I’m Broken But Not Alone

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Today I had an MRI of my cervical spine.  Today I got up and went to the Provo Utah hospital.  I got in my gown,  took out all my piercings,  got doped up on the valium,  because I’m claustrophobic and being in that machine for 45 minutes will make me lose my cool.  Bad.  I got my scans,  and got out… then was called in again for more scans… weird,  but I did it.  And like usual, I checked my results online within a few hours.  Because I’m a curious human and I never wait for my Dr to give me my results.  

I was devistated. 

I have degenerative disc disease of the cervical spine,  with at least one 1mm bone spur, and at least one fracture. 

My heart sunk into my stomache,  and tears filled my eyes.  I’m seriously not ok with this.  It was not what I expected,  and not at all what I was thinking at all.  This is not something that can be handled by medications.  It’s not curable.  It’s not operable. Wtf? 

We’ll see what the next step is… but I’m not a happy human.  

I have another appointment next week to check the damage to my nerves and muscles. My bones aren’t doing so good.  My Dr expected to find nothing.  NOTHING.  Instead we found DIGENERATIVE FUCKING DISC DISEASE. 

I’m incredibly upset. I’m falling apart. I’m only 32 and my cervical spine is in wrecks.  It’s inoperable.  It’s treatable with chiropractic care and pain meds.  

I imagine we’ll check the rest of my spine for damage.  An MRI to see the full damage. It’s scary,  and I’m very unhappy. I’ve spent the day in bed sleeping,  and crying.  Then the rest with the Raynors, cooking,  making smoothies and watching movies.  

There’s only so much you can do about bad news.  We had plans tonight, and I wanted to follow through.  I didn’t want to disappoint my kids or theirs. I spent the first half of my day in pain, both physical and emotional,  and the rest laughing and snuggling with beautiful faces.  Playing with children I adore,  and watching Moana. Eating fruit smoothies and popcorn. Celebrating life,  because though my heart is breaking that my body is falling apart, my life is happening right now.  And if I don’t spend it with those I love and care about,  I’ll miss out on it now. 

So,  I’ll give love to those who are important to me.  Because that’s what I need in return. Because I’m in an amazing home.  With amazing humans. And I’m lucky to be here.  To be with this family,  who is willing to not only take me and my girls in, but be my family.  

So I may be falling apart. I may be broken inside and out.  But I’m going to be ok.  Because I have a home.  

I may be broken,  but I’m not alone.  

Wishing Is Useless

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I want my life back. I know that my body is so damaged that it’s just not going to happen,  but I crave my life.  

I miss getting up at 6am, jumping in the shower and singing along to my Pandora stations. I hate that I can’t blow dry and straighten my hair,  throw on some makeup, and some nice clothes. I seriously long for the days I had to wake my girls at 7am, get them dressed and out the door for daycare so I could be to work by 8am for the morning meeting; one I would often run.  

I am a smart woman. I am talented. I am assertive, well spoken, and bright! I stand with confidence! I have been told countless times that I bring a certain spark to the room, and I demand attention. I have written so many emails FOR people, I couldn’t even guess the number. I have trained so many people on how to do their jobs, from making sausage to building computers, and even working websites to rank at the top of Google! I helped build an entire research team for a now insanely successful international marketing firm, of which I was the 15th employee hired… and now I’m homeless. I literally WROTE their training manuals, and I have nothing to show for it.  I put 6 years of my life into Boostability,  and I have zero. Zilch. Nada. NOTHING.  

I fell ill in 2011, and I continued to work my ass off. I billed over half a million for them that year alone.  Just me.  I was the second top sales representative in a brand new company! They sang me happy birthday.  It was sweet. I miss working.  I proved myself over and over at that company.  I knew my career was going to take off! I WAS GOING PLACES!!! 

The sicker I got,  the harder it was on me there.  My boss was amazing,  but the HR representative was awful.  She was constantly threatening to take away my insurance.  For the last 3 years of my employment I was scared every day that I was going to lose my ability to work and my ability to get my medications.  She threatened constantly to drop my hours to part time,  fully aware I was chronically sick with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, never making me aware of my options for fmla or disability benefits in any way.  

