Tag Archives: work from home

Life sometimes forces your hand – updated

I wasn’t going to write today. The plan was to spend the day cleaning and working on some products for my Etsy store. But my day started with a phone call at 8:00 am. As soon as I saw the number, I knew it was bad news. But you know what? It’s one of the first nice days we’ve had in a long time, and damnit. I want to enjoy it. Bad news or not.

I was denied long term disability. I didn’t need it for very long. I only needed a couple of months time while attending therapy and trying out new migraine medications. My sleep schedule is still off. But I’m getting better at trying to go to bed at a decent hour and get up in the morning.

So, I spent some time doing the math. Worst case scenario, I have money to last about five to six months without using my line of credit. I’m exploring other options for financial assistance. We are also appealing the decision (my union rep).

I still have medical benefits. And I’ve asked for my vacation to be used. So, I have some money. I’m considering all options like I told my union rep.

Basically, I’m just so tired of the constant struggle. Doctors get easily tired of the paperwork. And I just don’t want to continue to live like this. Constantly getting pulled into HR meetings about performance. It’s soul crushing.

I have mixed reviews from people. One sister tells me to stay on with the job because “it’s benefits and a pension”. Others are telling me to go back to work for a short while. My therapist and medical pros tell me to look for other work. They know the office job is killing me.

I need work I can do from home. I need a change. Not only am I suffering from extreme burnout after 20 years in my field, but I’m dying for a change. I feel creatively suffocated. And it affects my mental health. The job left me with a serious depression that I denied for many years.

So, today… I’m brushing up my resume. Looking at all career options. Reaching out to potential supports. And asking you as readers to either donate to help cover costs for this website (It’s the business plan) or to support my Etsy store and check out the many digital products I have to offer.

I’m not heartbroken. I’m just exhausted from all the paperwork. and back and forth. I’m tired of being told “no, we can’t help you.” I just want to move on with my life and work for people who will appreciate me for what I can offer them.

I sat on my balcony for 20 minutes and enjoyed the sun. My attempts at getting a tan this summer. It was the pick me up I needed. A natural vitamin D booster.

When one door closes, it forces you to make hard choices. I can’t go back there. I know I can’t. I can’t go back to admin work. I am too overqualified for the work. And so, along with my new home – perhaps it’s time to start looking at new ways to work.

Life sometimes forces your hand to make a decision. It may not be the decision you wanted to make, but it’s the one you need to make.

Updated: June 01

I’m amazed at the love and attention this post is still getting. I’ve been on medical EI since early May. The last couple of weeks have been better mood wise and I’m trying to focus on the good things in life. Like family, friends. I’m also working on getting more into my spiritual side and that is helping. Doing more things like meditating, drinking herbal teas and less caffeine. We submitted the appeal today for long-term disability. I also included a lot of research I did on severe migraines. If you’re living with a disability and trying to find support, please – I’d love to connect.

Updated September 2021:

Wow…the love for this post continues to grow. I thank you all! I’m doing okay. I’m waiting some appointments with specialists that could take a while given the pandemic and “lockdown” issued today. After months of research and convos with my new doctor, we are convinced that the hypermobility has worsened with age. I’m being evaluated for Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. You can read more about this in my Living Well Series! I was approved for long term disability back in July! Let’s hope it continues for at least another year!

I’m using the time at home to focus on getting “healthy” by exercising daily, managing my sleep, eating healthy, cooking most of my foods, and practicing the “Hygge” Danish way of life. The road to happiness.

My Hygge Home Project

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Living with chronic migraines – but you don’t look sick!

It’s nearly 8:00 am and I’m showered, dressed, have a cup of coffee and a load of laundry in the washing machine. I wish this could be the case everyday. I love early mornings. But alas, another migraine kept in bed most of the day yesterday. It’s not even the migraines anymore. It’s the dizzy spells and nausea that come with it. It literally comes and goes. One moment I’m sick as a dog, the next, I’m ready to get my day going.

This is the part I have trouble explaining to doctors. I did some research and migraines have now been declared to be as debilitating if not more so, than strokes or heart attacks. That gives me a bit of relief to know that I’m not alone in the struggle. I see my doctor next week for a follow up. I’m hoping we can go back to the drawing board on what medications to try. The mirtazapine does nothing for me. I gave that up a couple of weeks ago. It just made me sleep 18 hours a day. And who can be productive on that schedule? I also read one side effect is weight gain. Which is the opposite of what I want.

I think I’d like to try the amitriptyline again. It’s one of those drugs you can take as needed and you don’t need to constantly increase the dosage. The Zomig has stopped working. I can’t stomach the Cambia powder. And before you even suggest it…

Nope. I’m not going to be talked into Botox injections. For one, even with 80% coverage of benefits, it would cost $200 every twelve weeks. And that’s money I just don’t have right now. Or like ever in my current line of employment. My rent went up. So did the power bill. And it seems, everything else like the cost of food is on the rise too. Does it ever really end?

