Saturday, August 25, 2012
I'm sitting in the backyard. The chickens are out and scratching about. The dogs are running to and fro -- checking the action back here and then running to the front to make sure all is well in the neighborhood. A scrub jay scolds us from above. My coffee is hot and aromatic with a splash of vanilla. A light breeze jangles the neighbor's wind chimes. The temperature is perfect.
I'm sitting here contemplating life and work and stress and pressure. This summer was the summer that wasn't. I picked up several relief shifts over in the valley - working on my days off. Both to supplement our income and to help offset the costs of an upcoming (and much needed) vacation. I'm done with those shifts now and am grateful they are behind me. I missed writing and sitting with the chickens and crafting and puttering around the house. I missed days at the pool, walks downtown and nights snuggled on the couch.
At the tail end of my work spree I began to have vertigo again. Periods of dizziness and nausea are not new in my world but they are an indication I've pushed too far. It's time to step back and spend more moments like this -- relaxing and contemplating. Even now, if I get up to check the chickens, the world spins just a bit. This is unfortunate as I have to work tonight. Mild dizziness I can handle. Severe vertigo and nausea I can not. If I had sick pay I'd likely use it and not go in to work. Unfortunately I do not have illness benefits. As such if I do not work I do not get paid. Thus I will be going in and hope that this dizziness does not progress.
If it does progress a relief doctor will have to be called in and I'll have to come home. This happened last week and it wasn't pretty. This illness is mortifying and embarrassing and, for the most part, out of my control. I am very much hoping that latest bout of vertigo was simply the result of over working and not from a natural progression of my disease.
I remain grateful for long-term disability insurance. Something I've reluctantly paid into for the past ten years. However I can't help but worry that if the time comes for me to make a claim I will be denied. After all insurance is a business and it is in their best interest to reduce the number of persons "on the dole".
I also worry about the short term implications of not being able to work. The long term is covered (potentially). The short term not so much. Three months without income would be tough. In my state (Oregon) there are no governmental programs for short term disability. I doubt, now, that I would qualify for private short term plans given my current diagnosis.
Deep in my heart I know worrying is useless. There is little point to these anxieties. Life will be what it will be with or without worry. And yet it's hard to stop that wheel; especially once it's set in motion.
At any rate it's nearly fall. There is a delicious crispness in the air that signals renewal. Fall has always felt like a time of new beginnings; a new school year and a fresh start. Time to reorganize and categorize and begin again. And so I will begin again. Each and every day. And I vow to take notice of the little things. The serene moments that bring joy to each day. Today that moment was sitting in the backyard.
And now, if I can herd those chickens back into their coop, I need to shower and ready myself for another night. Here's hoping I stay on my feet.