damned if you don’t

I’m in another pickle at work.  My long awaited very special specialist appointment is Monday.  Monday also happens to be the ONE day all summer that absence will be exceptionally remarkable, because Monday is “Staff Retreat Day”!  An exciting several hours of hearing about how each department is soooooo busy and about what exciting student development programs and employee participation programs we can all get involved in.  I won’t say much more about that other than there are very few employee participations that I can participate in these days, much to my and my employer’s (rather differently based) consternation.

The staff retreat is only a half day, for a change.  Great news!  Um, no.  Because the half day that it occurs in is the same half of the day that the very special specialist is available to see me.  I have an appointment at the shockingly early time of 8:00 with the doc I’m calling The Runner Up.  She is the one I am seeing because none of the three “bachelors” I was trying to get in to are available until the Fall.  She is also, I’m told, very pregnant.  I’m told this incidentally by the scheduler at the Autonomic center at BI-BATH, “That’s the last day before her maternity leave”.  Oh.  Good.  So I get the runner up who will be high tailing it out of there after my appointment.  Uh, who’s gonna do follow up?

I’m trying to see it as a foot in the door.  As someone to order the damned bloodwork that will, hopefully, shed some light on whether my body is attacking itself for no good reason (chronic autoimmune disease) or for a good reason (cancer provoked autoimmunity).  Either one is a rarity, however I fit the symptoms and presentation to a T and have several history factors which make either a strong contender.  Lucky me.  So someone needs to look into it.  Either has a bad prognosis.  But they do have treatment options, all of which get less good in terms of halting the progress or recovery of function the longer you wait while your body destroys parts of your autonomic nervous system.

You can see why I am hesitant to wait another week let alone month or season on this.

Here’s the pickle though.  I told my boss about this and her comment was “(big boss) isn’t going to like it.”  Yes, I know that.  Thank you for the news flash.  But see, the reason I was telling you was that I want to know how to approach getting permission to go to this without it being a big red mark on my record.  No help from boss.  I explain about the cancer thing.  Ah, ok, now she says “You should go to the appointment.”  Right.  My thinking exactly, but still no help on what I’m asking about.  So I say “Would it help if I talked to (big boss)?”  Boss’s response?  “Maybe….”


I had been waiting in the hope that a cancellation would come through.  I’ve called the very pregnant very special specialist’s office three times in two weeks to nag them about me.  Sympathy, but no movement on the appointment.  Which leaves me now back where I started, do I talk to Big Boss about this.  I had been trying to be deferential to (immediate) boss’s authority and judgement but I think that she’s essentially abdicated her responsibility here, which leaves it up to me.  I think I’m going to do it.  If immediate boss is to be believed, Big Boss has been a source of some of the more problematic elements of accommodating my illness at work so maybe this can be a good thing.  So that’s on deck this week.  That, rescheduled meetings I’m not looking forward to, a GYN appointment to discuss my having turned into a wet nurse, and well just all kinds of fun.

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  1. I like the foot in the door analogy and you DO need to go. See, people make exceptions for those who may have/have cancer (hoping you don’t!) if you recall my last job in Seattle where the co-worker I never saw got to work from home and I had to come in every day and puke from the pain most of the day in the W/C.

    I think you should talk to Big Boss. I mean, you have to go so you’re kinda screwed either way. I now they probably won’t have a clue as to why you need to go this appt., but maybe if you stress what needs to be ruled out, they’ll get off you back for a while. Hope so.

