My Last Day

The time is here.  My last day of work. I’ve been with the company for 28.5 years and it just seems so weird knowing that today is my final day.  I’m a bit sad to be honest and a bit excited to for what lies ahead.  I’ll be going back to school and while I’m nervous about it, I’m also excited too.  I just may finally be able to attain that degree that I’ve always wanted.  Losing my job may be a blessing in disguise.  That’s how I’m trying to look at it right now.  I’ve been working from home since February of this year and I’d like to find another job I can do from home.  And, I’m afraid that I’ll have no luck finding another work from home job unless I have some programming experience. So, that’s why I’m going back to school.  I’ve applied to Baker College here in Michigan and will work toward a Bachelor of Science with a focus on Web Development.

I’ll be packing up my work hardware and heading into the office shortly.  When I get to the office, I’ll be signing my severance paperwork.  Once that paperwork is signed, then I’m done.  I don’t plan on working after I sign.  Part of me thinks I’ll be quite emotional as I walk out of the building for the final time.  My employer has a recognition program where you earn points each time you are recognized and I had 3500 points.  You can redeem points for various items.  So yesterday, I redeemed my points so I wouldn’t lose them with my loss of job.  I got a $25 gift card to AMC Theaters and a $25 gift card to restaurants.com.  I thought that was pretty cool.

On another note, please keep our puppy Aspen in your prayers and/or good thoughts.  She is still at the vets.  Her medical journey began last week when she was vomiting clear and wouldn’t eat and was lethargic.  We brought her in and she ended up having exploratory surgery.  She had swallowed a sock. They removed it and sewed her back up.  We brought her home Monday and they told us that if she vomited again to call right away.  During the night Monday, she did vomit her food back up.  So we called Tuesday morning and brought her back in.  Her incisions were leaking and she was in shock.  They ended up having to do more surgery, this time removing 4-6″ inches of her intestine as well as another small piece of sock from her stomach. They figure that this small piece of sock was in her esophagus the first time they did surgery.  We visited her yesterday and she was excited to see us and gave us kisses.  They are going to introduce a very small amount of mushy food today.  We hope that it’ll stay down.  Prayers that she continues to heal.  We also found out that someone had taken care of our second vet bill.  They want to remain anonymous.  So whoever you are – God bless you!! We love you!!

I may be back later to let you know how my departure from work went.

Peace & Love

 

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Some News

It’s been quite a while since my last post.  I really should try getting back to blogging as I do find writing to be healing.  I have some rather big news to share.  I received this news on October 3.  So what is it!?  Well, after 28.5 years with my employer, I was told my position was being eliminated.  To be honest, I cried in that office with the HR rep beside me and my bosses boss in front of me.  My severance package lay open in front of me and tears streamed down my cheeks.  I grabbed the Kleenex offered to me and wiped away the tears and tried the best I could to compose myself.  This was devastating news and difficult to hear.  Both ladies were very nice about it and told me they could take as much time as needed to go over the paperwork that lay in front of me.  They explained that I would be paid through the end of the month, my last day would be October 31st.  I would receive 4 months of health benefits and 3 months of outplacement services to help with resume writing and job placement.  I would also have access to unemployment information sessions and other helpful sessions which they encouraged that I take advantage of.  These items were outlined in the paperwork.  After our discussion, I left her office and chose to take the remainder of the day off.  I proceeded to head out and was caught by my boss.  He led me into a conference room and we chatted for a bit.  He said he was so sorry this was happening and offered to help with my resume and being a reference for my resume.  He assured me I had marketable skills and I would have no problem finding employment.  However, I didn’t have that confidence.  After our chat, I left.

My first stop was my therapist office.  I knew I couldn’t wait until the end of the month for my next appointment.  My anxiety shot up and truth be told, so did my depression.  To my surprise, my therapist had an opening that afternoon.  I took it!  From there, I went to where my husband was working and shared the news with him.  He was in shock too.  For the first time in years, he’ll be seeing if he can get health insurance for the family through his employer.  He currently has multiple jobs.  He drives charter bus and he also drives for Lyft.  He also works in an auto garage for a friend.  He definitely keeps busy.  He also manages a fireworks store; however, the season just ended for that so he is done with that job until the end of December.  And then, he’ll only work it for two weeks for the New Year.

