There is not a single person that welcomes involuntary unemployment. Losing your job is one of the more depressing events that occurs in your adult life because so much of a person’s identity is tied to their employment and the satisfaction they get from working.
The job of finding a new job is equally soul-sucking. There is no easy way to find a new job, despite all of the technology available today. No more newspaper job listings – 99.9% of available positions are now posted online; usually on the employers website. But actually getting the job from an online job posting seems like a rare occurrence. And in an economy where their are more job seekers than jobs, the employers have become more and more demanding in their application requirements.
It’s no longer enough to have all of the job requirements (plus any that may be added last minute); you now have to jump through a dozen additional hoops too. For example, a few application requirements I’ve seen recently:
1. One required a single-page resume and a two-minute video that details your qualifications and why you’d be best for the company.
2. In addition to a resume there are additional essay questions to get an idea of the applicant’s personality and requirements for the applicant to flesh out a new project, develop the project plan and implementation process.
I get that it’s difficult to weed through hundreds of resumes for a single job, but keyword programs have been developed to help HR departments weed through the list of applicants. Are videos and essay questions necessary or are they simply busy-work to see if applicants are willing to jump through a dozen additional hoops for the pleasure of applying for a job – a job that in 95% of cases won’t even contact you once your application has been submitted.
It can take 20-30 minutes per application if there aren’t any additional hoops to jump through. Who has 10-12 hours, per application, with these extra hoops to jump through only for complete radio silence from the employer?
Health Care is a big issue for me as it is for anyone who has chronic health issues. Not having health insurance was one of the biggest stressors I had last year and being eligible to purchase insurance, at a discounted rate, was a blessing. I was able to find a rheumatologist who specializes in treating fibromyalgia patients.
My first appointment was actually a month ago – I had a 3:00PM appointment, arrived at 2:45 and by 3:30 she still had two patients to see ahead of me. I couldn’t wait any longer because I had to be home to meet the boys at the bus and wasn’t able to get in any sooner.
I picked a 9:00AM appointment – her first of the day to ensure that I wouldn’t have to wait. I arrived about 10 minutes early for my appointment and about 9:20, I was called back to the exam room. It seems the doctor had been caught in traffic and was late. So they’re batting 0 for 2 here with timeliness. She did do a very thorough exam and confirmed what I already knew – I’ve got fibromyalgia. But she also discovered that I’ve got a couple of other things going on too – a form of arthritic and another thing called “hyper-mobility syndrome”. The hyper-mobility syndrome is largely symptom-less but it does put one at a greater risk of injury such as sprains.
The arthritis appears to be associated with the gene HLA-B27. I will be doing more research into the gene and other things that are associated with that particular gene. I wish I had access to my biological family to be able to ask if any of them have any of the same issues that I have. I also hope to be able to check the kids and see if any of them are carriers of this gene. According to my preliminary research, the northern Scandinavian population has a 24% who are HLA-B27 positive. (I have a mix of Swedish/Scandinavian ancestry determined by my Ancestry.com DNA test).
This new doctor did have many suggested medication changes which will take several months to implement fully. My goal in seeing this new doctor was to improve my current symptoms and to hopefully get back to the point I was before I got sick – where I was exercising regularly and was able to train and complete sprint triathlons, 5K’s and moving towards 10K’s and 1/2 marathons.
Top Gun is currently in rotation on HBO. Amazingly, I remember when it came out in 1986 and my dad took all of us kids to go see it. We were living in the suburbs of Ft. Worth Texas and my dad was a contractor, working for General Dynamics building flight simulators for the pilots who fly fighter jets. My dad was about as excited to see the movie as I’ve ever seen him (despite being very uncomfortable during the love scene.)
My dad never talked about his work with us – I’m not sure why. He wasn’t a very talkative person in general.
When dad passed away I had a really hard time writing a eulogy for him because I barely knew him.
The anniversary of his death is coming up and while it isn’t as raw as it was initially, I’m finding that the month of May and leading up to when he actually died, he is in my thoughts more.
There are so many questions I wish I could ask him, so many things I wish I could find out about him, so many times I wish he were around for help and he’s not there to guide me.
