Gloom, Despair and Agony

I believe there are two types of people in the world. There are good luck people and bad luck people. Good luck people walk around with an aura of bright colors surrounding them and a spring in their step. Visual Cinderella, the birds, mice and butterflies. Now that girl had good luck. She got the prince, the fairy godmother and the glass slipper. And…she lived Happily Ever After!

Bad luck people are the ones who walk around with catcher’s mitts on both hands who are constantly in reaction mode for the next big problem to come crashing down around them…or even on them. I have decided I am definitely a bad luck person. Simply put. What can go wrong will go wrong. Or so it seems. Lately.

As a 40+ year old person (hmm), I spent time during my childhood watching one of television’s rather unique shows, even though it pains me to admit. The television show was Hee Haw and featured country music and rather unique humor. I mention Hee Haw since there was a popular song from the show that popped in my head during the past few weeks and it has been playing over and over — I am sharing the chorus.

Gloom, despair, and agony on me
Deep, dark depression, excessive misery
If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all
Gloom, despair, and agony on me

I am usually a glass half full type of person. Honest. And, for those of you who read the blog on a regular basis, know I rely on my faith, family and friends to help me through difficult times. However, this past month has been rough. It seems my medical problems take a step forward and then all of sudden something else will occur and a step forward is nothing compared to the four or five steps I am thrown back. To spare you too many details, but to be honest and open as I promised when I began this blog, I am simply tired of being sick, undergoing numerous medical procedures, going to physical therapy and seeing doctor after doctor after doctor. And,  I have had enough of the nonsense that seems to follow those on disability!

I recently received a letter from Social Security indicating I was overpaid and they would be withholding payment for the next four months. There was no forewarning or reason given. Just a form letter letting me know I would not be getting the check I was due each month for the next four months even though I was legally determined disabled by the United States government. When I contacted the “powers that be” in Baltimore, I was told there was no reason ‘stated in the system’ and they would get back in touch with an explanation promptly. Weeks passed; no response. Months passed; still no response. Fortunately, knowing the right people to contact helped ensure my checks would continue while they looked into the situation. However, I have not heard from Social Security, have never received overpayments of any type despite their claim and according to the representatives at both the local and federal level it ‘must be a mistake.’ But, this issue is still looming. I am an honest person. If I had received money didn’t belonging to me I would have reported it. It’s the federal government for goodness sake. And, it’s a moral issue.

Speaking of moral issues, while working at my past employer, I received stock options as part of my compensation package, which I recently exercised. The stock options were going to expire this year, and with the loss of my husband’s income, this additional money would benefit our household income. With the instability of the stock market, the options didn’t sell at a significant amount; but nonetheless, we were grateful for the money. To simplify this bad luck situation and how large organizations have lost touch, my employer, sent me the incorrect amount of money and instead of contacting me directly to straighten out the situation, they stopped payment on the check two weeks later. I am sure any one can imagine the nightmare this would create. Once I contacted the person responsible for the stock option program, she had no idea this had occurred. It took another week to get this ironed out. No apology, not even a message explaining the problem. Just a stopped payment check in our account. Why not a telephone call letting me know a mistake had been made? After all, the mistake was THEIRS…not mine.

What has happened to respect for others? When I worked for the company it was one of the core values. In fact, bonuses were based on living those values. I explain my recent run with bad luck since spinal cord injury and Cervical Dystonia patients are supposed to manage their stress. However, how do any of us manage stress when the world around us is filled with nothing but disrespect and organizations talking and preaching core competencies but certainly don’t live them in their daily actions with people, including our own government? Don’t get me started with filing taxes…

In addition to the Social Security and stock option fiascos, my husband is still looking for employment following being out of work for seven months. I wish those of you reading this post could meet him. If you did you would have difficulty understanding why he can’t land a job. He spends so much time looking for employment, applying, submitting his résumé via online, in person, etc. It’s a vicious cycle leaving him waiting and wondering about his abilities and background. He has extensive experience in both sales and purchasing and should have been hired by now. However, the hiring process has gotten so off track, those with the most experience and who are best suited for the positions are overlooked and replaced by those who are willing to take the positions for the lowest pay. We have also discovered that networking no longer helps in the job searching process. However, we aren’t surprised the same jobs keeps reappearing on job boards several months later. Again, it’s not rocket science to fill the position with the proper person. Why not hire a person with the most experience, pay them a bit more and in the end train them for the job once and don’t keep repeating the cycle?

In my last post I had many people wondering what type of doctor I was going to see and if I was going to have surgery. The surgery option hasn’t been decided; however, I am trying a new medication, which has some not-so-wonderful side effects, including possible hearing loss. The doctor I have added to my list isn’t one who does surgery, repairs broken bones or works in a hospital. I finally admitted I needed to up the ante. I needed a physician who understands ‘bad luck people’ like me and gives the tools to better handle the ‘junk’ life is throwing at me. I had my first appointment last week. And, while I admit I was dreading rehashing the last seven years and honestly wanting to tell Dr. C. to ‘just read my blog to get caught up,’ I found him to be refreshingly honest and knowledgeable. During the appointment I found myself setting up ground rules for our conversations, the most important being I did not want him to answer questions with a question. His response was, “I can see I’ve got my hands full with you!”

While I saw a therapist in the past, our professional counseling relationship didn’t part with the nicest of endings. Again, I wasn’t treated with respect and was hesitant putting myself and my feelings out in the open again. However, after only one appointment Dr. C. told me it was my sense of humor that has helped me and I needed to keep laughing. He admitted he heard my laugh from the waiting room to his office in the back…even over the sound machine they use to ‘drown out noise.’ Perhaps this was a poke that I needed to lower my volume or some sort of backhanded compliment. Whatever the case, I am armed with my first tool ~ sense of humor. I can see my tool box is going to be expanding and with that, I hope my luck will also be shifting.

