Legal Chest Pains


I have been worried about my heart the last few days.

Having PVC & PAC activity is always disturbing but it seems a little different lately. More episodes, stronger extra beats or like this morning, two quick episodes of sharp pain with them.

I am sure I have had pain in the past. A faint memory is lying there but I can’t wrap my full attention around it.

When you have sharp chest pains and you are someone with “health anxiety” (the polite term for hypochondriac) then it sets off all sorts of warning alarms that I have mentioned in past posts.

For those not familiar, it goes a little something like this:

Minding my own business

Pain or dizziness – something out of the norm – could be a twitch or twinge

All systems stop in their tracks while the mind and body “listen” for anything else to happen. If it does, that occurrence is analyzed fully and completely.

Analyzing an occurrence goes like this:

What was THAT?

It was a…..<insert symptom here>

I wonder if that is a problem!

<Insert symptom here>

There it is again!

Okay, it was a sharp pain. It was in the center of my chest.

OH MY GOD ITS A HEART ATTACK

~ Launch all systems GO evaluation~

Blood pressure cuff – on and inflating (please be normal, please be normal….)

PulseOx meter attached (DON’T look at it for 10 seconds because it is always off while it calculates. DON’T LOOK YET)

Blood pressure results – within normal ranges (Thank goodness….)

PulseOx within normal limits (Thank goodness)

Pause……

“I wonder if I did them right.”

Relaunch check of symptoms

Within normal ranges

“Oh thank God! But…what is that pain? I’ll just look it up on the Internet….”

FAIL

As someone with health anxiety (don’t be rude, that is what we are calling it. YOU can be a hypochondriac…I am NOT!) searching the Internet for what ails you is the kiss of….well…..anxiety or panic…we CAN’T say the other word or it provokes nervousness.

If you are not in a full-blown attack then, you will be within a few minutes of clicking and sifting through the best terrorizing medical information the web has to offer.

The thing is? We KNOW this yet…we do it again and again.

I did it this morning after my bout of chest pain. “I can’t go to the doctor so I almost HAVE to rely on the Internet, don’t I?”

Um, no but that doesn’t stop me.

I sit down on the edge of my bed facing the window. This is where I go when I start having anxiety. That SHOULD be my first clue but it never is.

I bring up the search engine. “Tell me what my death sentence is Dr. Google” I almost say as I begin my sifting.

One thing I have learned is to stay away from WebMD as it will ALWAYS tell me absolute death is impending. Paper cut? Can become infected leading to death. Hang nail? Seek emergency medical attention as you may die.

We stay away from WebMD but Mayo Clinic is my golden child of the “What am I dying of today” world.

Mayo Clinic tells me the facts but almost leans toward not telling me enough. They always throw in when to seek medical attention but it doesn’t seem as ominous as WebMd does.

So far it could be spasms in my digestive track, PVC/PAC activity just causing pain or…brace yourself, it could be anxiety.

So, I launch another round of vital checks and determine that if I am going to die today, I need to accomplish something worthwhile.

Instead, I start writing.

What I have learned over the last year of my life is that I have become a VERY anxious person. I was always a Type A personality before but never full of twists and turns like I have now.

My previous employer shares much of the blame of the creation of the mess we all see before our eyes.

Years of being treated poorly and differently than my peers took its toll but nothing like the last and final month of my employment after returning from FMLA. The torment elevated to amazing new heights as they clearly felt the need to retaliate for my absence and then plotted my departure.

I have YEARS of excellent service to that company and needed time off to put Humpty Dumpty back together again because I was torn down from all of your games and demands and you couldn’t get past the time off I needed so you termed me? Makes total sense.

I am being told that my life will be better without my involvement in that company, in that department and certainly in that toxic environment but while I wait for that “bliss” to hit, I am left worrying about medical insurance, life insurance and of course, the almighty dollar to pay my bills when I did everything you asked me to do.

One of the things about the culture I worked in was that they pushed “We will provide you with all of the tools you need to do your job effectively” yet when I reminded them that I don’t have the tools, I was written up. When I didn’t quit as they thought I would, they fired me.

