Sunday, April 30, 2006

So I promised I would let you all in on what I'm currently contemplating. But before I do, I think I should give you some background information. I think it might help you understand why I'm considering what I'm considering (does that make sense?)

I've pretty much always been an insecure different stages of life a little more so than others, but I definitely qualify. For some reason, or another, I felt like I was not as good as the next person. That is, less attractive, less intelligent, and, generally, less of a person.

It's unfortunate to feel that way so early in life, but even as a child, I often felt like that. I was a very shy child to start off with. No, not just shy, painfully shy. I had a hard time connecting with other children my age and I often felt lonely and sad. What I really wanted during those early years in school was friendship with other kids, but, unfortunately, that wasn't such an easy thing for me to achieve. Being that shy made things pretty difficult. Not to mention that I also was on the chubby side. I felt awkward in my own skin and that affected how I dealt with others too.

As time progressed, I moved from a chubby, shy, and awkward child to a chubby, shy, and awkward adolescent. This point in my life was probably the hardest. The kids at school could be pretty cruel. When I was teased in elementary school, I would often break down and cry, but as I got older, instead of becoming visibly upset, I would internalize everything that was said to me. I had little to no self-esteem, no self-confidence, and very little self-worth. I don't know how I got through that period in my life, b/c it was just that hard.

High school wasn't as bad as my earlier school days...but there were still some difficult moments I did manage to establish some friendships and by junior year I had turned a lot of things around, in part by setting goals for myself and following through on them. I brought my grades up, I lost weight (which is a whole different story), and, most importantly, I started feeling better about myself. Junior and senior years of high school probably were two of the better years of my life. I, honestly, felt like I was coming into my own and I was considerably more happy than in the past.

However, when I was dx'ed with Type 1 Diabetes, things took a turn for the worst. Not only did I have this miserable disease, but I started having doubts about myself and my future. My self-image also took a nose dive. I started gaining weight back, and not just what I lost before my dx. No, I gained what I lost and kept gaining additional weight from there. I didn't feel good about myself and it showed.

Sometimes when I went out with friends, I felt like people were looking at me in disgust or laughing at me . It sounds paranoid, but I think it did happen. People can tell when someone feels insecure or isn't confident in oneself and sometimes they play on that weakness. Sadly, those familiar negative emotions from my past school days came flooding back.

When I see myself in pictures or even in the mirror, I wonder if I see what other people see. Many times I'll see my image and think I look ok, but then something happens, and that opinion of myself changes. I know I can't let what other people say or think dictate how I feel about myself, but I guess it's just that I care too much what others think.

So the thing I am contemplating is plastic surgery...more specifically a nose job and possibly work on my chin (since I don't seem to have one). It's a drastic move, I know, but I think it will improve how I feel about myself and, for that reason, I think it's worth it.

Thursday, I actually met with a surgeon. Honestly, I wasn't impressed with her or her practice. She spoke to me for a total of maybe 10-15 minutes and she made everything seem so simple and casual. Yeah, maybe that's b/c this is her job and she does it everyday, but surgery is surgery... it shouldn't be made out to be so easy. Plus, she didn't take enough time to talk to me about it, what it involves, the risks, etc. I felt rushed and, in my opinion, that's not a sign of a good surgeon. When I asked her when she could do it...she said as early as next week(!)...with?! Not to mention, that she said it's going to cost me something like $10,000 dollars. I expected it to be a lot of money, but I guess this was even more than my highest guess.

Needless to say, I won't be choosing her as my surgeon, but I have some other appointments set up at the end of the month. One of which is with a doctor that my Mom heard of from someone she knows at work. She is still deadset against it and we even got into a minor argument about it tonight, but I think she knows it's my decision to make. I told her I know she doesn't agree with it, but we're not always going to agree on everything. I can't do everything she wants me to do to make her happy, I have to think of what's going to make me happy too. I don't know, does that sound selfish? I hope not, but maybe I need to be a little is my life after all.

