Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Shiny. Happy. Me?

Nothing makes you reflect more than a personality typing profiling with 15 managers from the Ontario locations for my work, and we started with the DiSC typing. I'm an "I" - Influencer. I was the only one in the room. My general characteristics include "Enthusiastic. Trusting. Optimistic. Persuasive. Talkative. Impulsive. Emotional".

Enthusiastic? Optimistic? Well, not the me you know from the recent entries in this blog. I'll be the first to admit I've been downright depressing. But at work, I am that bubbly, friendly, optimistic, helpful, talkative person - I'm the classic HR person. You want to drop by my office because I will make a joke, make you smile, solve a problem and send you on your way. I am also serious when required - hiring, firing and providing advice to managers on how best to manage the myriad of unique issues that arise amongst the teams.

Trusting? Yep, almost too much, to my detriment. I believed everything everyone had to say. Doctors, colleagues, "friends". I'm a bit more experienced, jaded, savvy. I trust my doctors, but need to understand the information for myself. I want to research topics, procedures, protocols, medication for myself, and have an intelligent conversation with my doctors.

Emotional? You betcha. I run the extremes on emotion. I am ecstatically happy, or despondently sad. I cry over many things. I have sobbed over health related news. I have laughed with tears in my eyes at the crazy antics of my kids. I have shed tears over commercials, songs, thoughts and scents that took me to a place of sadness. I have cried writing entries in this blog as a form of catharsis for my emotions related to this illness.

Talkative? Yeppers. I am well spoken, and I believe well-written. In the discussion today, "Talkative" was used to describe a strong and confident communicator. That is true for me. I know my mind, can communicate my thoughts effectively and can understand where others are coming from. I get my energy from others. If I have a problem, I talk it out. I want to go for coffee, dinner, drinks with friends. I am social and outgoing. Really.

Odd, after re-reading my recently depressing postings, I'm afraid I haven't presented a balanced view. Or maybe I can be so happy in my daily life as I have left all the anger and negativity in my blog. I like to get things out. I like to clear the air. I post when I have something to say, good or bad.

Today, is a good day. And here is a happy post.

I had a frustrating week last week at work. Part of my role is recruiting new team members. Three open roles that I had filled wound up re-opening for various reasons. I was driving into work, after two bad days of stewing over this in a rather unproductive manner, and heard Whitesnake's "Here I go Again". Awesome! "Here I go again on my own, goin' down the only road I've ever known". While this is a sappy, big-hair rock band song about looking for love, it spoke to me about my work challenges last week and immediately lifted my mood.

Here I go again, recruiting. Here I go again, talking to doctors. Here I go again, getting a shoulder replaced. Here I go again, goin' down the only road I've ever known.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

End Game

Here's the thing I've been thinking about lately... where does this all end? Where will I be in 20 years? 40 years? 60 years,when I'm 96? Will I ever be 96? How will I feel? How bionic will I be? Should I call Vegas so they can take bets?

I can't say I think about the future. I am too focused on the here and now. I have two school-aged kids, a full-time job and life is busy. I am focused on the next doctor/surgeon/rheumatologist appointment, play date, girls night out, shopping trip, even the next hour - too preoccupied to look too far into the future.

I see into next week with the family calendar. I know I will see my surgeon next week and talk about my shoulder replacement options, and don't forget Patrick (my son) has a playdate with his BFF Finn. But what's happening in November, December, January 2012 - who knows?

I need shoulder replacement surgery. That will (hopefully) happen in the next 3 to 9 months. But I don't really know where (Ottawa or London, Ontario), when (October or January or April) or which procedure (Reverse Shoulder, or a Humeral Head resurfacing or a traditional stem, which I don't want) will take place.

I am happily oblivious to all of this uncertainty. I don't really want to know. It's not a happy story. I'm not sure I live happily ever after. I think, in all honesty, I will live in a moderate-pain, medication and surgery filled future. It sounds bleak, but I think that is what is going to happen.

Just think how happy I'll be if my expectations are exceeded. But I'm not sure they are going to be. A friend at work reminded me of The Cure's song, "Just Like Heaven". It's a song that you listen to on repeat for an hour or two and think about things, as I have been.

I think the future looks more grey than sunshine and roses. I have had RA for 20 years, and I know how I feel about the mental and physical aspects of the disease. It's painful and exhausting. It's not good. But it is liberating to write about and share with other who just might understand where I am coming from. And maybe, just maybe, the sunshine will make it through the clouds of my future.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

This could really be a good life

A good, good life. I've found some insight/inspiration from the song The Good Life by One Republic. Take a listen if you have a minute. It's a balanced song about how you have a good life and could have good life. I feel I am walking that balance. Have and could have. Have and have not.

I have a good life. And I have had RA for 20 years.

"When you are happy like a fool, let it take you over, when everything is out, you gotta let it in." (The Good Life)

I think I've had a hard time taking it in, my good life. I think I see all that I have lost and not all that I have gained. I emailed RA Guy about completing a submission for his "Real Profiles of RA" and I got stuck on his question "
How has living with RA helped to improve your life?"

Well my first reaction is that it hasn't. RA has had the exact opposite impact on my life. I have a lot of regret about the path that I am on. I think through this blog, I am discovering that I am still looking back to 20 years ago wondering how different my life would have been without RA. And I can only see all that it has cost me. I had a hell of a time finding my silver lining. I admire many of my fellow bloggers for coming to terms with their RA and having a positive attitude about it, and then sharing with others. That takes energy that I don't have yet.

I have a positive outlook on most of my life, but this seems to be some dark corner in my life that I am still so angry about. I have a laundry list of complaints, and I can't seem to get past, around over or under them.

So here lies my negativity, in my blog. This is a tidy place to keep it. It doesn't interfere with my daily life, and I have an outlet. And I feel better. So thank you for listening. As I've said before, this blog is a one-way conversation for the most part, and it is immeasurably beneficial to me.