Monday, July 29, 2013

It is Monday, and Gout has come roaring back (and my faith is being tested)

My frustration level is starting to kick in (a post about what I am dealing with lately). This blog started as a way to journal about Penny's cancer and our familial experiences with it, I never thought it would also turn into my journal about my own limitations as well and it is quickly becoming so. <Edit - please note after my reading this to Penny, she thinks this will be interpreted by others as my feeling sorry for myself... a pity party and that my pain is talking. My perspective is that I am trying to share what I am going through also.... not an easy thing to do for a man by the way... and that the only way for friends and family can understand what we're dealing with is by sharing the bad with the good>.

Last night, a not very nice person's last words to me over 9 days ago weighed heavily on me (this is from a person who never liked me from day 1 and has admitted so):
Karma is a real bitch and from what I can see that you are going through, it is biting you in the a** and maybe sometimes you get what you deserve.

Interestingly, this was being said from a Christian who has a major drinking problem and is medicated for depression, but I digress (as we have to live with this as the person is part of the extended family). It amazes me that people think in such terms. The enemy just won't leave us or our family alone (I am reminded by Penny tho time and time again.... that God turns all things the enemy intends for evil into good). To that person who judges and takes "Karma" literally, Milton comes to mind for perspective: “Never can true reconcilement grow where wounds of deadly hate have pierced so deep...”   ― John Milton, Paradise Lost

Also another quote I keep close to heart : “I have learned in my journey of faith that, the closer I am walking with God, the more likely the devil will be working to make me stumble.”   Tracie Miles, Stressed-Less Living: Finding God's Peace in Your Chaotic World

So, I have much praying to do to reconcile with this as I don't believe in Karma (fate), I believe that in the end, we will answer for our life's works with our creator (and the more we work on ourselves through prayer versus judging other people, I have God's promise as to my "fate").

I had a dream last night about losing my job at Metlife (that layoff was over 14 years ago) and it was a painfully real experience (like I was really there). Even though at the time, I had a job in the wings immediately and didn't lose a day of employment.... and the experience was actually positive..... I woke up from this dream with the realization I have been unemployed for 11 months. ELEVEN MONTHS!!!!! Never did I think that would happen and the stress coming from it is not helping matters much.

It also doesn't help one's ego that an unemployment specialist at IDES (when emailing another person that I was cc'd in about a job regarding me.... listed "age, personality, appearance and lack of formal education are his barriers"). My age, lack of College, and my weight issues are one thing.... but "personality" being listed by him also? And my needing to ratchet down aggressiveness was also noted by the head of "Marine for Life" 4 months ago regarding "keeping in check" when dealing with potential employers (this, from a Marine). Very humbling observations and quite disturbing to a very proud person who has been a go getter for his entire life.

It is now Monday morning and 4 days after the bee stings on the back porch (where I jumped after being stung 3 times and hurt my right foot in the process) and then tried on Saturday to find my Marine Corps paperwork in our garage (partially successful), my gout has come back to the point I can barely walk (let alone stand) on my right foot again. It makes me wonder just what I did to deserve this certain malady and why it keeps coming back despite every effort for me to avoid the symptoms (and I will struggle with that for the rest of my life I suppose). Our family on the maternal side deals with arthritis in many forms (Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis, so Gouty Arthritis seems to be my familial burden while my brother has diabetes from the paternal side so he is unfortunately the worse off long term in my opinion). But I am dealing with my medical issues now, and I am highly concerned.

As soon as I got up today and hobbled slowly into the bathroom thinking about the above, I realized.... I just may be unemployable if I keep getting these attacks and that I just may have to change my approach to life as I am no longer the skinny go getter and that my Type A personality may be interpreted differently by others now as a result of my appearance of medical weakness plus my weight. Something to ponder.......

Please also note, job accommodation is one thing regarding using a wheelchair (and I still have to install the wheelchair lift into our minivan so I have a means to travel during these attacks), it is another thing to adjust a 110 year old farmhouse with very small but tall rooms and small 30" wide doors plus large stairs.... especially when one doesn't have the financial resources to change said accommodations (being unemployed and also having no equity in a home due to it being upside down by over 100k will do that). Also, when going through these attacks, one cannot concentrate on anything but the pain (and with the fog of painkillers not helping matters).

Being a very proud Norwegian and former Marine, I have approached life head on. That is starting to take its toll on me and my family. I'll be honest here, I wouldn't have survived the previous gout attack without the support of my wife. She accommodated me whenever she could (regarding bringing food and drink to me in the living room, helping me get into the shower, and providing moral support) for over 2 weeks. All while she is going through chemo and her own medical battle (she is my inspiration to be sure). I am now looking at another "lost week" where I am stuck in my recliner while another week of beautiful weather where I can work around the house is lost regarding opportunity. Looking at the unfinished projects is truly also weighing on me. The only difference this time is that on August 1st, I have Illinois "Vetcare" and can go to a doctor for treatment (and I plan on doing so to get ahead of this problem).

In the interim, I am trying to be a positive as I can be in the process..... I just wish I could be back to being a contributor to humanity and to my family (instead of being unable to be either).

The view from the recliner.



  1. Steiner,
    You should have been born Irish, you have the gift of gab (I mean that in a good way;-). You can write; you know computers; you've started blogs. Turn that into a living.


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