I returned to my therapist office for my appointment.  I shared the news with her and she was surprised too.  We talked about it and my feelings.  I cried a bit more.  I told her that I figured I would retire from that company.  I told her I was afraid that I might not find a job that I was scared because I’ve only ever worked at that job.  I started there just before I graduated high school.  It’s all I know.  She advised I take a little break, even through the holidays and start the search in January.  Collect unemployment.  I thought it sounded like a good idea.  Time went on and here it is, the 24th.  I’m on my last week of work and to be honest, I don’t feel like working…at all.  I changed my last day to the 27th – this Friday.  I’m still getting paid through the 31st though.  I’ve started to think about school again and the possibility of going back.  I’ve looked into some online programs through Baker College here in Michigan.  I already have college debt and still no degree.  Returning to school would put that debt on hold until I did finish with school.  By then hopefully, I would find a better paying job and could then pay back the loans easier.  School would be easier to focus on without a job to worry about.  I’m definitely thinking about it.  What do you think?  Am I too old?  I’m 46.

Something else I’ve started back up is reading.  I finished two books recently.  “Breaking Norms” by Mita Balani and “Turtles all the Way Down” by John Green.  I recommend both.  “Breaking Norms” falls into the LGBT genre so if you’re open to that, it’s a great story.  I really enjoyed it.  “Turtles all the Way Down” is Young Adult.  Hey, I’m still young, right!?  I’ve found enjoyment in reading.  Through Bookbub and Goodreads, I’m finding several books I want to read.  I’m trying to decide what I want to read next.  Do you like to read?  Are you on Goodreads?  You should look me up?  Goodreads

That’s it for now.  Thanks for reading/following.

Peace & Love,

Dottie

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7 Years Post VSG

I had my Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy on December 15, 2009.  That puts me at just over 7 years post op.  I recently had a follow up appointment at my surgeons office.  I hadn’t been there in four years.  They finally called me to get lab work done and made an appointment.  I got the lab work done and went for my appointment on the 14th of February.  I weighed 312 lbs. My highest weight was 403.  My lowest weight I got to was 253.  I have had some regain.  I blame the gain on the mental health issues that have surfaced.

In December of 2013, I was hospitalized for the first time for manic depression and anxiety.  I had my first panic attack. It was not fun.  That’s when all the meds started.  Over the past few years, I was hospitalized five different times.  The diagnosis I was given is Schizo-Affective Disorder Bipolar.  At first I was scared of the diagnosis.  I also dealt with depression and anxiety.  I began to emotionally eat again at times.  I focused on my mental health and my weight inched back up.  In December of 2016 I was hospitalized again.  I was on at least six meds.  They took me off all of them and started me on Seroquel.  I began taking two capsules at bed time.  It was nice to not be on so many meds.  They also recommended I start seeing a new therapist. They thought the change would be good for me.  It was weird seeing someone new.  I’m grateful she is nice and easy to talk to.

I had lab work done and found out I am deficient in Iron and Vitamin D.  So the weight loss surgeon’s office suggest I start taking Iron, Vitamin C and Vitamin D as well as a multi vitamin.  I will get labs again in three months.  My A1C level was also slightly up so my Psych doctor started me on Metformin.  I take two at night before bed.  My psych doctor said that the Seroquel is to blame for the recent weight gain and increase in A1C.  My regular doctor reassured me that I am not diabetic.    She said they put me on the Metformin to counteract the Seroquel.  I will say that since I’ve been on Seroquel, I have had night time food cravings and I have given in to them.   I’m glad to say that I’m doing a lot better mentally now and I’m back to work full time.

I work from home now.  It’s made my job a lot more tolerable.  I’m not so miserable now.  I really like it.  I don’t have to go anywhere in the morning.  And I can wear comfy clothes. Shoot I can wear my PJ’s if I want to.  It’s been a couple weeks now since I started at home.  I hope I can work from home permanently.  Right now though it’s a 2 month pilot.  Stress is not bad at all and I haven’t had any anxiety issues either.  Working from home has been a good change.

