Archive for April 2011

Mean Girls and a sick husband.   1 comment

Another week has gone by.  And what a crazy one it has been.

Work sucks.  I manage a team of recruiters and our company recently had to abolish individual quantitative goals due to federal government regulations.  In the spirit of “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” my thank you note is as follows…”Thank you Democratic Party…for inserting your nosy ass right where it doesn’t belong.”

Anyway, once goals were taken away and my team realized that they a) had no goals, and b) their manager would be out on maternity leave for 12 weeks, they decided to stop working.  It is a classic case of “when the cat’s away the mice will play.”  It’s terribly disappointing though because my team continued to perform very well when I was out on maternity leave with my first son.  Even more, they were the rock stars of the company during our last fiscal year.  Now that I’ve been back to work for a month, I finally have a grasp of what’s going on with my team.  When I first got back, I had to learn about our entire new management and compensation plan.  Everything changed during the 12 weeks I was out…and I mean everything…right down to our pay cycle and benefits.  Our goals changed, how we conduct business changed, our data management systems changed, our Human Resources system changed, our pay periods changed, our benefits changed, our phone systems…EVERYTHING.  The only thing that didn’t change was the name of our company, and I am half expecting that to change soon too.

I manage a group of “Mean Girls.”  If you’ve ever seen the movie with Lindsay Lohan, you’ll know what I’m talking about.  My team is divided.  I have three team members who have continued to perform well and adapt to change.  The other three however became lazy sacks of shit while I was out and decided to stop working.  Because I am still required to generate a certain amount of revenue to my client based on the number of individuals I recruit to that client’s programs, my team still has to work.  They are still goaled on qualitative objectives, which at the end of the day all relate back to how they perform on a quantitative level.  Sounds all sorts of crazy and f*cked up, doesn’t it?

So, back to the Mean Girls.  I have the ring leader, the stupid one, and the one who is constantly trying to ensure she fits in with the other two.  Sometimes I swear the movie was filmed at my office.  It is obnoxious.  My Mean Girls are what you would describe as professionally immature.  Try as I can to have a professional environment, they are an obstacle in allowing that to happen.

I have had to talk with each of them about arriving to work on time, turning on their computers and actually working when they arrive, working their entire shifts, and staying off of the internet during their work hours.  I’ve had conversations and now most recently, documented conversations.  This past Friday, my manager counterparts were in town for a meeting.  We were all in my manager’s office when through the door I hear my three Mean Girls all in one of their cubes looking at wedding dresses online.  WTF.  I was less than five feet away.  I had JUST spoken with two of them about browsing the internet not too days ago.  I’m guessing they thought I wasn’t paying attention, but I was and so were my fellow managers.  One of my manager colleagues stepped out of the office and asked what they were doing, and they said they were making calls.  They lied to her face.  It was incredible.  She told them to get back to work and they reluctantly walked back to their desks and giggled a little bit.  I was furious.

I continued with my managers’ meeting and we went to lunch.  At lunch, I decided I would hold an impromptu meeting with my team and tell them exactly how I feel about their behavior.  I scheduled the meeting for 4:30pm and was looking forward to it.  Once I had all six in the office, I told them exactly how I felt.  I pride myself on being flexible and fair, and empowering my employees to do their very best.  I provide them the tools and resources they need to perform and succeed at their jobs, and recently I feel that the more I give, the more some of them take.  I told them they embarrassed me in front of the other managers and I was disappointed in them.  I told them that we are perceived as slackers across the company.  I reminded them that just in August of last year we were super stars and went above and beyond our goals, and since then we’ve done nothing but miss goals.  I told them I have been defending them since September and I no longer can or will defend them to my manager or our corporate team.  I told them that I brought them in as a team because I wanted them all to understand that even one or two individuals who are slacking can bring down the rest of the team.  More importantly, I let them know that if they are not willing to work hard while they are on my team, they will not continue to be on the team (and they all know that means they will not have jobs). I ended the meeting on a positive note and told them to rest up over the weekend and be prepared to come in Monday and rock it.