 

As your employee you promised me that you would lead me with all stops removed, to the type of manager you wanted me to be. I did as asked, when asked and usually much better than I was asked to do it, and then you let me go?

That just doesn’t seem ethical. Considering the source, that isn’t a shock.

So today I am fighting my way through the worry that the after effects of your poor and tortuous treatment of me have caused permanent damage.

I pray. I hope and I know that God will take care of me but I also hope that I don’t “go” before I have something important to leave behind. I am not ready and hope God allows me the chance to do something of value for Him, and me.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Sadness


My skipped and extra heart beats (PVC, PAC) are back today. I hate them. Life is stressful enough – I sure don’t need these too.

It’s been a week since I was fired. I don’t miss them, that’s for sure. They are ridiculous people with a skewed image on how to conduct business. Popularity contests never proved to be great for business over the long run.

Today my heart is ping ponging around my chest upsetting me more and more. Some chest pains and some left arm numbness. It’s scary but I’ve been told as late as April that my heart checks out just fine. 4 months ago. I just have to keep reminding myself that its okay.

I received some legal papers in the mail. It’s just exacerbated the symptoms further.

It’s too bad life gets this way. It shouldn’t have to be do hard.

 

Well, there it is


I was let go today. The Director made good on her promise. I reminded HR Lady as I gathered my things.

Senior was shaking like a leaf. I found it silly. You’ve wanted this so much and you appear to be terrified. Get your game face straight man. You sound scared which is distracting.

Harassment is over (well, the kind I’ll know about. I’m sure libel will continue).

Bullying is done. They can kick at dirt and fondly recall their hate of me.

Discrimination is complete. They got away with it….

Or did they.

Places like that are toxic and its only a matter of time before they are discovered and forced to make sweeping changes.

I can only hope that my departure will bring about a forced change in the way they are allowed to run rampant and lie.

“I know I am being ethical!”

If you truly know it….you don’t have to say it out loud. If you know you’re not or you doubt it….you repeat it because that is who you are.

Keep saying it because hopefully you will be that way some day…maybe you will actually BE ethical. Because right now? You’re fodder for the company. They snicker and whisper when you walk by because your department runs like a high school. You and the others are a clique of girls that were ignored or tormented in school…so you think you’re “popular” now.

Except….

You are the butt of jokes. I used to feel bad for all of you. Then I realized that you cultivated this atmosphere. You created this ugly culture and your employees despise you.

Karma

Karma will take care of you and them. Karma knows no mercy and when it’s ready, you’ll have to deal with the lies and deeds you’ve done.

After you’ve learned the lessons Karma tends to teach, maybe THEN you will be ethical.

But I doubt it. Bad people don’t change very often and you all are a step above the worst society has to offer. Ah, who am I kidding, you’re right there with them!

Great day for a visit


The Director paid me a visit today. I wish I had known, I would have gone to the store.

I was professional. Jovial and polite. Inside I just felt a sense of detachment and disgust. As the Director spoke and made decrees, I thought back to a time when I really had respect for this person. At first I didnt care for the personality. Immature and gossipy. The Director is still that way but it submerged for a little while and I forgot it was there.

The fact of the matter is, I thought the Director had gained some maturity and I appreciated that fact. I thought it couldn’t have been easy to change your natural instincts like that and was impressed.

What an idiot I was. There was no change, it was just hidden below the dark and evil surface that slithers around making demands.

As I watched the Director enjoy being in my department and clearly feeling empowered I wished it was a time in the past when I would have enjoyed the visit. Would have welcomed anything they had to say.

Once someone says untruths about you, it changes how you look at them.

The Director left and I felt like I needed a nap and a shower. All of that malice in one location can be tough to take. It zaps the energy out of you because you know the visit is simply to “record” what they saw while there and then visit again in a week to see if there is a change. The problem with that method is that no matter what IS changed, it will be followed up with no change to support the desire to terminate me.

No ethics. No morals. Grudge holding and vindictive. All signs of immaturity. Nothing has changed except the kid that didn’t really fit in during school, doesn’t really fit in now except someone slipped and gave them a little power and oops…..we are going crazy with it. 

