There's an issue I struggle with on a daily basis and I'm wondering how the rest of you ladies handle this. How much information do you tell your employer about your situation or treatments? How do you balance work with your treatments and the emotions that go along with it?
While I have a very laid back, understanding boss, he is a man. He does have a wife and 3 kids and it does help a bit that it took them a number of years to conceive their first. He endured the rage of a woman and disappointing cycle after cycle for those years, but never had to endure the gamut of emotions that comes along with treatments. I often struggle with how much information to give him on what is going on in my life. I know that there are definitely things he would be uncomfortable with-he doesn't want the gory details and that is just fine by me.
Since September, I've had trouble focusing on work when I'm at work. I have to force myself to get through tasks throughout the day and at times I get very angry when asked to do things. There are times where I have to hold myself back to keep from blowing up at him. Sometimes it is in response to a decision he has made that I think is not the right one. I would do it differently or the decision is going to make my life more difficult or stressful. A lot of times, these decisions are political in nature (office politics) and I just don't always trust that he is navigating the mine field in a manner to get us both out alive (and he would be SO insulted if he were reading this).
I'd like to think that the normal me would take these challenges in stride. She would calmly try to reason with him and then go with the flow if he decided not to take her advice. Or, she would start looking for another job. Something where she felt she had a voice. That is one of the most frustrating things about my job, I'm often asked for my opinion or encouraged to voice my opinion, but it seems like no one really listens. Either that or I'm so off base on my opinions that only an idiot would take my advice (personally, I don't think that is the case). They let me voice my opinion and then they turn around and take the opposite course of action.
But the current me (the one undergoing treatments) can't do anything calmly. She rants and raves (at least in her head). She fumes and turns around and heads back to her own office to shut her door and steam in private. She wonders why she is so ANGRY over something like this. She recognizes the ANGER for what it is (something completely unrelated to work), but still can't swallow it and make it go away. She has dreams of telling off people at work. She snaps at her husband over insignificant issues at home. She yells at the dogs and then bursts into tears. She has no idea how to control the mood swings.
I often think that if we would just win the lottery I could quit my job and focus on treatments. Logically, I know this is a dangerous thought and I would drive myself batty focusing on treatments 24/7. I also think about finding a different job that is less demanding, more of a job than a career. But I'm sure I would get just as frustrated and it just isn't in my nature to just slide by at a job and not try to climb the ladder. It is that ambition that makes this hard for me. I know that having a family is more important to me than my career. But when you've worked so hard to get where you are, how do you just sit back and coast by letting others surpass you?
I had a conversation with my boss last week about what I've been thinking. I told him that I've been having trouble focusing at work and it is something I would like to address with the therapist we are going to see. The therapist's hours are 9:30-4:30, which means that I have to leave work in the middle of the day to attend a session. I felt it was best to be honest with my boss about where I was going. I figured if he notices my lack of focus, at least he will know that I'm aware of the issue and I'm doing something proactive to deal with it. I constantly feel guilty for coming in late or leaving early for doctor's appointments and monitoring. I always try to schedule appointments so that I miss as little work as possible, but it is difficult. He was very supportive (as I knew he would be) and he said he thought therapy was a great idea.
I am grateful that my boss is understanding, but I can't help but think about how this must slowly be seeping into his daily decisions. Good projects that he would normally give to me to run will go to someone else, or he'll do it himself, because in the back of his mind he knows it isn't my top focus at the moment. I'm struggling to come to terms with this, because I think it is inevitable.
At times I think about looking for a new job, but the flexibility I have and the maternity benefits at my current job make it difficult to leave. Although sometimes it seems silly to stay somewhere for the maternity benefits when it could take years (if ever) until I'm able to take advantage of those benefits.
Sorry for the jumbled mess of thoughts tonight. My head is all over the place.
If you work while cycling, how do you handle that balance and how much do you tell your employer?