Sunday, July 15, 2007

My lupie job

I have a great job. I work as a paralegal at It's a dot com in Westwood, Los Angeles. I'm the sort of person who always has to do something. I've been at PriceGrabber for close to a year now. I didn't think I'd be able to handle the schedule. I honestly thought that after a few months, I would tire out and end up back to part time work or at home.

Luckily, I work with a very understanding attorney. He's the greatest actually. About a few weeks into my job, my doctor ordered infusion treatments two times a week for three months. I thought that would be it for me, but Carlo was great. He said, "The important thing is that you feel better." He's always so supportive. He's sympathetic without pity, and that's what I appreciate most. Last week, I walked into his office, and he said, "Do you feel okay?" I said, "No." He replied, "I didn't think so because you look messed up." And we both laughed.

Sometimes I do feel self conscious about my condition. Last Thursday we had a company wide meeting in a theater at a museum. I had to find out what sort of seating was available before hand because a two hour meeting can be pretty painful if the seating is uncomfortable. Then I had to make sure to have a bottle of water for the pills I was due to take in an hour. Also, the dry air gives me coughing fits.

The hardest part of the whole thing is when I feel self conscious about things that I can't do, like walking up or down stairs. My knees can barely handle that. I was seated in the back row because to sit anywhere else would mean to deal with stairs. When that sort of thing happens, I usually have someone who either asks me what's wrong or thinks I'm being antisocial.

It didn't make things any easier because I work with my husband, and he shows up at the meeting, passes me by, heads down the stairs and starts looking for me halfway down. I can tell that he's trying to figure out where I am, so I start calling for him. He turns around and says, "There you are. What are you doing up there?" I give him the evil eye. He slaps his forehead and say, "Sorry. I forgot." At which point, I get about half a dozen people saying, "Yeah, what are you doing up there?" I didn't get a chance to explain because the meeting started immediately thereafter.

Aside from the minor inconveniences such as that one, I love my job. I do feel tired a lot of the time, but I enjoy the meaning of purpose it gives me. I appreciate that when I don't feel well, my boss understands it. I appreciate that noone ever makes it look like a chore to deal with accommodating my needs. I've never had that in a job before. I'm glad I finally found it with PriceGrabber.

Another great thing about my job is Melinda. She read my blog and noticed that I liked lemon cookies and baked me a batch of the best lemon cookies I've ever had in my life! Thanks so much Melinda. I also want a diamond necklace, a new car with comfortable seats, and hot looking wig!


atfourforty said...

Hey Katerina,

Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences with people like me that have no idea what lupus is. I had wondered but like you said in your front page, you look ok, so I figured it wasn't that serious. So for educating me about lupus I am thankful to you. I look forward to reading more. Your fellow PG'er Belen. smiles and hugs

The Lupie Kat said...

Thanks Belen. That was the sweetest comment.

rbh68 said...

I would love to find a job where the boss is compasionate with our issues. Prior to being diagnosed I was the one labeled "I always thought I was sick" or just plain made up the stuff. I retired from my job after 17 years and was able to collect from my job a small monthly check. Went into real estate and got slack from those people also. They just don't get it. Very depressing. Looking for a job from home but I am scared of being scammed.

The Lupie Kat said...

It does take a while to find a job where people understand. It took me better than half a year to find my job.

lupusx5mom said...

Just a question for you. How old were you when you were first diagnosed, and what were the first symptoms. I was just diagnosed and am going through more testing now to check for organ involvement. I guess i am having a hard time accepting this and am hoping they are wrong, even though I know they aren't. just a phase. Also, is there another alternative to steroid therapy? i have a doc who says no. Also, I am resisting pain meds, do you think this is wise? Nobody else does. I admire your courage, and think you are great.