VIP is Always Better…

I discovered the Netflix series “Inventing Anna” this weekend and, of course I binged it until the end.

Have you all seen this? It’s about a young woman con-artist that swindled the most elite and richest people and institutions of New York City. Just by acting as if she was elite and rich too. AND by being mean to people. It worked. It was fascinating.

And I related so hard to her character because I actually had to work with someone JUST LIKE HER and this show gave me flashbacks!

This person wasn’t even a coworker. He was an independent “consultant” that my company hired. And for some reason, he latched onto me and it was one of the worst years of my life.

He was obsessed with VIP treatment everywhere we went. And he even lied to get it. He shamed me for traveling economy-class and staying at Hilton’s during our business travels. He actually shook his finger at me in front of executives and ordered me to book first-class and luxury travel only. He said I made my company look bad by doing otherwise.

And my company went along with it! (I later found out that he was shaming all of them over other things too).

The very first time that my plane stopped prior to the gate and uniformed people showed up to whisk me away in a private car on the actual concourse… I literally thought that I was getting kidnapped!

But no, it was just VIP.

He was actually quite verbally abusive to most people he came across too. I’ve heard him tell people that they were fat, that they needed to fix their “look”, that they were pathetic and useless, that they weren’t worth his time, etc. It was terrible.

And he actually got me into a very scary moment once, when he scammed us into a physical meeting with government officials in China (prior to Covid), and he over-promised them on everything. My job was to execute on what he promised and I knew we couldn’t do any of it. I kept my mouth shut bc I felt it was wisest to not make an enemy out of both him AND the Chinese government while I was on their turf.

So I kept my mouth shut.

And I ratted him out to all of my bosses as soon as we got back to the United States because i didn’t want anything to do with him anymore.

My company launched an internal investigation into him and did determine that he was a con-artist and fired him.

Holy cow.

I later find out that he was hired by another large company and I imagine that he’s exactly the same, and doing the exact same things there. Because he really faced no consequences. He was just given the freedom to keep doing his thing elsewhere.

So I did relate to the part of Anna’s story where she felt that if she were a man, then she would’ve been rewarded for her ambitious behavior instead of being prosecuted. And I do agree with that part of her defense. Because I’ve seen it in action. With my own eyes.

So this series really got me hooked. Because I related to it way too hard.

What did you all think of it?

205 Days

Hi everyone, I’ve missed you all and I hope everyone is doing well!

I haven’t posted a lot because I haven’t had much good news to share and I try to limit gloomy content bc that’s not the kind of energy I want to put out into the world.

But I finally have good news.

This Tuesday, we found something that reduced my daughter’s dizziness and made her feel better.

She’s been dizzy nonstop 24/7 since March 28 2022, with no relief. On a scale of 1 – 10, she’s been rating the intensity as 6 – 8. It’s never dropped below a 6 in all this time.

She powers through it enough to go to school but she’s been very uncomfortable and she hasn’t played any sports at all. Her grades have been suffering. She’s been telling me that everything she does “is a struggle”. I’ve been worried about her becoming depressed because her personality has been changing and she is increasingly withdrawn.

We’ve been mostly focused recently on treating her eyes and her neck because we’ve been able to eliminate almost everything else as a cause of her dizziness.

On Monday, she had her first appointment with an upper cervical chiropractor. He x-rayed her neck. He found that the top of her neck is straight where it is supposed to be curved.

On Tuesday, she had her first neck alignment session with that chiropractor. Before she even got up from the table, she said she felt her dizziness drop to a 3!

For 205 days, she had no relief from this. On Tuesday, that all changed.

She had more neck alignment sessions on Wednesday and Thursday and she currently rates her dizziness as a 2.

We are so excited by this new development. We were starting to lose all hope. And now we have our hope back.

First Time Back to the Office

So it’s finally my time…

This week, work mentioned that they *might* be scheduling in-person meetings for everyone at the office next month. Maximum, it will be the whole week so I will need to be there for 5 days before returning back to my normal WFH lifestyle.

Oh gosh. If this happens, it will be my first time back in the office since Covid happened. Was it really like, 2 and a half years ago?! Really that long?! I can’t wrap my head around that.

In the meantime, NONE of my office clothes even fit me anymore as I’ve gained 20lbs since then.

I’m not going to lie. I’m stressed about this.

In only a month, I have to buy new proper outfits that will fit me. I have to get my haircut. I have to lose 20lbs.

And I have to mentally prepare myself to be around coworkers in-person again. So weird.

Girls and How to Handle School Dance Requests

So my daughter is in 6th grade and she has a school dance coming up next Friday.

My school never had dances until high school so this seems really young to me, but all her friends are going and I don’t want to be the reason she has to miss out. But still… isn’t 6th grade too young?

Anyhow, my husband was advising my daughter that if a boy asks her to dance then she needs to say “yes” because it took the boy a lot of courage to do that and she doesn’t need to hurt his feelings.