I believe the meeting was effective.  I received emails from two senior people on the team who congratulated me on taking a stand and told me they respected me for what I said.  I could tell the Mean Girls were slightly scared by my words, and I am looking forward to seeing what happens tomorrow.  Will their attitudes change?  Will they start performing?  Will they stop slacking and browsing the internet?  I don’t know.  But, what I do know is that my Mean Girls are all receiving their first round of written disciplinary action tomorrow.  Perhaps that will force them to understand the importance of the situation.

I suppose I’ve always taken pride in my work and acted professional.  I go to work to work.  I feel very lucky to have the career I have and work for the awesome company I work for.  I honestly believe these girls do not have a clue how lucky they are to have their jobs.  One of them is a single mother, the other is recently engaged and planning her wedding, and the other lives on her own and takes care of her sickly little dog.  They all need the money.

I suppose we’ll see how this next week goes.  I do not like to be this kind of manager.  I want to lead my team to success, not have to deal with their professional immaturity.

On to more important things.  If you’ve been keeping up, you know my husband came down with a severe case of vertigo last week.  Unfortunately, he still has it.  He has also experienced a myriad of other symptoms over the past week and a half which have scared him.  I mentioned before how my husband is the strong one…never worried about anything.  He always has the answers.  This has scared him.  He’s spent the past week and a half researching the internet whenever a new symptom arises, and now he believes he has the onset of Type 2 Diabetes.  I read all the symptoms and what people experienced before they were diagnosed, and I am afraid.  What he has experienced is extremely similar to those diagnosed with diabetes.  However, I’ve also read the symptoms related to mono, and many of his symptoms also point to that.  Honestly, neither is desirable, but I’d rather him have mono than diabetes.  Either way, it sucks.

He’s been very tired.  He has been helping out with the kids, but has not felt like doing much else around the house.  He seems a bit depressed, but that could be just from being tired.  He goes back to our family doctor tomorrow morning for a check up on his blood pressure, and he plans to talk with the doctor about his findings and ask for a referral to see someone else.  He wants to be tested for diabetes, mono, and would like an MRI.  He’s never been concerned about his health until now, and now that he’s armed with a little bit of knowledge, he plans to stop at nothing to figure this out.  He wants to feel normal.  I don’t blame him.  I couldn’t imagine having the spins for a week and not knowing what was causing them.

I am completely cognizant of the fact that much worse things could happen and there are people out there dealing with much more debilitating health problems than he is, but for now, this is our reality.  If any of you reading have experienced prolonged vertigo, red ears that are warm to the touch, upset stomach, fatigue, sore throat, and pressure in the ears, please let me know what your diagnosis was.  We’ve got two little boys who need two healthy parents…

Unfortunately I have to spend the next few hours of today cleaning up my house.  I’ve neglected housework a bit this week.  There’s a pile of laundry a mile high that I need to take care of, and mud in my carpet from my dumb ass dog who ran outside during a thunderstorm while we were out grocery shopping last night.  (If you’ve kept up, you’ll know this it not the first time she has done this.  We got home late last night to her pile of mud in the living room.  She was covered in mud herself.  I could have killed her.  Time to come up with a different solution to the dog door.  It’s my fault, I know.)

I’m looking forward to writing more about my crazy parents (I know, I promised!) and my life as a mother here soon.  It seems that the rest of my life is currently interfering with my ability to do that.

Happy Sunday.

All the best,

Someone’s mom

My life as a widow flashed before my eyes.   Leave a comment

Normally, I am sad to see Sunday night.  Sunday nights mean that the two days per week I can devote entirely to my family are over.  It means hectic Monday morning is right around the corner.  It means that I have to share my next five days with my colleagues and my family.  I’m always a bit sad on Sundays…but not this one.

