Finally July 26, 2007
After the last few months of gloom-n-doom Di, I hate to get all optimistic and shit on you, but things are starting to get better with a couple of the Major Areas of Stress that have been consuming me for a bit.
I went to the immunologist on Tuesday, as he is concerned that I have been hospitalized five times since October for the HAE. Apparently, that’s a lot (I thought so, too). There are a lot of not terribly great treatment options that can happen, such as steroids and continued hospitalizations. The good treatment won’t be available for a while yet (just because it’s been safely used in Europe for 30 years doesn’t mean we can have it available here, now, can we?) and ‘roids aren’t an option as someday we’d like to produce an offspring without facial hair problems in the womb.
The option we came up with? Periodic plasma infusions.
So, once a month (to start out with), I’ll go into the infusion unit of the hospital and spend two hours getting pumped full of plasma. I can actually schedule it, and will not have to go in through the ER or be admitted – it’s just like a super-long doctor’s appointment. The immunologist’s goal is to have me be swell-free for three months.
That makes me both squee with happiness, and giggle. I’ve never – NEVER – in 12 years of having this disease gone three months without a flare. I’m all excited.
In addition to finally having some relief in sight, I asked for and received a doctor’s note for a reduced work schedule. Not only that, but my employer didn’t even throw a fit when I told them about it…it’s all good!
So, effective yesterday, I work from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and I have Wednesdays entirely off. Yes, yes, yes!!! I think this will do wonders for me in terms of getting a break in the week from the assorted assholes and asshattery that I deal with on a daily basis. Yay!
And, I don’t want to say anything in case things don’t work out…but we might be moving soon….
I am no fun July 20, 2007
I don’t know that I have a loyal enough following for anyone to have noticed that I have not been blogging much lately. It’s not that I don’t have things to say – cause you know I always do – but because I don’t have much positive to say, and frankly, I tire of me and my whining.
I have been sick – I was in the hospital again last week (for the fifth time since October, for those of you that are keeping track). I talked to the immunologist, and I will go in next week to talk about having plasma infusions every couple of weeks to head of the attacks instead of treating them as they come up in the ER. That would be cool. While I’m not looking forward to heading in every other week to be infused for a couple of hours (or about the port-a-cath that might come with that new territory), I am pretty darn excited about not having as much swelling. Since I had the plasma last week, I have had almost NO swelling, which in and of itself is some kind of minor miracle. I’d like to keep that trend going, thank you.
The condo has still not sold. As of today, we have been on the market for nine months and 18 days. 293 days. 7032 hours. 421,920 seconds. Not that I am counting. We have had a few showings, but the feed back we are getting indicates that the people who are looking at our place are not serious “lookers” in that they have very little intention of buying anything, let alone our place. That’s when we get feedback, which has only been about half of the time…also indicating that the people looking are not serious, if they are not even willing to perform the professional courtesy of replying to requests for feedback.
Which leads me to the real Big Issue that bums me out these days, which is my shitty job. Yes, I know that I have been complaining about Shitty Job* for some time now, and there seems to be no end in sight. Why, you ask? Well, because I can’t get a new job until we have a new mortgage locked in…and that involves buying a new house…which involves selling the old one…which isn’t going to fucking happen in my lifetime. (Oh, and btw, if one more person makes bland platitudes about how the housing market is going to get better, or how it’s going to be any time now, I will shove something very hard and unpleasant in a spot you are least expecting it. No, not there. Not there either. Not even there.)
Anywho, not only do I have the potential mortgage to deal with, but we also have the health issue. As long as I stay at Shitty Job, I am protected under FMLA which basically means I can miss all the work I want for being sick, and they can’t can me or anything. In theory, they need to do pretty much whatever it takes to keep me employed between the FMLA and ADA. This will come in handy when I need to take about a ½ day off every other week to get the infusions.
Flash forward to looking for a new job. There ain’t no one going to hire someone that tells them straight off that they are taking a ½ day every other week until the end of time (and yes, this would be a forever therapy…it’s not like I’ll spontaneously start producing C1 esterace inhibitor again).
“But, Di,” think you. “Aren’t they required to accommodate that under the ADA and other applicable work place laws?”
