Sunday, April 23, 2017

Super Boss Wasn't So Super

It has been seven months and I have finally broken out of the thrall. Super Boss was a perfectionist control freak whose high standards made himself and whoever worked with him miserable. He quit because his ego could not take being out of control.

How did I figure this out?

1. The huge HR system transition hasn't been the end of the world Super Boss warned about. It is just different. It is certainly isn't anything to quit over.

2. Individuals in the staffing group have no idea what the recruitment process is. It turns out Super Boss basically performed the entire recruiting process rather than train them or hold them accountable. I discovered this when I pushed requisitions or job offers back asking for corrections. I was told "Super Boss always did X".

3. Nu Boss is pretty fed up, has decided to hold people accountable and to stop enabling ignorance. He definitely understands my frustration. Some days I feel like I am taking crazy pills and I wonder to myself, "How does Staffing Jane not know this after working here a decade?" Nu Boss comes into my office, throws his hands up in the air and asks the same question. I told him this week, "This is the department we inherited thanks to Super Boss".

I'm not totally in black and white world. Super Boss helped me a lot professionally and I learned a lot. But this was only his second job post college and he is SO YOUNG.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Lab Coat Sucker

Word of warning, before you go to Beth Israel Deaconess' Spine Clinic, do research on what doctor to see. Last month, I met with a horrible "doctor".  

I have two herniated cervical discs and degeneration in my neck.  I have numb fingers on my left hand, intermittent shooting pain down my arm, and upper back spasms.  If I over do it, I have all three at once and I am completely incapacitated. Sometime the pain cascade sets off my costochondritis. Five months of this crap thanks to being rear ended in November.

The BIDMC "doctor" met with me in March, did not look at a MRI or any of my PCP's reports. She just wrote me a prescription for Neurontin (gabapentin). And wrote a referral to PT. I told her that I had been on a medication that affects GABA before and had a bad reaction. She waved off my concern. I trusted her because she's a doctor and Beth Israel is a great medical center.

It takes two weeks to titrate up to the prescribed 900 mg. In those two weeks, I have had all side effects and no help with my pain. Alarmed, I called the Spine Clinic where a great nurse spoke to me and assured me that side effects are normal and I can fiddle with my dosage.  That made me feel a bit better so I rationalized that maybe feeling dizzy, forgetting words, and slow thinking would be manageable.  So, I waited another week.

That's when I read the "doctor's" appointment notes which includes a whole section that details talking to me about my weight. WHICH NEVER HAPPENED! That was my first clue that my trust has been misplaced.  So, I did more research on Neuronrtin.  Guess what? Lamotrigine - which I had a bad reaction to, is also an anti-epileptic/anti-convulsant! Oh I was pissed...

I asked my physical therapist if he had had patients on Neurontin.  He told me it can be very helpful if the underlying condition is correctly diagnosed. If there isn't a correct diagnosis, it is useless.  So, screw this medication that attacks who I am and my ability to do my job.  Also, screw this quack of a doctor who doesn't listen and lies in her notes.  What a waste of my time and giving me false hope.  I am titrating off now and riding another wave of fabulous side effects.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Elderly Parents - Welcome to Middle Age

A couple weeks ago, my 84 year old father fell in the bathtub.  He was too weak to lift himself up. He lay in the tub for six hours until my mother came home from work.  My mother was not strong enough to lift him so she needed to call 911.  On the up side, he was fully clothed and his blood sugar was not too dangerously low.

I found out about this from texts my brother sent me.  I can't imagine what was going through my dad's head as he lay there for hours.  I'm grateful that this accident had a happy ending. Sadly, it isn't the first accident with my dad. He has fallen, cut and burned himself just living in the old two story colonial my parents live in.

