Thursday, January 12, 2012

wild and wacky day

Okay, so lets recount the past 24 hours shall we?

When we last spoke I was whining about the unprofessional, vibrating office. Since that time many things have happened.

BigD had his final doc appointment before being cut loose to return to life as previously scheduled. All went well and he is allowed to return to work though he has decided that another two weeks at home would be nice (just shoot me now) so he won't actually be unglued to me until the end of the month.

Before heading to his appointment I printed out my updated resumé and instead of faxing it to the office that is looking I decided to drop it off in person. They know me, but just in case they needed a facial recognition I wanted to have that going for me.

My quick in and out drop off turned into an hour long interview with three supervising staff members culminating with a job offer. The ad for the position hasn't hit the papers yet. It begins tomorrow. Yes, I know, I should have bought a lottery ticket on my way home.

The job was actually more full time than part-time so I initially turned it down, but we continued talking and they decided to fill it with two 25 hour people instead of one 40 hour person. Me being one of the 25 hour people. J.ob-sharing is a wonderful thing. We agreed on a salary, they offer free o.ptical and d.ental even for part-timers, there is a very generous u.niform allowance, 401.k, profit sharing....and the list goes on and on.

So lesson #1---if you aren't happy with where you are do something about it. Speak up. If you don't try, you will never know.

Then I called the doc I am leaving. I figured I owed it to him to explain why I was leaving and that it wasn't his fault. We talked a very loooooong time and he understands completely and said he has been trying to have changes made but his suggestions and requests are falling on deaf ears. So, like I said, sadly he is stuck.

I then called and left a message for the manager to call me back so I could tell her I wouldn't be there today (because of sickness, not because of the fact that I am quitting) and she never got the message. Ah yes. Another typical drop the ball event in that office. If I were a patient there, I would go screaming into the night. I guarantee you, someone will be misdiagnosed or a diagnosis will be missed because of the lack of follow through. Glad I won't be there to witness it.

So, she called me this morning and APOLOGIZED to me for the work conditions at the office. Doc had told her that he and I had talked so she already knew. It was nice I didn't have to tell her because I probably would have over-shared my review of the practice. This way, I could leave quietly, no fanfare, and a touch of class.

The invisible weight has been lifted from my shoulders but all the stress of the past several weeks has caught up with me and I feel like crap. I am off to find a cure for what ails me.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

dilldough and other office talk

Yes, I know it isn't really spelled that way but if I put in the correct spelling I would get too many goog hits from sexually frustrated people.

The title actually reflects the first conversation that the office staff discussed my first day at the new job. No shit. The office is so small you can't even whisper without patients hearing and these girls are discussing their vibration devices like they were discussing mocha vs vanilla latté. There are five of us in an area suited for two. Chairs can't be slid back enough to get up without hitting the person behind you.

Yesterday the manager was on the phone YELLING at her boss with the window open and an overflow of patients in the waiting room. I made eye contact with the doc and he and I were both slackjawed during the fifteen minute phone argument. He is disgusted. I am disgusted. He is stuck. I am not. When I was just about at my breaking point (sanity wise.....I actually like the job but the drama is unbelievable) doc said to me with a glaze in his eye that he made a huge mistake joining this group. He is an employee just like me. But, I have the ability to move on and he is screwed. There are too many reasons to list here why he can't go backwards, but he can't. The ink is dry on his employee status----and they are treating him like one as well. Meetings are being held and he is not "invited" as it is a partner meeting. It has to be humiliating for him after having a successful practice for 30 years. He took some very bad advice from someone he shouldn't have listened to and joined this mega-group. As of this point, there have been no advantages for him. I take that back. No instead of being on call every other weekend, it is every third. He sold his soul to the devil for an extra weekend. He really should have done more research before making the leap. If nothing else, this is a perfect example of letting someone else make a big decision for you.

Since we are the "new guys" so to speak at the office we need to adapt to the way things are done there, which is fine, I go with the flow---except that pulling out shaped chocolate at the front desk and eating it lovingly in full view of patients is beyond my comprehension of a professional work environment.

