Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Consequences of bad health

Well, this past week hasnt been very great - to say the least. First, I lost my job that I loved due to too many absences. Those absences were caused my unstable health. I took many sick days and left early too many times for doctor's appointments and iron infusions. Yes, iron infusions. Turns out - after a long tortuous run around to specialists - that I have a pretty severe iron deficient anemia. We tried iron pills - got sick and absorbed no iron. Tried liquid iron - sicker with erratic bruising and loss of what iron I had left. It was almost like my body was rejecting iron all together. As a last resort, I began receiving 2 hour IV iron infusions twice a week back in November. It seemed to have been working until I got a horrible sinus infection and had to stop the treatments with only 2 left to go. Since the infusions are done in the chemo clinic, you cant be sick when you go in.

I was diagnosed with that sinus infection on December 16th after working 9 days in a row and a total of 84 hours. After insisting that the doctor prescribe Augmentin instead of Amoxicillin (which doesnt work for me), the doctor refused and prescribed the Amoxicillin but assured me it would be a higher dose. Basically, I just took 2 at a time instead of one. Reluctantly, I filled the prescription and prayed for a miracle. After the 10 day unnecessary course, I felt some relief for about 2 days. Then Mr. Sinus infection returned with a vengeance. I went back in, promptly demanded and received the Augmentin. By this time, I needed Prednisone as well to reduce the inflammation.

While all of this was going on with me, my daughter Alivia was battling her health also. She developed a sinus infection that ended up being treated with the wrong medicine and was in urgent care 3 straight weekends in a row. I got calls from Preschool that she was vomiting and I had to come pick her up. More days I had to take off work. Strangely enough, my work performance and output wasnt suffering and I made up all the time I was out on weekends and overtime. I actually finished audit season ahead of our deadline. But by the end, I was completely exhausted and more sick than if I had just taken the time to rest. By January 12, I had completely lost my voice and was battling full on bronchitis. Ironically, I was "let go" the next day.

As I write this blog tonight, I am reflecting on my day: Alivia had to be seen by her doctor again and prescribed a stronger antibiotic for her still persistent Rhinitis (after having it steadily for four months). My husband is puking his guts out every 2 hours and I am wide awake from the decongestants I am taking.

In hindsight, I agree that I took a good amount of time off, especially since I was still on a temp-to-hire position, but what could I have done differently? Knowing it had become an issue, I addressed it head-on with my partners at the Company and my supervisor. I promised to do everything in my power to be more reliable and that this was all just bad timing. In the end, I guess it didnt really matter how well the work was done or how much I made up for the lost time. They chose to end my assignment due to excessive absenteeism.

I know there is a balance to work, health and family out there somewhere, but I have yet to find and master it. My goal now is to reschedule the appointments I put off for the sake of my job and get down to the real problem of why I am constantly getting sick. I may have to go on temporary disability just to have some sort of income to contribute. I need to get my little girl well and apparently my husband wont be much fun for the next 24 hours or so.

So is the life of a working mom and wife and eventually, something's gotta give :)

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