That summarizes the lot of them really.

The spouse works for a boss much like this. I always say “Give them Senior’s card because they will fit right in!”

The sad thing is that at one time I would have shook the world if the Director needed it. Now, I would tape it down and hope it didn’t move because I am sure the request is laced with unethical twists and self-righteous motivation.

People have no patience and will step on another if it serves them.

It’s why I prefer animals. It is why it is painful when they leave. Today was a rough day. I kept picturing my dog and wishing he was still here. The house is so empty without him despite other people and other dogs. I think we are all still stunned and wishing it isn’t so.

His sister is nervous and needy. She wants comfort but isn’t sure how to get it. I feel bad. They just look for him and sigh.

On the way to work this morning I was overwhelmed with going to a place that I have served at the cost of my health and relationships – a place where a few people deem I have no worth any more and it suddenly becomes so – and I was overwhelmed with the continued realization that my dog is gone. My buddy. My calming spirit is off on some other adventure without  me.

 

 

Arms of the Angels


I said goodbye to my adored dog today. He was amazing and wonderful. He helped me through my panic attacks last year and my anxiety issues this year. He was my rock and my heart breaks knowing I wont have him waiting for me when I wake up.

I know things can always get worse but honestly, I don’t recall a time in my life that has been as bad as the last year +.

Being harassed at work has taken on an entirely new aggressiveness since my return from FMLA. Its epic and the loss of a part of me has just made it feel even worse. I dread going to work tomorrow because the pain will be on the surface and those people smell it like a shark smells blood. They will circle and attack. Its what they’ve been doing since my return so this is just going to exaggerate their response.

My dog was a doll. He came to me when I was gripped by panic. He positioned himself next to me and would press up against me to let me know he was there. I would find so much comfort with him….and when fireworks or thunderstorms made him feel the same way…I would bring him close and make sure he knew I was there. I would stay up all night fretting when he didn’t feel well and I would rush home to make sure he was okay.

My other dogs know he is gone and you can see the sadness on their faces. They seemed to sense when he was being taken to the vet because his sister became frantic and kept jumping on me. I didn’t have a choice. I want him here with us but not at the cost to him and his comfort. He couldn’t breathe very well and was in pain. Two terrible things separately. Combined they are cruel to inflict on someone that would lay down his life for you.

I saw him leave and I felt a piece of me go with him. Each time I have to make this decision, that drive and lay on that floor…it steals part of the tiny section of my soul that only they can get to. Its a part that no human will ever see nor experience because animals are true. People are not. No matter how deeply you love or are loved by a person, it is only a micro version of what it is for your animal family.

For those that don’t view pets that way, stop reading. This isn’t something you would find the least bit tasteful.

For those that have pets or have gone through this, you probably get it.

As a child I was a dog fanatic. I ALWAYS adored them. As a kid the dog in my home really didn’t view me as much but she was still my buddy. I was just a lower level dog to her. I wanted her to stay in my room but she wanted to be with the adults. I didn’t care, she was a dog and I loved her but she was forgotten as I grew older and left home. She preferred my mother and I wanted to leave home.

It wasn’t until I grew up that I learned the true value of having a pet. I found my soul mate in the animal kingdom in the form of a stately large breed dog. I adored him heart and soul. For the first year or so of his life I was fortunate enough to have him with me non-stop. He was able to go to work with me and we hung out together. He was my world and I was his.

When I had to make this same decision, take that same drive and lay on that “same” floor watching the life filter away, my soul screamed out and honestly, I don’t think it has ever stopped. If I spend more than a split second thinking about him, I crumble. He left me 9 years ago and it is still incredibly painful to think about.

Today all I could do was hope that my boy joins him, and the others. (2 cats, 1 female dog and my soul pup). I know they will all be waiting for me when it is my time but that doesn’t make it any less painful.

As I smoothed back the soft fur on his temple and whispered my undying love and devotion to him I couldn’t keep the tears from flowing and I hate crying in public, in front of people I don’t know….or do.

