Friday, May 25, 2012

Bad news? Maybe not...

Went to the neurologist last week, and he says it's time to start thinking and talking about Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery.  The side effects of the medications are increasing, and the good effects are decreasing.  I kind of knew that I would eventually face this, but it takes some thought.  I'm also not sure how much it's going to cost me, and whether we can afford it or not.

I've been warned that I am at the top of the list of about-to-be-layed-off employees in my department.  Not enough work for all of us, and I make too much money.  I have put in 28+ years at the company, worked so many extra hours, sacrificed my time, etc., etc..  Surprisingly, though, I don't feel resentful.  I understand how these things work.  They don't have enough to pay all of us, and it would be in the best interest of the department to keep the younger people and let those of us near retirement go.  Also, when you work as a government contractor, you have this thing called total cost accounting, which means that you have to account for each and every hour that you work.  If you have no contract to work on, you have no job.  We just don't have enough contracts right now.

A year ago, this news would have felt like the end of the world to me.  Now, though, I'm kind of thinking that I'm getting near the point where I can't really work anyway.  I have too many uncomfortable "off" times, too much difficulty concentrating and too many times when I can't physically do what I need to do.  Just standing in the laboratory for hours wears me out; I can't hold the oscilloscope or multimeter or logic analyzer probes on the electronics without accidentally shorting things out.  I have to ask for help all the time.

Maybe all of this is the Universe's way of telling me to move on to the next stage.  Maybe there's something else out there that I'm supposed to be doing.  Who knows?  It could be a very good thing.  I sure would have liked to celebrate my 30th service anniversary, though.  Oh well, maybe they'll let me go to the dinner dance anyway :-)


Bob Kuhn said...


I am sorry to hear about your circumstances. Have you considered an application for disability. Sounds to me like you're a prime candidate.

Before you opt for DBS make sure you talk to lots of people who can't through it (with good and not so good results). It may be just the thing for you, or it may not. It is difficult to not want to hear just the good stories without hearing the other side.

In any event, I just wanted you to know that I was thinking about you and appreciate your candor. Keep up the writing no matter what.


Judy in TN aka In10city said...

I most definately second Bob's request that you keep up the writing! And you know what.. everything is gonna be alright. You are facing some big decisions and you know how to decide, in the just follow your heart (which by the way is one of the most humble and amazing hearts i know!) hugs!

Marian said...

Thanks, Bob, thanks Judy! I think I may have found enough work to bridge the gap. I am also still thinking about disability, though. As you say, Judy, I have to follow my heart. I just wish my head would quit making so much noise; it's hard to hear what my heart is trying to say sometimes.

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I'm a lucky lady. I have a wonderful husband of 27 years, a fantastic 25 year old son (I'm so proud of him!) a loving and supportive family, the best friends in the world, a job that I love, and... Parkinson's Disease. I was diagnosed in September 2006. That was a jolt, but I'm learning to deal with it.