accent? British. It’s in my royal heritage, you know.
18. Did your mother go to college? Yes.
19. Are your grandparents still married? They’re dead.
20. Have you ever taken karate lessons? No
21. Do you know who Kermit the frog is? Of course. If you don’t, I don’t want to imagine how tragic your childhood was.
22. What’s the first amusement park you’ve been to? Seabreeze! (Twelfth oldest operating amusement park in the world, fourth oldest in the U.S.)
23. What language, besides your native language, would you like to be fluent in? Spanish
24. Do you spell the color as grey or gray? Gray
25. Is your father bald? Getting there.
26. Do you know triplets? Not personally.
27. Do you prefer Titanic or The Notebook? Neither, although if I had to pick one, The Notebook.
28. Have you ever had Indian food? Who hasn’t?
29. What’s the name of your favorite restaurant? Revolution Pizza (best gluten free pizza anywhere!)
30. Have you ever been to Olive Garden? Too many times.
31. Do you belong to any warehouse stores (Costco, BJ’s, etc.)?Sam’s Club
32. What would your parents have named you if you were the opposite gender? Kevin Charles
33. If you have a nickname, what is it? Bootie
34. Who’s your favorite person in the world? My hubby, David.
35. Would you rather live in a rural area or in the suburbs? Suburbs.
36. Can you whistle? Eh, not really.
37. Do you sleep with a nightlight? We have one over by the bathroom door that we put there while I was recovering from knee surgery so if I needed to crutch to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I could see where I was going. We just never got rid of it. But it’s pretty much hidden by a dresser, so you can’t see it until you’re right in front of the bathroom door.
38. Do you eat breakfast every morning? Nope. Stopped doing that when I was 12.
39. Do you take any pills or medication daily? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Yes. Ends up being about 30 pills daily.
40. What medical conditions do you have? Sigh…Endometriosis, adenomyosis, celiac disease, infertility, major depressive disorder, anxiety, episodic migraines, hypothyroidism, pituitary tumor (prolactinoma) that was surgically removed and had better not come back, left internal carotid artery aneurysm, dysautonomia, orthostatic intolerance, moderate hypovolemia (I don’t have enough blood, but I’m not anemic), and “very severe” venous pooling, both of which indicate POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome). And I might have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome; I have an appointment with a geneticist in a few weeks.
41. How many times have you been to the hospital? I work at one and trained in many, so I’m going to assume this question means as a patient. So then…15, to the best of my knowledge, including emergency room visits, admissions, and procedures or surgeries. That excludes appointments.
42. Have you ever seen Finding Nemo? What person in their 30s hasn’t!?
43. Where do you buy your jeans? New York and Company
44. What’s the last compliment you got? A comment from a lovely reader on my blog: “Thank you so much for such an informative post on brain fog. I know I get it a lot and it drives me bonkers. Reading your experience makes me feel less alone!”
45. Do you usually remember your dreams in the morning? Most of the time.
46. What flavor tea do you enjoy? Lady Gray and English Breakfast.
47. How many pairs of shoes do you currently own? Too many. I only wear about seven of them.
48. What religion will you raise your children to practice? Jesus is my Savior, not my religion.
49. How old were you when you found out that Santa wasn’t real? I think I was about 7 or 8.
50. Why do you have a Tumblr? I don’t. I just copied this list from someone else!