As for my weight, I’m back to working on it again.  I joined a gym two weeks ago and have started to go three times a week for now.  Right now, the focus is on cardio so all I’m doing is biking.  The first week was 20 minutes a session.  The second week, I upped it to 30 minutes.  I rode 4.5 miles in that 30 minutes so that’s not too bad.  I’m also recording my food again.  I use MyFitnessPal and my username is dottiemay71.  Feel free to friend me if you’re on there also.  My struggle is drinking enough water.  I wasn’t getting any water in at all.  I always drank pop or tea or juice.  Water was not part of my diet at all.  I’m trying to make it a part now; even if it’s flavored water.

Well, I think that’s it for now.  Thanks for reading all of this.  I’m going to try to get back on here and blog more often.

Peace – Love – Smiles

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Midlife Work

It’s Monday after a nice 4-day weekend. It was really tough coming into work today. I almost didn’t. I know that I should be grateful for a job and I am. However, my heart is no longer in this job.  I can honestly say I don’t like it anymore.  That makes for a tough morning every day (except for weekends).  I don’t like time to fly and yet I find myself looking forward to the weekend every week.

I don’t know why I feel this way about my job. Perhaps it’s the longevity. I’ve been here since I graduated high school. In May, it’ll be 27 years. The reason I haven’t left this place is because I have 6 weeks of vacation.  I love my vacation time.  If I were to go to something different, I certainly wouldn’t have that much vacation.

I need to dig in my heart and ask myself, what is it I want to do. You know what I’d love?  If my husband could realize his dream of owning his own business.  Then, I could work with him. That would be something different and working with my husband is a dream for me.  Get me out of this corporate world.  Being unhappy about it every day I come here can’t be good.  One person can only take it for so long.  I have been searching job openings though just in case something pops out at me.

If I can’t work with my husband, the next thing I’d like is to be a life/health coach. That, however, requires schooling and I’m not going to try that again. I’m already buried in school loans for the other couple times I tried.  This last time I tried, I ended up having my first anxiety and panic attacks and eventually ended up hospitalized.  I stayed at the hospital 5 different times now. I am praying that there’s no more.  After my last stay at the hospital, my daughter said that the job was why I was having this difficulties and I should consider applying for disability.  I was off so long at one point I did have to apply for social security. I was denied of course.  Honestly, I too think work is a part of it.

Perhaps this is a midlife crisis. I want to do something different. I want to explore. I like photography, perhaps I can do something with that. Perhaps my husband and I could get to working on Body by Vi (Visalus). One of the guys that I know was able to quit his corporate job he did so well with it.  He’s still doing well.

I’m sick of this cubicle.

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Christmas is Next Week!

Can you believe it?  Christmas is next week already.  And, so far no snow.  I’m looking forward to some time off work. I will be off starting the 24th and don’t have to return until January 4.

I’m still struggling with being at work. Some friends have suggested that I get a different job.  In all honesty, the vacation is what keeps me working here.  I have been here 26 years now and I have 6 weeks of vacation to use in a year’s time.  I wouldn’t be able to find a new job that would give me that kind of vacation right away.  I can’t see me going back to only one or two weeks.  My job is also not terribly far from home.  So what’s my problem!?  What I keep telling myself each morning is that it could be worse.  I could be back in that hospital again. Lord knows I don’t want to go back there again.

On to another subject, tomorrow is my 6 year weight loss surgery anniversary.  I had the gastric sleeve done 12/15/09.  I continue to struggle with my weight.  I had gotten to a low of 253. Now I’m up to 310. Yes, I had some regain, actually quite a lot.  My health insurance pays for my husband and me to go to Weight Watchers so that’s good.  We weigh in on Saturday mornings.  My last weigh in, I had gained 1 lb.   I didn’t get upset about it. Prior to that I had been slowly losing each week.  I rarely feel hungry. I eat because I know I need the nutrition.

