Saturday, June 30, 2012

So Not A Receptionist...

I'm about 2 solid weeks into my new job as an 'Accounting Assistant'.

Accounting Assistant.  That's like...working A/R reports, billing stuff, posting stuff, counting stuff, sorting stuff, paying stuff, and calling people to talk about when they might be able to pay stuff.  I like that kind of stuff.  I feel confident in it.

...but I'm also supposed to answer the phone, which makes me 'a receptionist'.

How hard is it to answer a phone?  Apparently, picking it up is's the rest that presents a challenge.

I don't know if it's the buzzing in my head or the fact that my brain runs at approximately 200mph, but I can't seem to isolate the sounds of caller's voices from the background noise of their own telephones.  And, because I'm still fairly new and definitely unfamiliar with the names of the various companies, all I'm able to do best?  When I transfer the call to a coworker - I take the caller's company name and toss it up into a creative little word salad.  MSers, you feel me on this one.  I know you do :-)

  • A company named after a man named "Tom"?  Becomes 'Tom Sawyer'.
  • A company name that rhymes with the word 'tobacco'?  Becomes 'Tobacco'.
  • A customer named Sharon?  Becomes 'Susan'.  Sara is now 'Sierra'.
  • And if your company has more than 3 words?  I simply say, upon transfer, "um...are you available for Dan from a company with a ridiculously long name?  Kay, thanks!"

In other words, there are times in which my brain has hit 'plaid' (clever Space Balls reference) and I can only do what it allows me to do, which is 'be funny'.  I still find myself nervous at times, which we all know is never a good thing for our minds, regardless of holes.  Or not.  I know I'll settle down...settle in...etc.  I've decided to take the breaks I'm afforded in the morning and afternoon, rather than working straight through and re-caffeinating.  Instead, I spend that time with my nose stuck in a devotional book.  That's got to kick in at some point, right?  Right.

Thanks be to God for coworkers who can laugh both with and at me.  And above all, I praise Him for a boss who has handled me with grace and patience.  I am confident that I have been purposefully placed right where the Lord would have me be.  In the meantime, I have to try to get better at this 'receptioning' thing ;-)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Nuthin' But Blessings - a story about my son

I'm pretty sure I've written before about the health challenges my son endured in the first handful-or-so years of his life.  To sum it up, he was born with a condition called eosinophilic gastroenteritis and a secondary diagnosis of 'failure to thrive'.  He's 12 now, quickly approaching next month.

My husband and I are still wondering how it is that we have 2 teenagers.  My husband is old enough for this, but not me.

(we're only 2yrs apart in age)

In any case, my son is on the small side of the coin.  Like 5th percentile on the dreaded growth chart.  And he's got a bit of a complex over it.  For example, when the dr sent him for labs in order to verify all systems were functioning properly?  He was angry to hear that the results came up 'within normal limits'.  He said, "I was hoping there was a pill for this or something!"

We tell him the same thing every time:  "Just you wait.  With feet that size, you're going to grow up to be a big man!"  To which he always says, "yeah right..."

Last night, we went to a double A baseball game and sat where the opposing pitchers were warming up.  Two of the players were so tall that their heads were above ours...and we were in the stands.  My son was watching them and, because we have that sort of relationship where we know one another's thoughts without speaking, I knew his wheels were turning.  I had said to him, "you could be as tall as that guy someday, bud!" which he said, "YEAH RIGHT!  I'll never be that tall.  If I even grow at all!"

I put my arm around him and turned my focus back to the game.  All of the sudden, something came toward me from the side.  It was a baseball...from the pitcher...tossed to my son...prior to his taking the mound.  By the size of the player's smile, I reasoned that he heard our discussion.  By the size of my son's eyes, I concluded that he was in a state of shock :-)

After the game, my husband took my son to the visiting team's dugout, where he stood before a 7'1" pitcher, asking him if the 6'5" pitcher was available so that he may thank him for the blessing.  My son took special notice that the player had prayed before he threw his first pitch and that touched his heart.  He didn't get to meet that particular player, as he was already in the locker room, but the 7'1" pitcher spoke with him and signed his beloved ball.  Again, that touched his heart.