I still miss going in every day and doing my job.  I miss researching! I miss helping the clients! I did the job of 3 people! They had a hard time finding a job title for me because of how much I accomplished. I was an Account Manager,  an Escalations Manager, AND the only Trainer for the entire company for years.  I wrote training manuals for Sales, and Account Management.  They used my material to bring in new partners.  New clients.  New everything! I never got credit.  I never got anything for it.  Hell! They used my photography in BYU magazine and didn’t even give me credit.  Didn’t ask permission.  Nothing.  Just took it and used it.  In fact,  my photography is all over their Google, instagrams, twitter, etc,  and they’ve barely given me credit.  And yet I never spoke poorly of this company. I stood by Boostability and spoke highly of them day in and day out.  Yet,  here I am… a year later with nothing to show.  Broke, homeless,  sick and tired. 

When I was fired from Boostability I had been out sick off and on for months.  I had never been so ill. I was planning on coming back. The HR representative informed me that upon my return I was going to be demoted. Not only was I going to be moved to another location,  I was going to be a part of the research team that I created and trained.  I had been in management for the last 4 out of the 6 years I’d been employed at Boostability.  I was being punished for being disabled.  

The night before my return was scheduled,  I received a strange chat from a friend of my daughter.  She told me that my daughter had taken an entire bottle of pills. We had to rush her to the hospital for attempting suicide. I would spend the next week working with her and the the staff at the hospital and a clinic to help my daughter with her depression, and assist in her recovery. Two days into this process I was fired from Boostability. They said I had run out of personal time. 

I was fired from my job after 6 years. I was struggling with rheumatoid disease, and my daughter’s attempted suicide. 

I had no choice but to go. They packed up my desk for me. It was awful. I cried. I wanted to work. Single mother of 3 daughters, sick,barely able to get out of bed every day, demoted and now fired. 

I filed for unemployment. Boostability fought it. They won! Wtf?

I ended up having to file for TANF, and live off $498 a month.  I was making $18.50 an hour at my job. Working my ass off! Doing everything asked of me! I even created a job position that they layer hired someone else for, and then made me TRAIN the person on how to do it. Had me teach the person they hired for Corporate Trainer on our website, our products, on SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION! Which was our entire platform,  because she had no idea how it worked. It was adding insult to injury. A huge slap to the face. Yet I continued to go to work. I showed up every day I was well enough to do so. 

I still miss it.  I miss getting up, getting dressed, and going to work. I miss logging in, researching, adjusting client accounts, and seeing those numbers climb! I know I’m smart, and I know I deserve better than what I have now.  I know I’m too sick to work,  however I know I didn’t deserve the treatment I got from the company I dedicated myself to,  and got dropped like a ton of bricks after 6 years.  

If only I could do something about it now.  I simply have no idea how to even begin.  I would take back all my words! All my knowledge! All my pictures! Take back everything I put in that they took advantage of, and still have. Are still using, while I’m begging for help on GoFundMe accounts. I feel so betrayed and hurt! But what can I expect from a small business gone corporate? 

When I joined that company,  they were all about their employees! They understood that you took care of the employee first,  and then they would take care of the client! After they started getting bigger and bigger, they atmosphere changed and the employees became less and less important to the higher ups.  We became numbers instead of people. 

I was no longer the talented human, long appreciated for what she provided to the business.  I was an employee number,  based on hours attended, risk factor, and head count. I was no longer even a human at all to HR. 

Which is why I never talk about Boostability anymore.  Not in a positive light. Because though I still have many friends who work there and are doing amazing,  I would not refer or recommend friends or family to begin a career there anymore. It hurts me and pains me to say that they are no longer the business I fell in love with. No longer the company I adored for years! They became just another corporate machine, bringing in employees and spitting them out when life throws them a wrench.  