And shocker! Of course I disagreed with my husband!

I was raised this exact same way as a little girl – to always be polite, to always avoid hurting other people’s feelings, to always be pleasing, to always be agreeable, to always suppress my feelings, and to always say “yes” to other people, etc.

And honestly, I ended up as an adult that was terribly taken advantage of in EVERY single relationship I’ve ever been in. I never learned what my healthy boundaries are. I never learned how to set them properly at the beginning of relationships. And I never learned how to put MY own feelings and myself first.

I don’t want my daughter having this same fate as an adult.

Now, I do want her to have empathy for others and to not hurt anybody’s feelings. But I believe she can do that AND put herself first. Am I crazy for believing this?

So if a boy asks her to dance and if she doesn’t want to… then it is NOT ok for her to say “yes” in that scenario.

And if she doesn’t learn this now, then when? When she’s older and older men who haven’t learned how to handle “no” approaches her with more matured tricks up their sleeves to persuade women otherwise? I’ve run into these men, and my daughter needs to be VERY well-equipped to handle them.

She needs to learn this sooner rather than later too. And who else will teach her this if not me? Because everywhere else seems to be teaching her to say “yes” instead in this scenario. There are even some news reports I’ve read where it is considered “bullying” now for a girl to say “no” to a boy at a school dance.

Of course I don’t want her to to be hurtful to anyone else, so I offered her other options like saying “No thank you, and I think you’re very nice for asking” or “I don’t want to, but do you want to hang out with me and my friends for a little while instead?” or any other response that is still respectful to the other person and within the scope of what she is comfortable with.

I don’t know. What do you all think would be other respectful responses?

So that’s the situation at home right now. What are your thoughts? If you disagree with me, I’d love to hear your point of view too.

Failure

I can’t make my daughter feel better.

I can’t make her understand how to subtract integers.

I can’t get caught up at work because I missed 2 weeks taking my daughter to an out-of-state rehab clinic.

I can’t get either of the 2 children’s hospitals in my town to schedule an mri for her. They won’t even return my calls.

I can’t get my husband to help me or her with anything!

I can’t get my own personal prescription for high blood pressure refilled bc the pharmacy says I need a doctor’s authorization and my doctor says that they already submitted it. So, stalemate!

I feel like I’m on the verge of losing it.

My schedule today was literally back-to-back taking care of everyone else but myself since the moment my alarm went off at 5am.

I got up. Made my daughter’s breakfast and packed her lunch for school. Did her physical therapy exercises with her. Drove her to school. Started work-work meetings. Some were stacked on top of each other so I had to juggle them simultaneously – such a stress! Didn’t eat breakfast or lunch since I had so much to do. Survived off of coffee and cola and candy.

My husband was home today, basically lounging around. Today is one of his “travel days” that he likes to scam his workplace out of. He claims that he is traveling and can’t work but really he is at home taking a day off. He does this at least every other week. And he pretty much made himself comfortable on the couch and watched tv the whole time.

My daughter got home from school on the bus around 4. I did more physical therapy exercises with her and I helped her finish the rest of her homework for the day. I asked my husband to help her study for her integers test tomorrow and I went back to work-work for another couple hours.

Around 7 I took a break from work-work and found the entire family – daughter, adult stepson, and husband around the tv WAITING for me to make them dinner.

I made them dinner, ticked off about it the whole entire time. Because nobody here ever makes ME dinner. And also, they weren’t doing anything else.

After dinner I did more physical therapy exercises with my daughter. She can’t do them herself and she needs to do them at least 3x a day. I asked if she finished studying her integers and she said no bc her dad didn’t help her with them.

He’s back on the couch watching tv now. I start helping her with her integers and she’s NOT getting it. I’m getting more and more ticked off because nobody is helping me.

I’m not angry with her. I’m angry that my husband doesn’t help me at all. But I know that she feels like I’m angry with her and that makes me even more upset.

Now it’s 9pm and she’s still not understanding. My husband is watching YouTube videos on the couch. I’m about to have a meltdown bc nobody is helping me. I basically sent her to bed and told her we’ll study more in the morning.

Now I’m upstairs typing this up bc I need a sanity check. I also have about 2-3 more hours of work-work to catch up on.

I can’t keep this up.

Life Update III

Hi everyone, I’m so sorry to have been awol lately. I know I’ve been missing to you and mostly, I know I’ve MISSED YOU. You all are kinda my only friends anymore.

I just wanted to post a quick update. We completed my daughter’s out-of-state 2 week rehabilitation program and she is still dizzy. So no improvement in her condition at all.

I’m very disappointed that she still feels unwell, but I’m happy that they studied her so intensively while we were there. That’s exactly what I’ve been looking for a doctor to do this whole time and I couldn’t find one that would do it.

