Posted by: hockeygrl1 | February 23, 2013

Update on me and my lupus

I haven’t been on here in forever to write or read any blogs because I got a part-time job.  My rheumatologist suggested it. She thought getting a job would improve my mood and improve my symptoms.

Before I go into what I’m doing, I want to paint a picture of where I live. I live in the middle of nowhere. Minneapolis is 60 miles away. That is where the high paying $50k + jobs I was accustomed to having are. St. Cloud is about 25 miles away and has some jobs but competition for those jobs is higher. So, finding one of these jobs without a long drive before and after is a challenge.

I want to say that I may not be ready for a full-time real job; meaning, a job in a big corporation with a lot of responsibility. That makes my options limited. Also, I don’t want a lot of stress and I want to do something I enjoy and that will help me medically.

What do I mean? I know a sit down job may seem best for me, but consider the 100 pounds I’ve put on since getting sick. This is both from prednisone and inactivity. A job on my feet would help that. Stress is a no-no when dealing with lupus. They think it can cause a flair and make it worse so I want to do something stress free and that I enjoy.

OK, now we’re getting to the meat of why I made my choice:

  1. There are not high paying part-time jobs in my area (I am not ready for full-time)
  2. I need a short drive. My hands and feet start to go numb when driving far. Oh, and also when typing for a long time.
  3. I need to lose a lot of weight for my mental and physical health
  4. I don’t need the stress of the management/training/HR jobs I’ve had in the recent past
  5. I need to do something I enjoy to help my mental and physical health

In November, I applied for a job at Starbucks in Monticello Target. I was called the same day I applied and with in the week I was hired. It was way too easy. Just days after my doctor said get a part-time job, I was hired for the Christmas season. Before I knew it I was working 25 hours a week making coffee for $9 an hour. I made it through the season and was hired on as a permanent employee just as I find out my manager is leaving.

Oh great, now I got to live threw the stress of her leaving and by-the-way, we will be manager-less for nearly a month while the new manager trains. Being the type A personality, x-McDonald’s manager and having a bachelor’s of management, I just ran the place except for the scheduling and ordering. The food manager (over deli, bakery and food avenue) did that.

I survived. Actually I think I thrived on the challenge. It was the first real job like thing I had done in 5 years. Yes, I’m sure every manager above me is annoyed because  I share my knowledge and viewpoint whenever I feel it is needed, but I felt like I really was doing something for the first time in 5 years!

I guess my work had always defined me. I know it shouldn’t, but it did and if I wasn’t moving a head at work and being successful, I felt like a failure. For these 5 years being sick that was the way I felt. It added to my depression and that added to the pain from lupus and fibromyalgia (according to my doctor).

Now I’ve come to a point where I need to be happy just being a $9 an hour employee part-time or get a real job.  I feel like I am annoying those above me. The kids (17-20 year-olds) I work with, love me because I act like the boss when the boss isn’t there. The managers above me love that, but sometimes I can tell that they feel that I take this little job too seriously, giggle. If they only knew.

So what do I do? I worked 35.5 hours this week.  I lived through it, but the house, kids and dog suffered and today, my first day off, I slept 16 hours, laugh. If I don’t decided to take a job that makes more money, I need to ask Target/Starbucks to cut my hours back or I’ll slowly lose my social security benefits. I can only make $720 a month to keep my full benefit. (that will cover the kids benefit that I lose when Cassie graduates because I also get a benefit for kids under 18 or over 18 and in high school) It will be hard to support the kids once I lose that benefit and it isn’t until May 2014 so I guess I should relax.

Sigh, I’m so torn on the inside. Do I work a lot and have my home and social life suffer or do I just do part-time and feel like a professional failure? I don’t know, but my mind is going crazy trying to figure it out. It’s all or nothing when I do something and I’m all in at work, maybe too much for their taste but I got a great 90 day review and I’m covering for my managers 10 day vacation next month.

To wrap up this rant; going back to work is good, but exhausting. It’s 7:23 PM and I’m thinking bed time. Night all!

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