I knew when he left me, just like I knew the moment the others did and it is always painful with a mix of relief for them. They are free of this world, the pain and illness they were fighting bravely to be with me….they were whole again and with God.

With my world being as painful as it has been, I wished I could go with him. I am tired of being here. I am tired of dealing with people that think they can do as they please without any type of consequence.

I have to take a stand at work this week and I don’t want to. I shouldn’t have to. I shouldn’t have to go through this because you decided that your bonus or life would be more enjoyable with my unemployment.

Karma

I keep waiting and it seems like I am the one that has the bad Karma. I cannot figure out why. I try to help others and I love to see people do well for themselves. Helping is where “it’s” at in life and I try to do it as much as possible yet……my life is just total shit.

I think about the time I spent on FMLA and am grateful I was able to spend it with him. I would have felt cheated had I not. He was next to me the entire time. He was my champion and I loved him. He will sure be missed.

So, I brace for my week that will likely include a termination. My bosses have steam now and they are ready to use the new found power to rid themselves of someone they have disliked for years but that they haven’t had the power to destroy.

I don’t know what lies they are telling people but I have to assume they are in order to get as much clout as they have.

I have a meeting with an attorney tomorrow. I am filing a lawsuit against my employer and bosses as individuals. Never in my life would I have thought I had to do this and it disgusts me to my core that the world has gotten so abusive that an employee has to fight the battle in court to get them to change their ways.

I am suing them personally because they have made the personal decision to engage in workplace bullying, discrimination and harassment. When you as a supervisor make that decision, you need to know that it can have consequences for you in your life.

I will be attaching myself to their homes, cars, savings and wages for the next 10 or 20 years. Perhaps they will reconsider before doing the things they have done to me, to someone else.

I will be suing my employer for allowing it. Perhaps when I have attached myself to your income, name and reputation for the same amount of time, you will think twice before looking the other way because nepotism became to close to the top to control. When you turn a blind eye, you say it is okay. When you ignore an employee who says there is a problem, you endorse it.

My goal is culture change. Maybe if I sue them then they will change their ways for others. My end result will be the same. I will be unemployed regardless but that other person who will face it after I am gone? Maybe this will stop it before it gets started.

In the grand scheme of things, my dog is gone. My heart is broken and my employer is probably going to fire me tomorrow.

I put in my headphones to listen to a podcast. I pressed the button and Sara McLaughlin’s “Arms of the Angel” song rolled through the headphones and into my heart. This album holds significance in my life as it has appeared every time I am undergoing painful transformations that rock my existence.

I feel like it was a hug from God telling me that my boy is up there with the others running and playing and sure, life sucks but God is there while I walk this awful path.

I know He says he will take care of me but the human side fears the uncertainty that I am facing. I know that He has promised everything will work out for the better but the scared side likes to “what if” and worry about failing.
God wont let me fail and as much as I want to follow that with a “but…” statement, I wont.

God          Wont          Let          Me           Fail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unreasonable cant tell time


Time heals all wounds.

I hope that’s true!

Today is a waste to this stupid ailment I have been wrestling with for almost a year and a half.

I spent the day at home trying to be productive but couldn’t.

I had someone tell me once, “Don’t be a victim?”

They were right. The problem sits deep within. Is anxiety just your soul being a victim? I don’t know. Maybe.

There have been times I have been super determined not to let this crap stop me. My “Stepping Forward” or “Guide” entries show what happens when I demand to live my life anxiety free. Epic bad days.

There have been times I’ve been on a good track, like this morning. Feeling great…and then I tumble.

It’s so random. So awkward. One minute you feel stronger, life flows again. I laughed and smiled!

The next minute I am racing home fearful my blood pressure is bottoming out.

The day was sunny, perfect temperatures and I was with my spouse having a great time.

A subject came up that I find unnerving and that was it. The beautiful day – another one in the stick pile – gone.

You sit and wait like you’re dying.

After 1 1/2 years, you’d think there would be SOME medical indication.

There is no reasoning with unreasonable.

