Trying to walk in the shoes of the sick and afflicted while breathing freely and prancing in all your fine health, is no easy task. A task I felt no one was even willing to attempt to understand. The world of Rheumatoid Arthritis is relatively new to me, only being diagnosed 7 years ago. Yet, jobless and insurance-less (thus untreated), it has very much consumed my life for the last few years. I’ve been more fortunate than others, in that I have a network to reach out to for help. One that for two years helped me significantly more than one could hope, yet I had reached my crippled hands out at their worst only to find an unmoving stone wall, blocked by fear of harmful drugs and expensive therapies, ones that were expensive enough to ensure my children wouldn’t be able to go to college if they wanted a mom to be able to walk with them through childhood. That wall did me in. The choice of my children’s future verses my own health for my children’s present was the debate I woke with and the question that plagued my dreams for 7 months. Who was more paramount in my mind, what did I have to live for, what amazing people could they become even if it meant I couldn’t be by their sides?
Yes, I have a disease which has plagued millions, and will continue to plague the world until we are gone. Modern medicine has turned this disease into nothing to baulk at, unless you are without health insurance and jobless and severely depressed and have lost all hope. I was at my wit’s end. Calling in my inner Charlotte Anna Perkins, I wanted to end the pain. Surely this is no way to live the remainder of one’s life, being so severely depressed, unable to dress myself let alone think I may one day hold a job and be able to afford to get out of pain, I was ready for desperate measures. Luckily, I didn’t get so dramatic. I was still sensible enough to fight, and this was ONLY Arthritis for crying out loud. Instead, I decided on a trip to a doctor using our only grocery money available for 3 weeks, and found I was not dealing with the Rhuematoid Arthritis but Lyme’s disease, and it wouldn’t cost too much to cure it. (Or So we thought) I’m at a debt of $6,000 and counting with in just a few weeks in hopes to rid myself of pain and the depressing thought of ending the pain simply and quickly. I’ve had 2 good weeks out of 4, a good percentage compared to where I was just 4 weeks ago. I am getting better, but so slowly. Once I’m out of steroids, I’ll be in pain again but hopeful not so much pain.
What could possible help me more than anything right now? A job. I am getting angry and bitter about being jobless because I have been trying everywhere, everything, yet I’m “not good enough” all over again. Who can tolerate all this rejection and not be affected by it? Who can sit around and be told for 3 months that, yes, you will be given a formal offer of employment once we get approval from upper management. (Come to find out that company just had to cut their staff, 175 jobs gone!) Why interview someone for a position you are not ready to hire for? Bitter. Yes. I’m very bitter at this point. If I had been hired within a month of the interview that 3 people advised me had “gone very well” I would have been insured for 2 months already. I wouldn’t have had to sell the last item I had in my name, I wouldn’t be blowing grocery money on getting myself better, I wouldn’t be $6000+ in debt right now.
I tried not to focus on the “if only” and the” could have been”, all the negative thoughts. Then there is the staffing agency that promised me a quick job, temporary, no benefits, but hey, it’s a job….6 weeks later, still nothing and now phone calls aren’t being returned and I can’t seem to get through to the recruiter that is supposed to be helping me. Apparently, she slotted me into a position with the same company that I’ve been waiting on for 3 months, and she can’t submit me for any other position because she is waiting on them. If I withdraw my candidacy, I look bad in the eyes of the company and potentially lose a good position.
I’ve applied at countless number of places and haven’t gotten any other bites. I know the industry I am familiar with isn’t stable, but PLEASE, I need a job, my health and children depend on it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!