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Hunniebun
05-20-2010, 06:58 PM
This is gonna be long...
So I quit my job as a horse groom/stall cleaner, tomorrow is my last day. Before I made this decision I asked my doctor if it was something I should do or not and he said it all depends on how I feel. Now, I love working with horses, but it's hard physical labour, especially cleaning the stalls. Manure is heavy, pushing a wheel barrow full of it is heavy, lifting hay bales is heavy...I'd take nearly 20 thousand steps every shift (5-6 hours a day, 5 days a week, my phone counts steps).
Now for some background. BEFORE I got diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and started this whole process of figuring out which one, I already had this job. I was making 12 dollars an hour (which is actually underpaid), but it was enough money for me as I was living on my own and was getting by and doing well, I was even able to afford to buy a brand new car when my old beater died. Life was going good for me, but caused a major train wreck when I started getting really sick and they found things wrong with me in my blood work. I trudged through it because I loved my job and wanted to keep going no matter what, but I started noticing it was getting harder and harder, and that's when I had my first surgery to fix my hand when my fingers started staying bent down. I was holding a pitchfork all day long, 5 days a week, always constantly gripping something, lifting something, and with my arthritis, it made it worse. I had the surgery, kept doing the job, but started getting pain eventually throughout my entire body, and was told it would be better for me to quit this type of work and do something less physical so I could let my body actually feel better.
So that's what I did, I quit and I went on unemployment insurance and medical insurance until it ran out. I looked and looked and looked for a job but couldn't find anything thanks to this lovely economy, so I went back to my original job and started over.
Now I feel like that was a huge mistake, because deep down I knew it was not good for me and its not something I can handle, but I was so afraid of not having any money and falling deeper into debt and losing my car that I just denied all of that and wanted to prove I was able. I'm now right back to where I was the first time, but this time its much worse. My health is really bad and I'm in huge amounts of pain daily, from doing the work that I do, so bad that I have trouble getting out of bed in the mornings, I'm so stiff and sore. So I told my boss that I need to quit again as I can't handle it, and she's been treating me like shit ever since.
When I came back to the job the second time we discussed that I couldn't do as much as I used to and she said she was fine with that, that I would not do any heavy lifting, just basic easier work, more grooming, etc. Well that didn't last long...And eventually a lot of her customers left and she didn't have enough horses in the barn to have 2 people work (there were two of us when the barn was full), so she asked me if I wanted to do the work alone, and me being stupid and having my issues and always fearing to say no to someone, I said yes. I've been doing all the work on my own for 5 months and its killing me, I've never been in so much pain before. Plus I've been very depressed trying to accept the fact that I have some limitations and I can't control how I feel on a daily basis, the pain, all sorts of things bother me and I'm doing my best to deal with it, as I go to therapy every week and I do my best to be positive, but lately I've been stuck in my dark space.
I told her what I could and could not handle but it's like she no loner wanted to listen or she didn't really listen in the first place. She started stacking the work on top of me, making these insane lists of all sorts of things she wanted done, and when they didn't get done she'd B**CH like there's no tomorrow, and never do anything herself! This woman does absolutely nothing herself, she's pays her staff to do everything (well, underpays like I said up there). She lowered the pay to 10 bucks an hour since she lost so many customers. Insane things beside doing the barn work, she'd want her lawn mowed, her garden weeded, weeds weed eated, her office cleaned, her tack room organized (when she kept making it a huge mess), her horse trailer cleaned, her vehicles washed and vacuumed...the list goes on and on. Now...I only have so much energy and I battle fatigue 24/7 so how the HECK, can I do all this?! I refuse to! For one, PAY ME MORE, and second, if it doesn't get done, DO IT YOURSELF?! It's like, she pays me so therefore I am her slave? UM NO.
Anyway sorry sort of ranting there a bit...So I told her I'm quitting and I was going to do it at the end of month but now I've decided I just can't handle the pain anymore nor do I want to handle it, and she's accusing me of being a quitter. She walked up to me today and told me that I need to "snap out of it", that all I do is mope and I'm playing the "feeling sorry for myself game". EXCUSE ME?! How does she even have a right to say such or thing or even judge me for that matter! I've had a really crappy life, a very traumatizing childhood, in fact I didn't even actually get to BE a kid, I was too busy being a caretaker in my extremely dysfunctional family as well as an abusive and very mentally ill mother. I go see a counseling to help me get through that and get over it and move on with my life, and then WHAMMO I get hit with these diseases, another hurdle to climb over. YES I'm going to be depressed, who wouldn't? But that fact is I AM taking steps to heal, I AM taking the steps needed to feel better and deal with my diseases and learn to cope and move on, because I WANT to. But when people shoot me down...I get sooooo upset...I can't believe she'd say such a thing, I mean, how does she know what it feels like, she doesn't, and she can't ever know actually, and I don't expect her to go that far, all I originally wanted was a little understanding at least, but that didn't last either....Anyway argh the whole thing really isn't about her or my issues with her, in fact I shouldn't even let what she said bother me because her opinion really doesn't matter as its MY life, but I always let things hurt me, that's something else I want to change, but with time, I need time for a lot of things.
I quit the job, and I feel it was the right decision. I don't have another job lined up, but what's going to happen is I am getting a note from my doctor and I'm handing it into the welfare office, so I can get some assistance for a few months to a year, so I can rest and get my health back in order as I am so messed up and out of whack from pushing myself for so long at this job. Is that being a quitter? Deciding to take care of myself and asking for help because I'm sick? I don't think so. I'm not a lazy person but I AM sick, like all of us are on here, we all have our limits. I don't have plans of sitting back and doing nothing and getting paid by the government for it, NO. I have plans of healing and trying to feel better and seeing if my medication can work better for me now that I will not be running myself ragged on a daily basis. I plan on taking up a hobby and perhaps getting some schooling so I CAN go back to work again in something that's good for me. That's not quitting...I am NOT a quitter, not a loser, the only thing I need to snap out of, is being afraid of saying NO, and to stop being afraid of happiness.