Today is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. It’s estimated that 10 million Americans have this debilitating disorder, including me. If you’ve ever had the flu then you have a vague idea what fibro feels like. Imagine that all the muscles in your body ache and you’ve been sapped of all your energy. Imagine that your joints throb and ache constantly. Imagine being the most tired you’ve ever been but can’t sleep due to insomnia.
Then imagine feeling that way every single day – week after week, year after year.
It’s not always clear what causes fibromyalgia but it’s common to develop fibromyalgia after an accident or injury. Mine developed just two years after I developed chronic pain in my face resulting from a staph infection after sinus surgery.
There is no cure and only a handful of treatments that help alleviate the symptoms.
Many fibro sufferers are mocked or derided by others who think the symptoms are “all in their head” or they are making it up or malingering. (I know I sure was, mocked that is – by my former boss)
I pray that sometime in my lifetime we find the cause and an adequate treatment or even a cure. I honestly cannot imagine 20-30 more years of this.
Two years ago today I hopped on a tiny Horizon airplane and headed from Seattle to Spokane to pick up our new puppy.
After a period of so much loss; my elderly dog, my job, my marriage and my dad’s declining health we all needed something to brighten our lives.
I met our breeder at the airport and they handed me this squirming bundle of velvety goodness and puppy breath, with paperwork and her blanket. I was instantly in love. I had only a brief time on the ground – taking the exact same plane for the return trip to Seattle. I carried her through the security checkpoint where she received numerous Ooohs and Ahhhs and requests for skritchies.
She fell asleep in her carrier for the trip home and stayed asleep the whole 30-40 minutes.
Despite knowing she was coming, I had no puppy supplies for her so we stopped and bought a complete collection of gear; harnesses and collars and leashes and a playpen for those times when she’d must be left alone (those were few; I didn’t want to be away from her much!)
The boys came home from they’re visit with their father and were enchanted with her immediately. She adores them too.
Now that she’s out of her puppy stage, she’s still so awesome. She has a natural mothering instinct and any time the boys are behaving inappropriately she will bark at them and try to herd them as if they are her puppies. Every night she must join us for the bedtime routine and she listens to stories or games and finishes by giving each boy kisses goodnight.
When it’s time for her to go to bed, she scratches at my blanket until I lift it up and make room for her to burrow under. Only her nose peeks out while she gets settled. Despite being only 28lbs, she takes up lots of bed space, stretching out horizontally to get comfortable. And she always sleeps with some part of her smooshed up against me.
Her favorite game ever is to play in the hose – she recently chewed a hole in the hose because it was not turned on for her to play with!
I should probably work all of this out in therapy, but that’s expensive and time consuming and I don’t know if my insurance even covers it.
When the pain first started, I was bitter that it had happened to me but then I got pretty decent treatments that helped manage it well and at the time, I could still keep up with most of my hobbies like triathlons and knitting and I was just training for my first half-marathon.
When the fibromyalgia started, it was subtle at first and then suddenly I could barely get out of bed for days at a time because of the muscle pain and fatigue. And with it came the loss of all of the activities that kept me sane dealing with constant, unrelenting pain. I couldn’t do the marathon or triathlon training because walks around the block would leave me fatigued for the rest of the day.
I remember one weekend where I went to training, before I had a definitive diagnosis, and after completing an eight-mile walk/run I couldn’t get out of bed for almost a week due to the fatigue.
Now when I knit my hands and arms tire quickly and the pain sets in almost immediately. I’ve completed only a handful of projects in there four years since I was officially diagnosed.
Losing all of these activities along with the fact that even household chores leave me in extra pain and fatigue makes me angry. For the rest of my life and my kids’ lives we will never be the same because I can’t do all the things I used to do.
And it didn’t have to be this way. With the appropriate workplace accommodations I would have been better able to manage the existing pain so it didn’t have to develop into fibro.
Patients with an existing pain condition are more likely to develop fibro because their neural pathways are already screwed up.
One in fifty Americans have fibro. One in four suffers from chronic pain and it is the most common cause for those going on disability. More people have chronic pain than cancer, diabetes and heart disease combined.
We have a lot to be angry about. There aren’t many effective treatments for pain other than opioid pain medication and it’s not very trendy for research dollars.
When I work from the office the dogs park their butts in this window spot and guard the house from crazy people like the mailman or the UPS guy. She waits patiently for me to come home!