So back to Christmas, I imagine many already have their shopping done.  Not us! I have no idea what to get my two adult kids. It was so much easier when they were young.  Some days I miss them as young kids.  But there are other times that I’m glad their adults. Like when I was hospitalized. There’s times when my husband and I will go shopping or get invited somewhere and we witness some other couples young kids and how loud and obnoxious they are.  And I think, boy I’m glad our kids are adults.  I hope to have grandkids someday.  My oldest is still going to school and she isn’t married yet, but she does have a nice man in her life. It is my hope that they’ll have kids someday.  My youngest has voiced she doesn’t want kids.

For newbies to my blog, I have been hospitalized more than once for mental issues.  They finally found the right med combination so I have been doing well. I still get to feeling down or I get some anxiety. But nothing compared to how it was during hospitalization.  I take Cymbalta, Haldol, Benztoprine to help with some side effects I was having with the Haldol, and lastly Trazodone for sleep. I used to hate taking any kind of meds, but now I’m more than willing because I don’t want to be like I was.  I was far from myself.

With that, I’ll bring this blog post to a close.

Peace – Love – Smiles

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Work – Depression

I wish I could explain the feelings I have toward work. I’m like ho-hum. Perhaps it’s some mild depression kicking in? Every morning, I struggle to get my butt moving. I’ve been like this since I returned to work at the end of September. You’d think I’d be over it by now, but I’m not.  I can’t really complain about my job. I don’t hate it.  Sometimes I don’t like it. That could happen anywhere.  I’ve been with the company for 26.5 years.  That’s a long time.  Am I just tired of it?

One of my depression/anxiety triggers was one of my coworkers. But he chose to leave the company.

I’ve been thinking of my mom and dad lately (more so my mom). I’m sure it’s because of the holidays.

I’m so grateful and blessed to have my family and friends that care about me. I’m the type that doesn’t really like to ask anything. I usually try to figure things out myself.  But this depression…it’s beyond me. I’ve broken down and asked for prayers or positive thoughts. One thing I don’t want to do is end up back in the mental hospital. They’re no fun and I did NOT like being there.  Sure I can look back and say, I needed at the time and it helped. But now, I don’t need the hospital.  I know that I’m strong. With the Lords help I can do anything I put my mind to.

I just thought of something! In the morning, I should remember I could be in the hospital or in their partial program. Work is a preference over either of those things.

Wishing you peace, love and happiness

Dottie

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Update 11.10.2015

Today is day 2 of my return to full time work. I do struggle in the morning getting up. I’m definitely not a morning person.  What makes it even more difficult to come to work is having nothing to do.  That’s right, nothing to do.  So right now, most of my time is spent on PluralSight or W3schools learning HTML and CSS and eventually JavaScript.  I guess it’s good that I can learn things in my down time.

Guess what? My depression is in remission.  There is no way I want to go back to the hospital during the holidays or ever.  I’ve been there at least four times. My first visit was December of 2013.  I still go to counseling and lately I’ve been watching a DVD of Robert Sapolsky.  How depression can affect your body. What I’ve seen so far is pretty fascinating.  Robert Sapolsky is a Neuroendocrinologist as well as professor of Biology, neuroscience and neurosurgery at Stanford University.

Today has been 4 years since my dad passed away. Every now and then I think about it and just can’t believe it’s already been 4 years.  Time flies.  I’ve had both my mom and dad show up in my dreams. That’s cool.

Sadly, last night my uncle passed away. He was in his 80’s. He was an awesome man. He always could bring a smile to my face.  The relationship he and my aunt had was great. Both he and my aunt have a great sense of humor.

I haven’t blogged much. I think it’s because I don’t know what to blog about. Feel free to give some ideas.  Writing is therapeutic for me, but not if I can’t think of anything to write about.

My weight has been coming off slowly. I missed weigh in this week. In the weeks prior to this, I’ve been losing an average of 1.5 each week.

I’m still taking meds for my depression, anxiety, schizo-effective disorder. I take Cymbalta, Haldol, Benztropine (take for side effects of the Haldol) and Trazodone for sleep.

Ok I think I’ll end my random blog here.

Peace, Love and Smiles,

Dottie

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