We have survived the polar freeze here this past week with five days of work called off due to weather. Poor Al ( my dog whose nickname is Alcoholic because he can’t hold his licker) even got three new outfits and a set of snow boots to cope with the -40 degree windshield. He looked pretty hilarious in his multiple layers to go outside to do his duties. He wasn’t to sure about putting on his boots though. We have some pretty funny videos of him learning how to get used to them.
Today was the first day we had work since last Thursday but I had medical tests today to investigate two new lumps in my abdomen. I am praying that the tests results come back soon waiting is never easy. The results will determine what type of treatment I do next. Having cancer is scary at times. This has been one of those times. I never know quite what to say to others while waiting for test results so I usually don’t mention anything until I know something. I have been waiting to have a growth removed from my leg. Surgery is set for March. The pain though is growing exponentially and I am on a cancellation list. We may have to switch specialists in order to get it done sooner.
This week while attempting to juggle things and maintain my nonschedule of shoveling, snowblowing and warming up I completely missed morning meds every morning. That means missing my mood stabilizer and amtidepressant as well as medical meds. Knowing and doing are sometimes two entitely different things. So hopefully one day I will learn not to miss any medications.
As a social worker in the field of mental health for almost thirty years, I have had it drilled into me to leave my issues at the door when I arrive for work each morning. Having mental health issues myself over time has made this a difficult enough thing to work with. But now that I have lymphoma it has become a constant struggle on days that the pain is unrelenting or I just am exhausted or not feeling well. It is so much harder to drop myself at the door and not allow clients into my personal life even though they may eventually see it for themselves if I lose more hair, etc.
I know some of my clients couldn’t handle knowing and some could but I really struggle to say I am okay to them when I haven’t been recently. Ethics can be such a complicated thing. So for now I go on pretending to be okay for their sake.
I’m still waiting on prior auths with my new insurance. It seems like it is taking forever. I just want a status report on the lymphoma and to know where we are heading from here treatment wise. it could change a lot of things quickly.
Hope you all are well.
Probably one of the worst fears as a social worker that I have is that I will find one of my clients dead during a home visit. Over the years, I have lost over 30 clients to suicide, murder, illness, drug or alcohol related issues, etc. This week I had one of these scenarios at work but luckily our worry was unfounded when we later found the client safe in the community.
I do not handle death well. Some may say that I am overly attached to my clients but I do care about them and many of them have lost their natural supports over the years. While I hate when people do safety checks on me I sometimes feel the need to do them to ensure that my clients are safe and okay. What are your thoughts on safety checks?
I think I would rather be safe and sorry for caring too much than letting someone suffer for days because I didn’t act. Thank God that this week the client was safe!
Hope you all have a good day.
Merry Christmas to you or in Swedish, God Jul. Praying that you are all able to spend time with loved ones, whether friends or family and are able to find some blessing in this holiday season.
As this Christmas season is here, I am grateful for so many things but am most grateful for just another day to spend with the people I care about. I’m thankful for one of the most memorable holiday seasons in my life which I was able to share with my significant other and our families and friends. I am grateful for medical doctors who can tell us we’re seriously ill before it becomes terminal. I’m thankful for the small little ways that our friends and family show us that they love us and the medical treatments that prolong the lives of cancer patients no matter how difficult they are.
And though my focus has been on myself and trying to meet my own needs since getting the cancer diagnosis, I hope to be able to return to blogging every day to every other day once I get my energy level back. But plus know, I am choosing gratitude as my outlook. I have so many things to be grateful for. Housing, a job, Al (my dog), my significant other who is amazing, my friends and family, the people I work with, etc. ,and all of you.
What are you most grateful for? Please understand that I may not be able to to post much on my blog until I gain some strength and energy.
I have not felt well since I had bronchitis for six to eight weeks this August and September. I remained exhausted after my lung x-ray cleared and still was fighting a nasty cough that would not go away. My lymph nodes have been swollen since this summer. I sleep as soon as I get done eating dinner. I finally started to push the doctor on why I felt so bad and the answer has been a little overwhelming. It is the reason I have not been blogging. I am looking at a lymphoma diagnosis that appears to be spread throughout my body. I have been in a lot of pain and discomfort especially in the bones Ive broken before. I am not one to complain about pain but this has been intense at times and unlike anything I be ever gone through. I have tests scheduled for tomorrow and next week for an MRI, Bone Scan, and pet scan. Because of all the appointments and such I reduced my work schedule to four days a week. I was having difficulty making it through a complete work week. I now take a day off towards the middle of the week to rest and rejuvenate to finish the week out with.
There is a tumor on my adrenal gland and another on my pituitary gland. It makes for crazy hormone levels.
But one of my strengths is resiliency. I am a fighter. I have managed to tell most people around me and start accepting their help. That’s a tad bit more difficult for me to do.
So bear with me as I go through the next few weeks.
Thank you all so much. I now have over 100 followers on my blog. I couldn’t have done this without you!!!!
You inspire me to keep going and sharing even when things are difficult. I appreciate your feedback and support and kind words of encouragement.
Thanks for helping me making this milestone happen.
I had someone ask me this weekend how I managed to work while dealing with my mood disorder. I calmly explained to them that I basically started working in the mental health field before I graduated from college and was taught to drop yourself and your issues at the door when beginning your work day when I first started out in the field. It was not an easy lesson to learn but now has become so ingrained in my life that I allow it to spill over into my personal life sometimes by not letting my guard down with safe people. I have to work harder at letting my clients know me then worrying about keeping myself put together. I am assumed to be more serious than I am because I struggle to smile due to having been diagnosed with tardive dyskinesia and grimacing when stressed. I have been assumed to be a witch with a capital B at times because of this. It makes me feel pretty bad because it is so far from the truth. I go above and beyond for most all of my clients. So it hurts when I had the TD happen and assumptions made. I would give anything to not have a mood disorder but they run in my family and I was the lucky one to get Bipolar I Disorder. It took forever to get a proper diagnosis with nearly ten years of misdiagnosis occurring before I got my diagnosis and was put on the right meds. During this time I shared very little with my co-workers and family and it took me almost dying from a drug overdose before people knew I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. I do not make it public knowledge but I don’t hide it under a rock either. I suppose one day I will have to retire from the mental health field and do something different for my sanity. I know I have good clinical skills though. When I struggle my paperwork suffers more than anything. I contemplate working in another area of mental health or a different field some days when I am really struggling. I don’t know if it is possible. I would need more schooling to do certain jobs. Some seem overwhelming to even think about. So one day you might hear me say, I am going to do something totally different with my life. You never know…