My mom is still working full-time and my dad is retired.  So, they are thinking of renting a one story place close to the city so my dad can live without accidents.  I don't know what their plans are for the house.  I have to say, this is a pretty genius solution and luckily my parents are healthy enough to do their rental search on their own.  Of course, me being me, I have been sending ideas to my mom. Olmsted Place looks nice and it's close to me.  Allendale could be an option if they are looking for a senior community.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Suck it February

February 2017 was not a good month for me.  I found out that I have a couple herniated cervical discs.  I had a MRI because after being rear-ended in November, there was weird nerve and pain stuff happening. Not only do I have a couple herniated discs, it looks like I have degenerative disease in my cervical spine according to my PCP. I was referred to Beth Israel’s Spine Clinic and when I called my mom, I got absolutely no sympathy or support. I was upset about dealing with yet another chronic condition and she told me that that other people are dealing with a lot worse.  I seriously have no idea what I expected but,man, the gap between the parent I need and the parent I have, makes my heart ache.

Totally coincidentally, a week after this diagnosis I came down with something that started with a sore throat and a hacking cough.  Then my entire head filled with mucus and I couldn’t sleep. I was prescribed Augmentin (a cousin of Amoxicillin) and after a couple days, I developed hives. It turns out I have developed an allergy to penicillin in my old age – fabulous! So, I was prescribed Doxycylcine – which I am finishing up today. I am feeling vaguely better. I can breathe out both nostrils and sleep fine now.  The coughing has died down. 3 weeks sick was incredibly depressing and tiring but on the up side, I was able to take a bunch of sick days!

My roomie for my birthday got us tickets to this. We went last week and it was AMAZING! I was smiling and clapping like a lunatic.  I also bought a new mattress with part of my tax refund. It feels amazing compared to my 12 year old Sleepy’s POS.

Work has been pretty good and non-stressful. I haven't worked after 6:00 pm or cried in my office for months. Nu Boss is still a good fit. Someone who I trust and respect plus he has good boundaries. He even has told me that I should not be asked to do certain things so he is taking away a nice chunk of stressful manager-level crap that landed on my shoulders. Baby Analyst is getting along really well with Sparkle Analyst. They are the same age and it is so funny how they crack each other up and take the piss out of each other. It's nice to have this solid group that allows me to take actual sick days.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Group Therapy

Guess what I did last weekend? Me and over 170K of my friends hung out on the Boston Common.  I went with the expectation that maybe I could feel better after carrying this weight in my heart for two months. I definitely felt better afterwards! I had no idea how many people turned out until we tried starting the march - where my section barely moved while we saw far away people marching.  I loved Elizabeth Warren's speech and thought it was a sign that the sun broke through the clouds halfway through. I cried, I laughed, was inspired, and had aching feet/back for hours.

The next day, I signed every petition I could sign, made a list of organizations to donate to, during the week I called various senators regarding issues.  But towards the end of the week, I needed to disconnect from the news because outrage 24/7 is utterly exhausting. You have to admit this has been quite a shitty week for any intelligent moral American.

In addition to the world of politics, I have had to deal with some medical crap. I had a MRI of my neck Tuesday since I've had more spasms, pain, and hand numbness since my November accident. I found out Friday that I have disc disease and degenerative arthritis. I was stunned.  My doctor referred me to a spine clinic.  On the upside, I am not crazy I really do have A Thing.  On the downside, this is something I will need to manage my whole life. That made me incredibly sad because I am already so goddamn tired after two months!  Spine injections sound scary, I've had traction before so that's fine, and medical marijuana sounds right up my alley. My spine clinic appointment is is March. Wish me luck on dealing with another month of pain, spasms, and numbness on my own!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Bipolar Week

My ear infection didn't improve after a week on Amoxicillin but it finally started draining and stopped hurting after I drank this tea:

One of my co-workers who has been suffering through a cold as well, gave me a couple packets.  I call this "Magic Ginger Tea". But practically, I believe that my eustachian tubes were inflamed/blocked and ginger is a natural ant-inflammatory.