I guess I'm venting...But if anybody has any opinions I'd love to hear them. Thanks for reading.

rob
05-21-2010, 03:46 AM
Hi Tanya,

I know there is a disability program in Canada. I would get the ball rolling and apply for disability. Here in the U.S. we have Social Security Disability which I've been on since my SLE diagnosis in 2004. The monthly payment is enough to live on if you are frugal and keep a tight budget. I'm assuming the Canadian system is similar. I used to have guilt over feeling like I was just sitting back doing nothing while the government payed me. Well, that's a bunch of baloney. I payed into the system out of my own paycheck. I'm not taking someone elses money. And I am sick.

You need to cut yourself some slack, and stop beating yourself up. You obviously are NOT a quitter, and it's also obvious that you have a good work ethic. But you have an autoimmune disorder. Although you don't yet know which one you have, they are all serious chronic diseases that have no cure. Your symptoms are very real, and you cannot just "snap out of it". I would not worry about what your former boss said to you because you know that what she said is not true. She cannot understand what you are going through, she's not a friend, she's no longer your boss, and I would not put any weight behind anything she has said to you. Forget her and move on, she's not worth the worry.

Your determination to get better, heal yourself, and move on with your life is a very good thing. Finding a hobby can make life alot more fun. And, your idea of furthering your education is also a good thing. If you get back into a position where you are healthy enough to work again, then by all means go for it. But, you have to realize that regardless of how determined you are, your autoimmune disorder may leave you with no choice but to be unemployed and on some sort of disability program.

You need to put your health first, and learn that you have limitations. A big part of successfully living with an autoimmune disorder is recognizing your new limitations, and living your life within them. Just go easy on yourself, and take care of you.

Rob

SandyR
05-21-2010, 07:52 AM
(((HUGS))) Tanya.

I couldn't agree more with what Rob said or say it better myself. You know what you need for your body best and you are doing it so I said good for you for listening to your body and not letting someone else's baseless opinions sway you.

