Energy! It was a miracle that I woke up with any, let alone the amount I was able to find this morning. I planned ahead what I was going to do this morning, and how I was going to make it to work on time. The head of our department was coming into the office today for a few reviews, and I had a trainee starting that needed to be ready for clients by Monday. Of course, I was informed of this transfer just before the work day ended last night, so there was little prep. Luckily this person had already worked in two departments, one of which he worked with me for quite some time. He is a quick learner, knows the industry, and will be able to figure things out in no time. But adding his training on top of my audit schedule, my clients, the THREE new accounts I have set up in the last week and everything else I am doing was a bit overwhelming to think of. Luckily I woke up with energy! Oh, sweet baby Jesus! ENERGY!!!
Was I swollen? Of course. Did my hip still hurt? Knee still ache? Pffft, YES! Tingly and a bit numb? Always in the mornings, regardless, but I had some actual energy. I was able to walk down the stairs to the kitchen, make coffee, back to the living room, helped my little ones get dressed, up the stairs, and it didn’t stop there. I didn’t even FEEL like I was close to using my spoons. All these actions, and I didn’t even feel as though I had used a single one. Fantastic! This was great, but we have all had days after a flare starts to lift that we feel almost.. magical. Anyone else feeling the way I felt this morning would be moping and complaining about how sick they felt. “I think I am coming down with something” feeling is the easiest way to express it to those who do not have chronic illness/pain. I ALWAYS feel like I am at least ‘coming down with something’. As great as I felt, I knew I had spoons that would eventually run out. It would be foolish of me to run (at all) and jump for joy, singing of the lifted pain! Let’s face it, it only felt so good because of how bad I have been feeling. Regardless, it still felt good!
Still running a bit late, as I always seen to do lately, I rushed off to work making sure I arrived as soon as possible. Arrived, and clocked in exactly one minute past eight. SWEET! One minute late is not a problem, considering I was over 60 minutes late yesterday, and a no show the day before. A quick look over my emails, a run down of the things I NEEDED to do, ensuring my tasks for others today were complete. Sweet! Everything looks very attainable and easy to accomplish today. I got this! My new hire arrived shortly after, and post getting him set up in his temporary location, we begun the training. I didn’t need to educate him on algorithms, websites, or anything of that nature as (I mentioned before) he was already educated. We went over the basics of the custom platform we use, where tasks are located. How to create, note, and close tasks for each client. Where to look for one. How to add billing info, website data, urls, keywords, request custom work, etc, etc, etc. I was feeling pretty good about today, and then it hit.
That is the easiest way I can describe the sounds that started coming from inside me. We had been training for over two hours, and my insides had suddenly decided to protest. It was like my body wanted to remind me that though I was feeling quite awesome, we are still sick, and sick people get sick. Randomly. For no other reason other than to be sick. Awesome. Luckily he wanted a break for a moment as well, and had enough to review that I could slip out for a bit. The only issue was that during the time I was off to the bathroom was the time of day we were to “buckle down and crunch through as much work as possible”. We are directed to take as LITTLE time (if any) away from our desk from the hours of 10am-12pm. ZONE IN! WORK! Which is usually no issue, except when it is 10:23am and your body has decided that your lower intestines need to evacuate every last thing that you have left inside your body all at once. Awesome. Off I wandered towards the restroom, unable to avoid the ever watching eye of “The Jackhole”.
I have never mentioned The Jackhole before, so let’s dive into this for a very brief moment. The Jackhole is a ‘man’ (I use that term LOSELY) that I work with who thinks that he is the boss of everything, and everyone. If you ask him, he is the BEST at everything. His job. My job. Everyone’s job. He tends to ‘disagree’ with everything most anyone says that is different than his personal or ‘professional’ opinion, and has this horrible condescending laugh that just makes me feel ALMOST like it is worth getting fired over kicking his as hard as I possible can in his junk. I mean MULTIPLE times. He has yelled at me multiple times about my reminder alarms for my meds, which I take TWICE during work hours, as well as debate with fellow coworkers (including but not limited to MY team members) about whether or not I am actually sick on days I am unable to come into work. UGH! He’s one of THEM! One of THOSE people who will never understand, nor does he want to because he is ABOVE all of this. He watches me like a hawk, and tattles to my boss (who is AMAZING, and is very understanding while still professional about my illness) about everything that I do. I can’t sneeze without him going to our boss and trying to say it was some kind of mistake, and I should be reprimanded. This man is the BANE of my existence! The worst part? He is overweight, unattractive, and almost completely useless as an adult. I understand and LOVE playing video games in my spare time from time to time, but this man plays them DAILY! He spends thousands of dollars a year on MAGIC cards. A children’s game. I am not one to usually judge and talk down on someone for their past times, but I cannot help but be FURIOUS with this man some days. Here I am working my ass off in daily pain, struggling to support my family while dealing with a crippling illness and he is questioning MY work ethic and honesty while he wastes his health away playing games. CHILDREN’S GAMES!!! Ugh… There is one in every office, and mine is not free of this slimy, disgusting Jackhole of a human being.. but I digress.