Think again, Scooter. Applicable law states that I can’t be discriminated against for my disability (damn, I hate using that word) as long as it doesn’t interfere with the “essential functions” of my job. However, if the company that I am applying for deems that working Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. is an “essential function” (such as Shitty Employer does), they can determine that I don’t meet hiring criteria, and not hire me.
There is a serious lack of part time professional work or companies that offer true flex time in this area (in all areas?). In about 8 months of searching, I have found only one such job and they didn’t hire me (bastards). Shitty Employer is unwilling to let me go part time, even though I haven’t worked a full week since the beginning of the year.
So, I feel stuck, which is the worst feeling in the world. I’m stuck at my job, because of the mortgage and “protection”, and even once we get rid of the condo (stress reliever Number One), there is the little “problem” that I am getting to the point where I cannot handle a full time job, or if I could, I’d still have some significant time off work. The companies that do have some semblance of flex time are not kinds of places that I’d want to work (they tend to be giant, soulless corporations. As little as I feel I am doing to help humanity now, that would make me feel even more like a mindless cog.) I don’t have the skills to make it as a free-lance anything (except maybe bitcher), and although Kristy and I are looking at starting our own business, that process isn’t even going to start for another couple of months….(not to mention that when we do start, I don’t have the time/energy for much more than current Shitty Job, and no time off to go catch clients for the new venture).
Of course, I could just chuck it all and go out on disability. I’d almost certainly qualify, and that would give me some income, while being able to concentrate on getting the infusions and not feeling like death all the time, and allow me some time to work on other things that are important to me. However, I hate taking advantage of that system…I’m just not that sick. Yes, I require constant medical treatment. However, I don’t require it to the extent that I can’t work, I just can’t work in the fashion that Corporate America wants me to. (What happened to the flexible work environment we were all promised in the ‘90s?)
So, that’s where my brain has been stuck for a few days. Hopefully, soon I’ll be healthy enough that at least one thing is off my mind. The last year has been tough with the frequent hospitalizations and the other swells that aren’t bad enough to go in, but aren’t good enough for me to get out of bed. Once the condo is sold, that should release some stress and further add to my feeling of well being. If only the job thing would get better….Fairy Godmother? Are you out there??
In happy news, last week I adopted a hedgehog, Furrow. I’ll try to download the pictures this weekend to show everyone his adorableness!!
*I am shocked, appalled, and ashamed to note that I have been at Shitty Job for longer than I have ever held any other job. Ever.
I’m a sucker for these things May 23, 2007
Here are the rules. Google your name with the following words (needs, is, likes, wants, gets, says, does, and eats) and post the results.
Diana needs a wealthy husband who can provide her with the high life she craves while sheltering her from the media clamor that follows her every move. Thank FSM I found Jeff…he’s excellent at shooing the paparazzi!
Diana needs a hug. (Check out the adorable photo!)
Diana needs a nickname. No thanks – got plenty!
Diana needs a forever home. Isn’t that the truth. Does anyone need a lovely one bedroom condo in the University area??
Diana needs to come over and turn my charming studio into a warehouse loft!
Diana is on the northeast border of the county and is northeast of Watertown. Hell, with my sense of direction, that could actually be true.
Diana is the most popular of the Wiccan goddesses, for several reasons. Mostly because of her killer stroganoff.
Diana, is much younger and was originally born on Earth. If you still consider California “Earth”, sure!
Diana is an amazing talent. Am I now a party trick? As in, “Check it out – she’s going to do a Diana!”
Diana is now developiong a membership of concerned travelers with a database that will allow the flying community to easily communicate with each other. That sounds even more dull than my job.
Diana likes blowjob two at the same time. Uh…I don’t even know what to say about that. Diana has never tried that, and Diana also uses better grammar.
Diana likes prostitutes. Diana’s kind of a pig.
Diana likes location work because it combines her abilities as a studio lighting photographer with that of an available light lover. Hmmm…..less dirty…..that’s nice….
Diana likes to block her head with gelato. Wha…?
Diana likes to wake up early and run on a treadmill for 30 minutes. No, she surely doesn’t.
Diana gets the word out.
