It all started in the summer of 2017, nearly two years after my one and only manic episode, the diagnosis of Bipolar Type I, and the subsequent prescription for Lithium Carbonate 900mg. I believe during this time, my weight was at its highest at around 150-160 pounds. I had been out posting flyers (for my job) and started noticing that my thumb hurt pretty badly whenever I used it to push pushpins into a corkboard. I didn’t think too deeply about this and brushed it off. That winter, I remember I began feeling the pins and needles sensation in both of my hands. Again, I just brushed it off, thinking it was maybe because we slept on futons at that time and I had poor circulation.
Fast forward to winter 2018, I started noticing more symptoms. My hands would be stiff and achey in the mornings and at night, but most notably in the mornings. I finally decided to visit the clinic on base and they told me that there was something abnormal about my blood report so they referred me to an off base hospital. I went and they took a copious amount of blood, and x-rayed my hands and feet. But everything came back normal. So again, I brushed it off. Plus, my mom has arthritis. Maybe I was getting it too, you know?
I sat down at my desk just now and realized there was something odd. My OCD spidey senses immediately noticed that my little daughter had left me a small gift. Perhaps a tithe for letting her watch TV and use her tablet today? So sneaky! Wonder where she gets that from… 🙂
On the day of my eighth-year work anniversary with my organization, I interviewed for a position that had never opened during my time. That was approximately one week ago and I’ve been a bundle of nerves since then. But as of this morning, I am happy to announce that I was selected to be the new Senior Graphic Designer for our Asia division, effective January 1, 2021. After eight years of being away from this field, I’m finally returning! I had been recently promoted back in November following the completion of my bachelor’s degree at the end of August, so this all seems so surreal to me still.
Yesterday, Ken and I went to the hospital to provide another blood sample required by my rheumatologist. I was supposed to drive there but my fingers, especially on my right hand, were still terribly inflamed so Ken drove instead. With moderate traffic, it’s only about a 15-20 minute drive from our apartment. Once we got there, it was a rather smooth process, I must say. I think it was because Ken was there. So when we went in, I put my hospital card in the machine so that I could get my itinerary. Then, following this itinerary, I had to visit a customer service window to confirm that I did not have Japanese health insurance. Then, I went to the second floor where blood and urine samples are collected. Went to the counter there, was asked to put my hospital card in another machine that dispensed my ticket number. We waited for a few minutes, then I provided three or four vials of blood. Afterward, we went back down to the first floor, waited in line again at the window so they could process my bill. Finally, I went to one of the payment machines, put my hospital card in, paid for my bill using my credit card, then I received my invoice, receipt, and future appointment ticket for December 21. There were people behind us in line so I was too anxious to take a photo of this process, ugh. As we left the hospital, I encouraged Ken to get Starbucks (located in the hospital!) but he felt bad that I couldn’t drink my favorite white mocha, so he ended up not getting anything. I had mentioned to him that it was okay, that I would just drink vicariously through him, but he wouldn’t have it.
Last night, I finally decided to deactivate my Facebook. In the past week, I had four people (customers from my job) who messaged me on there for work-related matters and I realized that just having a Facebook account was causing me unnecessary stress. Years ago, back when I first started my position, I didn’t think there was any harm in adding people. I thought, maybe I could make some friends? Shaking my head.
I can’t count how many times I was disturbed during my naps over the weekend because I had forgotten to activate Do Not Disturb or put my phone or tablet on manner mode. I can’t count how many times I was eating dinner with Miyu or the three of us were out at a restaurant on a weeknight or even a weekend and to hear that telltale ping, dreading who messaged me this time. Or we would be out shopping, enjoying time off work when all of the sudden I would hear the dreaded ping, mouth off a few choice curses, only to realize it was just my mom. Or I would be on my couch or relaxing in bed and reading on my Kindle when all of the sudden I hear the ping and whaddya know, someone needed help logging into their account. It was always about work with these people. It was never about anything non-work related. It was never like “Hey Renee, how are you? Did you watch the latest episode of The Mandalorian?!” Even the “friends” I thought I made would only message me whenever they needed something. It had become a habit for people to use my personal Facebook as a means to get “personalized” customer service from me.