The Unemployed Grinch Gets Adorables

Dear Audy,

Has it really been almost a month since I twisted my pelvis? Holy guacamole. All in all, it’s been a pretty terrible month.

I feel like somebody mistook my brain for a jigsaw in production, sliced it up and now I am struggling to put the pieces back together properly. The extra medication for my pelvis pain, that, of course, became full back, neck, shoulders and knee pain, has left me more scattered than usual. It’s made it extra difficult to deal with the fact that my employer decided to terminate my employment on December 15th. Yes, after twenty-two months on leave, they decided to terminate me ten days before Christmas. The good news is that I will still be covered by the income protection insurance, however they will need to transfer me to being an independent client, so, of course, they aren’t going to do that over Christmas. I’ll also need paperwork filled in by my doctor, who will be on leave over the holidays, like anyone who can afford to be will be. What that all amounts to is that Caf is very poor right now and that makes the stress of Christmas a bajillion times worse. How frustrating that, at twenty seven years of age, I must ask my parents for money to buy them presents with. It doesn’t matter how many legitimate reasons there are that I am in the position that I am in, needing to ask for money is always humiliating.

There are many reasons that I am upset about being fired, despite the fact that I have not actually been able to work in so long. The first is that I didn’t find any medical treatment that helped me show any improvement until six months ago (the pain rehabilitation). Since then, I am able to walk much further and more frequently, drive in short periods and handle my flares more effectively, even with the extra setbacks. I hoped that with another six months work, I might be well enough to return to work. The second reason that I am upset is that my doctor did not put this on the work form, only on the Centrelink form and so my employer did not have this information. The third reason is that I asked my pain specialist for a letter explaining my condition and was refused. He told me that the employer would have to formally request and pay for that, a system which it seems it is not mandatory that they follow, therefore the only loser is the patient. The fourth and most stressful reason that I am upset is that I am very concerned for my financial future. Had I been able to return to my former position, the company would have accommodated me with a return to work plan. I am concerned that no employer is going to hire somebody who needs to ease into the situation, when there are so many healthy people looking for work. I don’t care that equal opportunity is supposed to exist. Like anything, that’s on paper, equal opportunity exists on paper but in the real world it’s pretty easy to make up a different reason why another candidate is being successful over a disabled one.

I am trying to look forward and there is so much black smog in the way that I have no idea what’s coming up. All I can focus on is trying to get healthy and not hurt myself further, the same as always. The difference is that I was working toward returning to work, now I feel like I am working toward going nowhere. I know that that’s not true, I will find a use for myself, however when pain has returned me to not being able to cook and clean for myself, it’s hard to imagine that I will ever be able to do much of anything. I hate feeling negative, I’m just struggling to find a purpose and to accept my limitations. I’ll get there, sometimes we have to work through emotions and can’t just arrive at the point of acceptance that we know we’re headed to.

I’ve managed to squeeze out this here blog post and I hope to get back to writing the story I started for NaNoWriMo this week. I have spent a little time with old friends, the kind that I don’t need a social mask for and that has helped. It’s nice to have friends that will let me lay on their couch for hours because I am sick of laying on my own, especially after the morning has passed, along with the time during which I make sense. I’ve had to turn down a lot of invitations this month, too much pain and confusion to handle social events, even the relaxed birthday bbq of a fellow painy (which I was very sorry to miss). I am trying not to be upset by needing to take time out to try and deal with my life, I am not winning all the time but at least I am not giving in.

One truly awesome thing has happened that is making coping easier. Two little doggy angels have come into my life and brought a lot of cuddles with them. It’s strange that, not long ago, I told my prince that I thought I should adopt an adult dog because I missed having canine company and thought a puppy might be too much work. My wish came true all on its own and Sam and Lucy both arrived via family and friends, needing a place to stay. They are both adorable, little sweethearts and get along marvellously, considering they haven’t known each other long. It’s fun watching them play, their little tails go nuts!

20091220 Sam & Lucy


They both have a lot to say, so if you’re following me on Twitter, you should probably expect a few updates from them. Yes, they can operate iPhone, it is that good.