Off the to restroom I went, perfectly aware that Jackhole was going to tattle on me, and also aware I was not going to be returning to my desk anytime soon. I text my dear friend Kendall (she is the assist to my boss) and let her know that if asked, I am sick in the bathroom and will be for awhile. I know I can trust her to have my back, as well as the majority of the other members in my office. I am getting more and more support as time goes on, and as people see the real struggle. Right now I am on a ‘make-up” strike, as yesterday Jackhole also made a stink about my absence the previous day and my tardiness. I decided that I am going to stop hiding my splotchy skin under makeup, and let the whole world see. I don’t wear much makeup, but I wear the good kind that takes a thin layer to block out redness. I LOVE my makeup, but my skin hasn’t been so happy lately, and since Jackhole wants to live up to his name, I decided I would let him bask in all the glory that is my bareface. I am not self conscious about my face, as I am comfortable with my features, but I usually wear makeup to avoid the ever daunting inquires of how I am feeling.
“You look awful!”
“Are you ok? You look sick! Do you need to sit down?”
“Oh honey! Go home! You look like death!”
Yes, I am aware I look like death. I also FEEL like death, but since I feel like death every day, I can either feel like death and support my family or feel like death at home. A home I will lose from sitting in and not going to work. WORK IT IS!
By noon I was back to feeling energized, and even got a few compliments on how I was looking thinner today. I couldn’t help but laugh and think, Well, I just lost a week’s worth of intestinal bloat in 20 minutes, I bet I look MUCH better. I took a quick stroll over to the gas station to grab a quick bite and head back over to the office. Having celiac disease, there are slim pickings. Baked sour cream and onion chips and a string cheese. I am going to regret this later… Hanging around the front desk next to Kendall while she frantically tried to track down a package containing an OVERWHELMING $600 worth of cosmetic supplies, I skimmed through messages from random people I don’t know. My legs throbbed from the walk to and from the Chevron, which is LITERALLY closer to our office than the parking space I am usually able to find, and once again I was reminded of my spoons. I have to take it easy or I am going to regret it later. Oh how wise we are about our bodies.
At 5pm I packed up my things, made a few comments to my boss about the difficult client we are working with, and headed out the door. My hip ached, my my knee throbbed on my right side. This is nothing new. I climbed into my little car, put my foot on the clutch and turned the key; A shooting pain shoot through my left foot. Easing up on the clutch I was reminded of my little walk to and from the gas station. Hmmm… perhaps my left leg is beginning to feel the ill effects of supporting the right for the last few days. Putting my foot on the clutch, it ached and stinging pain trickled through it; But I put my car in reverse, and I drove. What choice do you have when you drive a standard, and you have to get home? I have a four year old to pick up from the sitters, and a family to feed tonight. My foot can scream at me all it wants, I have to use it.
Once I was home, I rested my body a bit. Ahhhh! Now you remember to count how many spoons you have left! my body taunted me. I sat thinking of all I had left to do for the night, and narrowed it down. My family hasn’t had a home cooked meal from me in quite some time, and with all the energy I have left, I am positive I can make something for them. I may be worn out and grumpy by bedtime, but dammit! It is worth it.
So here I am, post a baked garlic chicken and corn dinner, children in bed (not sleeping.. but in bed all the same), blogging away and feeling like I was quite productive today. I am perfectly aware that if you compare this day to the average day I had before I fell so ill it would look as though I had done nothing, but I am allowed to feel accomplished over even the littlest things I was able to do today that I was unable to to yesterday. Every day I make it through is another accomplishment and triumph I add to my book of living. It is hard and frustrating to have to feel that so little is so big, but I can’t really compare the me now to the me then. I have to celebrate me.
I have to celebrate the little accomplishments.