Sandy

Soltera
05-21-2010, 07:53 AM
Tanya,
I was a groom for many years, all through college: it really is a hard job. I work in an office now, and had my first lupus flare up two years ago. It's all I can do to work sitting down! Had a part-time job managing a little Paso Fino barn, but had to quit about 6 months after I became sick. The owner (who used to be my trail and show buddy) never has believed I was in pain....we don't talk much any more.

You have lost one of the great loves of your life. Give yourself time to mourn. Horse management is one of the most fulfilling of all jobs, and lucrative. The satisfaction of a smooth, clean stall....a nicely raked aisleway, turning a mud caked beast into a shining beauty. I know. It still hurts. But, honey, we're sick. That doesn't make us any less wonderfully hardworking, we just have to work now on the simple things.

Learning to say NO is surprisingly empowering, but like everything else, takes practise.

And by the way, YOU WRITE BEAUTIFULLY!!! The above post is a tight, packed, essay about yourself which is niether whiney nor maudlin. Perhaps you can turn your rake hand into wriing hand?

wolfwhisper
05-21-2010, 09:14 AM
I agree with everyone above. You've pushed yourself hard enough, so there is nothing wrong with taking a well needed rest. Especially when you need it most. I agree with Soltera that it takes practice to say no, and a lot of it! Don't work yourself to death for a seemingly crazy psycho person who doesn't care that the person who's doing all the work is in pain. Maybe when your feeling better, you can find a similar job, but with someone who is more understanding.

I'm sorry to hear that you had to give up a job that you really loved. At least you were able to do it for a while though, and TWICE!! How many people can brag about that? I hope that you can cheer up soon.

Nonna
05-21-2010, 11:16 AM
I agree with everyone also; especially Soltera. try your hand at writing. I do accounting but my first love has always been writing. My daughter tells me I should try to do a book or short story now. I suggest maybe a journal on your feelings leaving the love of your life and striking out anew. I don't know if any Lupus patient has ever written about their experiences. but that's a place to start also.

Hugs and Encouragement to you,
We are here,
Nonna :twitcy: :twitcy:

Hunniebun
05-21-2010, 05:46 PM
Thank you guys, very, very much, your replies mean so much to me and have helped me calm down and feel much better. I am starting off with welfare, which isn't very much money at all...But it's all I can do for now. I will also probably sell my car, pay off the remainder of the debt I'll end up with it, and get another car that's fully paid for like I had the first time, somehow...I'm also working on the big disability package from Service Canada. There is disability available from the province of BC, but you need to be on welfare for a full year before you can even apply, so I really don't know how I am going to live off of $600 a month for a whole year...
I just wonder if I have worked long enough and paid into disability long enough to even be able to go permanently on it? I've only been working since I was 17, so not very long at all.

I'm good at writing? Whaaaa? I appreciate the compliments about that but I've always thought I was a terrible writer haha.

I'll also try to stop beating myself up, I'm so anxious and so full of anxiety and all sorts of things that it takes almost everything out of me. But at least today was my last day at that job and I no longer have to worry about it or suffer from it.

rob
05-22-2010, 07:35 AM
Thank you guys, very, very much, your replies mean so much to me and have helped me calm down and feel much better. I am starting off with welfare, which isn't very much money at all...But it's all I can do for now. I will also probably sell my car, pay off the remainder of the debt I'll end up with it, and get another car that's fully paid for like I had the first time, somehow...I'm also working on the big disability package from Service Canada. There is disability available from the province of BC, but you need to be on welfare for a full year before you can even apply, so I really don't know how I am going to live off of $600 a month for a whole year...
I just wonder if I have worked long enough and paid into disability long enough to even be able to go permanently on it? I've only been working since I was 17, so not very long at all.

I'm good at writing? Whaaaa? I appreciate the compliments about that but I've always thought I was a terrible writer haha.

I'll also try to stop beating myself up, I'm so anxious and so full of anxiety and all sorts of things that it takes almost everything out of me. But at least today was my last day at that job and I no longer have to worry about it or suffer from it.

