PerBlog October 19, 2013
After spending the majority of this year out of work and the most recent 2-3 months couch-surfing after I lost my apartment, I am finally starting to get settled in at my new home. It is 2 ½ hours from where I have been for the past decade, but St. Lucie County had just completely run out of opportunities for me. After my old boss passed away and the company closed behind him in January, I simply could not find work that was enough to take care of my basic needs. I’d found temp work here and there, but nothing permanent came through. With my apartment several months behind, that was it. I started another temp job and put my stuff into storage, staying between my car and a neighbor’s house (which quickly became very abusive situation). I approached people that I trusted and no one was willing to let me stay with them until I got back on my feet so without an ounce of help from my friends and no family in the area, I had a choice to make: continue being homeless and unable to care for myself much less my daughter, or make a change in my life.
It’s been a very difficult change to make. 150 miles away, a previous boyfriend was willing to take me in and provide food and shelter while I sought work and recovered my losses. His family (3 kids of his own plus two extended family) has been welcoming and friendly as I try to find work here in a much bigger city and try to adjust, settle in and find my way around. I am still looking for work, but do have some calls coming back for interviews and I am hopeful something will come through soon. I have so much I need to catch up on – vital bills that can NOT be ignored but right now there isn’t a damn thing I can do about them. I’m still trying to come to terms with the fact that I am 2 ½ hours away from my daughter until I find work and get a couple paychecks in to be able to get back for visitation, the fact that my belongings are being auctioned off at storage because I couldn’t pay for it, and the fact that I lost two pets in the process, Topper and Moppit, my cat and my dog. I have very little clothing with me, and only one of my journals – the most recent one – even though I had kept every one of my journals since I started writing them at age 9. I had to leave when I had to leave, and that meant coming up with only what would fit in my car. This is the third time in my life I’ve lost it all. Isn’t it about damn time something other than being shit on becomes permanent in my life?
Well, with nothing to my name, here I am starting over yet again. Praying to God something permanent comes in so I can once again have gas and food (it’s still scarce here in a household of seven), proper clothing, personal bills paid, and a little to live on. After those basics are taken care of, I look forward to being able to fix the A/C in this house, as it’s got a bad circuit board and was 92F inside today and my asthma is suffering BADLY for being stuck in this hot, humid air and I’ve no means to get my medication. Internet would be great too! Right now my only reliable connection is at the library. It’s sad, the things we take for granted when we have them constantly. When not having certain things begins to affect one’s health however, I think there is justification for bitching a bit when trying to change the situation that wasn’t working isn’t itself immediately working. My life has turned upside-down this year and fallen out from under me. It is HARD. Bear with me if I’m angry or depressed or bitter. All that pretty hope and happiness idealism isn’t always possible.
Trying to come up with some radical new idea (ok, maybe “radical” in this day and age was a bad term) – a BIG new idea for research for my next FME article. With everything happening in the news, I should not be at a loss for a topic, however my fear is that I will just come across as repeating the same news we’ve been hearing every day. What would YOU like to read about, or hear a fresh view on? Tell me in the comments!
Just to drop an update on myself, ever since my boss passed away on December 28th and the company subsequently closed on January 2, I have been seeking work. For 3 1/2 months, I have been living on my tax return and the grace of friends and charity however that is all running out quickly. If I don’t find viable work *this month* I will be facing very dire circumstances.
The stress of this has caused my blood pressure to shoot up as the worry is constantly there, 24/7, and I have rarely been able to sleep at night for the past couple months. A week and a half ago, I ended up having to break down and go to the doctor with the joints in my right wrist severely inflamed – I was unable to move my wrist, hand or fingers at all. The wrist was treated and cleared up in a matter of days with a brace and a prescription anti-inflammatory but we still don’t know the cause of it. X-rays showed no fracture, blood tests showed no elevated uric acid and therefore no possibility of gout, and the doctor also ruled out arthritis. It remains an excruciating mystery but at least I have leftover meds to treat it should it recur.
While at that doctor visit, whereas the wrist was treated quickly enough, the focus of the visit quickly turned to my blood pressure when my vitals were taken. Back to that – my BP was 210/140. YIKES! The doc immediately gave me a Clonidine and told me to go to the emergency room however if you’ve ever read my previous post about Lawnwood Regional, you’ll understand why I was loathe to even consider stopping in there. In the end, I did not go to the ER, taking the prescription for Clonidine and hoping that would start to lower my numbers.
Like an idiot, I started right in on the full prescribed dose. Had I remembered the problems I had when starting on another BP med several years ago (heart rate below 60, fainting, inability to walk more than a few feet without severe difficulty in breathing), I would have started small and worked my way up to the full dose. The first 3 days of full-dosing this time, same thing. I was fainting, could barely breathe due to very slow heart rate, and (thankfully this was over the weekend) was barely able to stay awake for more than a couple hours at a time. My thinking and reaction times were very slow so driving anywhere was NOT an option. By that Monday, I was vomiting and fainting and I stopped the med completely (another stupid thing, but I did consider how my BP would shoot up in doing so). I called my doctor and told him I *have* to do this my way. By stepping the dose up slowly over the next few days, I was fine on the prescribed dose. Hitting my system all at once though is something my body just couldn’t handle.
In taking my BP every couple days over a week and a half, I saw the numbers were going down but not nearly enough. I called the doc and reported the latest readings and he still *insisted* that I go to the ER. It was either that or drop another $60 at his office to be seen for another reading and a dose adjustment. I did not have $60, I’d just dropped my entire unemployment check at his office at the initial visit, so this time I had no choice – I had to go to Lawnwood.
Checking into the ER, my initial reading put the staff on alert: 240/120 – Hypertensive Crisis. The previous afternoon’s reading was around 203/116 – I am willing to bet that just the thought of having to go to this hospital spiked it. Immediately, I was in a bed hooked up to a monitor, getting about a dozen vials of blood drawn, the works. The odd thing is, I *felt* fine, but this is why they call hypertension “The Silent Killer.” They ended up doing a chest X-ray on me and an EKG. Bloodwork came up clear, X-ray came up clear, I don’t know what the EKG said. After receiving additional medication, 3 hours later my BP had reduced to 174/91 – the lowest it’s been since this whole ordeal started. That was enough for them to discharge me with two new medications in a combo pill to be added to my original one.
Because of the urgency in getting those numbers down to stay, I have gone headfirst into the full dose of the new med(s). Since I lack a way of checking my BP at home (can not afford a home device), I have to go to a pharmacy or a fire station to get it checked for free. Driving right now is not an option, so it’ll have to wait until my head clears from the new med. What a headache this has all been, especially thinking of all the medical bills when I’m trying to survive on a tiny unemployment check that pays my rent but nothing else 😦