Mine and my husband's, too:-)

Hang in there, my son.  You are a boy after God's own heart.  You are too young to understand the things that you've overcome in just 12-almost-13-years.  You are the definition of 'perseverance'!  And don't you'll grow.  You have to in order to properly balance that 'body to foot size' ratio :-)

I remember how embarrassed he was when I made this picture.  That's okay.  I'm pretty sure that's my duty and right as a mother to embarrass my teenagers...

Friday, June 15, 2012

Starting Over

This week, I began my new job as an accounting clerk.

I started over.  All new boss (who's of the top 5 'Nicest People Ever' that I've met, and that's saying something).  All new coworkers.  All new surroundings.  All new bathroom.

I had a few fears from the start.  First?  That I'd walk into something.  Next? That I'd trip and fall in my new shoes.  See, I thought it best to replace my scuffed toe shoes with a pair of $9.97 black flats from Walmart. Thank you, Sam, for making shoes that even I can afford.

Thankfully, I didn't walk into anything.  Even more 'thankfully', when I tripped, no one saw.  And I think I speak for all of us when I say, "if an ms'er trips and no one sees her, then she didn't trip at all".

Sidenote:  Exactly what is taking so long for someone to create a t-shirt for us that clearly states, "I'm not drunk, I have MS"?  Someone needs to get. on. that.

In any case, ms chose a fantastic combination of symptoms to throw at a 'new girl on the job'.  Brain fog and pseudobulbar tears.  Try learning a new computer system and work process when you can't remember to turn your car off before getting out of it, or can't remember the alphabet.  The alphabet, people.  She who was once 'advanced placement' all through high school?  Had a mental recall equivalent to dumping a can of alphabet soup on the floor and splashing around in it.  The tears were a nice touch, as well.  Nothing like rushing to the bathroom in order to cry in privacy - with no idea as to why.

How did the week wrap up?  All in all...fairly well, thanks.  How'd I manage those symptoms, being the medicinal failure that I am?  Easy.  I chose to manage the outward appearance.  I took refuge in a bathroom stall when applicable, and in the privacy of my car, where I prayed and poorly sang a worship song.  People say 'it's a joyful noise to the Lord'.  No it's not.  I lip synch in church, friends.  Milli Vanilli ain't got nuthin' on me...

I trust that the Lord has put me right where He wants me.  I pray that my coworkers might find something 'different' about me that has nothing to do with holes in my head, and everything to do with my 'light'.  This week, ms was pushing hard for that spot...but next week is coming.  'Cause I'm so *not* above bringing an alphabet strip from my old job to this new one and taping it to my cubicle until this storm passes...

Look out, world :-)

(...the song I was singing to myself each day.  At least I remembered something.)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Compassionate Wife - FAIL

Over the past 2 weeks, ms has been throwing one of its parties.  Be it a change in the weather, an increase in stress level, or just an overall boredom on its decided to 'bring the noise'.

- Vibrations in my head that slightly shook my vision.
- Leg pain that hurt so badly I was certain someone was stabbing me.
- Chest pain that woke me from a sound sleep and persisted throughout the day (and night), intermittently, every day.  Of course it threw me into an all-out panic attack on the first night, which prompted me to complete mental math at 2am in the effort to determine whether or not I had enough in the bank to cover my ER copay.  By the time I sleepily calculated that I did not, the pain turned off like a light switch.  Times like these, I imagine ms hiding behind the sofa...giggling...
- Fatigue.  Fatigue so significant that it could be pronounced..fuuuuh - teeeg.

