Awright back to work

HIATUS: A couple of friends and readers noticed that it has been a few weeks since any postings were made here and a few other places. The reason for that amounts to the one thing I hate whining about on the blog and that is: Health. Thanks for those who dropped a line and asked what’s up.

BACK STORY: About a year ago I noticed I was getting tired faster than was usual. I figured it was age and a few of the more rough and tumble activities of years past catching up with me so it didn’t worry me any. Tweaked the diet a bit more and felt marginally better but noticed a few other things happening. Getting ill more often, hard time getting through an eight hour work shift. Then one day after a rain while walking to my car I tried jumping over a puddle and couldn’t. I landed right in the middle of it. At that point I knew something bad was going on. So I made an appointment to get a check up. But before my scheduled doctor visit I ended up in the Emergency Room.

Apparently I had developed diabetes at some point over the last 2 years and health problems snowballed. That’s what I get for being positive and telling myself that nothing was wrong and everything would work out alright eventually. So far I’m doing fine but I have up and down days. I’m usually a cheerleader at work but some days I can barely stand. The last 4 weeks have been more down than up. There is a constant pain that goes down my leg that made it impossible to stand for more than a few hours. The pain is somewhat blunted by lots of meds that often leave me loopy or sleepy.

SAY WHAT: A few months ago a manager made a comment that I shouldn’t be working at their job site because my health may affect the store performance reports. I can think of a couple of laws that violated. Right after that I noticed things going on at work. Schedule was changed past available working hours, the schedule changed after it is posted (so I would be late for work), and receiving unlikely complaints. This in spite of always receiving 100% on secret shopper tests and other evals. Having in the past worked in Human Resources I can recognize when someone is getting managed out. Unless I’m blacking out periodically and demonstrating Tourette’s in a fugue state there is no way I’m doing what is claimed. So last several weeks I’ve been in discussions with the Union and HR to keep my job. I’m pretty sure that however they start out, some work environments evolve to ensure loyal, hard-working, caring employees end up not caring about anything further than a paycheck and doing the absolute minimum required to get by. I’m not like that and never will be.

UPDATE: Today I found out I am not getting terminated. That’s great and I’ve requested a transfer to another site because I feel I am in a hostile work environment. I can hack it but I don’t want to lose a job because someone thinks I’m hostile or grouchy when what I really am is being on the verge of passing out. I’m wary of a manager that expressed I shouldn’t be there because my being ill might make her look bad.

LIFE CHANGES: It’s clear that some life changes are coming as I doubt I’m going to be able to continue what I do now for employment past a few years. There is too much lifting, bending and crouching at my current profession. Going forwards I probably need a sit down job. I can get a waiver from a doctor but it is accepted by an employer on a case-by-case basis and if they want you gone or feel there is to much liability risk they don’t have to accept it. It may be I have to go on disability, a prospect I despise, until I find a job where I can sit in a chair all day.

BLOGGING: I enjoy it so I’m going to keep doing it. Yesterday was my first post here in a while and I’m hoping to keep it up by at least three original entries a week. I’ve determined that at least one post a week has to be socially relevant (though I’ll decide what meets that criteria). Whenever I post something about religion, activism or politics I usually lose a follower but gain two or three. I can live with that. One post will probably be about Hayley Mills and the other will be something stupid. A few weeks ago I surpassed two million recorded visits to the site and that is pretty cool. Might be more but I don’t think the stat-counter I use is all inclusive.Took awhile to get to that number and that’s okay.

ACTIVISM: There’s a project I’ve been sitting on for a while. I want to roll it out but I’m waiting for a copyright and other marks confirmation so I have some grounds to stop any aholeoid that ganks it for etsy or Zazzle or something. I’ve got some ideas to spread the message but I don’t want anyone making any sort of profit from it.

