After my grand exit at work on Monday, I am not sure if I should be working anymore or not. Let me fill you in on what happened. First like I have told you in my last post I have been struggling with this sore throat that has caused me nights of not sleeping and it's been so bad that I feel that I can't completely swallow; like it's so inflamed it's sort of closed up. I think that is more my gerd but I can deal with the gerd, but this sore throat is out of this world. So I did have some white pusey (if that is even a real word) on the side of my mouth but then I also had the red raw patches all over my mouth. So Mike had given me a Z-pack. Zithromax for anyone who doesn't know what I'm talking about. You'd think after 3 days of that I'd feel better but I didn't and Monday when I woke up, I knew I was going to have a lousy day I just wasn't expecting what happened. So I'm getting ready and it's taking me a little longer than normal but I'm starting to get used to having to add 5 more minutes each morning to my getting ready for work because it just seems to be harder and harder for me to get up in the morning and ready for bed. Not that I'm lazy and can't get out of bed, but I have severe joint pain almost every morning because of my Scleroderma and then once I'm out of bed the coughing begins. I don't know why I cough in the morning and nothing I do will let it stop. I can wake up at 5 or at noon but as soon as I'm moving around in the morning I just start to cough where I can't catch my breath and I have to just let it take its course. Some days it last 5 minutes others 30 +. Monday was one of those 30+ days.
So I knew by the way I was going that I was going to most likely be last to work so I called Monica the school secretary to tell her I was having a rough morning and as always she under stood and I got there as soon as I could. Thank goodness there wasn't any traffic because I ended up getting to school on time but I new by already having used most of one of my oxygen tank up on the drive there that is wasn't going to be an easy day. So I took the long walk from the parking lot to the office. I'm joking here it really is only about 60-80 feet if that but these days 20 feet is far for me, especially on days like I was having. So I have to stop every 15 feet or so and catch my breath and pray just to get to my desk. It was terrible. It took all my might not to start crying and walk back to my car and call it quits. I got to my desk finally and got to sit down and organize my "in box" because I was out all last week (besides Tues.) due to my evaluation for the transplant. I just kept having to crank my tank up. Nothing seemed to be working. I felt my heart was pumping in over drive and that I couldn't rest because I was so winded. I've had these days in the past but usually they go away after a day or so but looking back I've been sick since I started back to work. This is not like me at all.
So Lucinda (the school clerk), noticed that I wasn't feeling good and thought that maybe it was my nerves for my heart catheter coming up but I told her, I just can't breath, my throat is so sore and I don't know if I can take working any more. I started to get teary eyed and forced myself to stop. I hate to show people my weak side. But today was different. I don't know if it was being sick, winded, lack of sleep or what but people could see I wasn't right. Monica called my husband and told him to pick me up and then we decided that it'd be faster for her to drive me home but then I was so winded she had to use the wheel chair to get me out to her car. A wheel chair again. You know how I love wheel chairs so then again I just felt helpless. I hate this.
All day yesterday in between my complaining of my throat and not being able to sleep I would think of the pros and cons of continuing to work. I mean we don't need me to work because of the SSDI I receive, but like anyone a little extra cash doesn't hurt anyone. Plus the fact I get really depressed being home alone so going to work does me some good. I get to talk to people, meet new people, see kids which I love working with and also it gets my mind of my disease and how sick I am. But if I'm so sick and pushing myself and sick at work is it worth it? I just don't know.
I have never been a quitter in anything I've done. If I ever left a job it was because I had another one lined up. Not just because, but now I am not sure I can do that anymore. I do better in the later mornings and probably could work if I worked like 9-12 or even 8:30-11:30 but I think they need me in the early am so I believe that is out of the question. I just simply don't know what is the best thing for me. I mean I look at my health and think I only have 28 or 27% total lung capability and I am still working. It's only 3 hours but it's something. But I wonder how many other people would still be working if they were in my shoes. I think a lot of people would of left their job a long time ago but I'm always trying to please others that I put me last. Looking back I've been sick since I started back to work so I just don't know if this is my body telling me that it's had enough and to let it rest. I don't know! It saddens me to have to make a decision like this because I don't want to make the wrong one. I spoke to Monica on Monday night telling her I wouldn't be in today and she said "We just want you to get better, that you are such an inspiration to so many of us." Those words hurt me because I'm so afraid of letting someone down. I don't care if I'm not an inspiration to someone but like I said I am a people pleaser and I just don't want to let anyone down know matter who they are. But when is enough, enough. I just don't know. I've cried many of tears these past few days because I simply don't know what to do. In my mind I say "suck it up and keep working" but in my heart and when I see myself in the mirror I look so frail and sick that I say "Quit beating yourself up and stop working." People keep commenting on my weight lose and dark circles and I don't know if these are all signs that I should be looking at and throwing in the towel. I just don't know. So if you have anything to contribute to this I am all ears. Because I need to make a decision here soon. Thanks to reading my venting.
Carmen San Diego
3 Things I'm Happy for:
- Monica for going out of her way and taking me home the other day. Thank you very much.
- My husband because he has really been trying to be supportive in what I need to decide. He doesn't tell me either way what to do he simply listens.
- Yvonne, because she is a great listener when she lets other people talk. LOL!!!