Diana gets better commenters than me. I don’t know who this other Diana is, but I bet she does. I mean, my commenters are fantastic, but they don’t say much. I read all these other blogs that have lots of comments, and then I feel all inferiour. Don’t contribute to the decline of my self-esteem…say something!
Diana gets the slipper. I run too hot for slippers most of the time, but I’d get Jeff’s for him.
Diana gets an assignment to write about Janice’s death. Which will be difficult, what with not knowing Janice and all.
Diana gets court approval for $1M credit line hike. Yes! Yes!! Fuck you job! I’ve got credit, baby, credit!!
Diana says Good Morning, America!
Diana says, “This fantasy will cross your mind more than once…” Is this the same Diana of the two men at one time?
Diana says that it’s creepy and Whitney agrees. We must have been talking about the nasty woman with no bra I saw earlier, but I could have sworn it was Julie…)
Diana says: whether she wins or not, she will persevere. Diana does not say that, but will from now on.
Diana says she would love to give Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera singing lessons. Wouldn’t we all?
Diana does not admire him, and that there are time when she wishes he were different. Sorry, W. Is IS you.
Diana does not appreciate a jealous, possessive partner.
Diana does the old Sinatra song “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.” And people flee in terror.
Diana, does your daughter still gasp for breath while talking? Shit, I have a daughter? I better go make sure she’s breathing!
Diana does not succumb to the wishes of others.
Diana eats at least 9 to 14 servings of fruits and vegetables per day – that’s two or three fruits with each mean plus abundant vegetables. Diana must be a regular girl.
Diana eats two portions before running outside to play. Is that how she gets all those fruits and vegetables in?
Diana eats bacon cheeseburgers trying to feed her appetite. Now we’re talking…bacon!
Diana eats and says she wants better food. Whitney notes that Diana wants to lose some weight. Whoever this Whitney is seems to know me pretty well…
Anyone game for this one? It’s pretty fun!
Adventures in House Selling September 19, 2006
As my faithful readers know (ok, all one of you!) I moved out of my apartment in June into my sweetie’s condo, and we are getting ready to sell it. As I had a (more than) fully stocked one bedroom apartment, and Jeff had a (more than) fully stocked one bedroom apartment, we rented a storage space for most of my (our) stuff until we get a house.
Now that the painting is done, my next project is to make the condo look spacious, and to empty the closets of all the stuff we don’t think we’ll need for the next few months. We worked on all the closets except the bedroom last night, loaded up the new car and the old car with the stuff, and drove over to our storage locker.
I’m not sure if I mentioned this before, but I was less than pleased with the storage locker. It seemed to have a bit of a leak going on in the ceiling, but it was the only one available, I had a truck load of shit, and I took it. We put a bucket under the leak, kept the good stuff away from it, and called it good.
Last night, we were crawling back there to put some stuff away, and I noticed that one of Jeff’s bookcases (that had been his grandmother’s) was missing the top. It had gotten so wet that it fell right off, and was resting on the shelf below. Upon investigating, the floor back there had a huge puddle, and some of the other boxes and things back there were wet.
Jeff went to talk to the guy (asshat) that runs the place. I’d not been terribly pleased with him either – when I mentioned the big hole in the ceiling upon rental, he gave me a song and dance about how there had been no leak, but to shut me up he’d give me some plastic to cover things and a bucket, and that my homeowner’s insurance would take care of any damage*. He said the words “homeowner’s insurance” so often I felt that he might sell it as a sideline.
Anywho, Jeff went to talk to him, and tell him we wanted a new locker. The one next to us happens to be available, and Mr. Asshat would be “happy” to let us have it. Oh, and the price might have come down…how much am I paying? I told him, and he thought that maybe it was a bit more than that….for the same thing I have, and for a day of Jeff and I moving everything we own. I told him it would not be more, and he said we’d see. Oh, hells no.
And then he proceeds to tell us that he’s closed, and we’ll have to come back to do the paperwork.
At this point, I am livid. It’s going to be cold and rainy for the next week or so, and the last thing that I need on my to-do list is to fuck around with moving everything. I have half a mind to get a truck, and move all my shit to anther storage locker…one not run by a homeowners-insurance loving twatwaffle.