This past week was one for the books.  Last weekend, my babies were sick and carried their germs into Monday, meaning I had to stay home with them.  It was so great to be a temporary stay at home mom again.  Tuesday and Wednesday were somewhat crappy days at work as I had to deal with some of my immature team members and their usual pettiness.  Wednesday night, I picked up my children as normal and met my husband at home.  We both pulled into the driveway at the same time, and I started washing bottles and getting the kids’ stuff ready for the next day, and my husband cooked dinner.  We sat down to a yummy dinner of pasta and chicken.  About halfway through the meal, I noticed my husband was eating slowly.  Not a minute after I noticed that, he looked at me and said “I don’t feel right.”  He immediately started sweating and said he was very dizzy.  I looked at him and asked him what he wanted me to do, and with worried eyes, he said “I don’t know.” I knew at that moment something was very wrong.  My husband always knows the answer.  He is always strong, always there.

I ran to find my phone, silently freaking out.  I asked my husband if he wanted me to call 911 and he said he didn’t know.  Then I asked him if he wanted me to call his mom and he said yes.  When she answered, I said “we have a problem.”  My husband told her he was very dizzy and felt sick, and she said she’d be right over.  The plan was to take him to Patient First.

I had already changed into my pajamas earlier that evening, and my sweet husband who always thinks about me, says “Do you want to go and change into regular clothes?”  That was the last thing on my mind.  I did run upstairs to grab my shoes, and when I came back downstairs, my husband had crawled into the bathroom and was violently vomiting.  It was a terrible sight.  By that time, my toddler was crying in the family room (I had to take him out of his high chair during the whole ordeal because he was crying to get out).  My little baby was waking up in his bouncy seat that was perched on top of the dinner table and wanted to nurse.  OMFG, this is a nightmare!

So many thoughts were running through my mind….so many emotions tearing through my heart.  I immediately started thinking the worst.  I asked my husband if his arms or legs hurt, did he have tightness in his chest, did his head hurt, could he see clearly?  I realized I needed to get some bottles out since my mother-in-law was on her way over as she doesn’t know where things are in my kitchen.  She also has a hard time navigating our stairs, so I ran up to the kids’ rooms to grab pjs, diapers, and anything else they would need to camp out in the living room.  I had no idea how the night would go.  Looking back on it now, I can’t believe I remembered to get things out for the kids.  The whole time I was doing that my toddler was crying and my husband was vomiting and complaining of his dizziness.  Once my mother-in-law arrived, I realized I had to run outside and move our truck out of the way (my car would be easier for my husband to get into).  It was pouring down rain, and I had tears pouring down my face.  I was trying to be strong, trying not to worry.  I prayed the entire time I was outside, asking God to please not let this be it for my husband.  I told God I couldn’t do it on my own and asked him to please hear me.

My mother-in-law helped my husband out of the house and into my car.  I drove him to Patient First and talked to him the whole way there.  I was afraid he was going to pass out and I could tell he wanted to go to sleep.  When we arrived at Patient First, I ran inside to get him checked in and ran into my husband’s great aunt and her elderly mother – what a coincidence!  I asked for a wheelchair and I feel like it took the slow ass people at Patient First forever to get out there to my husband.  I will say that they were able to take him almost right away.  I think they were freaked out by how pale he looked when he came in.  Not making us wait forever to be seen is just about the only thing they did right in my opinion.

The nurse took my husband’s blood pressure and and temperature.  His blood pressure was elevated and I started freaking out even more.  She took us back to see the doctor and I explained the whole story to them.  I could tell they thought I was overreacting and freaking out.  I could tell they were annoyed with me.  I’m not sure if the doctor was trying to calm me down or not, but he just didn’t seem to be as concerned as I was.  He did order an EKG for my husband and blood work and I appreciate that.  But, from the beginning of the visit until the end, he kept saying it was probably just vertigo and there’s no need to worry.  When we got the blood work back, my husband’s potassium was low but everything else checked out.  The EKG however was another story.  My husband’s heart rate was 51 bpm, and according to the doctor, that was very low.  I could see the worry on his face and at that point, he did tell us we needed to see our family doctor the next morning and get his heart rate and blood pressure checked out.  I immediately asked a ton of questions.  Is this why he is dizzy?  Could it be a heart attack?  Why is his blood pressure high?  Why his is heart rate low?  Should we go to the ER?  I know the doctor thought I was crazy, but I needed answers and needed them now.