They were able to eliminate alot of the most common causes for her dizziness – most of which my daughter’s previous specialists had already been prescribing her medications for. They were able to rule-out inner-ear issues, dysautonomia issues (her body not regulating blood pressure correctly), vestibular migraine issues, etc.

I’m very upset that we wasted alot of time (MONTHS) with her other specialists that kept PUSHING treatments and drugs on us without thoroughly verifying that this was her problem. Like, why is it ok to prescribe blood pressure medication to a CHILD without verifying that she has a blood pressure issue first?! It’s not ok. When we told her first cardiologist that this medication wasn’t helping her dizziness, he offered to DOUBLE her dose before questioning whether this was the correct treatment. Obviously I didn’t go along with that because it didn’t make sense to me.

We had another doctor prescribe her anti-seizure medication to treat her dizziness. Obviously that medication didn’t improve anything for my daughter and even made her feel WORSE. When we reported that back to the doctor, he also offered to increase the dosage without additional evaluation. Absolutely not.

But at this rehab, they thoroughly evaluated her for everything. More so than any of her “specialists” did. And that’s exactly what I needed.

They’ve been able to pin-point several issues contributing to my daughter’s dizziness and it involves mostly her right eye and the right side of her neck. They found that she has vertical nystagmus and convergence spasms in her right eye. They found that the right side of her face is starting to droop (I did start to notice that on my own), and they found that she LEANS her face and body to the right side too. I didn’t notice that until they pointed it out to me, and yes she does. And they found that she has huge muscle knots on the right side of her neck. They said that those knots are probably contributing to compression on nerves and bloodflow to her brain-stem.

Dang. We noticed those knots on her neck before. We first saw them before covid – so maybe 3 YEARS ago. We were worried that it was the c-word (you know, bc we thought they were swollen lymph nodes) and we took her to 2 different pediatricians at 2 different practices just to be safe. Both those doctors told us not to worry about it. “Oh, it’s not the c-word. Just keep an eye on them and if they don’t get bigger then don’t worry about it.”

Well, they didn’t get bigger and my daughter didn’t have any other symptoms at the time, so we did kind of forget about them.

This rehab told us that her dizziness issue now may be due to a build-up over several years of her nerves/bloodflow being compressed to her brainstem on the right side – which matches with the issues she’s experiencing now with her right eye and the right side of her face/body leaning and drooping. And shoot – when you ask my daughter to describe her dizziness, this is how she describes it:

Doctor: “Are YOU spinning or is the room spinning?”
My daughter: “The room is spinning.”
Doctor: “Which way is the room spinning?”
My daughter: “To the right.”

I’m so ticked-off that I believed these earlier doctors that told me not to worry about it. I SHOULD HAVE BEEN WORRIED and I should’ve been pursuing answers 3 years ago! I just feel so betrayed by doctors. I feel like they all just dropped the ball. And we’ve been to a TON of doctors. All of them!

Anyhow, the rehab started physical therapy treatments to improve the eye issues and to release the muscle knots in her neck. They’re also ordering an MRI of her neck to see if there is a structural issue there that needs to be treated.

And that’s where we are now. She’s not yet feeling any better, and that’s all I want.

Life Update II

Hi everyone I miss you all and I miss my place here to escape. I can’t wait to have the time to spend on here again. I hope it’ll be soon. Because it’s definitely good for me.

As you all know, I’ve been obsessed with my daughter’s dizziness issue and finding someone that can help her. So far, we’ve seen a ton of specialists and had a ton of tests done and everyone’s stumped bc her test results are always normal. So most of the doctors have been like “MAYBE it’s this condition, so try these drugs and we’ll see.”

And none of those drugs or treatments have helped.

We did see a new doctor last week. We had to travel several states away to see him but he’s supposed to be the best, and if he can help her feel better then it is totally worth it.

She actually failed his tests, so this is the first doctor she’s been to with a legitimate clue we can follow. He did a bunch of functional tests and he told us “normal 2 year olds can pass these tests.” My daughter did not.

For example, one test he did is where he wrote letters on her legs with her eyes closed. When he wrote letters on her left leg, she got them all correct “G” “D” “R” etc…. When he wrote letters on her right leg, she was like “I don’t know” “I don’t know” “I don’t know” etc… It was really jarring to see. I never noticed she was having all these other issues too.

But this is the first doctor that could validate that something was wrong. He was like “Of course she’s dizzy, her brain is struggling so much. I can see it.” This validation is such a big deal.

So he thinks he can help her. But he wants to do 2 weeks (at least) of in-person rehab. We’ll basically have to move there for a little while. We’ll do it, just figuring out some logistics now.

And I reached out to my workplace because they offered to pay travel expenses for employees getting medical services that aren’t available locally (due to the recent Supreme Court ruling), and they didn’t shut me down. Surprisingly. They asked me to provide some documentation on why my daughter’s medical service isn’t available locally. So I’m going-through that process now too. We’ll see how it works out. It’ll be a big help.

So that’s my latest news. I hope you all are doing much better than we are!