View Full Version : Ok people, I am stressed and need to vent!
12-07-2006, 09:12 PM
So, besides being told by my attorney that I have very little chance of getting my driver's license back, I now have to face the ramifications of maybe losing my job over that situation when my husband deploys in three months. And live with the fact that he is deploying to Iraq for six to eight months.
He is currently on field exercises for that deployment. He has been gone since Nov. 30, and I have not been able to talk to him at all. It has been hard, this is the first time he has been gone since I was diagnosed and since I have been really sick. I have an 11-year-old and a 9-year-old.
My mother-in-law came in to help me, and she has been great, but she was in a car accident in my car on Tuesday and the insurance is saying it is her fault and in california that means my premiums are going to go up, plus I have to take my car to get it fixed and pay the deductible. She is leaving on the 10th and hubby doesn't come back until th 18th. And again, remember, I can't drive.
I have one friend who lives across the street, who gives me rides three times a week to work and watches the kids after school. She is a god send. I can't ask any more from her, she has four kids of her own and her husband is active duty military too.
I am working 44 hours a week, and next week, I am going to have to ask my friend to pick me up all five evenings. My boss keeps taking in new clients and more work and assigning it to me. I am a supervisor, and a department head, and a paralegal all at once.
We are totally broke, and now I have figure in fixing my car, right before christmas.
I don't feel well, I don't feel like the methotrexate is doing anything but making me feel nauseous once a week. I am freezing cold all the time and my throat is constantly scratchy and sore. I constantly sound like I am losing my voice. My dominant hand and wrist ache and are stiff all the time and I have developed a horrible bone spur on the outside of my right foot that is pushing my pinky toe in and hurts when I walk. My chest aches and I wake up in the middle of the night wheezing. I feel like I should feel better, but I definitely feel worse when I skip a dose of pills. Not tomention, I am totally exhausted all the time, and my muscles are so tired and sore that they randomly spasm.
I have one close friend and no family nearby. I am totally overwhelmed, totally depressed and I feel totally beaten down. I just want to go to bed.
Am I just losing my mind, being a drama queen, overreacting? I know that my life is not that bad, and that it could be worse, but I just want to cry...I don't know what to do.
12-08-2006, 03:41 AM
Hi Peach-i Know A Little Bit Of What You're Going Through. After My Heart Attack And Stroke, I Was Not Able To Drive For More Than Six Months-there Is Help In A Few Areas. Human Health Services - I Was Able To Find Help Through Ada-transit. Hhs Can Also Provide Temporary Bus Tickets. Are You Living On Base? I Am Sure There Are Many Here Who May Know More - And I Will Keep You And Your Husband In My Prayers. "jeremiah 29 . Verses 11 -13"/ Much Love - Browneyedgirl.
12-08-2006, 08:45 AM
OH, dear peach. I can say that I know what you're going through...it's like I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop. When someone knocks on the door, my first thought is, "Oh, god....NOW what awful news will I get?"
My daughter cannot drive, as she lost her license due to DUI's. (she's in AA now and has been sober for over a year) She says taking the bus is a pain at first, but she has gotten used to it now. Look at it this way: in NYC, NObody drives (most don't even own a car) so if they can do it, she can. Of course, no other city has such a marvelous subway system, but still...
Do you belong to a church? some of the dear people at our church have been wonderful to us. A bunch of the men will be moving us the first of the year (they all have trucks--this IS Texas, after all--but that will save us SO much money and hassle.) and the ladies sometimes drive me to the doctor when I am too sick or hurting to do so.
God bless you and your husband. People don't stop to think of the sacrifices that military and families make for us. Well, I DO! Love and HUGS for you--Kathy
12-08-2006, 12:01 PM
Oh Peach, I am so sorry things are the way they are for you right now. You are definitely sounding overwhelmed today and with good right. I hate it when things happen in bunches, there is merit in the old saying "it never rains but it pours".
When I am feeling overwhelmed and all hell is breaking loose it helps me to take stock of the overall situation and to examine all my stresses and make some changes where I can, if not I know the stress will just "eat me alive" and of course my health will suffer.