I developed a rash at the end of my Amoxicillin dose so I asked my mother if she remembers me getting a rash as a kid. She told me that she thought I am allergic to penicillin. Firstly, complete news to me! Secondly, this is my mom to a T. Keeper of information but not actual caring/application. Fuck...

Eager Beaver Analyst is leaving. He was given an offer he could not refuse from his former employer to woo him back.  I was stunned and sad. Him and I have been working together a lot and I started thinking he could be with us for a long time. He also is really similar to Super Boss with his approach to problem solving and sense of humor.  Damn it, he worked his way into my trust circle and now buh bye... I had a lot of emotions that I handled in my office then I had a good talk with Nu Boss.  He definitely helped and we figured out ways he can provide ongoing help - like finally taking over manager tasks I have been doing for months.

So, I have been frank about my father's "parenting" and the years of therapy I have gone through to try to recover. I have worked through a bunch of stuff but his shitty parenting reared its ugly head this week.  It all started with an empty cardboard box. I thought it was a rule that to dispose of a box, you have to flatten it. I thought this because I was beaten and punished when I did not do that growing up.  Guess what?  The "rule" I believed for forty goddamn years isn't a rule. That shook me to my core because I had absorbed this crazy bullshit rule and rationalized my abuse so completely, I was unaware of it.  I have been able to learn to tell myself that I didn't deserve a lot. My room-mate was a champ listening to me cry and work through this. She also told me some stories from her friends who learned just as effed up lessons from their horrible parents.

I took the SHRM-CP exam the morning of Friday the 13th. I was incredibly nervous and did not feel prepared. I didn't feel like I committed enough effort to studying.  This is how I felt before I sat before the testing computer.  Once I started going through the questions, everything was so familiar and my nerves disappeared.  It took me about 2.5 hours but I PASSED!!! As part of my studying, I took the SHRM Learning System online practice tests over and over. That is the key to my success - having a familiarity with how testing would feel/look.  That comfort level helped me call up all the information I had absorbed.  I was so happy, relieved, and exhausted afterwards. And I had so many people to text!  That is a wonderful feeling - having great people in my corner.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Shitty Month

I'm home sick today with an ear infection.  Yes, I am a forty year old with an ear infection - you read correctly. I am also using this time home to do further studying for my SHRM-CP exam this Saturday. Waves of panic and fear of failure have been a struggle recently.  It seems like every person in my class who took the exam earlier has passed so of course I am dreading that I'll be the one person who fails.

Work has been tough due to a major HRIS transition with no project management and some interpersonal issues with the staffing team.  The staffing team did not like me asking them to correct things themselves and I got two days in a row of "But Super Boss always corrected these."  Yes, he did but it's your job and he has been gone for FOUR MONTHS!  Nu Boss is still very supportive. He and I have major gripe sessions asking incredulously, "I can't believe..." or "Why can't they..." While the other repeats defeatedly, "I know, I know..."

My ear isn't the only health issue I have been dealing with recently.  The pain from being rear-ended last month has come back with muscle spasms and nerve pain. I was able to last watching most of "Rogue One" pain-free but it hit towards the end, I was barely able to move, and in tears after the movie. I'm getting an MRI of my cervical spine.

My room-mate was away visiting her sister during the holidays.  My brother stayed with me for a couple days.  It was nice to have him around to help me with stuff my back pain made difficult for me. The holidays in my family usually go like this - my mom gets all the presents and wraps them killing herself while my father basically checks out reading the newspaper in his chair barely interacting with anyone, never lifting a finger.  My brother and I help cook the holiday dinner.

This year at the big family holiday gathering, it hit me emotionally that I will never have children. So, I got sad and left early.  I always wanted to be a mother and love children.  Seeing cousins who I used to babysit with their own babies was hard.  I'm not part of a special club and never will be. I am usually okay with that but this holiday season, I wasn't.

I hope 2017 will be a less painful, healthier year so I am resupply my coping mechanisms!