In two days I have found out which vi.brators are the 'best'; which bars in the area have the best beer/and guys to pickup (this advice came from one of the girls that I found out yesterday is married) and apparently it is okay to yell shit when the person next to you is on the phone with a patient. I happened to be the one on the phone, not the one saying shit, just to clarify. Though there have been many moments I would have liked to yell it too.

I was telling a friend who works in a sane office how ridiculous this place is and yesterday she left me a voicemail that she mentioned to her manager my situation and the manager told her to call me and have me get my resumé to her today. They know me so I have a shot at actually being offered a position. If my charming nature and the fact that I am willing to plead on bended knee do me any good, I may be posting soon about another new job. If not, I will post the name of the best vi.brator according to the current staff.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

doctor visit

Needless to say this entire weekend sucked for me. Unfortunately since BigD caught me crying he turned into a ridiculous annoying mess himself. I know so many women that would kill for a man fawning over you, staring at you, talking to you while you sleep, grab you and pull you in for a hug because you simply manage to walk out of the bathroom, tell you he loves you 80 fucking gazillion times in three days, but....for ME, while it is all very sweet, it is also terribly irritating.

The moment I would finally be focused on something other than my potential cancer diagnosis, he would be looking at me with his moist eyes and it would throw me right back into my own terror mode. I had to ask him over and over to PLEASE quit asking me "how are you". The odd part is that for the first half of our marriage he was very non-demonstrative and actually rather unsupportive of me. My job was never as important as his, the house was never quite clean enough, the infertility was 'my' problem and I needed to 'get over it' etc. You get the point. But, in the past few years he has found his feminine side and has been discussing feelings and has told me that he really realizes that I did an amazing job raising our children...etc. Yep, real honest to god feelings.

Part of me really likes the change. The other part....the part that is worried...wants him to shut the fuck up and go to another room. I walked into our bedroom last night and he was sitting on the bed staring at a photo of the boys and he was crying. Sweet jeebus he is lucky I didn't chuck the loaded laundry basket I was carrying right at his head.

When I am worried is doesn't help to see terror on someone elses face. I was worried all weekend that the boys would see or hear him and then they would know there was a problem and I had an issue I was checking into. I asked BigD to please not tell them. I truly think that was tough for him because he wants to 'share' his concern.

Now, keep in mind that he had surgery six weeks ago yesterday, and was home for two weeks prior to that so he has been here eight weeks and I am really ready for him to go back to work. God help me when he retires someday.

So, this morning I drove 45 miles to the big city hospital and met with the Maxillofacial Surgeon. He shot numbing spray up my nose but didn't bother to wait until it numbed before shoving a long lighted scope up into my brain (well, he stopped short of the brain, but just barely and yes it felt exactly like you think it would) He then did these amazing moves with two tongue depressors...kinda ninja like moves...holding, twisting, lifting, pushing and told me that the things I am concerned about he doesn't feel are cancer. He has no explanation for the intermittent funky smell as my max.illary sinuses look okay, the lesion on my tongue he feels is an area that healed oddly after having been lacerated (ie: bitten when I was shoveling in food at some point), and the pain along the entire rim of my tongue and the sunburn feeling on the top surface of my tongue are all non-issues. If you have any clues as to what I can do to alleviate the edge pain and/or burning feeling, feel free to share.

So, there you have it. My entire 4 day weekend sucked, I aged 50 years, had to deal with a husband that was moved to tears a.l.l.w.e.e.k.e.n.d and had to take my first day of work at a new job off because they don't call in people from their other locations for just 1/2 day so I had to take the entire day off.

This was so bad this weekend that in my imagination I was going to be the female version of R.oger E.bert (if you don't know who he is, goog his image post surgery) and had decided to make a personal video for each of the boys so they could remember not only what I looked like *before* but also hear my voice because I was certain I would lose that too.

If nothing, I have learned to stay the hell away from the computer and let someone who actually graduated with a medical degree decide my health course. But, you can bet your butt that I am going to keep an eye on my oral situation because I also know that not every doctor graduates at the top if his class. Think about it. Every graduating class has the one (or ten) that the other grads are shaking their heads about, thinking "how in the hell did he/she graduate"? I also have another appointment for a second opinion scheduled for tomorrow (made the same time I made todays appt) that I will probably keep. Crazy? Maybe, but read the second sentence of this paragraph again.