    Before I got sick (starting in ’99 or so) my employer did a WEEKEND retreat in the freakin’ woods of WA way up in the Mt. pass every summer–like 2 hrs from Seattle or so. The seminars were a total waste, but we did have some fun going into the little town at night and getting loaded as we were all in our early/mid 20s and the Ex. Director was a secret drunk. So funny. It was this place designed for group retreats, but we had to share teeny cabins with a weird loft and 1 bathroom and that wasn’t the best as I’ve never had the greatest GI tract. Who wants to sleep w/their co-workers and I was off-site so didn’t know some of them super well. Oh, one seminar was so funny as I hung out with the guys and one fell asleep across the room from me due to the utter boredom and the guy next to him started laughing as the sleeper started to lean on him, but he was trying to stay quiet (guest speaker there) and then when I saw him I started to lose it and then the guy next to me caught the giggles and we both had to leave the log cabin, but I bolted out 1st and he held on for like 3 more mins and then flew out of there too. I totally can’t hold it in ever and get the shoulder shakes when I laugh–genetic trait from father–and was like on the dirt floor laughing my ass off among the pine trees and spiders. I’m dying right now as the memory is clear as day. Omg. I thought I was going to get fired, but who could pull off what I did at work? Freakin’ retreats. We even had to carpool and one time we had to go to Oregan–rural Oregan, which was like 6 hrs! What I did for the Boys & Girls Clubs I tell you. Then I took that crapper job, got sick, and the resume went down the toilet. What a waste.

    Oh, the wet nurse comment–glad you said that one and not me! 😉

    • I do not get the point of “retreats”. I think they are for the pathologically distractable. They strike me as the height of imposition by an employer. Hey, let me have your weekend for a load of bullshit!
      At least you had the town and the fun stuff too. That helps alot. Most of the people I work with are sort of strangely not connectable. I try, I’m not a retiring person and I’m funny. But when I’m with them at these things, I feel like I’m sitting at the jock table in high school or something. I just can’t click with them.

      Ah, the inappropriate laughter. I have this too. I’m not sure if I shake, I get to a point where I make involuntary squeaking noises from trying to keep the laughing in….probably hell on the old glottis. Your story is great. I can totally picture this. It reminded me of a linguistics conference I was at once, my school was hosting it in fact – in our student center during the summer. One guest just kept going on and on, all pompous and with total disregard for the schedule. Finally, the powers that be (probably an underpaid work study or unpaid intern) at the student center decided that enough was enough and quiet, conference time was over and turned on the campus radio over the center’s speakers. So into our room comes the foot tapping sounds of bluegrass banjo…top volume, drowning out the speaker, who tries to compete and keep talking. My advisor was sitting next to me and we both were hunched over, convulsing with laughter, squeaking, and trying so very hard not to let the guffaws out. It was truly a priceless moment. It made me think that there should be a cosmic law or something that when someone overstays their welcome, the universe should just play loud college radio blue grass hour at them as a punishment.

      • So classic! Just drown them out. The funny crap happened twice at the retreat I think b/c the speaker who ran the whole conference made no sense (do they ever?) and coined some term–like an odd word–and I remember we didn’t get it and were talking about it later and one of the guys said it was the STD that fellow co-worker caught. Too funny. Yes, super waste but as we were all young and I just hung out with the guys due to my 12-yr-old boy maturity level, which I still have, it was all good. I haven’t laughed like that in yrs! Miss it. 😦 Another part of being a recluse from EDS that sucks, although that was my favorite job and I stayed there for awhile–the rest were like what you’ve got going on and not a lot of laughing or hanging out. I think life probably just gets worse with age, good health or bad health. Oh, to go back in time…

      • aaaand now I have Cher’s “if I could turn back time” in my head. Worse, I have Cher’s outfit from the video to “turn back time” in my head….

      • Lol! Yeah, some bad aspects of the ’90s there, or was song the late ’80s? I was in HS and as it cut across both decades, I always get confused.

        You know, back in the day I though Cher was such a beauty b/c she looked different and had the curly hair (okay, a perm) like me. Moonstruck is still one of my favorite movies and I loved her in Silkwood (oh creepy) and Mask (so good), etc., but then you’d see her in real life–well, as herself on TV–and yikes! I could watch Moonstruck right now though–it was the only movie I ever bought and on VHS! I have it in storage as I couldn’t donate it. I’m a hidden romantic at heart I guess.

