I was talking to my spouse about my capacity to work which is nill right now, and the incapacity for my insurance company to pay me for the time I’m missing to this point. So basically I want and need to recover from this vertigo soon. Because the ways I have managed to pay bills the last two months has run out for next month and I have run out of ideas. Little stressful when hit Once Again with financial instability.

The unpredictability of chronic illness that leads to these sudden declines in functionality is extremely stressful. If you manage to save an emergency fund of any sort, well, that’s the first thing to go. Then any investment you had saved since the last time this happened. And then eventually more debt.

Text: Illness & work: I hit myself in the feels

image: desk with two open laptops and arm with pens posed over paperwork.

I hate it. Loathe it.

I’m the sort of person that wants bills paid, money in the bank, and savings for investments. But that isn’t a world for the chronically ill. You can’t work like you want to. And then something happens at the work you can sometimes do which means there go those savings and add some more debt in there. I crave financial stability so much. I crave it as much as I am ticked at my insurance company right now, and that is a lot, man, a lot.

But we have to deal with these ups and downs. And cut things we can cut. And cheap out in ways we can cheap out.

And you know what bugs me?

I am so cold all the time I turn up the heat… and there goes the heating bill. But I’m freezing because of the low blood pressure, FM, and hypothyroidism. I mean Freezing. But I suppose that is just one more thing to worry about…. bills, which you cannot escape from. Sometimes I wear two sweatshirts with my tee-shirt. And I am still cold. Crazy, eh? I refuse to turn up the heat today. After that last bill? Yeah. No. A lot of tea. A lot, a lot of tea. And my heated blanket in the living room… that is the best invention ever created by humankind ever. That feels excessively cheap. Or just prudent. I don’t even know which.

And my spouse and I were talking. And talking.

And I said that I understood I no longer had the capacity to work my former job. Intellectually and rationally I comprehend this fact. But it was hard to accept. Emotionally it is hard. That I was no longer capable of working I job I enjoyed… or even full-time anymore.

And in that moment of saying it out loud, I felt this surge of sadness hit me right in the feels, man, right in the feels. Because it made it really, really true. I already had come to the conclusion based on the vast amount of actual evidence of me trying and failing to actually perform on the job and the leaves of absences. But saying it finalized it in my brain. I can’t do it, can I? I can just never have that career I wanted and strived for. Or the inherent satisfaction that comes with that.

That sadness was like a final mourning. A sort of phase that is over. Sometimes you never get what you want from this life. Sometimes you get what you need, mostly. And it is painful. Hell, it is painful acknowledging that you are simply not capable of something you think intellectually you should be. Because physically you simply are not. I have to say trying and failing, trying and failing, was brutal on my self-worth. It pummeled me into fragments of self. I felt useless. Worthless. Incompetent. Unreliable. Well, I was unreliable. So not working full-time means I get to stop punishing myself for failing at something I was incapable of doing in the first place. Not that part-time is easy by any means. But money is a factor in all things when it comes to survival.

What I get is a job to pay the bills

Once I am capable of that, that is. And it isn’t as satisfactory. Or interesting. But at least I feel moderately, sometimes, capable of it on good pain days. Part-time that is. I wouldn’t say I’m awesome at it, in the role I have. Harder to focus in the new role. Harder to maintain concentration through the pain.

Or that I don’t miss work on bad pain days because that still happens. Just that I miss Less work because I only work three days. I have recovery days.

But, oh, there is the pain. And I’m not capable of doing other things that would help my health like exercise… due to the increase in pain and fatigue from working. Like with work and pain isn’t fun or easy.

My doctor is of the opinion I shouldn’t be doing it at all. My insurance company said there wasn’t enough evidence for that. Of course. So I work. Because I need to survive somehow.

Once this vertigo goes away that is. That made a leave of absence necessary. Obviously, working and driving is impossible with severe bouts of dizziness and disequilibrium. I have no choice at this point. I can’t work. No matter what the insurance company thinks. This isn’t about suffering or pushing through the pain anymore- it is about that, yes, but with vertigo, I just can’t even function.

But it occurred to me, as it so often does, I wouldn’t have the debt problem I do now if I had the career I Had. All those leaves. Some unpaid. The demotions. Going down to part-time. Or one income. All had a toll. If I had been Well Enough… wouldn’t even be an issue. So that is something to feel guilty about like forever.

And damn that guilt. It wasn’t my choice. I had career goals. I had ambitions. I had desires. All for naught.

I can’t feel guilty about it. Not anymore. I have to deal with the present. Which involves these vestibular symptoms and seeing a specialist. To treat them so I can work this job that pays the bills. Which is clearly pretty important given for the last two months I have been in vestibular hell and my insurance company won’t pay until they get further evidence of it. And I don’t even have that appointment yet.

So paying bills is a nice thing. But apparently hard to do when you are chronically ill. That whole financial instability nails us at the more inappropriate times. When is there an appropriate time for that, though? I haven’t been financially stable in Years. I don’t even remember what that was Like. I could handle some of that sometime soon. Some smooth sailing and paying down debt. I could really handle that sort of deal.

Work and pain posts:

The unseen cost of pain

Chronic pain: fake it till you make it

Make life shine without work

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

4 thoughts on “Illness & work: I hit myself in the feels

  1. I couldn’t love this post more. I can so relate. I just wrote about working with migraines too……But I’m so sorry you’re having this vertigo thing along with head pain. 😦 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I can really relate to this post and how you feel – the grieving in letting go of what we love. It happened to me too with work and making jewelry which I can no longer do and so many things all due to chronic illness. Best wishes.. hope the vertigo ceases soon,,, yours is the longest episode ever. x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am seeing these slow improvements to the vertigo which leads me to believe it has to be a vestibular migraine issue. And it is sort of slowly getting better. In the beginning, wow, it was severe all the time. Now it fluctuates.

      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.