On Work, School, and Generally Being a BAMF

Last week I finally made a tough decision: I gave notice at work.

Lately my pain and exhaustion have both gotten out of hand. Despite changing jobs yet again, all my diagnoses caught up with me. While I could give it my all at work at the vet clinic (cats are a hell of a lot easier on a broken bodied vet tech) for a little over half of a shift, but then I had nothing left for my family.

This meant I started to tank shortly after lunch. By the time I made it home, all I could do was plop on the couch and fall asleep. My husband made dinner and bathed kids. He packed school lunches and did loads of laundry. We Instacarted our grocery shopping and a service handled the house cleaning and the lawn care.

The guilt was thick. The house was a disaster. Strike that, IS a disaster. You know what? Martha freaking Stewart doesn’t live here. Two little boys and two exhausted parents do.

My goal was to keep working until transplant. When I realized that wouldn’t happen, I wanted to continue long enough to renew my professional veterinary technician license for the year.

Goal accomplished on that front. My license is valid through November 2019.

I’ve worn scrubs for eight years, first in tech school then for work. Friday the 23rd is my last day in scrubs. Dressing is going to be a challenge.

Scrubs are easy. I might need some help with “civilian clothing.”

I don’t know when transplant will happen. Not in 2018, that’s for sure. I do know that most likely I will not return to the veterinary field, at least not working with anything larger that 25 lbs., even post transplant. My body is DONE. The osteopenia has me worried about snapping yet another bone if I work with larger animals. My rheumatologist is talking heavy hitting IV drugs to get the lupus under control. Time to use my brains and not my brawn.

Vocational rehabilitation approved me to go back to college to train for a different career, and I chose graphic design. Art is my passion, and when the brain fog is bad, I can still think in color and shape.

So, today I attended an open house for UMSL and had my transcripts evaluated. I have a course of action and a good direction.

Tee shirt from UMSL day. I’m going to be a coed after finishing a few credits at community college.

At first I felt rather down on myself for my weird college history. A few credits here, a ton of withdrawals and incompletes. Then I realized:

  • while I was in the midst of a horrible 15+ years of pain and misdiagnosis, I earned an A in college swimming and the highest level of the Red Cross swimming test. I weighed 240 lbs (prednisone), had bad exercise induced asthma, and I STILL swam 16 lengths of the pool without stopping.
  • While at vet tech school we found out my creatinine was on the rise. I graduated from a rigorous program with a GPA of 3.18 on a seven point scale while in Stage 2-3 kidney disease, planning a wedding, and undergoing a conversion to Judaism.
  • While working 48 hours a week, I took two college classes at Washington University. That semester I landed in the hospital with Stage 4 failure and FINALLY got the lupus diagnosis. I never missed a class and earned two As.
  • You’ve never seen Wonder Woman and me in the same room. Just saying.
Aw, an action figure of ME?!?

In short, I am a badass. BAMF over here, y’all. Any time I even begin to think “oh shit, I can’t do this” I’m going to remember all that I did even in the very worst parts of my life. This time around, I have a kick ass medical team, a support system that’s out of this world, and a good direction. I got this.

Been there, done that, whatevs. Yawn.

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