(Jeff is against this idea.)
Tonight we are going to go back to do the paperwork, and demand that we get a few days free, and if not, I am going to seriously consider telling this guy to fuck right off, and go somewhere else (there’s another mini-storage place right next door, and they seemed nice, and I bet they’d help us out).
In the meantime, we are going to have to move everything on Saturday, if you are in the mood for some heavy lifting.
So, we get all done with this asshattery, and unload what we brought into our leaky storage space. We plan to go to Cosetta’s for dinner, and I am looking forward to some of their fantastic pasta salad. (Seriously. Stop what you are doing, drive to St. Paul, and get their broccoli farfalle salad. I need a moment alone just thinking about it.) I am at the gate to get out, and Jeff comes running behind me. Thinking that he has forgotten the security code, I yell it to him, but he tells me he can’t find his keys.
We go back, look all over the car, and the ground, and I pat him down (usually he puts them in his pockets, but he was wearing sweats and a jacket with shallow pockets, so he thought they must have fallen out while he was putting stuff in the storage locker), and we find nothing. We start pulling stuff out of the locker, and nothing. It’s getting toward the point where the gates are going to close for the night, so I hop in the car, run home for the spare keys, and get there with about 90 seconds to spare.
And, worst of all, Cosetta’s was closed by then. L
We decide we can live with one set of keys for the weekend, my beloved picks us up dinner at McDonald’s and he goes to work an hour late. I settle down with my book (Running with Scissors) to read myself to sleep.
I’ve just started reading when the phone rings, and Jeff says to me, “You’ll never guess where I found my keys.” Where? In the pocket of the sweatshirt jacket, under the big jacket that he was wearing.
How the hell did we miss those??
I couldn’t even be mad…it was too funny. And he felt like such a moron, that I just had to tell him that he was wonderful, and it sure wasn’t as stupid as some of the things I’ve done!
(Poor guy – his bad luck continued this morning when he got a parking ticket. He sometimes parks on meters in front of the bulding he works in, as they are free between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Since he didn’t get to work until almost 11:00 p.m., he parked there, and he gets of a 6:00 a.m., so that works well. Of course, he came out a smidgen past 6 this morning, and the friendly University Parking Services guy had already been by.)
Here’s hoping that he is having a nice sleep, and that the guy who looked at the old car yesterday calls this morning and tells him that the 1993 Saturn is his dream car, and he’ll give us $500 more than we’re asking. Or at least, within $500 of what we are asking! Keep your fingers crossed!
*As an insurance agent, I have an aside on this one. Yes, our homeowners will take care of us. However, once they see that it is YOUR NEGLECT that has caused the damage, they will go after YOUR ASS. And, I’d also like to mention that the stuff in our locker is not “replaceable”. Everything I OWN is in there, and I’d rather have it back, thank you.
An Update September 18, 2006
Greetings, Friends and Loved Ones….
I realized lately that I have been a big slacker when it comes to keeping in touch with all of you. I can make excuses if you want, but frankly, that’s really boring. Yes, there has been lots going on…blah, blah, blah…but I value and love each one of you, and need to make more time for my important relationships. Forgive the mass email format of this, but I’ll get you all up to date and we’ll go from there.
My friend Sarah and I made bracelets about a year ago that symbolize the different sections in our lives that need to have attention paid to them. I’ve always liked that concept, even if I can’t wear the bracelets that often, so I’m gonna follow that format.
I’m fine, thanks!
It’s fall, which is one of my favorite seasons (I love the in-between), but it’s also a hard time for me, health wise. My angioedema tends to act up in the fall, and then go back to “normal” sometime after Thanksgiving. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to that, but I can tell you that, what with all the other stuff going on, swelling more than usual is not my favorite activity. Luckily, I have a job that is understanding, and a sweetie that’s all kinds of empathic, so it’s not that bad to deal with. Fingers crossed that the clinical trials for the meds that I need will go forward, and that we’ll have approval in the next couple of years!!!
