Health care is a basic human right, not a privilege. For some reason, we’ve allowed ourselves as Americans to be fooled into accepting that one must be blessed with “means” to actuate appropriate health care. As a nation we have failed to realize that our health care system is a barometer of our society’s value for human life.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Sometimes I just am. I called Bob in tears last night because I felt so ill, and I begged him to come up. He did, the wonderful man he is, and helped me get the kids to bed. What did we wake up to? April snow showers. I am finishing my final month as a caretaker after taking last month off. I had agreed to help for one extra month so they had more time to find another caretaker. I’m not looking forward to shoveling with a fever.

My sadness though really started at work. I have several FMLAs at work, to help ensure that I keep a job. I have one for my diabetes. I have one for my daughter’s diabetes, and then another for her joint and muscle issues. I have one for Sandis’s autism and one other for recurrent strep throats (which is culminating in tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy on May 22). That is five FMLA’s and a whole bunch of time missed on my part. I do my best to schedule therapies at the end of the day or first thing in the morning, but sometimes I need to miss more than others. I do my best, and I am honest about the time I miss.

Today our HR director talked to me as she had been reviewing my FMLA file. She had some questions about Sandis’s sore throat FMLA, commenting that a sore throat does not usually indicate FMLA coverage, as that is just common childhood illness. I explained to her Sandis’s recurrent problems and how it resulted in an ENT referral and now a scheduling of surgery. I emphasized how it is NOT just a common childhood illness, as most children don’t have strep throat or some other type of severe tonsillitis once a MONTH. Some of the notes written by doctors didn’t reference the FMLA completely correct, so I had to explain to them why these visits fit into the FMLA standards. Then she had a question about a note from a doctor (Gracie’s endo actually) that Gracie had the flu and that I needed to stay home with her. The HR director told me that the flu is not an FMLA related condition. I explained to her that the note is written by Gracie’s diabetes doctor and that it does apply to her diabetes FMLA because it causes her to have high ketones and high blood sugars that I need to monitor. She then asked me if any illness Gracie has would fall under FMLA (trying to understand? I don’t know.). I told her that if the illness causes high ketones, then yes, it should fall under FMLA, as I am staying home with her not only to care for her illness but also extra care is required for her diabetes.

I have missed so much work in these past few months; I guess I should have expected this talk. And although I should have expected it, it still felt crushing. Everyone was very nice and seemed very understanding. I just struggle constantly with the fear that this job will see fit to lay me off, as I have to miss so much work. I don’t know what I would do without a job. I try very hard to be here, but sometimes, I just can’t. I just feel icky about the whole thing.

So I left in tears, upset about the whole thing, to my desk to write this. I wish that things weren’t like this. I wish I could work 40 hours a week. I wish things were different. But they aren’t and they never will be. Time to let this fear of losing my job thing pass. There is nothing I can do more than I am doing already. What will be will be. And we will continue to be, regardless..


Essitam said...

I have just stumbled upon your blog and and only read your fist post but HELL keep up the good work!!

Your employees should realise that single mothers are more inclined to work harder when they are in work to other staff as they (sometimes) NEED the job a hell of a lot more.

So what if you have to take more time off than other, maybe they should compare work output in relation to attendance as opposed to attendance alone.

(oh and good luck with all the appointments illnesses and stuff it sounds to me like you lead a hectic life and have your hands full)

Nicole P said...

Man - I'm so sorry. Sorry that you've got so much to deal with - but really, more sorry that you're sad. You don't deserve to be sad. You deserve joy - laughter - good things. Hope you'll keep that in mind.

Nina said...

I wish I had some inspiring words of wisdom for you to make you feel better... all that I can say is that you are a great mom and 30 years from now you may barely remember this job but your kids will always remember how you were there for them when they were not feeling well. That is all that matters.

Kerri. said...

Sarah, I'm so sorry that you feel so sad. Nina makes a great point - in 30 years, you'll barely remember the job but your kids will indeed remember what a wonderful mother you are.

We're thinking of you and sending good thoughts.