There are times in my life when things seem to reach a quiet kind of calm. Perhaps I’m on uni holidays, my main projects finished… I’m looking around for the next thing to do, hanging out my shingle, contemplating my book or the next art exhibition. Sometimes it turns out to be the eye of the storm and all manner of hell starts raining down on me. It does make for a hard time scheduling my life.
I had a week like that recently. I’d gone for a job, not heard back, moved on and put in other applications. I picked up the TACSI project. Then got a call and offered an entirely different job but still great work, so I jumped in.
The week I started the new job, I spent a night in ER in a pain crisis being pumped full of fentanyl. Follow up ultrasound the next day gave me a new diagnosis of gallbladder disease. I have one very large stone, a very inflamed gallbladder, and a lot of, and this is apparently the correct medical term, ‘sludge’. I’ve had to radically alter my diet and I’m in a fair bit of pain most days. I have appointments coming up with a surgeon.
Okay, curve ball but I’m still in with a chance.
I went to a medical which turned into a ptsd nightmare I’m still dealing with.
Horrible, but I’m still hanging in there.
I tried to access Disability Employment Support and spent weeks jumping through pointless welfare hoops to prove i was able to do the work I’d already been doing. The support turned out to be far harder to get than the job was.
Infuriatingly stressful but I’m nothing if not stubborn.
I got home from day one of induction to learn that Rose’s Mum (foster Mum) has been diagnosed with a particularly aggressive lymphoma and is starting chemotherapy immediately. Round one of chemo kicks her around so badly she winds up in the ICU incredibly ill, at which point I cry uncle and take a week off work plus put Poppy in daycare, so I can do visits, support Rose, cry, and catch up on laundry.
I’m in a group project for my studies where no one would start work until the final week the project is due, which is now.
I just had emergency dental work on a decayed tooth because it’s part of a TMJD flare I’m in that’s so bad I have tinnitus from it.
I am still standing dudes. But August had better get easier.
The new job is as a Lived Experience Mentor with Uniting SA. It’s a brand new, experimental pilot program, working to create an interface between a dedicated team of employees and a group of folks receiving support through NDIS funding. The people we are supporting, and the team are the clear highlights of the work. The administrative nightmare I’m in of multiple forms of reporting using different measures, rates, and software between work, NDIS, and welfare, is considerably less awesome.
So, this is me, doing my best at self care, advocacy, scheduling, caring, and figuring out what I can eat that doesn’t make me want to die. Don’t call me, I’m not in.