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 :-)