Part of my job as moderator is to read as many posts here as possible, mostly to make sure everyone's keeping with the posting rules and such, so I get to read alot of people's writings. I can assure you, you are indeed a good writer!

Rob

DrinkofWtr
05-22-2010, 08:48 PM
You are definitely not a quitter. You are sick and need to take care of yourself. Sounds like a plan to me. Take care.

mountaindreamer
05-25-2010, 01:02 PM
hi hunniebun,

I am late getting to this thread, but i just wanted to check on you and see how you are doing. I am so glad that you quit that job....no, you are not a quitter, but "life changing events" such as being diagnosed with a chronic illness requires us to reevaluate our current activities, and to make some necessary changes....that is all that you are doing, you are making necessary changes.....that is not quitting. You have realized that your health is important, and you are making yourself a priority....that is the sign of a very mature and wise person. You just keep taking care of yourself, and don't worry about people like your old boss who are obviously just out for themselves....she sounds like a very insensitive and selfish human being, and i am glad that she is no longer controlling your days.

Hunniebun
05-27-2010, 01:52 PM
Thanks so much everybody. I am feeling better and have a big weight lifted from my shoulders not having to go back there anymore. I miss the horses but I'm sure I can find other ways of being around them. I really appreciate everything everyone has said.

Hopefully soon my body will start feeling better now that I am not doing nearly as much hard work. I also am starting some antidepressants so we'll see how that goes as well.

THANKS! :)

Tanya

Hunniebun
05-27-2010, 01:55 PM
Oh and the ball is getting rolling for the disability, and also for now, my doctor is filling out the paperwork I need to be able to be on welfare and not look for work, and I think he'll just keep renewing it each time it runs out.
I guess maybe I should take the larger package, the permanent disability package to my specialist instead of my family doctor? Or does it really matter?

Linda From Australia
09-27-2010, 05:34 AM
How are you feeling Tanya, a few months after quitting your job?
Are you on the road to recovery?
Have you taken up any hobbies?
Have you thought about going back to school or taking up writing?
So many questions, but I just wanted to know how you have settled into a different life.

Hunniebun
09-27-2010, 10:40 AM
Hi Linda,

Wow, thanks for thinking about me! I am feeling better when it comes to body pain, now that I haven't been doing very heavy work since May. I do feel sick every day but some days are worse than others, like how we all deal with our days. I haven't really done much of anything yet because I have really been struggling with my depression. But my medication is starting to work so my interest in things is coming back.
I applied for provincial disability in the beginning of September, I won't get an answer until the beginning of December, so hopefully that all works out, and if not, I'll just have to find another route. I really do want to go back to school, as I am hoping to become a Veterinary Technician, but for SMALL animals, not big. Do you guys think someone who is a Lupie and has RA can handle that job? Animals are my passion and I really don't want to do anything else, or sit around for the rest of my life on disability...If I can live off disability for a while, re-train and get the skills for a job I want and can handle, then I'd be much happier. I have tons of experience with animals, but not enough to get hired (they want you to have gone to school everywhere now), and the other experience I do have, is too physical for me, making birthday cakes and working in a fast paced bakery. I'm hoping they allow me to take classes, because if you get disability andall you're allowed to do is just sit around, well that would really suck...
I want to do some volunteering and such but I'm a very shy and anxious type of person, so it takes a lot for me to be able to get myself out there. I'm working on that in counselling and know there are things I don't need to fear and gotta get over!

Linda From Australia
09-27-2010, 04:00 PM
I am so glad you are starting to feel a bit better. In Australia, you can study part time and work part time when you are on a Disability Pension. You even get extra money if you study. I am not sure if you can take your course part time where you are, but that way you can take your time and not be pressured into rushing your course. You will probably enjoy it more as well.

As for voluntary work, we have the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) that looks after animals that are stray, have been hurt or given in because their owners can't cope anymore. You might have a similar organisation where you live, perhaps you could help out there.