Thank you for your well wishes and kind comments. It sounds stupid because we haven't met, but it really did boost my sagging mood to read that you care.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

I don't know where to begin

2011 was an interesting year. A full year of job fluctuation stress that I really don't have the strength to go into here but it's safe to say I aged twelve years in the past one. BigD had triple bypass surgery that really was completely unexpected (he isn't old, doesn't drink or smoke, isn't overweight (well not really), blood pressures have always been normal to low normal, etc etc. Then bam. One small thing led to a Thanksgiving week bypass and many weeks of him being home and wanting to be at my side when I am not at work. Of course that means he is camped out in my home office when I am here and if any of you want to know anything about Wars, Am.erican Chopper, or The Turt.le Man just ask. I bought myself a nice TV a year ago for my office to watch "my" shows now my remote is programed for the above.

2012 isn't starting out much better. I have an appointment Tues morning with a specialist in head and neck cancer. Long story short, for 6-8 months I have had a constant subtle smell that smells like a dirty ashtray or the smell you get when you first turn on your furnace in the fall. A little stale, metallic etc. Anyhooo, my doctor was on a sabbatical (ie: state mandated 90 day probation.....-she got turned into the state medical board by a pissed off wife because the doc had a fling with the pissed off wife's husband) Hey, I don't care who she bonks as long as I am not in the exam room when it happens....she is a good doc and knows her shit. Anyway, in researching this "smell" issue I have discovered that it typically happens in people that have cancer in the head and neck.

Anyway, I just tried to ignore what I thought was a sinus infection and waited till she got back. I went in got a script for an anti-biotic, which subsequently caused th.rush in my mouth. (for those of you that have little ones that get it from nursing, get it treated because it hurts. I feel terrible I never took it seriously when my guys got it--I didn't know that it made them uncomfortable). ANYWAY...she then gave me two back to back scripts for an oral medication to swish around to take it away. When it didn't really help I started looking things up. Dr. G.oogle is my friend and worst enemy.

All the while, and for up to a year I have had a little reddish/pinkish raised soft spot on my tongue that I figured was from using my tongue as a stress meter all year and smashing it against my teeth. I think I may take up nail biting instead.

After doing some research I am seriously, very seriously, concerned I have oral c.ancer. Of the dozen symptoms I have too many. I googled a photo of a tongue cancer and up popped a photo of a tongue with the same pinkish/reddish raised soft spot, in the exact area where it is prevalent, (side of the tongue in case you want to run to the bathroom and check your tongue). The photo could have been a photo of my tongue. No shit.

My tongue hurts around the entire edge, back to front to back, it has started to burn off and on, and the real kicker is that tongue cancers are squ.amous cell. If you look back to a new years post a couple years back, remember I got the call on new years eve that my "it doesn't look like anything" (according to the dermatologist) lesion came back as sq.uamous cell. If you remember it was also in an area that NEVER EVER has seen sunshine.

So, on Tuesday which is supposed to be my first day at my new job in a very face paced, high stress office, I had to tell the boss that I wouldn't be there, as I am going for a biopsy. Fuck. I am going to be tagged the problem child from day one.

So for the past week I have been crying in the shower, zoning out when I have many things to do, and thinking about the fact that if it is oral CA, according to my research it is the 6th deadliest cancer killing one person every hour and only 50% of people survive five years. Who knew?? I have a son getting married this year, I want to retire someday and take real vacations, I want to babysit for grand-kids, well---the list is longer than you can imagine. Until now the thought of looking at my tongue for anything abnormal (and who the hell knows what that means) never even crossed my mind.

BigD isn't even allowed to drive yet, in fact he isn't allowed in the front seat because of the airbag and the fact that it would rebreak his ster.num, so I will make the 45 minute drive to the doctor with BigD in the back seat and most likely we will both be a wreck. He has been crying off and on all weekend because he knows I am scared and he can't do a damn thing about it. The boys and their ladies are here and it is helping distract me, but then I look at them and feel my eyes welling up and have to head to the bathroom until the wave of fear and anxiety passes.

So, how 2012 shapes up is yet to be determined.