I am one prime example.  I gave them my amazing qualities, and helped a small business grow immensely! I worked in offices during growing partnerships. I worked with angry customers, and saved them lawsuits, and thousands of dollars every week. I was able to get bad reviews taken down, and good reviews put up! I still have an amazing reputation online for my work done while worth that company! However,  that’s basically all I have to show for it,  as I was thrown out as soon as my illness became serious.  

I hate having such bitter feelings towards a company I loved for so long,  and still miss so much. I don’t know what I would have done had my health stayed intact and I had been able to continue my career.  One thing I cannot stand is businesses treating their employees so poorly after they’ve dedicated themselves so long. Especially when the issue that caused the separation is illness. I always felt that a good company tales care of their long time employees who fall ill. 

I’m not saying that I feel Boostability needs to take care of me now, however I feel that my termination and my removal from the company was so very wrong and executed poorly. The HR representative Johanna had a long time distaste for me,  and it was well known among my peers. She was not known for her kindness,  and absolutely none of the employees were comfortable going to her for any human resource issues.  

Yet,  here I am, wishing I could get up, get dressed and go back to work. Back to my old desk. Bank to my old job. Pick up where I left off and continue my life where it was taken from me. I’m aware that I can barely sit in a big comfy chair during the day without feeling worn out and sick, and working is no longer an option for me; not even part time. I simply wish I had something to show for all those dedicated years. My body is broken, but my mind is still here. I may have moments of fatigue and delayed response, but I’m still the smart, clever, and wonderful human I was back then. 

It would have been nice to have been given something for my long time dedication and commitment,  however.  I’ve spent the last year feeling ripped off, hurt, and like Boostability was unfair in the way they treated me the last year I was there.  

Chronic illness is not something we ask for. It’s not something we choose.  I understand an employer is “at risk” when they have a chronically sick employee.  However when one has dedicated themselves and helped a company grow as much as I did for Boostability,  I feel like you don’t just drop them when things get rough. When life gets hard. When their illness takes ahold and they begin to struggle to get to work. 

I not only had to find the laws,  but I had to fight with my HR representative about getting disability rights while working. I had to put myself through emotional hell just to hold onto my job for the last year I had it! I was afraid every time I missed work that my HR rep was going to find a flaw in what I’d done, or some loop hole and take my insurance away. The only way to pay for my medication, which was the only thing keeping me going to work. 

I went through multiple cancer scares. A few MS scares.  Multiple surgeries. So many hospital visits,  I can’t even count! More medications than I can even recall!! So many allergic reactions! I’ve vomited more at work than I’d like to even think about! The amount of blood loss alone in the bathrooms is unspeakable.  

I would be losing blood from 4 different places, and still be at work. STILL running training classes. Still making calls. Still helping account managers with problems. Still getting my job done. Still getting threats to lose my insurance. It was ridiculous. Yet I was still boasting about how awesome my job was! Talking up my coworkers and everything else! I just needed to keep going! Make myself valuable, and ignore the nonsense. Be strong! 

I didn’t start this blog with intention to say all these things about my old employer,  however as I talked more and more about missing working, it all started to come out. The emotional hardships of dealing with the constant threat of losing my job, and then having it finally happen. All because my body was riddled with chronic illnesses. With genetically inherited diseases I had no control over. I was trying to gain control over, however with the constant threat of losing my job (btw, my direct boss was amazing and was part of the reason it took so long for me to lose my job) and insurance it only made things worse.  

I’ll never understand why companies treat the ill so very poorly, especially after years of dedication and hard work. After so much money and time put into the business, and success brought in by said employee. There are always exceptions to rules, and companies can choose to do so for the sick. I simply think that the HR department chose not to do so for me due to a personal vendetta, and cruelty towards me. 

So, here I sit, 14 months after being terminated, wishing I a wasn’t sick. Wishing I was taken of better by a company I dedicated myself to for 6 years! Wishing I hadn’t spent a year hating my life due to a horrible woman constantly berating and harassing me about my illnesses and life. Wishing I doesn’t have to wish for all these things. 

I need to stop wishing. Wishing is so useless…