©My Unplanned Life and, 2012.


About mswd

I am an individual living with a spinal cord injury. How the injury occurred, how I found out how severe my injury was and how my planned life suddenly became 'unplanned' is included in this blog. Also included is how the injury has tested my family and me. I believe you will discover it has been both a mentally and physically challenging ordeal and I learned a few lessons along the way. While I am still defining my life’s purpose since the injury, I have uncovered those who are injured, live with pain or have other obstacles to navigate are never able to escape. However, come with me as I explore ways to improve my life, learn to live with multiple neurological conditions, educate others and look for the silver lining. I believe with a little willpower, my caring family and God's guidance I will learn to forgive, hopefully forget how I was treated and dismissed by a doctor and uncover life's new purpose. I pray for painfree days and answers to questions that keep swirling through my mind. I also pray for a cure for neurological conditions and for the doctors to treat their patients with respect. Welcome to my journey. I would love to hear about yours!
This entry was posted in Depression, Disability, Dr. Liar, Employer and disability, Faith, Finding the joy, Pain, Pain Management, physical therapy, Self Discovery, Social Security Disability, Spinal Cord Injury, Surgery and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Gloom, Despair and Agony

  1. Chatter Master says:

    I remember that song!!!! Hee Haw was awesome! I’m glad you’re taking control and MAKING your luck shift!

    • mswd says:

      Hee Haw would be banned if it was on television now…I can’t believe they got away with what they did in the 1970s. Remember the clothing? I really feel old. 🙂

  2. dcangelo says:

    Harry was awesome in high school and I’m sure he still is. Not finding a job in seven months, ten months, a year, two years—-it’s happening an awful lot these days, to a whole bunch of qualified, experienced, wonderful people. This economy is wrecked and it needs to be fixed. One of the worst things I can imagine is someone who is eager to work, ready to work and hardworking—-with no job to go to. It’s discouraging, but things will improve—-one way or another, things will get better. You are good people and Harry will find something he loves—-and you will know that this down cycle set him up for something he enjoys, is good at—-and he’ll find success and rewards. Regarding good luck/bad luck: I used to believe it too—-that some people had this “halo of protection” and everything always seemed to fall into place for them—a total blessed existence—-while others just had one stretch of bad luck after another. Right now—-I believe that things go in cycles. Some people ARE lucky—-but eventually, they will face challenges and hardships that they might not be prepared for. Others ARE unlucky—-but with patience and faith, doors open and things get better for many of these “unlucky” people and when they least expect it, something very positive happens—-something they never imagined—that changes life for the better.

    • mswd says:

      dcangelo ~ yes, yes, yes, Harry is just as awesome as I am sure he was in high school! In fact, in one of my posts I talk about what a wonderful person he is and how I wouldn’t have made it through this journey without him (click here if you would like to read)

      I know this most recent post was a bit of a woe is me rant, which is something I hate to do; however, this past month had been one thing after another, and trust me, there are many items I left out! I usually don’t let things get to me…I am strong and do fight back, but something changed and my world was beginning to crash around me. This has been going on for almost seven years and when I saw Dr. C. his first words were…what took you so long! I am seeing some signs of the ‘old’ me and I am sure my pity party is going to end soon. I know there are people who have far greater problems and in many ways we are truly blessed. If Dr. Liar had missed by 1/4 inch I wouldn’t have use of my legs. At the same time…it’s just hard to live in pain each and every day.

      I thank you for your message and for reading the blog. It’s an outlet for me and has in many ways helped me keep things in perspective. I do get off track from time to time and I hope by doing so others understand when it happens to them that it’s just part of the process of learning to accept what life throws at you. It’s a process of ups, downs, good and bad days. Some days we can smile and others it’s a bit difficult. But, in the end, it’s ok. Please keep in touch and thank you again for your kind words.

  3. Deborah Halbfoster says:

    Marsha, someone asked me recently, “What was most important in my life?”…I said, “laughter.” It is good to see that you, too, have discovered its importance in getting through life. Keep laughing my friend….Have you ever read the book, “The Horse’s Mouth” by Joyce Carey? Gulley Jimson (the main character) has also discovered this key to life….a great book. I wish we could get together and share a few laughs..

    • mswd says:

      My dear, dear, dear friend Deborah, oh how I miss you! The first thing that popped into my mind when I saw your name was all the laughs we shared while working together. GPC, you and me…remember those days when we were working our @$$e$ off, but sure had a fun time doing it, huh? Gosh, I do miss those three gals! I thank you for your kind message and for the walk down memory lane…that alone is worth its weight in gold.
      I haven’t read “The Horse’s Mouth,” but I am going to order it now. I thank you for the recommendation. Harry bought me a Kindle and I am always looking for some inspiring. I will follow up once I have completed it. I miss you sweetie. I miss the laughs, your smile and the way you brightened up a room just by walking into it. Head South for a visit so you can brighten up my world…any time. You are welcome because you know you ALWAYS have a special place in my heart. <3!

  4. Town Crier says:

    When we were children we are told of a mystical, magical god that loves all and is just. We are told that governments exist to provide us with justice. We are told that the cure for despair is hope but having existed in this world for for over half a century I have come to learn a greater truth about god and government that is far from the mystical and magical lessons we are taught in childhood.
    Unfortunately many of us would rather continue to drink from the pap than take up a knife and fork and fill ourselves with reality.
    I hope and pray all will go well for those in despair.

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