Appointments and Tests Scheduled, No Time off for Me

Finally got all of Mom's tests scheduled as well as her next visit with the neurologist. Physical therapy eval and barium swallow with speech (what the heck does that mean?) test next week; MRI on October 2nd. And appointment with doc on Oct 27th.

What this means though is that I now have absolutely no paid leave left to use. Until my work anniversary in April. SEVEN MONTHS from now. And then I get 3 sick days, 1 personal day and 10 vacation days. That's it. I figure at least 5 of those vacation days are going to be used for Mom.

No, I don't have FMLA where I work - there are only 7 of us and therefore the company is not required to offer it. Besides which it is unpaid leave - if you want paid you have to use accrued paid leave. Would protect my job, sure but financially is no help. So I have to pray that I - with my asthma - don't get sick for the next 7 to 8 months.

And that concerns me. I am prone to respiratory issues (again with the asthma) and am due for something to hit - been lucky the last two years, so... overdue to get kicked. What the hell am I supposed to do if I get sick? Normal practice at work is not to take the day without pay. Oh no! They have you work through lunch (one hour at a time) to make up for them having paid you while you were away. So one sick day = eight nine hour days.

So basically I am screwed. In order to take care of my mother I can't let myself become ill. BUT as we all know, the stress of caregiving is not good for your immune system.

So what can I do? I know what I would like to do but there isn't any money to pull it off. I'd like a massage once a month, a facial every other month and tai chi every week. But I still have to pay for dental surgery and a partial to replace my broken teeth. Oh and the house needs a roof, the porch (and breezeway) is sinking and the basement leaks. The house was built in 1953. I need to be able to keep that together so that we have a place to live. I also know that I need to rest, sleep and breathe. I just don't have time.

I am hopeful that these tests and this new doctor will help stabilize things for Mom. That would take a bit of the stress off.

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