What Goes Up, Must Come Down…

They say what goes up must come down. The one question I have is: How far up do you need to be before you come down? It seems to me that my up is not very far, while others have ups so high they are unreachable. Their downs are mere inconveniences, while mine are full on gut wrenching. Literally. As thankful as I am for all of the capabilities I still have, I can’t help but get upset when I am down just after getting up. I am on both an emotional, and physical roller-coaster. I can’t help but picture Wile E Coyote with one of his random inventions; so excited with high hopes in his eyes, only to immediately crash and burn. Wile-E-CoyoteThe big difference is that my crash and burn is not NEARLY as humorous as his. Maybe it is to some… but only people to like to watch me suffer. That sounds awful, but I don’t so easily brush off the idea that those people don’t exist. O_O My ups and downs are going to vary, just like anyone else’s, but one day I would like to at least come to a full standing before I am knocked down again. There are times that I accidentally knock myself down, times that life knocks me down, and times others knock me down. Regardless of who knocks me, I am still going down.

Today I experienced every emotion, though I had physical ailments that really put a damper on anything I was doing in general. Started off late to work (Surprise, surprise that illness has killed my punctuality), and sore as well. My body has not liked much of anything lately. I have a constant upset stomach, sore muscles, and pretty much a relentless headache. This makes it hard to sleep, and hard to wake up. This also makes it hard to eat, hard to drink coffee, and other such things that will wake me up. Right now my whole life is nothing short of difficult. This difficulty did not stop once arriving to work.

At my place of work, I am a jack of all trades. I wear many hats, and I am generally good at it. My illness has absolutely slowed me down, but it has not stopped me. Luckily, even in my slowed state, right now I am appreciated to the point that they continue to rely on me for important tasks. These tasks were pushed a bit today, however, even for someone in perfect health. I arrived to two trainees who I was under the impression would not be at my location until the afternoon. This meant I had to entertain them temporarily until they were to head off to the corporate office. (Btw – This makes NO sense to me. They come to my office for an hour, then have to drive 30 minutes North to the main office, and back. I don’t see why they start employment with such a hassle.) paperwork I then needed to update and rewrite about 1/4 of my 80 page training manual for recent changes to our platform, and ways Account Managers perform their jobs. Being the trainer, and having two trainees fresh out from under my wing, I was interrupted multiple times despite having my headphones on, music blasting and being obviously “in the zone”. I guess being willing to drop what I am doing 99% of the time for my team members kinda makes it less obvious than I would have liked it to be. One of these interruptions was an escalation. Oh fun!

Spending the better part of an hour getting yelled at by a man who had only been a client for a week, yet expected us to have provided him the world at this point, was not quite the best step in the day that would be yet another roller-coaster. The man couldn’t even get my name right. I was called many names, including but not limited to, “Kim, Ryan, and Drew”, but not my name. Once I was finished with said call, to which everyone on the call floor poked fun at me for how many times I had to repeat my own name, and his when trying to get the ranting to stop and reel the man back in, I was able to finish the updates just in time for printing and assembly! Once I hit print, I gathered all of the things I would need to complete the manuals, and begin my afternoon training. “Printer is Offline”. >__< Cancel, move to floating drive, jump on rooted computer and print. Just as I finished this process, my trainees started to come through the door. Not only were there the two trainees for my department, but two for an equivalent department in the corporate office, and one for our Premium department. I had agreed to the additional three trainees just that morning (Because I am insane), and I am sure the frazzled woman they saw before them was not the most impressive introduction to new hire training. 273457944_552b35fe15_b This was followed by multiple hiccups, random events, and other such fun that didn't make the rest of the day as fun as it could be. There were many stresses today, yet I pushed through them and I was very proud of myself.

By the time I got home, my abdomen was swelling, I was sore, and pretty exhausted. I set my bags down, promised my kids a snack after I used the restroom, and took off upstairs. I was so busy today, I barely had time to even use the bathroom, so as a single mom I was borderline excited for some alone time. This was until I realized why my abdomen was so swollen. I am not going to deny, when I saw the blood I was more than just a little upset. I cursed many times, and borderline started to tear up. Every time I discover gastrointestinal bleeding I am reminded that days like these take a toll on my body in many ways. Ways I feel immediately, ways I feel the next day, but also ways I can't really do anything about or don't really notice until it is too late. I always know I have not only pushed myself too far, but have actually hurt myself inside when I see this. My whole body aches, my head is pounding, and now I realize that tomorrow is going to be even harder on me. This also means I can't do anything else tonight. I can't go grocery shopping like I had planned. I can't cook dinner for my kids. I really can't do much of anything at all if I want to be able to perform tomorrow. The three trainees from the Corporate office, if trained well, can prove that I deserve a bigger role in not only my department's new hires, but new hires across the entire company. I need to be my best this week, or at least a level of functional that will be able to hide how sick I am. Tonight I am stressed, tired, emotionally worn down due to other circumstances I can't even go into in this blog post, and worried about tomorrow. About this week.

How far do I have to fall before I can get back up? Because I am ready to get back up now.