At the end of the visit, the doctor sent us out of there with a prescription for anti-dizziness medication  and said “best of luck.”  I had one more question and asked the nurse to bring the doctor back in one more time.  She was super annoyed about that and so was he.  I asked what could have brought on the extreme sweating my husband was experiencing, and he said he didn’t know.  Comforting.

So, we left and sat in the parking lot for a minute contemplating our next move.  I told my husband I wanted to take him to the ER and he told me he wanted to go back home.  So, I followed his wishes and drove him home.  I helped him inside and my mother-in-law was waiting with the babies.  She had given them milk and was getting them ready for bed.  My husband came in and sat at the kitchen table.  My stomach was hurting terribly (I started feeling sick myself as soon as my husband had initially started feeling bad) and I needed to use the restroom.  I was in there for just a minute when I heard my husband fall to the floor in the kitchen and start vomiting.  Oh my God.  I walked out of the restroom to find him in the floor vomiting into a plastic bag that had a hole in it.  My mother-in-law was grabbing the Clorox Clean Up and my toddler was staring at my husband saying “Uh oh!  Uh oh!”

My husband decided he wanted to lay down on the couch so my mother-in-law helped him and I put my toddler to bed and snuggled him for a second.  I told him that Daddy was going to be ok and that we loved him.  I cried silently for a minute while snuggling my son.  I didn’t want my husband or mom-in-law to hear me in the monitor.  I didn’t believe the doctor at Patient First and still thought something was terribly wrong with my husband.  I honestly believed that it was going to get worse and we’d end up the ER that night.  When I was putting my toddler to bed, thoughts about being a widow kept flashing through my mind.  It made me extremely sad and all I could do was hug my son tighter.  It was such an empty feeling and I hated it.

I came back downstairs and my husband was on the couch and his eyes were closing.  He was still extremely dizzy and nauseous and said the only thing that helped was to close his eyes.  I knew he wanted to sleep but I was so afraid to let him.  I just didn’t know what was going to happen.  I was worried he was going to have a heart attack or brain aneurysm.  My little baby was waking up to nurse and my mom-in-law wanted to go home and take a bath so she could come back over and stay the night.  I told her we would be fine but that I would certainly appreciate it if she could stay over.  I wasn’t used to being the one who took care of everyone including my husband.  Sure, I could take care of the kids during the day while on maternity leave, but I was always comforted by the fact that my husband would be home that night.  My husband is never sick and I never have to take care of him, so I truly felt I needed my mom-in-law here that night.

My mother-in-law went home to take a shower and grab her pjs.  She was gone for about an hour.  My husband slept on the couch and I watched his chest to ensure he was breathing.  I also Googled.  I should not have done that.  I Googled his symptoms and came across everything from an ear infection to impending death.  I was terrified.  When my mom-in-law came back around midnight, she settled in our living room on the couch.  I was so thankful for her at that moment and so comforted by her presence.  My husband woke up and said he wanted to go upstairs to our bed.  I did not think this was smart.  He could barely walk without falling over.  But, he was determined and he made it up the stairs.  He slept in his clothes and complained of being cold.  This worried me even more – he’s never cold.

I put my baby in the co-sleeper and crawled into bed beside my husband.  I was exhausted but I could not sleep. I laid there for hours.  I laid there until my son woke up to eat again.  I Googled some more, and checked to ensure my husband was breathing.  Normally he snores but he didn’t that night, so I watched him breathe.  It was a terrible few hours for me.  My husband woke up about once per hour and whenever he did, I asked how he felt and he said very dizzy and cold.  I was hoping the symptoms would dissipate the more he slept but they did not.

I finally drifted off to sleep around 3am and was back up to nurse my baby at 6am. I woke up to my baby crying and felt a sense of panic as I realized I had been asleep and not checking on my husband.  He was breathing of course and even snoring a bit.  I went downstairs and my mom-in-law was already up.  We talked about the plan for the day.  She was going to take my toddler with her back to her house so I could take my husband to our family doctor as soon as they opened.