So lets look at your present issues:
1. licence ..not easy to live without but sounds like you are going the legal way to try and reestablish it. In the mean time.....what are your options besides your friend (who may eventually get overburdened by doing it all) and your husband who will be absent. Look into options....other people, handy-transit, because you lost your licence for medical reasons will medical cover your transportation, etc.
2. work...you mentioned that you may lose your job because you don't have a licence......is that really a reality? or are you just worried? Is you drivers licence a condition of your employment?, if not in contract they cannot fire you for this.
3. Children- It must be very difficult to raise your children when you have a chronic illness so in your husband's absence who can help you with this. Is there someone who can come and help, what about an after school program, what resources are available to assist you in that area so you won't feel so overworked and overwhelmed.
Some of the posters have recommended church people. When I was younger and still raising my children people I met in our church really assisted me especially when I was sick and in hospital. I would take the odd "me" week-end by sending my kids to friends for a couple of days. I made arrangements for my children to stay an extra hour or so at day care so I could prepare dinner in peace. I asked other parents to pick my kids up and drive them to their activities because they were going anyway and I just couldn't do it all.
Peach there are many out there, people in you community who probably could be a wonderful resource for you right now. You just need to find out about these resources and put things in place.
I know this is difficult when you are already so overwhelmed but it sounds like soon your dear husband will be gone and you will be a "single parent" for a while. You are going to need all the help available. Please don't be afraid to ask for help and support.
I hope you don't take offence to my suggestions. I just know what has helped me in the past and I had a life time of being ill, and being a single parent, and still having to work. Your bumpy road is very familiar to me and I wish it wasn't so bumpy for you Peach but right now it is.
Sending you hugs, because you really need them and courage to move forward even though your tired and may feel stuck and positive energy so you can put that one foot in front of the other.
Your friend beautifulbeluga
12-08-2006, 12:47 PM
Oh, Peach, I wish I could reach out to you and give you a hug or a thousand hugs - you need them all. Of course, you are overwhelmed - who wouldn't be. Although my husband isn't military, he is out of the country for weeks or sometimes months at a time because of his job, and it seems like I always get sick when he's gone. But thank heavens I do have family around - you don't have even that comfort. Are there any other family members who could stay with you for a while? Is there any chance of your hubby getting a hardship deferral because of your illness? I know they are much harder to get now, but exceptions are made sometimes - it might be worth applying.
If you can convince your primary care doctor or rheumie to support you on the license issue, the fact that your husband is deploying should be an additional "hardship" factor the DMV would consider. How long has it been since the fainting incident? If more than a year ago, there is a strong presumption it won't recur.
In the meantime, is there a military support organization that might help? Most bases have a couple of groups or organizations that assist the military families and they might be able to help you with transportation. Call the Chaplains office or contact the USO to see what services are offered on base. And check with the local office of the departmental of rehabilitation - in most states they will be able to help you if you have a documented medical condition that interferes with your ability to work. Because you work for such a small office, you probably don't have any protections under ADA, but California state law might apply as far as providing accomodations. And your employer might qualify for tax benefits and other programs if he provides you with tranportation or other services as a job accomodation - so this might be an incentive for him to work with you. You may also qualify for other forms of assistance and various tax credit programs - it varies from state to statem but one of the "one stop centers" should be able to help you. Try this link for more information.
If the MTX doesn't seem to be working, maybe cellcept or something else would be more effective for you. I tried MTX for a few months, my rheumie said if it hadn't helped by then, it wasn't going to. So maybe it's time to re-assess your situation and discuss your treatment options.
You will be in my thoughts and prayers today. And don't be ashamed or embarrassed to reach out and ask for help from people in your community - everyone needs help sometimes. I know it's hard to work up the nerve to ask sometimes - it feels like you are imposing or asking for special favors - but most people aren't like those hateful biddies in your office - most people are glad to help because they know you would do the same for them.
12-08-2006, 09:13 PM
Peach, I'm so sorry you're getting hit all at once. It's just not fair, is it? I think you've gotten some good suggestions from the other posters (Marycain is always such a help!) I can't offer you anything more except my prayers - but know that you have those.
