Back in June 2007, I spent some time in ICU on a ventilator. It was a pretty horrible experience. The beginning of January of this year I went into the hospital for some tests and ended up on the ventilator in ICU again. I hated it. I hated the drugs and the isolation. But, the tests came back and I don't have wegeners... So that is good. I should be back at work very soon, which makes me happy.
Apparently I am pretty confident in my memory...to the point where I don't think I need to write anything down these days.
There are birds in the courtyard, some in cages, some wondering on the grass. It is sunny and cool. There is a small Italian cafe on the corner- so out of place, and yet so memorable. This small part of town is an oasis in a dirty, filth- ridden city.
Apparently the age of 5 is one where kids love to push the sanity buttons of those in charge of them. My boys have it down to a science, which is odd considering they still cannot manage button-up jeans. And yet they are the ninjas of driving me crazy.
I was diagnosed with SLE Lupus a while back. It was a suspected diagnosis for years, although anyone with Lupus will tell you that an official diagnosis takes a long time to get. I have no idea why... I think it has to do with sunspots or alien life on earth. Just my guess...
I work with a group of frat house boys. Not literally, but certainly figuratively. Every conversation is speckled with expletives and raunchy stories of days gone by. There is an abundance of booze and drunkenness and unbelievably uncomfortable conversations in the evenings. There seem to be no boundaries when they are together. But, it is different for me. I am criticized for either being too engaged, or not engaged enough. It is perplexing.
I spent a few days out of town recently at a team meeting, and ended up sick, as happens when you have no immune system. I didn’t want to go out and play the last two nights and was criticized immensely for it. “Be a team player” “Your co-workers feel like you are distant” “The team dinners and off-time are critical to forge a bond that is needed in this job” and yet told “Be careful what you say” “Don’t get too personal with your co-workers” “keep your distance”. I don’t know what to do with this advice except laugh and call it a double standard, and little bit of bullshit.
This company is male abundant. Most technology companies are. This isn’t surprising. What is surprising is that this is one of the few times I feel a different set of rules apply because I am a woman and not a man. It makes me feel vulnerable and lacking control – something I have tried very much to avoid in my career.
Admittedly I do not currently have much of a filter when it comes to sharing. I tend to just be me. It is uncomfortable for some people, and I suppose I “get” that. But I do understand politics and business how to behave around customers.
What escapes me is a solution. I can get very good at what I do so that the other stuff doesn’t matter, grow some tougher skin, keep my mouth shut, or move on. Money is such a little whore though – and I really like having it so moving on isn’t all that appealing. That makes other fun options less intriguing (like becoming a writer or construction worker).
I lie awake in bed, waiting for the cellophane haze of the Ambien to surround me. I notice that I am always tense; my shoulders, back, neck, hands. My attempts to relax are useless, as if my mind and body have no real connection. I remember a period of time when my brother and I were much, much younger and he was faced with sleeping issues. He would try tensing every muscle and then relaxing them each one by one, trying to teach his body to relax. I have tried this. I have tried meditation. I have tried baths, candlelight, exercise, chamomile tea, reading, television, sticking to a schedule, complete silence and darkness, wine, Benadryl, Trazadone, Tylenol PM, Unisom, ditching all caffeine. And yet, sleep eludes me.
The rare times I am able to fall asleep unaided by medical intervention, I am awake after only a few hours as if I have been asleep all night. This of course leads to three o’clock death march later that afternoon. I am constantly thinking about how to get more sleep. I Google insomnia and read about how it is all psychological, all the while wishing my head were screwed on right. The same advice is everywhere – follow a schedule, get up if you cannot sleep, try not to worry about things before bed, keep a journal, do not drink alcohol or caffeine, get exercise and eat well, stop worrying about not sleeping because it won’t kill you – unless it does.