WRITING: If in the future I’m not going to spend 12 hours a day working and then the rest looking after the family then I plan to start writing again. Haven’t done it seriously for decades. A nice sit down job somewhere will allow me to focus. The last year or so I’ve been too exhausted to even think of pounding a keyboard like I used to. For sure though I won’t be looking for a publisher. Probably go the self-publish route and hope it doesn’t come off as fan-fic.

ART: Used to draw and do lots of multimedia art. Might do that again for fun if I can make a large enough work space in the house. The spouse used to make a living painting so maybe we can both get into something.

So anyhoo, that’s it. Tomorrow is Hayley Mill’s birthday. Not promising a big deal because of the tiredness issues but at the least there will be a post and links of some sort.

What is it, Lassie? Sleestak needs insulin?

I’m not going to turn into one of those bloggers who constantly share my health problems but the other night I went to the ER for crippling back pain. After about 7 hours I left with mighty, mighty fine pain-killers and pills that lower my ridiculously high blood sugar. Apparently the blood sugar issue was why I felt so exhausted the last few months.

It was a good thing I changed my diet a few years ago or I would have been in quite the fix today. Fortunately I don’t have to make a major lifestyle change and instead just a few tweaks here and there should do the trick. I’m not going cold turkey on cheeseburgers and pizza since I rarely eat those anyways but I do have to cut way back on the fruit though.

Man, I’m gonna miss the daily bananas and melon for breakfast.

Diabetes has a way of sneaking up on you and once it sets in there is no going back. Considering my diet and lifestyle I was pretty surprised when the doctor told me I was borderline. So whatever condition you are in, even if you feel otherwise healthy like I do, get to a doctor, free clinic or whatever you need to do to get a physical every so often.

Thanks, genetics!

Or maybe it was demons

It’s been months and months since I have fallen ill, corresponding with the decision to stop letting customers use my personal pen to make notes or write checks at the register. I rarely got sick before I worked in retail but shortly after I started I kept having various health issues that just wouldn’t stop. I suspected it was exposure to customers, raw meats and blood and relatively unsanitary conditions from shared keyboards, phone handsets and other equipment.

A few weeks ago I got sick again resulting in a short hiatus. It felt like it was the same sort of respiratory and intestinal affliction I always got when customers used my equipment or I failed to clean the keyboards and phones we all share. This is an illness we all share at some time or another and you can actually track the progress of it moving through the store like WHO tracks disease through the members of a remote village.

No telling how I got the old familiar germs but some weeks ago one customer hacked and coughed directly in my face and I could feel the warm death-spray spatter into my face. Of course my first reaction was a surprised “What the hell, dude!” The anger followed nearly immediately and I let the guy have it. He was not at all apologetic, just stood there and refused to respond or meet my gaze. To make things worse I had to assist him in entering his store club discount card and payment in the point of sale pad since it seemed beyond his faculties. The fact that he carried more money on him than I see in a month and had a wallet full of high-end credit cards did not help my mood any. I really hate it when stupid people make more money then I do.

I expected the worst and a few days later I started feeling poorly and then lapsed into horribleness. Fever, intestinal problems and the sensation of drowning in my own mucous lasted about four weeks total. Medicine did little to help and merely allowed me to keep on my feet, though one customer called the corporate office the complain I wasn’t very upbeat and nice to her. She was apparently oblivious to my near-constant retching, coughing and difficulty standing without shaking. Don’t people have anything better to do?

I guess it’s also possible I got sick from the equipment but I doubt it. Some time ago the liquid sanitizer we used on the equipment was replaced with a gel that isn’t suitable for wiping on keypads or phones. The glass cleaner we now use may be a poor substitute but I’m pretty fastidious about cleaning the gunk off my work spaces. So I’m pretty sure it was the jerk violently assaulting me by splashing his yellow/green lung fluids in my face that got me sick but ultimately…Who knows?

While the illness didn’t cause much pain it did leave me exhausted by the end of the work day forcing me to ignore the site and place on hold various To Do projects. Curiously, during my hiatus of a week or so when I was not posting I received more followers, links and “likes” to the blog than I did during the last four months of regular updates.

And that hurt.