12-08-2006, 09:24 PM
Please know that I'm sending you cyberhugs and positive energy. I will be thinking of you.
12-09-2006, 03:32 PM
I am so sorry to hear you are going through all of this. That leave that Marycain suggested for your husband sounds like a good idea. I don't have lots of ideas except that MTX definitely made me worse when I was on it two years ago. It helped me for about a month then stopped working and I had the sore throat / nausea. Have you tried Rituxan? I am in canada and my rheumy somehow managed to get it covered by a clinical trial. I took it in august and really feel a big change in things overall. I don't think I would have tried it if it weren't covered though.
Have you tried B-12 ?I am taking a sublingual formula with B6 and folic acid. It seems to be helping my energy.
Lastly - is there a neighbourhood highschool girl who can babysit for you? I know this is more expense but I have been getting help at the 4-6 dinner hour and its been working out great for the kids.
Take care and know that things WILL get better......
12-10-2006, 10:50 AM
My heart goes out to you also as I have had those same feelings of just not being able to do what I have to do for another day. I have a similar job but a single mom with two sons. It feels like you are beaten down and there is just no more strength left to be the strong working mom of two kids working a full time job and now having to take on the job of being sick besides. And just when I feel the most hopeless and left crying, I start praying for strength...and then, from somewhere inside I feel that extra boost of will...and pick myself up and somehow...by the grace of God...I keep going. Why some of us suffer like we do, I don't know. But just knowing there are others out there that suffer too somehow helps me endure the bad times. Hang in there. We really are never given any more than we can handle...and when I ask for more strength I usually get it!
12-10-2006, 01:20 PM
Thank you all for your positive thoughts and kind words. It is so nice to know I have support, because I hate feeling so alone. My mother in law left early this morning and I am having a really hard time. I am just very scared.
Also thank you for all of the suggestions. I will be looking into those that I haven't already researched.
I am going to answer some of your questions, because it helps me get it all straight in my mind too. This will be long, so I apologize.
I work about 20 miles down the freeway, in the next county. I have been looking into the local bus/transit service. I don't qualify for the disabled services because you need a doctor's certification of disability. The closest bus stop that I know of is about 3/4 of a mile from my house and the bus runs up to the county line and then I would have to switch to another bus. Based on my research on the phone with the transit service, with the walk, it will take me about 2 to 2 1/2 hours to get work and the same to get home each day. This is the option I am going to go with when my husband leaves. The only snag in this plan is they may be closing that bus stop, and the next close one is about a mile and half away, and I am not sure that I can make that walk twice a day.
I am going to put the kids into the afterschool program, but they close at 5:30 sharp and the earliest I could be home is 7:30, so I am going to pay my neighbor to pick them up and feed them supper.
We don't live on base, we live in military housing in another town, about 9 miles from base. I am glad we don't live on base, because the few times my boss or someone from my work has been able to come out to get me, there has been no hassle of trying to get them through security, and no one wants to go 9 miles off the freeway. Right now I am about 1/2 a mile off the freeway.
My driver's license is not a condition of my employment, but without it, and without another way to get to work, I obviously am going to lose my job. We are deeply in debt, from having kids early on in our marriage, when my husband was low ranking and we lived in remote places where my working wasn't an option and making stupid choices. That debt was compounded over the last two to three years when I was sick and not getting better and missing massive amounts of work with no definable reason. We were living off credit just to survive and pay whatever medical bills and prescriptions that Tricare didn't cover. My boss has now stepped up and started giving me an extra amount in my paycheck to cover the extra medical expenses.
Unfortunately, my pleadings to the court that I have such a far drive to work and that my husband is going to be gone have worked against me. The DMV is using that against me and saying that the long distance driving and the fact that there is no one to help me with the driving are strikes against me and further reason not to return my license. Further, the stress of my husband being gone may cause further attacks of dizziness and fainting. They are basically saying that since I was never technically diagnosed with a condition that caused 4 episodes of fainting in 5 months, that means it is a fluke that it stopped, and it is therefore not controlled and could reappear at any time. The California Vehicle Code states they can hold my license until I have been symptom-free for three years. It has only been 9 months.