For the most part, I've kept all of this loveliness to myself.  I mean, isn't that what we do with invisible symptoms?  Imagine having coffee with a friend and she's telling you about her kid's elementary school 'graduation' (because apparently, one graduates every single year now) and you respond with, "That's awesome!  At this very moment, it feels as if 48 tarantulas are running around on my left thigh."  Instead, I respond with, "That's awesome!  I'll bet he can't wait to graduate next year!"  ...and the next...rinse and repeat...

I keep invisible symptoms to myself, with the exception of the fuuuuuuh-teeeeeg, which I joke about with my kids.  They're old enough now to laugh at ms with me and they've never known me without it, so whatever I do is really to be considered their mother's 'normal'.  Anyway, we do this thing where we talk without moving our lips, just 'sluggish speech through our teeth' sort of thing.  The other night, my husband was staring at all of us as I sluggishly communicated to the kids that I wished for them to wash the dishes piled up and over the sink.  Or throw them in the trash can - I really couldn't care less.

**in my hole-filled mind, that should've been his clue that I wasn't feeling well**

Fast forward to last night.

I had an 'ms hug' wrapped around my head with boa constrictor force, a cramp in my foot that nearly dropped me where I stood, and I was grateful for it all.  Why?  Because without it, I'd have surely fallen asleep standing up.  I explained to my husband that I was overly tired and concerned that I wouldn't be as alert as I should be to pick our kids up from a pool party they were enjoying.

His response?

"ugh...I guess I could come along with you.  It's just that my hamstrings have been tight all day from when I did that little bit of yard work yesterday."

My unfiltered I walked away in annoyance...

"...gotta be KIDDIN' me!  STRETCH THEM!!!  Go for a WALK or something...little bit of yard work...ugh..."


Enter overwhelming guilt and recognition of necessity to apologize. Immediately.

His face was priceless.  Mouth - open.  Eyes - of equal diameter to baseballs.

"um...I'm...really sorry.  I'd LOVE for you to come with me!"

Have I said lately how grateful I am that the Lord gave me a patient husband?

(Note to self:  Be kind to man with temporarily sore hammies.)

Compassionate wife?


Saturday, June 2, 2012

I'm Baaaaack!

Hello, people!

It feels as if it's been such a long time!  Where do I begin?  I suppose I could begin with a summary.  Over the past 3 months, I've:

  • gotten groceries relatively incident-free approximately 14 times
  • had 2 additional MS magnets stolen from my car
  • witnessed my kids win some really neat awards
  • had several disagreements with the basset hound
  • lost my job
  • turned 40
  • ran into a curb in a parking lot - hard
  • changed my Dunkin' Donuts drink of choice from caramel iced latte to vanilla bean coolatta
  • changed my hair color to red
  • gone out for cheesecake once

As you can see, one of those points is fairly devastating.  I'm just as confused as you all by the fact that I've allowed 3 months to go by without treating myself to cheesecake more than just once.

MS has been somewhat quiet...unless, of course, that's just because I've been busy turning 40 and changing my hair color?  In which case, it's just not been loud enough.  

Alas, I was reminded of its presence during a trip to Dress Barn to try on new tops for job interviews.  I glanced around the racks and spotted the most perfect blouse ever.  I proudly pranced it into the dressing room and prepared myself for the fabulous transformation it would surely complete in me.  I gently pulled it over my head and felt this horrifying sensation around my ribcage!  I nearly tore it in my spastic efforts to GET. IT. OFF.  Ah ha!  I didn't notice the elastic banding around the middle of the shirt prior to trying it on.  Note to self.  LOOK next time.

A shirt that mimics an MS Hug?  Should be illegal.  Also illegal?  Should be curbs that have the ability to get up and move - into my path.  Ugh.

Because I'm all about sky pictures, I'll take a moment to post one I recently took:

See that light peeking through the clouds?  That's what I call "hope".  And that's what I'm focused on :-)  Though on second glance, it looks a little like one of my brain lesions.  Hope...brain lesion...tomato...tomahto...

Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.