Admittedly, I'm a little scared of proceeding with this too, but I have to do what I think is best for me and if this is it, so be it. I know some might say... look, you don't need surgery, you need counseling. I know this. But I'm certain that I still wouldn't be happy with my appearance and I think, sometimes, that no amount of counseling would change that. I'm not sure even surgery would change how I really feel about myself, but I tend to believe that it would be something that could make a positive impact on my life. We'll see, I'm still debating this myself and nothing is set in stone...

Sunday, April 23, 2006

I've got news... and most of it is good, which is unusual for me. This post will be a bit of a departure for be prepared. It's somewhat weird for me, b/c I am so used to being a bit of a drama queen and expressing negative thoughts and emotions, so it feels a little strange posting something different. Frankly, it's about time I share some good things... and I have to admit that it's nice to be able to do this.

First order of business... I have just posted 100 entries to this blog- I am very excited about this. Actually this one will make 101. When I first started this I never thought that I would continue with it for so long, but
here I am still writing.

Honestly, I know I'm not the best writer. Yes, I ramble... Yes, I'm not sure I always express myself clearly... And, yes, a lot of times, I am not grammatically correct... (thank-you for bearing with me) But I really enjoy posting here and I think that's what really counts.

It's such a great way to express yourself and get out things out into the open. Additionally, I feel like it's helped me deal with a lot of difficult things ranging from work, to relationships, to dealing with a difficult disease. Throughout my time blogging, I think I just about covered every topic and it feels good to have a place where you can do that. Writing gives you such a wonderful way to let out whatever you are feeling at the time... and I think that's truly an awesome thing.

But I really cannot take credit for all of this... I think what's really kept me going is having the support, insight, and, most of all, friendship of the people who read and take the time to respond. It's something I really appreciate and it makes me want to continue to write. I cannot express what it means to have such a great network of support and I cannot thank you ALL enough. You all are the best!

Secondly, switching gears a bit, I am beyond excited today, b/c I've just booked a vacation! My two sisters, myself, and my sister's friend are going on a Royal Caribbean Cruise starting on August 14th. I believe the ship is called "Empress of the Sea" and we'll be onboard for 5 nights.

I've been on cruises before (went on one that turned out to be a nightmare last summer), but this one I'm truly, truly excited about. For awhile, I was bummed I wasn't going to be making any vacation plans, but things just happened to work out this time and it's so nice to have this to look forward to. Hopefully this time there won't be any problems with pump failure. :(

Lastly, question for you all. I'm curious to know if anyone's ever done anything drastic to change their appearance? I don't want to go into all the details, but I'm considering doing something pretty drastic. I don't know if many would be excited about doing what I'm considering, but, surprisingly, I am pretty excited about what I am contemplating. I just think that it will make me feel better about myself and give me more confidence- and that's important to me.

Frankly, I've always had problems with self-confidence and self-esteem and I think it's had an overall negative impact on my life. Yes, I know what I'm planning to do will not solve all my problems, but if it gives my self-esteem a boost then I think it' s worth it.

I actually told my mother today what I am considering. I wasn't going to mention it, b/c I was really afraid of her reaction and b/c I know how she feels about it. But it just happened to come out and she took it better than I thought...which is a BIG relief to know. This is not something she would ever want me to do, but, at the same time, I know she wants me to be happy, so I think she'll understand if I choose to proceed with things. Nothing is set in stone, I'm still seeking out information, but I have an instinct that I'm going to decide to go for it. I know this is very vague, but bear with me... hopefully, I'll be able to share more about it as I find out more information. I'll definitely keep you all posted.

That about sums up everything. I have to admit that I'm a bit bummed this weekend is over, but I guess it had to end at some point. I'm not really looking forward to going back to work tomorrow, considering everything, but I know I don't have much of a choice. Hopefully, it won't be too painful... I could use a nice, easy week. I'm sure we all could. So here's wishing everyone a good week and, hopefully, Monday (the toughest day of them all) will only be a breeze ;)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The I MEME...