I don't currently belong to a church. We have gone intermittently, but nothing regular. I have not gone to the base chaplain and talked to him because that will get my husband's command involved and he just got promoted. I have seen that go bad for people. I am saving that for sheer desperation.
I went to a Family Support Group meeting yesterday. It is for the spouses and families of my husband's command. All of the members are stay at home moms with little kids who live on the base. They do things like organize parties and get togethers when the husbands are gone, or deliver meals to new mothers who deliver while their hubby is gone. I signed up for their newsletter and volunteered to cook meals that could be delivered.
We are going to apply to the Navy medical command to enter me into the "Exceptional Family Member" program. We are not sure what that will do. For some people, it just means the whole family cannot be transferred overseas, or it means they qualify for certain types of housing. Somtimes, it means the service member does not have to deploy on a one-time only basis. I have also seen families get discharged from the Navy for that too, and we don't want that. Five more years and I will have lifetime medical care. So, we are treading carefully.
I have no family that can help. My mother in law was fantastic to make 10 days in her very busy schedule to come stay. My mother doesn't even believe I am sick. I asked her to come and stay this week and she said she was too busy and that I was being dramatic. She said I needed to stop sitting around feeling sorry for myself and make the judge give me my license back. She also scolded me for taking the MTX, because "only cancer patients need chemotherapy".
So there it is. I am scared about a lot of things, like what if there is an emergency at school and the kids need me and I am 20 miles down the freeway with no way to get home? Or, how am I going to get to my doctor's appointments, or get my daughter to her orthodontist appointments? Or what if one of us needs to go to the hospital in the night? How am I going to grocery shop or pick up prescriptions?
12-10-2006, 02:03 PM
Peach, have you ever thought of going to a financial counseling service near you? They may be able to help you get a handle on your debt. It's important that you look for someone who is part of an accredited program with trained, certified counselors. I've managed a program like that (and have for nearly 17 years.) The best way to find one is to go to www.nfcc.org and search for one in your area. If you're concerned about their credibility, check with your local attorney general's office or the Better Business Bureau. In some areas, there are programs that have folks trained specifically to work with military families. Many of these programs provide counseling free of charge. DON'T fall for an agency or program that makes wild promises or wants to charge you a lot of fees up front. Getting out of debt takes time, and there's no quick fix. But it can help to talk to a professional. There may be options you haven't thought of. Hope this is helpful.
12-10-2006, 03:34 PM
Oh, Peach - you are truly facing such a hard situation here. Knowing your medical situation, are none of your doctors willing to help you with the paperwork to qualify for special services? This seems unconscionable, and you should let your doctors know it. But you might still qualify for services through the rehabilitation department, because those determinations are made by the agency. It might not be any help in the short run, but just getting your name on the waiting list is important. They can also give you information about any type of tax credits or incentives your boss might qualify for if he keeps you on and pays for transportation for you. And remember that any money you spend on transportation because of your disabilty may be tax deductible, so keep track of it. You can also itemize and deduct medical expenses for you and your family if they are more than a certain percent of your income - I think it's 7.5 percent right now, but would have to check for sure.
I am not that familiar with the Navy services - my nephew is Navy but all the other military members are Army or Air Force - but don't most of the naval bases have a "fleet and family" service center? Maybe someone there can assist you without your husband's command structure being involved. I realize you don't weant to do anything that might jeopardize his career, but your health is important too. Is moving somewhere closer to your job even a possibility?
Jody is right about debt counseling - if much of your debt is credit-card related, there may be gov't programs you qualify for. And the good counselors are willing to negotiate with other creditors too - some debts can be settled for lesser amounts or discounted. You should also contact the local chapter of the Lupus Foundation - they may know of other resources in your area.
I know you're a paralegal and you do defense comp work - but what amount of your work could be done from home if you could access your work computer from your house? Are you investigating claims, reviewing medical records, writing briefs - what amount of your work requires you to be physically present in the office? If you need westlaw or lexis access, as long as you have a password and account, it doesn't really matter what computer you're using. And with some of the software available now, you can "virtual brainstorm" with your boss any time - our firm's senior appellate attorney and I co-write briefs and motions all the time even though he's in DC and I'm in a satellite office in Kentucky by using a groupware program. I know you are a small office, but it would be far cheaper for your boss to hire a gopher or runner to drive you back and forth, or to bring files and work to you, than to try to find and hire an experienced paralegal. And again, he may qualify for re-imbursement or tax incentives for doing so.
