Happy About The New Year

Maybe I'm not so much happy about 2007 as relieved that 2006 is over. Last January my husband was so ill with depression he needed partial hospitalization, and one of the heads of his company essentially threatened to fire him when I wouldn't give medical details over the phone.

Literally the day after DH got out of the hospital program, my mom went to the ICU in my home state because she could not breathe. She refused intubation, but when she fell unconscious from oxygen deprivation my father had her intubated. I rushed home because she was dying. She made it through but did not improve, and eventually she went to a university hospital where she was diagnosed with a 1 in 3 million disease. She was sedated all this time due to her intubation. When she finally woke up, she had a trache and was still on a ventilator. I made the seven hour drive every weekend that I could, taking a lot of time off work. All the stress triggered some depression and I became less functional. After months of chemotherapy and intensive care, my mom recovered from the initial illness fairly well but was left paralyzed from muscle atrophy. Her breathing remained touchy. She was released to a nursing home for rehab a little too early, and died that night after her long and brave struggle.

My best friends from another town were there for me at the funeral. One of them said, "The reward for a job well done is a harder job after this life." Five weeks later he died while on his dream vacation with his wife, leaving behind a teenaged son and his disabled wife, both of whom I'm extremely close to. Another funeral and more trips to the home state to comfort them. And this happened while I was on leave for depression already.

After enormous job stress I decided to quit my job, but backed out at the last minute despite a quadrupled work load. I tried my best to meet the new expectations. And I did meet most of them, by working a lot of overtime and falling behind on paperwork. Then I got suspended because my license lapsed when my mom was dying and I didn't notice. The relief was enormous and some of my psychiatric issues resolved, but I returned to work after I renewed my license. Then one day it was just too much and I resigned. The head of HR persuaded me to go on indefinite leave instead, and I was called back after a week for a part time position without a caseload. This luck lasted about six weeks, then the job requirements were changed so that I'll have to carry a full caseload if anyone goes on leave for longer than a short specified time. Mind you, I'll only have half the hours to manage the caseload. Argh.

Well, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it, but generally speaking I'm welcoming the new year with open arms. I pray that it will not be as eventful as 2006.