When I was little the question arose,
"I know that Daddy's job is to be a doctor and help people. But what is your job, Mommy?"
"My main job is to raise you and your brother and to teach you how to become adults so that one day you can have your own lives and your own jobs," my Mom replied.
"But Mommy, what is my job now?" I asked.
"Your job right now is to go to school. You need to learn all you can and pay attention and do what the teachers tell you. That is your job." I remember that conversation as if it were yesterday and feeling so secure in knowing what my job was and what was expected of me.
Fast forward to December 1999, when after 2.5 years of college I had to leave CCM (the topic of another conversation someday). My "job" as a student ended and from age 19 on, I supported myself. I worked in retail, I worked in medical offices, I taught kids to sing and dance, I managed properties, I trained people on how to do their jobs, I worked in an I.T. department...and the list goes on.
Fast forward to April 2007 when I had to leave my job, reeling from the effects of this new uninvited guest in my life. Thinking it would take a few weeks, maybe a month or two to feel better and get back to work, I waited. And waited. And more problems arose. And there has been pain, dizziness, mind-numbing fatigue, shortness of breath and still no real improvement in my initial vision loss. And in between doctor appointments and tests, in between symptoms that knock me right on my butt, in between visiting with friends when I feel up to it, I look at my life and I desperately want to ask,
"But Mommy, what is my job now?"
I suppose my job now is to feel better. My job is to learn to manage the effects and symptoms of this disease to the absolute best of my ability. My job is to make the annoying phone calls to doctors, nurses, labs, and insurance companies. My job is to ask "What else can we try?" and to say "This medicine isn't working" and "I need some answers" and so forth and so on. My job is to adjust to this new body that doesn't do what I tell it to do all the time and often does things that make no sense at all. My job is to keep my sense of humor and try to have some fun whenever possible.
It is a not a well-paying job and frankly, the benefits stink. It is a job that often makes me feel insignificant. I don't go in to an office every day. Heck, on the bad days I don't even shower or get out of my pajamas. And the hours of this job are just god-awful! I get ZERO vacation days! I don't even have cute business cards. But you know, this job is very important and if I do it well, I will be able to do other jobs again soon. More importantly, I know that this job will lead to a higher percentage of Good Days, happiness, sanity, maybe even inner peace or something.
So it's back to work for me, which today will involve: going to lay down on the floor for a while which is where I currently can breathe the best, returning a call to a doctor, paying a doctor's bill, cleaning up the apt a bit and then later on doing my injection of the Wonder-Drug. I might even shower somewhere in there (which I am sure my husband would appreciate).
It isn't my dream job, but sometimes you gotta work your way up the ladder. :-)