Your children's school may also have resources to help you - talk to the guidance counselor or the family services coordinator. They may know of other parents who live in your area who will be willing to pick up your children or take them to school. They can also help you make emergency arrangements to have your kids taken to a neighbor or a designated person if you were to become ill. You might also post a notice in your office building to see if other people live near you and could help you with transportation in exchange for help with gas money.
If you get your prescriptions through tri-care you can have them mailed to you at your home or office. Many local pharmacies will also deliver- just have them delivered to your office - that's what I do since I also live several miles out of town. I get many of the medications I take regularly in three month supplies so I don't run out. If you need to go to the hospital in the middle of the night, call 911 if it's an emergency situation or the sheriff's department if it's not - if you tell them you have a sick child and can't drive, they will usually come get you, at least they do in Kentucky. And find out what kind of cab service, if any, is available if you need to get to the doctor or dentist. And since some of the wives in your husband's unit don't work, I wouldn't hesitate to ask some of the friendlier ones for a ride to the doctor or dentist - most people are so used to driving everywhere they don't stop to think how hard it is when you can't drive. But if you let people know about your situation, most people are really nice and willing to help with rides or offering to pick things up for you. I don't know if Schwans (the food service) is available in California, but I order from them for some things because the truck comes around every week right to my door. There are also some grocery stores here that deliver - you place your order online and pay by debit card and then someone delivers your groceries. This is a really nice service if anyone in your area offers it.
Consider bartering your services with someone. I tutor one of my neighbor's children in exchange for help with grocery shopping - you might be able to find someone to drive for you in exchange for some other service. Many co-ops and communisty centers have barter clubs - you can also try something like craigslist. I am praying none of this will be necessary and your husband won't be deployed, but I know you can't count on that. But definitely talk to your boss and see what's he's willing to do - there may be financial incentives for him to help you.
12-10-2006, 08:14 PM
There have been alot of responses already, but I wanted to add my voice. I, too, am a military wife so I know how hard it is. My heart goes out to you because I understand first hand what it's like. I wish we were in the same area so we could help each other out! Us Lupus-inflicted military families should stick together! :D My husband's unit is deploying in May, but we're trying to be reassigned near family so that I can have help. Hopefully it'll happen before May so he doesn't have to go! But if so, I'll have to struggle through it. I just don't know how you manage to work with everything else. I don't think I could do it! Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. I hope something will work out to help soon. As for the military wives group: I've never found them helpful. They call me all the time to help THEM with fundraisers and meetings, and get upset when I flat out say, "No, I'm too sick." They don't want to help me at all! But my church has been wonderful. If you are looking for a good church to attend, I can tell you where to go! It's international, so I know there is a meeting near you. Take care, Peach. Hang in there!
psalm 56 3
12-11-2006, 09:22 AM
I wish you were in Virginia because I would do all I could to help you. You have every right to be scared. I am so sorry that your mother is not being supportive, its like pouring salt in the wound. There has been a lot of wonderful advice given to you. I doubt there is anything I could elaborate on other than finding a church. They have a tendency to go above and beyond if you can find the right one, and I pray you do. I will also make certain to include your family and husband in my prayers. A credit counselor could be a tremendous help to you at this time. Struggling with finances can be horrific and you already have so much on your plate. Hopefully they can help to clear some of it off for you. Thanks to Saysusie and all the others you have a wonderful support group here.
12-14-2006, 06:21 PM
Well, my court case got continued until January 29. I still haven't heard from my husband and it is freezing here. This is supposed to be sunny Southern California! Okay, maybe it's just me. I am really stressed about not driving at this time of year. The kids want to go shopping for presents for each other and their dad, and I can't convince them that shopping online is just as much fun. OOOOO. Okay, I am just not getting into the holiday spirit this year.