The OF Blog: Good news, bad news

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Good news, bad news

So I've been a bit quiet on certain things in recent months.  Just so much uncertainty in my professional life that I've been having some major stress-related issues.  A mild case of work-induced depression that lasted for a couple of months.  Sometimes severe stomach pain that is now being treated with Kapidex.  Bleeding where I shouldn't be bleeding.  Worrying about if I'll be laid off the next day or week.  Those sorts of things.

Well, I ended up having blood work done on Wednesday to see if all of the above perhaps had caused some form of anemia, which I was paler than normal and often would feel dizzy and faint/light-headed after eating a meal or having to stand up suddenly.  The results did indicate a slightly lower percentage of hemoglobin, but it's still in the low-normal range, so it's probably not anemia.  My white blood count dropped from 12% back in February to 7.5% yesterday, so that's a sign perhaps that my liver enzymes are dropping back into the normal range. Blood sugar was slightly higher than normal for me at 122, but that's nowhere near diabetic at this stage.  In fact, nothing in the blood work showed anything in the abnormal range, but...

Yes, that dreaded "but" that I heard from the doctor.

Due to the bleeding coming out in my stools on a regular basis over the past few months (and increasingly heavy lately), she wants me to get a 'scope done of my colon in the very near future to rule out polyps or colon cancer.  I have a family history of colo-rectal problems, as my aunt recently had to have a few surgeries to correct problems caused by Crohn's Disease.  So it looks like I'll have to get all that nasty stuff done soon...

Once I can figure out how to afford health insurance.  I work, but the employer doesn't offer health insurance anymore, since it is a small operation.  I might be able to get some things covered under CoverTN, but I'm uncertain if I'm even eligible for that program.  I'm not broke, but I also don't have tens of thousands of dollars to spare for this procedure.  Joy.

Guess I'll be spending the next few days/nights updating my resume, applying for a part-time adjunct position at local community colleges, and trying to figure out how to afford to pay for health coverage when I may or may not have a full-time job come Christmas.  Thinking back on it, I'm amazed I've even managed to do much online, since my paperwork at my job has suffered due to these preoccupations.  Perhaps there's something therapeutic about writing after midnight after not being able to go back to sleep after crashing for 4-5 hours this evening...

19 comments:

Fabio Fernandes said...

Larry, that really sucks. I wish I could do anything for you - I´m still gathering a lot of books to send your way, though (yep, I didn´t forget you). Hope a healthy dose of Brazilian SF can at least help to ease your pain a little bit, and make you laugh (come on, we´re not good, but we´re fun! :-)

Mihai (Dark Wolf) said...

Larry, I am sorry to hear about your health problems. I really hope you would be back on your feet in no time and that these symptoms are only passing and nothing worrysome. Take care of yourself :)

Neth said...

good luck my friend

S.M.D. said...

Good lord. I hope everything turns out okay in the end. Good luck!

Matt Keeley said...

Good luck. Very sorry to hear of your troubles.

Terry Weyna said...

Oh, shit, Larry, that's awful. As if we needed another poster boy for health care reform. I'm so sorry to hear this. Hope you're feeling a bit better and that you find you are, in fact, covered by the Tennessee insurance program.

Carmen said...

Larry, I know you don't know me but I've been following your blog for a year now and saw an interview where you discussed your work. I can relate to some of your problems. I worked as an English/Reading Teacher in a juvenile correctional facility also for over five years, and I can definitely understand that when you say the words "work related stress" I can understand how difficult it is. I went through a period I called my Bartleby phase where I just couldn't deal with the pathos of the lives of my students. When they left I knew what was waiting for them: more mental health problems, jail, indifferent parents or guardians, there was so much to deal with. I ended up also getting laid off due to budget cuts and now work part time and am trying to make ends meet through office and other assorted jobs. My family though says my attitude picked up ever since I left the juvenile correctional facility. Even though financial woes are ever present(as they are for most of us in country) I dont feel as hopeless anymore. The depression actually lifted. Now its normal life related stress. And its manageable.

Jacob said...

Let's see if I can remember my password.

Larry, my friend, I'm sorry to hear about the ongoing health issues. As always, I wish you the best.

I have a few more of your books that I'll be sending back to you in a week or so.

Charles said...

Good luck.

Tyson said...

Best of luck.

E. L. Fay said...

I'm really sorry to hear that, Larry. I hope all turns out well with you.

Seak said...

Wish you the best. We love the blog, but you gotta look out for number one.

Larry said...

Thanks everyone for the kind comments and wishes. Much appreciated. And Carmen, I know what you mean, especially those horrible times that I've read the paper or watched the news and would see a former student of mine on there...

But I guess I should share a bit of good news to counterbalance the annoyance I found out on Wednesday: I was successful in my appeal to my now-former insurance company and they agreed to pay $2277 toward a $2280 emergency room bill I had from a visit back in late July. Nice to know that I can use this money as a backup (and for Christmas gifts).

Terry Weyna said...

That really is excellent news, Larry -- great to hear! Nice to know that some insurance companies will still do the right thing, every now and then. (I speak as a former lawyer for health insurance companies, btw.)

Zaldar said...

Larry I have always wondered how you read so much do this blog and teach. I know I spend over 40 hours a week on the teaching and when combined with eating keeping the house clean and sleep that doesn't leave much and I expect that you do the same as I expect you try to be a great teacher. If your current job doesn't offer health insurance I really would look for another one unless they pay enough for you to get it yourself. I didn't think a colonoscopy would cost as much as you seem to think it does though...
As you may or may not remember I teach chemistry at a community college. I don't know how the system is in Tennesse but the one in North Carolina is quite good, it might be useful to see if you can find a full time job there. Sorry the high school didn't work out but not surprising I don't think I would fit in a traditional teaching setting really either

PeterWilliam said...

Larry,
I've been off-line a couple of days and return stunned to read this. Best wishes and richest of blessings to you. Get well soon.
PW

Steph Campisi said...

Sorry to hear that, Larry. All the best with your health.

Harry Markov said...

I am sending positive energy and I hope that all works out for the very best. Hope you keep your job, find the new one, get healthy and not bleed any more. You are in my thoughts. Stay strong.

The Witchfinder said...

I'll raise several glasses to your good health, my friend! May your joys be many, your vintages fine and your women beautiful.

 
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