How Are You

We all use it as a standard greeting, and it has become a polite way to interact with someone a bit further than a “Hello”. Generally people are going to answer with a, “Fine.” – “Good.” – “Great!” – “Not too bad!” – Always followed with a return of the question, and the same response from the other party. “How are you?” But when you have an autoimmune disease, chronic pain, and are continuously going through both painful and exhausting diagnostics, to answer that question with any of the above would be a total lie. I am not really one who likes to sugar coat things, or lie to people, however I have begun to feel like an asshole when people ask how I am, and I actually tell them. stock-footage-multi-ethnic-business-people-greeting-each-other “My legs hurt pretty bad, I just spent 20 minutes in the men’s bathroom vomiting while the receptionist watched the door because the women’s bathroom is out of order, my head is killing me, and I can’t stop shaking. How about you?” Is that what they want to hear? Is that awkward and rude of me to answer honestly, or should I just respond with a standard ‘lie’?

Today I am obviously ill, and weak. I have been sick since last week off and on, and most everyone is aware of it. My butterfly rash is almost gone, and the remaining visuals of it have been covered with makeup today. But it is hard to miss me limping around, and I am almost positive that each woman who works in this office has walked in on me expelling the small amounts of food I was able to take in earlier. By the way, Skittles look and taste AWFUL coming up. Just learned that today. Not a pleasant thing to discover. Anyway, it is common knowledge in my office that I am often sick, though some people are very unaware of what it is I have, just think I am an over dramatic hypochondriac, and like to harass me from time to time about my missing work. I just sarcastically laugh, and walk away. What else can you do? Those are also the people I lie to when asked how I am doing. They aren’t worth the effort or interaction. Please keep walking, you douche.

So back to the issue of how society pushes off, and makes people with chronic illnesses feel awkward and discarded on a regular basis. “How are you?” – You don’t really want to know how I am, so why are you asking? I understand that it is polite to ask, but I am tired of giving polite answers. I am tired of looking run down, exhausted, and beat to hell, then have someone pleasantly ask me how I am. I can tell when someone is genuinely asking me how I am because they care. Those are the people, who with their friendly faces and caring eyes, make me feel like it is ok to come to work, even when I look and feel like death. Those are the people who make me feel as though I am not inconveniencing anyone with my illness. I hate the glares, the looks, and the whispers I get from a small handful of people I work with, and I almost feel guilty for making my way through the office for the 50th time that day, no shoes on, mismatched socks, random bits of child goo on my clothing, and likely very little make up on with messy hair.. off to the bathroom just in case the apple I ate decides it wants to jump ship. “How are you?” Why are you asking me that? You don’t care. You have no concern, and if I answered you honestly, you would whisper off in the distance about my dramatic, and pitiful ways.

As much as society in general would like to deny, this is very common in other parts of life. I have gained 50 lbs this year alone simply because I am too tired, exhausted, etc to workout, or even move much. I have to eat foods high in salt, as my body has a sodium deviancy, and I slowly limp around most days. Overweight woman There are many times I have difficulties getting out of my little Saturn, as it is low to the ground, and my body hurts from the manual operation it requires. I have seen people stare more than a few times, and glare at me in disgust as I try to heave my over weight (full figured?) body out of my vehicle. It is very apparent that they assume my health issues stem from eating non stop hamburgers, ice cream, pie, cake, and GOD knows what else! They see me as someone with little self control, and even NO self respect! They have no idea that my intestines are swollen inside, I can’t even have anything of the sort because I can’t process gluten, and I have barely been able to keep food down for almost a week. I can’t stand the judgement that is passed on me so quick, and the looks on their faces. I know I should just let it roll off my shoulders, and keep my head held high, but lately it just makes me so angry!

The last week or so, when I get these looks from the skinny little women at the grocery store, I just want to shake them and say, “I AM FUCKING SICK! STOP JUDGING ME!” – However, the idea of incarceration isn’t exactly inviting. I wish I could walk around with a sign on me that says, “My medications cause weight gain, and we are going through diagnostics to see how much damage has been done to my knees from my degenerative auto immune disease. Have a nice day!” I know that most times I don’t want the general public to know I am ill, and I much prefer an invisible illness most times. However right now, with the rash on my face and chest, the limp, the look of disgust, black eyes, and my overall look of complete chaos, I feel like I am not to blame, and I don’t deserve to be treated as if I am failing. I am not failing! I am doing a DAMN good job! If I were to suddenly be as healthy as the average person. If tomorrow all of my illnesses were just MAGICALLY cured, I would feel like Wonder Woman on STEROIDS! I would be unstoppable! I would accomplish so MUCH! Take on the world, and do it with a beaming smile on my face!!! How are you? Pffft… My health may be in the pots, and my body is not capable of everything yours is, but I am still fucking awesome! ME! As a person.. inside. I AM AWESOME! But my body.. is not. Which answer do you prefer?

I am just fan-fucking-tastic, and as bright as a damned sunflower! Sunshine and rainbows everywhere! How are you?

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