      • I always thought she was beautiful. And having a gay brother meant we were subject to many things Cher. That video though, woooo, yeah. Hilarious. You’re right, very 80/90s cross over. I graduated in 1989, so I was quite firmly in the 80s for HS. I do recall one semiformal dress in particular which was just vintage 80s, complete with crenoline “undercarriage” stylings. LOL!

      • Little Brother–what is their obsession w/Cher?

        Oh, the dresses. Lol! I can totally picture yours. All my formal photos are actually okay–even from the late ’80, but the dress I wore to my traitorous, former BFF’s Bat Mitzvah party at the Space Needle–omg. She was 1/4 Jewish but she had her mom join a temple when she learned she could have a party–spoiled brat (also wore the tackiest formal dresses in HS, too). Anyway, for her party I wore a dress w/a black velvet bodice with sweetheart neckline and odd, matching sequin something over boob and then the ballroom-style, white-satin-with-black-velvet-polka-dots skirt over layers and layers of tulle. 1987 all the way! Oh, there were some fugly dresses in those days. 🙂

      • 1987 was not a kind year to young teen girls and party dresses. Overkill and glam/grandeur was in – and that is not a look that your average young woman can pull off. You should have seen my jr. prom dress. I looked like a reject from the rock me amadeus video. =D

      • Hahaha. So true and wish I could see that dress. 🙂

      • If I find a picture that I can scan, I’ll send it. Face pixelated. LOL.

      • Oh, that would be hysterical. I have all my photos with me due to the heat when I moved, but no photoshop here (nor do I have a clue how it works) and I swear I had normal dresses and hair (!) in HS. I wish I had a photo with the polka dot dress as that was horrid (as was my hair), but I have it in my storage pod! Lol! I saved all my dresses, but my HS ones were left in a garment bag at my mother’s home in WA and I know she tossed it. Argh. I’m not a hoarder at all–just nostalgic. 🙂

  2. Oregon! -on. Omg–it’s only the state below WA that’s also full of tree huggers. I think I had oregano on my sleepy mind or I need to take an English class.

    • I read it as Oregon. So there. 😉

      • Oh, good. People say Warshington (with an r–even Washingtonians in the eastern part of the state). Then Oregon (sounds like Oregen) become Oregawn. I’m really good with the phonetic thing here. Drives me crazy! Same with my damn typos. My eyes are so bloodshot and swollen from the sclerals I wanna rip them out (my eyes–sclerals are out) and I can’t see for crap. The R. lens is too tight and I’m getting a different size so that’s the worse one. I have to take them out with a suction thing and due to the dryness/tight fit–that R. eye take 10 mins. and sometimes I’ll get the suction, but start to pull my whole eyeball out as it’s glued on and I load up on drops beforehand! It’s so bad. I swear it’s why the wandering issue is getting worse. Ugh! Nice choice: horrid pain and good distance vision or being nearly blind. Hate it! This is all the dryness issue–sclerals are very good for KC.
        OK–going to get ready for bed so I can sleep and be done with this body/eye pain and hope my meds kick in quickly. :S

      • Aaaaaiiiiiiieeee! Suction cup on the eye! Sounds awful. Truly. God the things we do.

      • Yep, and I have nothing more to say, other than WHAT KIND OF LIFE IS THIS?

        Isn’t it great when I reply after getting 8 hrs of sleep and doing nothing and don’t write you a rambling novel full of typos from the crap vision?! 🙂

        New goal–don’t clean the damn inbox out every night… It can wait.

      • It can wait! Your health mantra. Mine is “just because you CAN do it doesn’t mean you SHOULD do it” We can add “right now” to it for you (ok and for me too).

      • Amen. It’s so hard to retrain an A-type. I’m the same in life as I was at work and it was so drilled in my head growing up: “never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” Ugh! Working on it–waited until middle of night to reply but I had a busy day again. It’s as far out as I can go due to the visually-scary inbox. :S

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