Another one bites the dust

Maybe that isn’t the best title for this post but it probably caught your attention so keep reading even though this isn’t all that exciting.

I sent in my resignation/2 week notice today to end my really part-time, 1 day per weekend job screening the newborn babies for hearing loss.

Yep, that means in 2 weeks I will be down to the one job that I originally intended to be doing solely when I left dentistry and that is taking care of Miss G.

But why you may ask–

Was the job awful? No it wasn’t. It was an independent position working in an environment that I love with babies. How could that be awful.

Won’t you miss the paycheck? Again no. This is a low paying job and that’s not why I took it in the first place. To be blunt, I often surmised that I was spending more in gas money to commute to and from this job than I was making every 2 weeks. Does that illustrate just how part-time and low paying it is? It was interesting and easy and mindless and something to do. 

Okay, so why? I liked the job but I didn’t love the job enough to continue giving up my Saturday afternoons/evenings. I never intended to replace one job with three. Now I can be back to one.

You never do anything in the evening anyway? Well, I wouldn’t say never, but you’re right I am not a gad about town sort of gal who spends her weekends cavorting from frivolous encounter, to bar, to whatever one does on Saturday evenings. It is however summer and I would enjoy doing nothing more than sitting on my deck on a lazy summer Saturday evening with a great book and some nice cool adult beverage, or seeing some theater, or a concert every so often. 

I bet you will be bored sooner than you think won’t you? Maybe but with only 3 classes left before my final degree seminar, a wedding coming just around the corner, and an energetic Miss G to care for I doubt that I’ll be that bored, and if I am, there’s always places to volunteer, which would be great.

But isn’t that like going right back to another “job” ? I don’t look at volunteering that way. When you volunteer it can be on a very limited basis depending on what you volunteer for. There are tons of possibilities if I really want to feel involved in something more. For now I just want to enjoy Miss G and my summer and the upcoming wedding.

So I can go over to Facebook and change my status once more and look forward to putting away, for the final time, my scrubs after 20+ years of wearing those things often more than my own clothing, turn in my ID badge and my parking sticker and walk away from this job happy and knowing that I can just be grandma for now. That’s more than enough.



Body betrayal once more

It’s a whining post again so be warned.

I am getting really, really sick of this arthritis.

I could probably get along with out my feet so getting those removed would likely take care of the arthritis in the ankles.

The hands and wrists…well that does limit my abilities quite a bit if I let those go, and actually they haven’t been too bad lately. The fingers are doing well, the thumbs only ache on occasion and the wrists are usually managed with supports and splints when they are sore. It’s that horrendous grating of the bones in my wrist as I turn them though that seems sort of off-putting. I always wonder if other people can hear it and if it sounds as bad to them as it does to me. I’m waiting for the day when I make the twisting movement and my wrist gets stuck, bone on bone like my thumb used to do. That might freak a few people out.

Right now the biggest issue is my neck. I don’t really remember the last good day I had with my neck.

It doesn’t help that I have been kicking myself lately for not having the smarts to recognize that the neck is where all this started so many years ago. Probably well over 10 years ago actually. I can’t help but ask myself (and I know it doesn’t matter now anyway) that if I would have realized that the problems I was having way back then were arthritis related would anything be different now.

I would guess the answer to that is no, as I still have issues making myself not do the things that aggravate all these areas.

I almost want to say that I can live with the other areas pretty well (some days), but not the neck. The best way to describe it is to try to picture something heavy, maybe a bowling ball, sitting on top of some plastic rings that have jello between them. That damn bowling ball just keeps pressing down, more and more (because of gravity ya know) on those rings and that jello keeps getting squished out from between the rings. Pretty soon some one decides to turn the bowling ball and you hear this awful grating, popping sound coming from those rings. Besides that, the ball, while only maybe weighing about 3 lbs. feels like it weighs about 100 lbs.

The real downside to this one is that I know taking my head off wouldn’t result in a good outcome. I’m pretty sure my functional days would be over.

I’m tired of trying to find chairs to sit in that don’t aggravate the compression. Tired of trying to hold my neck in a sort of chin down and tucked position that stretches out the vertebra. Try studying, reading, researching, typing and driving like that. Oh, and having to wear bifocal glasses and keeping your head in that position can make it challenging to see things as well.

I’m tired of bending over and knowing that if I extend my head to look at anything below knee level those stupid discs of jello are going to get squished and irritated and the grating is going to start.

I am really tired of going to bed at 8pm just because, by that time,  I can’t sit, stand, bend or do anything that involves holding my head up.

This morning I did look up some exercises for neck arthritis. I have actually been doing some of the things recommended and didn’t realize it, but I was able to add a few more to try.

Another little interesting thing I noticed this morning. I have always known that I have had a bit of a curve in my spine. Someone told me this long ago (a chiropractor I think) that one hip was slightly higher making one foot slightly shorter. Just before getting into the shower I passed the mirror. Catching a glimpse I turned full forward and it was amazing just how evident it is that the curve has changed. My right shoulder is significantly higher than my left. Seriously, if you saw my upper half without clothes you would notice it.

An interesting aside to this little development that again, maybe should have been a clue. I have now, for the longest time, had issues keeping my left bra strap up. It always wants to slide down off my shoulder, no matter how much I cinch the thing tighter.

Anyway, I am going on the assumption that spine issues also equal neck issues also equal worse arthritis issues.

What the hell! Is there going to be any place on or in my body soon that functions normally or that functions at all?

And you know what I hate most about all this? The fact that if you look at me, just sitting around or standing nonchalantly, you would never know all this was going on.

I am almost 54, menopausal (meaning age spottish, wrinkly, thick middle) but I look “normal.” I don’t like having a physical condition that is hidden because:

No one really believes that you have issues, are in pain, can’t function, whatever.

There are days when I want to wear a sign around my neck that says:

No, I am not okay. I can’t ____________(fill in the appropriate action here). I have arthritis.

I want to say this to people I don’t know. I want to say this to people I do know.

I don’t want to curl up in a ball and degenerate even more but there are days when much more than that is just too much.

And that makes me feel guilty. Remember that “thick middle” I mentioned above?

I want desperately to exercise now that I actually have time to do so (which used to be my biggest excuse). I love walking and being out-of-doors and I know that a little is better than none. But it seems like when my ankles are better the neck isn’t, and when the neck is tolerable it hurts to put shoes on and move my feet.

Alright, I’m done. I’ve bitched enough, my neck hurts and it’s time to go curl into a ball in a corner