Well now! This has been a fun week. Not. Two weeks out of the hospital with PE, and I caught the crud. Back to the recliner for me, from Tuesday the 13th until...well, to be honest, its today that I actually feel my old "normal". A FULL WEEK again. Sick...again. Fever, chills, nausea (and some hurling too), bad headache and serious dizzy, and just a general "oh God...I think this is it" feeling.
Friends...I'm almost at the end of my rope with this. And remember....March is coming....with pollen. A lung flare is just a given. but you know what? I feel pretty good today. And its been weeks and weeks and weeks since I could say that. So today, I'm going to enjoy and be glad and grateful and thankful. The sun is glorious, even though its cold as a witches tit in Idaho. Its beautiful outside my big window. Which, I am going to lose pretty soon.
When I left last week sick, before I left Boss #1 called me in his office, and in a most loving, kind, compassionate way, basically told me to "make a plan". Since October 1st, I've used up all my sick leave, all 140 hours of it, and will now have to dip into my annual leave. Which I do NOT want to do because that's the one I get the lump-sum pay-out for. That's what's going to pay off my mortgage and loans so I can afford to go on disability. With disability, I estimate my monthly earnings will decrease by at least 1/4 of what I bring home now, so expenses have to be cut. Our standard of living is going to be a lot tighter. but at least our home will be paid for. We have a roof over out heads. Not a great roof, but a roof none the less. :) God is good.
But still...make a plan. So as I laid in my chair hour after hour day after day sick, I made a plan. The disability retirement paper work is complete, all I have to do now is get my doctors to do their part. Stop! ok, my Rheumy Dr. Eye, is moving offices and will not even be in operation until February. No way in hell am I going to drop those papers off right now. They'll never be seen again. I'll wait and hand deliver them to my next appointment on 7 February. Ok, that's a delay. But, it may be a good delay. I had not planned to take any time off this week for the holidays to save my vacation time to sell. But I really think, and Boss agreed, that I came back too early after the hospital stay, my immune system is so compromised already. So I decided to work a few hours yesterday and a few hours today to clear out some critical work, then I'm off until Monday. So...that's 24 hours of my vacation that, with the doctor delay, I can earn some back before my papers process. I'm just hoping it doesn't take so long that I end up in the March flare and have to be off which cuts into my leave time. but anyway, I can't fret that. I'm only 5 payments away from my mortgage being paid off, so woot woot! on that.
So yeah, I made a plan. When we are all together again after the holidays, Boss #1 is off until after the new year, I'm going to lay out my plan:
The fact that this illness is completely unpredictable (except for the pollen flares, just expect them), I can never say from one day to the next how I will feel. Its the nature of the beast. It just is what it is. Now we throw in the blood clots in the lungs and we have a whole new ball game. Those will take months and months to be absorbed. Because of the RA-Lung already my breathing is not normal, add in the PE and I'm a walking slug. So. Given that the position I hold is a very "Visible" position, it needs to be filled. And any time I'm gone off sick, my desk and phones have to be covered. A little background, I am the personal admin for the chief and asst chief of the Ops Division with one of the largest engineering companies in the world (you would know them immediately if I told you the name, but I have to have some privacy, plus I don't think the bosses would like that). I work among some of the most educated, smart, gifted people you'll ever come across. I am surrounded daily by suites and ties, people who make embarrassing amounts of money, and our company also holds many patents, we have inventors, guys who blow things up and build things, we have many people in the building who have letters after their names, we have people who dig in the dirt. But any way, yeah I have a very visible job. So, my plan is this, go ahead and put my position out on the street and replace me. Bring this person in and let me train them, and shadow me for a few weeks, then find me a closet some where away from people with germs, I'll file, be a time keeper, what ever, and just wait out the time till I am processed out. Our company is so large, I'm told it can take as long as 6 months for the approval to work though our system up to the home office. Since this is a "disability" retirement, and not a "real" retirement (I'm too young for real retirement *wink*), it takes longer, has to be signed off on by many people. So that's the plan.
I've been in this room since 2001. I got this position two months after 9/11. And I came from another office in the building. In total, I have been with this company since right out of high school. I hired on as an entry-level clerk-typist in 1987, they sent me all over the place to train to be a buyer, and eventually that's what I became. I'm one of the few people in this building that has a company credit card. I've worked, pretty much, full time since I was 19 years old. As of this past September, I have 29 years. And that's enough I think. Its a scary leap of faith, to be sure.
So that's "The Plan". I'm about to close a door, and another is going to open. I don't know what's on the other side. Only God does. but He's given me a lot of peace about it. I don't want to stop working yet, but my body (God) has another plan. I'm trusting in Him.
Well, ya'll be sweet, and have a good Christmas!