One the reasons I’m still off work is that my former doctor had requested that I work from home on a permanent basis. WCB disagreed with this decision. I was put back on the employer’s benefit plan. But that will run out soon. If I don’t get on long term disability, I’ll have no choice but to return to work. The caveat?

My employer refuses to let their staff work from home on a permanent basis. Our Premier is pushing people to go back to work as soon as possible. There’s just no compassion really. People don’t care if you’re sick or living with a disability. They’ll cite performance issues to push you out.

So, I’m looking at all options to carry me through while I figure things out. In a simple world, if I could just find work I could do on my own schedule from home, that would be amazing. The hardest part in the world right now is keeping to some kind of regular schedule.

Last night for example, I wound up getting out of bed around 1 am and I’ve been up since. I lazed in bed most of yesterday. Sometimes a migraine can feel like a stroke. When you lift your head or open your eyes, you instantly feel sick or fall right back into bed. I think the vertigo might be the worst part of it.

Part of the problem with migraines is the whole “you don’t look sick” or “you’re not sick 60% of the time”. But what people don’t realize is that even you’re not in migraine state, the rest of the time, you’re in that fog or hangover state. Sometimes that part is even worse than the migraine itself.

My worst migraine in my life happened after a trip with my friend to Calgary to see a concert. I wound up in the hospital with what I thought were stroke like symptoms. Every time I lifted my head up, or opened my eyes, I got sick. I mean, I had to call 911. I could the look of the paramedics face when they said, “Oh, it’s just a migraine.”

I felt validated when I nearly puked on the guy’s shoe. They finally believed me when I said I “got sick every time I opened my eyes.”

Good days have been far and few in between. And even though it’s dark and dreary outside, I feel like I can get a lot accomplished today. I forgot how much I love early mornings. Watching the sun rise. The world is quiet. There’s very little traffic. It’s serene. We have lots of trees around which means lots of birds. Even the gulls don’t get up that early in the morning.

And so, this is where I am this Thursday morning. Thinking about the future. Trying to reach out to former colleagues, friends and network as much as I can on the good days. And asking you, my dear readers, to pass on the word that I’m looking for work in marketing that I could do from home.

Do you live with migraines? If so, what have you found that works for you for treatment?

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Isolation and the impact it has had on communication skills

Something I realized this week as I started reaching out to people via phone calls and texts, is that COVID-19 has cured my hatred for talking on the phone. Talking on the phone is something that we all did as teenagers in the 90’s. We didn’t have cell phones or even a home computer in those days. Instead, we spent many hours glued to our phones while hiding in our bedrooms.

I didn’t get my own phone until I was about 17 or 18. And when I did, I spent most nights glued to it. To the point that my dad’s customers couldn’t send faxes. I had to cut my phone usage back to between 9:00 pm and 12:00 am. It’s kind of funny when you think about it now.

But since smart phones came along – most people that I chat with prefer communicating by text. And I am a terrible texter. Give me a computer and a keyboard and I’ll chat your eyes off at 99 wpm. But on a cell phone? I’m all thumbs. No really, all thumbs. I inherited my mother’s fat and wide thumbs. I have to use auto-correct every text I send. It’s painful.

The summer months were better for me. I was able to visit my sister and her family. We had a couple of dinners together with just the kids. We had a nice quiet Thanksgiving in October. And I was allowed to see my dad every Saturday. Even though I wasn’t working during the week, I had a set schedule. Saturday visits with dad. Sunday mornings at my volunteer gig with the church. And the occasional visit with friends – which was rare.

Then September hit and cases were on the rise. We’re seeing numbers as high as 1600-1800 daily here now. The province is in mandatory lockdowns for the next month. People are back to working from home. I went out today for the first time in weeks to attend another funeral. It was small with only ten people. We followed protocols. But I’m afraid that’s it. Services are cancelled until further notice. Visits with dad have been cancelled since October.

My two reasons for leaving the house are now – cancelled. I’m allowed to have people visit me. But most already have their families they live with. It’s going to be a lonely Christmas.

But that’s besides the point.

Last week as I started getting more calls for work reasons, to update some medical information and just day to day business in general, I found myself reaching for the phone to make a call instead of relying on emails. Just hearing someone’s voice on the phone made my day better.

Friends have been reaching out more and more. I had cookies delivered on the weekend. And while I miss human contact in general, and hugs, god I miss hugs – I’m finding that being in isolation has improved my communication skills.

I’m able to discuss my feelings more openly. I have no fear of picking up the phone and calling someone to say hi. I still call my dad daily even if he can’t hear me at best of times. I’m catching up with old friends I haven’t seen in a while.

Zoom chats are more enjoyable and it’s just good to see people’s faces. Masks are so impersonal. And while I understand they are important for our safety, it makes it harder to connect with others in general.

I miss seeing people’s smiling face. I miss hugs. I really, really miss hugs.

And so, those are my thoughts on this sunny day as I wait for another phone call.

I do love this whole being at home all day though. If I can find some work to do on a part-time basis – even better!

How are you coping with isolation these days? Let me know in the comments.