Saturday, October 3, 2009

Chronic illness is all up in my grill

I thought, briefly, that I was going to be doctor's-appointment-free for a while after my trip to the orthopedic surgeon. I still have to have the procainamide infusion with Dr. Sneakers at some point (I don't have a date yet), but other than that, I'd been looking forward to a few doctorless months.

It was not to be. I got a phone call yesterday that I'm to go back to my primary cardiologist, Dr. Cufflinks, this month. I really like him, and maybe I can talk to him about how frustrated I felt after seeing Dr. Sneakers in September. I'm not sure what he wants to see me for; perhaps we'll compare styling products (the man sports quite the coiffure).

I just hate taking so much time off from work. I always get everything done, and when I have an appointment I either come in early or work late from home that evening. But, I'm the only person in my office who's always taking off for the hospital. My bosses know, vaguely, that I have some health issues, and they know that I work hard and make up for any time I need off. I've told them I have a "heart condition", and I had to open up about my arthritis as well when I was asked to go golfing with them. But they don't know that my cardiac diagnosis is so fuzzy, and that it's on-going. I should probably sit down with them and make sure they're clear on the fact that I'm likely always going to have more doctor's appointments than anybody else, but I am very conscientious about making up any time I need off.

As a kid, I sort of imagined I'd get into the working world and leave illness in my dust. But it's always there, sticking its nose in.


pollyannapenguin said...

I love your cast of characters! ;o)

IMO It might be best to have a meeting with your bosses on your terms now, while they're happy with you and know you always make up your time, and just let them know that you intend to carry on doing that but wanted to let them know exactly what the situation was ... that way you're on the moral high ground, as opposed to being dragged into the office by them for a chat!

arthritiskitchen said...

I can relate to having to leave work early or arrive late due to yet another medical appointment. I agree with the comment above, have a chat with your supervisor. Let him or her know your committed to making up the time, and working around these appointments. At the end of the day, taking care of your health and going to your required appointments means you are keeping care of your health the best you can which is a win for your employer as well as you.

The Arthritis Kitchen

denemel said...

I think that your health comes above your working situation - and that Sandra's point about how they relate to each other is dead on. Don't give yourself too much grief over missing work to take care of yourself! I thought you and your readers might be interested in my favorite thing I've used to help with stiffness and pain from my RA - the ChiliPad. It's a mattress pad that lets you cool down (or heat up) your bed, any temperature between 46 and 118 degrees. The best thing about is is it brings the pain threshold below what will wake me up - so I'm able to get more sleep at night, which in turn reduces my pain.

Helen said...

Thanks - you guys are right. I keep thinking that the next appointment will be my last one for a while, but so far I keep being wrong. I know I'll have at least two more before Christmas, and probably 3. I'll sit down with my boss and talk to her.