Dash on the other hand gets into trouble. He has many nicknames but “Mountain Goat” is the new one as he jumped from one basket of clean laundry to another and grabbed the bread (two loaves from Costco!) and ate about half of one.
He’s so naughty!!!
In the aftermath if Joffrey’s murder, Sansa finally gets out if the city and is delivered to Lord Baelish. I wonder now if Lord Baelish is responsible for the death of Joffrey based on his comments that he made the necklace and then crushing the stone.
Poor Margaery. So close and yet so far from being queen. Her grandmother remains the smartest person in the whole kingdom.
Now to the elephant in the room – Cersei and Jamie in the sept with Joffrey’s body lying right there, arguing. And Jamie feels compelled to take what he feels is his due and rapes
Cersei on the floor with Joffrey’s body right next to them.
In watching this scene several times over the past week and reading what other bloggers had to say on this issue, I think Cersei’s main complaint isn’t that Jamie is trying to have sex with her but that he’s doing it in the room with Joffrey’s dead body. Nothing excuses rape. But her protestations are “It’s not right. It’s not right. ” meaning they shouldn’t be having sex in the sept with Joffrey’s dead body in the room. If he weren’t in the room, it probably would have been consensual. (And from what I’ve read, in the book it is.)
Aria is really learning fine negotiation skills but still seems so naive about The Hound and how he will behave. She expect him to have a firm moral compass and when he does stray from one of his “rules” she is completely outraged.
Some of these lesser plot lines are a little slow and a little boring and I feel like they add 2-3 minutes of these plot lines just because they have to but it doesn’t seem like they add much. However, I do like seeing the relationship that is developing between Sam and Gilly. I hope he is able to continue to build on the relationship.
Updated Sunday April 27th
The iPad has been found!!! Oliver found it under his bed!! (Even though we looked there twice it somehow got covered up by toy boxes.)
We have one iPad that the kids and I share. It was my 40th birthday present to myself because my ex had just moved out and I had expected that my 40th would be this big celebration. The boys and I have cherished this iPad. It has been a source of entertainment for them and for me. When they go to bed, I relax in bed with either a few different games, a magazine, a book or Facebook. My journal app is also on there.
On Friday April 11th the boys were playing with the iPad before going to their dad’s house and set it down somewhere when he arrived to pick them up and it hasn’t been seen since. I immediately uses the “Find My IPad/iPhone” app but it was “offline” so I put it in lost mode, added a password and my phone number and tore the house apart.
In the past two weeks we’ve torn apart almost every room in this house. The only thing I can think of at this point is that it sprouted legs and walked away because no one else has turned it on within the vicinity of a wifi signal. (If it were turned on then I would immediately receive an email and the iPad would be locked and show my phone number to call to return the iPad.
It is also engraved with my name! I know it is somewhere in the house and we have looked absolutely EVERYWHERE! Monkeyboy and I even looked INSIDE the couch in case it somehow slipped down the crack and got stuck down there. (No luck, wah!)
MonkeyBoy pointed out that if I get a new job I’ll be able to get a new iPad. But I’m rather attached to this one. This one saw me through the long period of unemployment, the death of my dad; it’s entertained my kids through hours in the car as we travelled to Utah to visit family and it’s been my refuge at the end of the day when I’m too tired to do much else. I don’t want another one – I want this one! This one is special and I just want it to show up!!!
I hate it when it’s flare up time. It means I have an increase in my fibro symptoms which means increased fatigue and muscle pain. The best way to describe it is imagine having the flu – not a cold but the real flu, every single day of your life. When you have the flu, you can barely crawl out of bed and you call in sick to work for a week or more because your muscles ache and you just can’t function. People even bring you meals because you are so sick.
Now imagine those symptoms never go away.
Imagine that the muscle ache and fatigue continues every single day. Week after week. Month after month. Year after year. And you can’t just stay in bed every day because you’ve got kids and dogs and responsibilities and you’ve got to work to support everyone so you’ve got to drag yourself into the shower and try to just make it through the day. Just put one foot in front of the other. Just keep going. Just keep trying.
And maybe the day will be busy and it will distract you and then you won’t be so focused on it. The day might fly by and soon it will be bedtime and then I can take the nighttime dose of medications and sleep, which is about the only time I don’t realize that I hurt so much. (I take half a sleeping pill to help with that – more than that and I’m too groggy the next day).
The next day, it starts all over again.