salt pepper catch up

You'll never guess how much I am loving the new job.  You'll never guess how much I have to work at the new job.

The learning curve was intense.  Is intense. 

There is no downtime for blogging.  Or relaxing.  Or three hour lunches with friends.  Or Sudoku. Or reading.  Walking around town.  Errand running.  It's a solid day, and there isn't much alone time either.  Maybe a half hour or so in the morning if I get there before the rest of the team. 

It's a job in hepatitis C.  At a major university.  Tied to a major hospital/primary care system.  And to two community outreach organizations, one of which I just left after nearly a decade and a half of employment.  I have to go there tomorrow for a training.  The company, er, corporation recently moved to a super high tech building after like 40 years at the old place.  I had to go to the old place about two weeks after quitting to do some work with the new job.  It was weird.  I didn't cry.  Or even get choked up really.

I never realized how dysfunctional that job/place was until I left.  I am so much happier now.  I didn't even know I wasn't happy before.  I thought that because I knew my job and field inside and out and barely had to work to get all my work done and I had so many perks and years and so many contacts and so much history there that I belonged there.
I didn't. 
I belong right where I'm at.
I'm sure of it.

I'll tell you about it privately, if  you ask.  Where I am and exactly what it is that I'm doing. 

Generic update is that I'm a Hepatitis C Research Coordinator, and I am telling you with great authority that if you were born between 1945 and 1965 you need to ask your doctor for a Hepatitis C screening next time you get some bloodwork done.  Or step into a community testing center and have them test you.  Because OMG, the face of hepatitis C is not the one I thought it was.  Over the years in social service I worked with hundreds of hepatitis positive people, but most of them got it through IV drug use or living a really high risk lifestyle.  There is a huge number of baby boomers that were infected back before they even knew what Hepatitis was, before universal precautions, before blood screening. Through transfusions mostly, but blood exchange nearly always.  It's not so much an STD, and the rates in the US are something like five times higher than the rate of HIV.  Which is crazy because we are ALL HIV ALL THE TIME.  People have it and there's no symptoms so by the time they feel crappy it's pretty late in the game an then you die.  Unless you get treated, and there are new amazing treatments out there.


I just took the kids to the doctor and they are just fine.  Big for their ages, but that's the only remarkable thing. I didn't get them tested for Hepatitis but I'm quite sure they are free of blood borne illnesses.

Nick is all over the place and starting to talk and Jake is finishing up second grade with flying colors.

I have all sorts of new theories on the universe and space-time continuum and my daily mental math requirements are all getting fulfilled at work with algorithms and stats and fiscal management.  The brain is always busy and thanks to being forced into learning new things it's on overdrive lately.  Maybe I'll get them all down here, for posterity's sake soon.

I'm making my big return to the stage this weekend.  Because I don't have enough going on.
Actually I have so much going on that I really need the outlet.  It's just a few days a month and the theater is right on the bus line that runs outside my front door so there's no excuses.

Dave has a new job.  And taking clients.  I think he's taking clients from anywhere in PA, so if you truly get hurt at work (not slip and fall ambulance chaser stuff!) let me know and I'll let him know.  And he'll get money for you.  And for us.  So we can eat.

I'm pretty sure that I've been through more changes in the past two years than ever before in my life and I'm doing really well with it all. 
I always say I hate change, but that's not true at all. 
I say that now. 

If we stayed where we were at any point in time life would be really effing awful.  Or boring at least. 

My last two years haven't been boring, that's for sure.  And they haven't been easy.  But they've been good.

Oh, holy crap.  In the past couple months I've gotten almost an entire foot cut off my hair. Twelve inches not like a foot foot.  And it's still long.  Ish.  I wish I would have done that Locks of Love thing where you chop your ponytail right off and send it to a bald cancer kid.  But I didn't and I'll probably go to hell now. 
I grew and grew and grew it and it was glorious but it's so much to take care of so I got it cut to my shoulders and now I'm happier and next time I'm probably going to go even shorter.  Not super short because I feel like if I do that I'm locking myself in to my "forever hair".  You know the forever hair.  It's that style that you have from the time you are 40/45/50/beyond until the day the esthetician at the funeral parlor tries to recreate it for your viewing.  I am not ready for my forever hair.
Not that I'll ever be in a casket.  Burn the body an throw a party.  No one needs to see me dead.  That's so gross.


Maggie May said...

this was so SO awesome to read late at night when i wasn't expecting an update from you and hadn't any idea what you were doing
and found out
you were kicking ass!

Molly Pants said...

Oh my gosh- so excited for all your amazing changes. And YES about everything you said about Hep C. Also- there with you with eventful two years. I miss your face and want to catch up with you soon, but life, right?!?

Shinny said...

Wow! Very interesting about the new job. My uncle has Hep-C. Figures he got it when he was a medic in the military. If you know of meds that are out there email me a list as the ones he is on now are through the roof expensive and of course he has no insurance through his employer so then doesn't take his meds. Joys of relatives that are almost 60. ;) So glad to see you post again. Hope you have a little time once in a while to breathe. ;_

bookjunkie54 said...

I'm glad the new job is going well. It's great to read your posts again.

Amen to burning the body. I was just saying to one of my friends earlier this week - I do not want a wake or open casket - do not put my friends and family through that. Because, eww.

I feel like I've already got my forever hair. At age 33. But I can't grow it out because it's too damn thick and annoying and I hate ponytails. So, I keep it in a short bob and this is my look probably until I die.

Jenny Grace said...

I am asking what you're doing and where you're at :-)
Email me!

daisyfae said...

It's not change that we hate, it's the transition that leaves us feeling unbalanced! Once we get there? Holy shit, it's like someone turned the lights all the way on, and we hadn't even realized they were dim!

Just saying 'hi', and cheering for you!

JMH said...

Awesome! A good jobby-job that helps people, or science, or both science and people!

Glad to hear from you. The good blogs, those that I were raised on, are a diminishing and thus precious thing.

I wish you the best! But I do wish to know where you are and exactly what you are doing, just for personal reference, not for some horrible plot.

Actuary Mom said...

Missed you. And I'm glad your happy.

Beatriz said...

Wow you've been busy! Sounds good-busy, congrats :)

Theresa Milstein said...

I'm happy you found a job that fits you. I hope time-wise, it gets a little less hectic and easier.

Brndoutw8ress said...

I realize that this is a pretty old post but I just had to leave a comment. I think what you're doing is awesome! It's people like you who fix people like me. I think I shared with you over email before that I was positive for Hep C and I underwent a 6 month interfuron (sp?) treatment which consisted of the injection once a week, Riboviron pills 2 times a day and at the time a new drug Incovek, that one was a pain, it had to be taken every 8 hours with 20 grams of fat...trying eating 20 grams of anything at 3 a.m.!! My spelling is awful please don't hold it against me! In all seriousness though you truly are working miracles. I've read several articles since completing my treatment and the stuff that they're coming out with now is awesome, I think it's up to like a 92% cure rate!!!! Did I forget to mention...the virus is UNDETECTABLE in my blood tests; it's been a little over 2 years and so far so good! You my friend keep up the good work, you are one fine upstanding lady!!!

Andrea Bates said...

My timing is bizarre because looks like someone else recently commented on this, too. But I'm checking up on you and checking in. Sounds like things are good so I'm glad to hear it - read it - see it?

Miss you and hope the next time I get myself to Philly we can connect! xo