I: like this one and thought I'd here it goes :)

I AM: feeling a bit tired at the moment and a bit stressed from recent happenings at work and in my personal life

I WANT: to be happy (is that so much to ask for?)

I WISH: I was more content with things in my life

I HATE: when people are obnoxious and rude for no reason- is there ever a reason for that???

I MISS: being non-diabetic.

I FEAR: too many things to list :-o

I HEAR: the tv in the backgound

I WONDER: about the future

I REGRET: not living life as fully as I should

I AM NOT: at ease with myself

I DANCE: once in a while, when I am either forced to or am feeling more confident in myelf than usual and not afraid of making an ass out of myself, lol

I SING: pretty well, I think...but who know, could be one of those people on American Idol who thinks they can sing.

I CRY: too often

I AM NOT ALWAYS: a nice person

I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: an L sign...which is what I feel like at times

I WRITE: to express's a very therapeutic thing for me

I CONFUSE: myself (and probably other people) too much

I NEED: to not be afraid to take some chances in life and make the most of each day

I SHOULD: be better organized

I START: some things with good intentions of finishing, but...

I FINISH: things very rarely

I TAG: whoever would like to participate... ( c'mon, it's fun :o) )

I haven't checked in a while... But there's a good reason for that. See, I managed to get myself into a bit of trouble at work. I must admit, it's my own fault. I haven't been a good employee and my managers , A & T, have taken notice.

Last Tuesday, A &T, my managers, called me into A's office. I know whenever anyone's called in like that- it's not a good sign. I was pretty certain what was coming wasn't going to be good. And, unfortunately, I was right. Turns out that they aren't happy with the work (or lack of work) I have been doing lately. In their words, they are "distressed".

To give you a little background information, I work as a Medical Biller for a Radiology practice. I do what they call EOB review...which is reviewing explanation of benefits, focusing on denials for services we provide, and fighting the insurance for payment. Honestly, it's very repetitive and not particularly interesting. Some days it's harder than others to go in and want to do this work. I guess most days the motivation is just not there.

Well, I guess A& T feel that I am not getting my work done...more importantly, getting the $$$ in. They feel like I need to to work on: 1)not letting things go too long unworked, 2)staying focused on doing my job, and 3)having better communication with them. As much as I would like to say that this is all bullshit, it's not. It's a fair assessment of things.

However, hearing these things really got to me. I guess I am really not good with criticism. (who is good at taking criticism, though?I don't think many can say they are good at taking it) So I left Tuesday feeling upset and unsettled with things. It was not a good feeling.

In the past, if this had happened, I would have been out of there so fast... My way of dealing with something like this was to run away. I was so tempted to do that again this time, but I knew I couldn't. First, I can't afford to be without work. I have too many expenses and, not to mention, I need the medical insurance. To have a chronic illness like Diabetes and no insurance, just isn't a good thing. Secondly, I knew I had to break the pattern. To run away whenever things get a little tough or uncomfortable is an easy way out and it's an all too familiar road I've been on. I also knew that to do that would make it more likely for this pattern to repeat and repeat again. I couldn't let that happen.

So as hard as it was, I went back in Wednesday. It was really difficult, but I knew I had to. One of my main priorities was to make a point of speaking to T. I wanted to let him know that I appreciated our discussion and would be trying harder to do a better job.

I have to give myself credit for that. It's hard talking to him and A. They just don't have the warmest, friendliest personalities and both can be a bit intimidating. But, saying that, he was very receptive to what I said and told me that I could always go to him with my questions or whatever I had problems with.

From there, I have made more of an effort to talk to him and ask questions. Ok, yes, it's only been a week, but I've asked a lot more in the last week than I have in the last few months, so that's a clear improvement. Now I just have to keep doing that. Believe it or not, that's going to take a lot of effort on my part, but I know communication is a necessary thing to have with your managers.