Love & Seasons Survival,
Caf

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  • 5 thoughts on “The Unemployed Grinch Gets Adorables

    1. Carly

      Hey there
      Hope you getting better soon.
      The constant pain coupled with your job loss must be so stressful and really disheartening.
      I suggest applying for government jobs?
      Hang in there, I’m sure your family and friends won’t mind if you forgo the presents for this year.
      Carly x

    2. Jen

      Hey hun,
      Ahh i know all about doctors being away and such and needing forms signed. When i was in hospital i asked our mutual doctor for a letter to send to uni (to add to my special consideration forms cos exams etc) and he told me to completly forget about all of that, he didnt want me to go to uni, im in the wrong course etc… ahh it makes me upset and teary just thinking about how mean he was about it. All i was asking for was a letter explaining my problem, same as you. Without it, I (the patient) misses out. I cant even begin to tell you how frustrated it makes me, when the patient becomes the least important person, when it’s them that brought them all together in the first place. Do you know what i mean?
      Anyway im glad Sam and Lucy are keeping you company, it sounds as if you’ve got such a good family and support system around you. Bless those who keep us going.
      xx

    3. Jeanne

      Caf,

      I will need to drop back here to leave a proper comment because this post is so loaded with info but I’m sorry about your pain and the job situation!

      For now, I’m hoping my current blog post can cheer you up!! It’s FRESH Tori Amos video recorded live at SIRIUS satellite studios and there’s more footage coming up (see my post for how to get a free trial of SIRIUS which will enable you to check out the rest of her session there.

      I know how you love Tori. So, I’m hoping this will bring you some cheer!

      Jeanne
      xoxo

    4. Matthew Smith

      One of my friends who’s disabled (a blind quadriplegic, no less) recently acquired a couple of very cute huskies, one of which she is training to be her new guide and service dog (guide dog schools won’t accept her as they only train users in power-chairs, not manual wheelchairs, and she uses the manual chair because otherwise what strength she has in her arms will waste away). A couple of times the last week or so my Twitter buddies have posted pics of really ugly mutts, so I’ve had to show people what a really cute doggy looks like. Here’s my favourite pic of Kim’s cute huskies. The one on the right is the new guide dog, the one in the middle is his bro. (Here’s Kim’s blog.)

    5. Jeanne

      Caf,

      I just sent you a detailed email about how the SIRIUS “free trial” wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

      I am sorry your job got terminated. While I would imagine this sets off anxiety for you, it sounds like right now your focus needs to be on your health. So try not to fall into the downward spiral of worrying about the job situation. I know this is easier said that done. Adding anxiety to the mix will only make matters worse though.

      When my husband got laid off a few years back and I was already too sick to work by then, we had no income coming in for awhile and it got pretty scary. We had so many medical bills (courtesy of moi) that we were in danger of losing our house.

      His type of work doesn’t grow on trees and we needed some money coming in with the bills we had. I tried going back to work (even though by body was screaming at me, “NO!”) and it landed me in the hospital. I repeated this pattern a few times until I realized that my repeatedly landing in the hospital was COSTING us money because all of the money I was making while he was job hunting was paying the EXTRA medical bills we were incurring because I was trying to FORCE my body to go back to work and it was saying, “NO!!” loud and clear.

      You are correct about their being discrimination in workplaces and, yes, many employers will automatically pick a healthy candidate over someone with health challenges.

      HOWEVER, it has been my personal experience and I have witnessed with many chronically ill friends over the years that you wouldn’t really WANT to work for a company that operates that way anyway. You are better off working at a company that respects you as you are and realizes that just because you have health challenges does not mean are aren’t hard-working and talented. (In fact, many chronically ill people I know work that much HARDER to “prove themselves” and to do what they can, while they can to build goodwill for the times when they may need time off to address health issues that don’t conform to the work schedule and such).

      Yes, it may take longer to find such an employer. However, it’s a win-win in the long run because the employer gains an extraordinarily loyal worker (who appreciates the employer’s flexibility). In the meantime, the employee (in this case, you, isn’t always tiptoeing around on eggshells or trying to minimize/hide health problems.

      Everyone wins with this honest approach, I think. So, try not to think too many, “what ifs” or worry yourself sick about the job stuff because it will only make you feel worse, I would guess.

      You are not “going nowhere”… even if it may feel that way. You said yourself that you had made progress before this latest setback. So, that means you can do it again. That’s a reason for hope.

      Struggling to find a purpose and accepting limitations are something that just about every chronically ill patient I know deals with… This is quite normal. You are not alone.

      You are quite right about the need for working through the emotions. It can be scary when you can’t see or even imagine the “end point” but hang in there.

      That’s awesome that you have friends who are cool with you just hanging out on their couch. :)

      Sorry you missed the BBQ but I’m sure they understood you just weren’t up to it. Good for you for knowing your limits and not trying to force yourself to go.

      I’m glad you’re enjoying your new furry friends.

      Take care and I will be thinking about you.

      Here’s wishing you a healthier new year on the way!

      Jeanne

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