Outta the Blue


Like a hawk diving on its prey, anxiety sweeps in and kills the day.

 

My morning started out great. A little tired, a little stressed from the trials and tribulations at the job but I was trying to push that all behind me and enjoy a nice sunny day with beautiful weather.

We were driving on the highway having a conversation about a creeper blowing past my boundaries when I felt like my blood pressure dropped crazy low. Twice. I was driving as I always do so it startled me for my spouse and me.

As we continued on our path I kept telling myself it has happened before. It isn’t real, its anxiety.

That doesn’t work today.

Symptoms erupt.

Hands and limbs that don’t feel like they move right. Tightness in my chest. Foggy head. Fear.

This one person and their actions touched off a firestorm that has demolished my day….so far.

We started the morning with plans. We talked about how beautiful it was outside. We talked about our first “date” and our future. I was feeling pretty good and relaxed. I turned to my spouse and said “I think for the moment, I am doing better.” I had hope.

Within the hour plus, I am home and checking my blood pressure. My hope has been smashed.

I feel wonky. Out of sorts. I keep trying to push my brain and body to pass these symptoms off as anxiety but they refuse to accept it. It doesn’t matter that “we” have felt this way at different times for over a year.

Part of my resistance is down because of work. I know they are trying to drive me out and I am doing my best not to let them. At some point, they will probably win. My concern is at what cost. They almost killed me the last time. Will they succeed this time?

I ask questions and get no response. No acknowledgement of even have asked the question. My emails go unanswered. Its like communication has been severed. Are they getting ready to fire me? Maybe. Hope your documentation is better than all of mine from the last decade.

I am exhausted from the stress and cleaning up what was left. When I get too tired, anxiety is hard to fight. My symptoms can erupt at the slightest provocation (like today) and it takes me hours or days to manage them back to tolerable.

It is days like this that I wonder if I will ultimately become disabled. These days make it very hard to live. I feel bad for my spouse. A day of promise dashed. I’m sure its getting old.

I have been trying to manage my work stress. It isn’t easy. It is almost like they see you floating and keep throwing more and more bricks at you to try to get you to sink. If you pop back to the surface, it seems to make them mad and they try even harder.

I hope I am wrong. I cant imagine wanting to sink someone. I wouldn’t want that on my conscious but again, I have one. A few of these people don’t.

I’m really trying to keep things in perspective but all of these unknown factors make it terribly difficult.

If they fired me tomorrow, I should probably thank them. Sue them, yeah, but thank them for putting me “out” of my misery they have created. But, who wants to be fired? I have a family to support.

I was told once that I will never amount to anything at that company because I wasn’t liked. I said what I thought and tried to do the right thing. (This was a VP) Because of those things, the key people in charge of my area were never going to allow me to move forward and were probably at some point going to combine forces and destroy me if they could.

At the time I agreed with the moving forward. They would never allow it. But I found the destroying me thing a little out there. Now, not so much. I do think it is in their top 3 goals. I represent some sort of discomfort of fear for them. Maybe they fear they have told me too many secrets that I can share and it would be easier to get rid of me. Maybe I bother them because I refuse to quake when they come near or refuse to treat them as if they are royalty.

Don’t get me wrong, I am respectful and try to do the right things but I will not cave and act like they hold the moon and stars. They are no different than anyone else and the rules apply to all of us. Equally. They don’t care for that so much.

SO, here I am on my day off, worrying about worry and fretting about work. Chicken or the egg? It is hard to say.

As far as the creeper goes, it was a terribly upsetting situation and I think it has come to an end. Almost. I just need to give it a little bit and then I can break free. Ultimately this situation (began at my place of work….of course) will resolve but apparently will crack apart my day first.

My plan to wrestle with this anxiety?

Drink some water in hopes that helps the feeling (and actual) slipping of the blood pressure. Read, study and do what I can, when I can.

I know I need to push, but no so much that I go from a 5 to an 8 on the freak out meter.

I had coffee today. I shouldn’t have. I was feeling good and branched out. Too much too soon on a day when I am reeling from my week. Moderation.

That’s the key.