My husband woke up not long after and I helped him in the shower.  We got ready and headed out to the family doctor.  We know everyone in the office fairly well and the first thing they all commented on was how tired I looked and how pale my husband was.  One of the staff members is a friend of my mother-in-law and when I told her the whole story and about my husband’s blood pressure and heart rate the night before, I saw the worry take over her face.  I was ready to get to the back so they could check my husband’s vitals.  I was relieved to find out that his levels were close to being back to normal.  Thank the good Lord above.  My husband was still extremely dizzy and unfortunately our family doctor didn’t have any better answers for us than the doctor at Patient First, but I still felt better because we were around people we knew…people who actually cared about our well-being.

My husband was prescribed a patch to wear in addition to his dizziness medication.  His diagnosis:  unexplained vertigo.  It has been a couple of days and he is still very dizzy, but feels better.  He is able to function but not able to drive.  He has helped out with the kids, done his laundry and other chores around the house.  We even attended a birthday party Saturday and had friends and family over for a visit. He says he is getting used to being dizzy and learning how to navigate through it.  Both doctors told us it could last for days.  He goes back for a follow up visit next Monday.  Fingers crossed he is no longer dizzy by then.  I remember having a couple of dizzy spells when I was pregnant, and I couldn’t imagine functioning like that for several hours or days at a time.

Sunday, we were worried that our toddler may have the same issue.  He went to bed very late Saturday night and would not eat a good lunch or dinner Saturday.  He in turn woke up very grumpy on Sunday.  He said he was hungry so we fixed him fruit and a waffle.  He ate very slowly but drank a lot more milk than he normally does.  He was sitting in his high chair and looked very tired.  He kept saying “all done” and “uh oh!”  I got him out of the high chair and he threw up all over me, the dog, and the kitchen floor.  He looked very pale.  My husband and I were so worried that he was dizzy and nauseous.  We sat down with him and after a bit he said he was hungry, so I gave him a couple of snacks and some water and he threw up in the family room.  After cleaning that up, I sat down with my son and he snuggled in my lap and fell asleep.  He was better when he woke up from his nap.  I ran out to the store and bought him some Pedialyte and crackers.  He was better that evening.  He ate a little dinner, took a second nap, and slept through the night.

What a weekend.  I was happy to get back to work Monday.

I tend to freak out and overreact about things, and I honestly thought the worst.  I believed my husband was dying.  I prayed to God and asked him to spare my husband.  I saw my life as a widow.  I thought about all of the things around the house I didn’t know how to do.  I cried thinking my sons would never really get to know their Dad.  I wondered if his family would take care of me.  I worried about how I would make it without my husband, my protector, my best friend.  My heart hurt and my brain was swimming with worry.  It was a terrible feeling.  I’ve never been that worried in my life.  I never want to feel that again.

Unfortunately, I know I will have to feel that again.  There may come a day when the end will be near for my husband, myself, or my sons and we will be fully cognizant of it.  I am so afraid of that day.  I am dreading it.  I do not like to think about death.  I am not ready for it and I do not believe I ever will be.

This experience has been eye-opening for me.  My husband and I need to live healthier lifestyles.  Can you say physicals??  We also need to prepare and ensure our sons are taken care of when we pass away.  Shame on us; we do not have a Will.  And finally, we need to live each day like we are dying.  Who cares if the house is clean?  Why worry about crap that is happening at work when I’m at home with my boys?  My main jobs in life are to be a wife and mother, and I am thankful to be employed 😉

PS – It has taken me a few days to finish this post, and my husband still has vertigo.  He is still breaking out into sweats.  He drove for the first time today and did ok.  He is navigating through this but it is not easy.  Does anyone have any recommendations for us?  We’ve seen two doctors and are not sure what else to do at this point.  There is no explanation, and the meds they gave him are not working…  I kind of need my husband back at 100%…

All the best,

Someone’s mom

Posted April 5, 2011 by Holy crap! I'm someone's mom! in Uncategorized

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