May 2, 2011
April has been such an insane month, full of extreme ups and downs, highs and lows. Where do I begin? I lost my full-time job at Fraser the first week of April. This was a very unexpected blow and I was freaking out for the first few days after hearing the news. Luckily, by some strange twist of fate, another job landed in my lap – a job at a company where I have worked before as a temp. This was a huge relief despite it being temporary. I had been working so hard to pay off my debt and the ever-growing pile of medical bills. The new job actually paid more than Fraser even though it was only part-time. Relief! Happiness! Freak-out over (or so I thought). Long story short, the new temp job was going very well. I was happy to be working there and earning a bit more money while I looked and applied for other jobs that actually interested me. I was excited to find a job opening for a non-profit book publishing company called Milkweed Editions. However, hours spent perfecting my cover letter and resume became hours wasted. I applied and never heard a word from them – even when I sent a follow-up email. This was very disappointing. But, things were going well. I was still off prednisone (it’s been seven months now, I think), I was starting to finally lose a bit of weight (thanks to patience and hard work), and the person I had started dating (I think we were dating?) was proving to be a fun and happy addition to my life.
Fast-forward a couple weeks. My health and RA is good, I’ve got a new job, I’m motivated to apply for interesting jobs that I really want, I’m looking forward to photographing my friend’s wedding in North Carolina in May, and I’m seeing someone that I feel like I have a good connection with and really like a lot. LIFE IS GREAT! Until I get punched in the gut the last week of April.
February 17, 2011
I finally heard back about the status of my Medical Review from the Peace Corps yesterday – bad news. I have been officially NOT accepted into the Peace Corps because I did not pass the Medical Review thanks to having rheumatoid arthritis. The woman on the phone really didn’t have much additional information (nor did she seem to know what she was talking about when I tried to ask questions). She just kept saying that I wasn’t accepted because of one of my medications, Remicade, and that I need to have lab work done every three months because my condition is chronic. I think she repeated this at least three times. Yes, yes I understand. I tried to bring up the fact that I have lived in both Ireland and France and while living abroad found a way to get the medication and treatment I needed to keep my RA stable. She just told me that I’ll be receiving a letter from the Peace Corps soon with instructions detailing how to write and submit an appeal. I’ve decided I will submit my appeal and see what happens. What else can I do? Despite having a chronic illness, I really do think I would be a great asset to the Peace Corps and could make it be a wonderful experience. I realize on their end that I am probably a risk and liability to them, but I still don’t think it’s quite fair.