Work was driving me quite nuts….nuts enough that I was thinking about taking my stuff and walking out, and never looking back. But I was having some angst about that….I mean, this job has treated me like a queen since I got here. The people are nice, the pay is fine, and the benefits are pretty good. What was getting me down was the JOB…it’s boring, it’s far below my abilities, and I was about to tell one of the stupid callers exactly what I thought of them. (You know, you wouldn’t think that pastors would be as nasty as they are. And the language! I may swear like a sailor…but not to someone on the phone! At the church!)
Did I mention that I had the best work place ever? I mentioned that I spent the weekends trying not to throw up at the thought of coming back here, and my supervisor got my phone calls cut down post haste. I was taking an average of 40 calls per day…now it’s about 10. Much more manageable, and I am liking just shuffling the paperwork for now. It’s not going to keep me inspired for the rest of my life, but it will do for now.
The Board has also just finished it’s annual community giving campaign. I was on the core team and several committees for that (boy, was that fun!) and we beat our goal of $68K by over $10K. Yeah, baby!
In the meantime, I have decided that a structured office environment is not the thing for me. I don’t want to jinx anything, but I have some thoughts of what I want to do, and Jeff is helping me research the options and feasibility of such options. More to come on that if something comes of it…(did I also mention that I have the best sweetie ever?).
Friends and Family
Well, friends I am not going to answer, as they can all speak for themselves if they are so inclined. Y’all know who you are!
(Although, I have to say, there have been a rash of broken feet lately….everyone: take your calcuium!!)
Family is actually pretty good….I am going to visit my dad and the rest of the family next month, on my way to VA for Barb’s birthday! I haven’t seen anyone since March, so I am anxious for my visit. The local fam is fine….Meredith has started her third year at the U (and was the third person I know this year to break her foot, last week), and Lauren is in her senior year in high school. That officially makes me…old.
And, since Jeff is soon to be family, I guess I have to mention that he is swell, too. Did I mention yet that he’s the best sweetie ever??
Holy crap, do we have other projects!
- § We are putting Jeff’s condo on the market October 2. Send happy selling thoughts our way! There has been a lot of work that needed to be done…after all, it’s been a bachelor pad for the last five years, and it shows. We have all the painting done, and all new fixtures in the bathroom. We still have to do new light fixtures in the hallway and dining area, a new garbage disposal, hardware on the kitchen cabinets, and then empty out the closets so it looks like no one lives there. Oh, and clean the hell out of the whole place.
- § Since we’re selling, that means we’re BUYING!!! We haven’t started heavy looking yet (Jeff says I’m not allowed to go to any more open houses without our realtor because I get too excited), but I am thinking that we will next week. Luckily for the “buying” side of our transactions, houses are sitting on the market, and coming down in price. We got pre-approved last week, so we are ready to go!!! We are looking in the St. Paul areas that I love (Crocus Hill, West End, Mac/Groveland/Hamline) but are willing to entertain SW Mpls. However, there is just about NOTHING there in our price range!
- § Crafty goodness! I have been doing some work with the homeless down at Sharing and Caring Hands. Once a month, I take a group of co-workers down to serve breakfast at their kitchen. It’s been a very eye opening experience, and has led Jeff and I to discuss a lot about how we live, what is “necessary”, etc. One of the things that I have started doing as a result is knitting mittens. Huh? One of my friends here at work told me that last winter she and her husband were asked for her husband’s gloves…not money…by a man on the street. While I would like to give money to everyone that needs it, the truth is I don’t have it, and I don’t have enough to make a difference, and I don’t have enough for everyone. However, I have lots of yarn, and a commute, and a really easy mitten pattern. I’m going to carry around my completed work, and hand then to people that need them. Working right off Nicollet Mall, there are a lot of homeless people during the day. If anyone else is interested in joining me, drop a line, and I’ll send you the pattern (or feel free to find your own!).
Well, I’ve probably rambled on enough for now. Sorry for the length. Now that I am not on the phone all day, I’m more inclined to actually use it at night. No asking stupid questions, though.
Remember, even though I may not call all that often, you are all in my heart. I love each and every one of you, and am lucky to be able to call you friend.
Oh! I forgot to tell you…although my old email addresses are still active, I am primarily using my new one: email@example.com. Feel free!