The thing about this is I knew that it was coming...but that doesn't mean it was easy to hear. In a weird way I am glad it happened. It was a much needed swift kick in the butt and I needed it to make me realize that I needed to work harder.

Instead of letting things go, I need to do my work. Instead of spending a lot of the day online checking my email and reading blogs, I need to do my work. Instead of socializing a little too much, I need to do my work. Ok, I guess you get the picture. It's hard, b/c like I said, I would much rather read blogs and write in my own than call insurance companies, but I know that's not possible after that meeting.

I am still going to try and post whenever I can. Obviously, it isn't going to be as often as it was, but I have very little choice over that matter. So if I'm gone for longer periods of time between posts, this is why. But please know that you do still have a faithful reader and I will be reading your blogs whenever I can- that is, outside of work ;). I'm pretty sure that it will still be on a daily basis for the most part... I enjoy them too much
to stay away from them longer than that. LOL

Monday, April 10, 2006

In light of my last blog, I thought this was appropriate :o)...

I will buy you a garden
Where your flowers can bloom
I will buy you a new car
Perfect shiny and new
I will buy you that big house
Way up in the west hills
I will buy you a new life
Yes I will...

I Will Buy You a New Life... Everclear

Thursday, April 06, 2006

I have been thinking about this a lot in the past, but Art-Sweet's recent post (check out the link)inspired me a lot today to write about this... After the comment I left on her blog, this is going to sound a little contradictory and it's also probably going to come across as a very whiny, self-pitying post, but so be it. The truth of the matter is that I am not happy with things in my life.

After giving it plenty of thought, I can, honestly, not think of one thing that is going well for me right now. That sounds depressing and pathetic, which it is, but it's how I feel. Most people can say, well, I have a good job, or I have a great relationship, or I have this hobby or interest that makes me happy, but I can't say that -I don't have any of that. I can't even say, "at least I have my health", b/c I don't, thanks to this wonderful illness.

I know things could be worse, they could ALWAYS be worse, but they could also be better. Why aren't things better for me?

I see people all the time who have everything...looks, career, guy, smarts, and I get jealous. Why is that person so lucky to have all those things? I look at my friends and think the same thing.

One of my friends never has been to college, well, never finished, and is working for a hospital in the area. The kicker is she makes more money than I do. I can't really understand it. Here I am, I've been to college, did very well, and consider myself an educated person, and I make less than her.

Not only that, but she's better at meeting people and starting friendships or relationships. Everything seems to come easier to her... SO NOT fair.

Ok, let me take that back, not everything is easy for her. J. works very hard... She also is a single mom who does not get too much help from her son's Dad. She also doesn't particularly like her job... But it's what she feels she has to do- it's the only thing she is trained in and a lot of other things wouldn't pay enough to support herelf. However, it does seem to me that the things I'm missing in my life, she has. **sigh**

As much as I whine and complain about my life, I know my life is ultimately in my hands. It's up to me to make changes. Unfortunately, that's easier said than done :(. Frankly, I don't even know how to begin or what to change... Plus, I have to admit it's a little scary too- I guess that's to be expected whenever you step out of your comfort zone. But I know sometimes it's well worth the risks involved. Nothing is going to change if you don't take a chance.

I realize this, and I have for a long time, but I have a hard time believing that anything is really going to change. Probably because I've gotten sick of things in the past and haven't done anything about it. Yeah, I guess I'm apprehensive about taking chance, but maybe it has to do with not being ready or capable of making changes yet. I think not only do you have to be in a certain mind set, but you have to be mentally ready to do this...and I'm not quite sure I'm there yet.

I wish it were easier. Why can't there be a genie who could just grant my wish or why can't I do a little wiggle of the nose and, presto-chango, things would be different. Too bad real life doesn't work that way. I dunno, maybe I'm the type of person who will never really be happy... I'd hate to think that that's the case, but I guess life isn't wonderful for all of us.