2014 – A HORRIBLE Year

As I reflect on 2014, I realize how many obstacles and challenges were placed before me. I can honestly say that 2014 has been the worst year of my life. Generally, I’m a pessimist. Some people will disagree with this life outlook; however, I believe this frame of thought gives me the drive to prove other people wrong. I’m constantly working to improve and recover. Although 2014 was the worst year of my life, I did have some positive experiences.

Positive Outcomes

Independence

In the beginning of 2014, I had no independence. I wasn’t allowed to be alone and I wasn’t allowed to drive. Ricky was just starting to work full-time. It was a relief for both of us to have more independence. Now, I’m driving and have my own vehicle. I go to speech 2 days a week and a class twice a week.

Communication

In the beginning of the year, I started to understand speech. Eventually, I worked my way up to having speech therapy with my OT and SPL at the same time. After I got comfortable with two therapists, I worked my way up to participating in group conversations albeit with accommodations.

Weight-Lost

I lost a bunch of weight in 2014; however, most of it was due to stress. When I was in day-neuro, I worked out an hour a day. Now, I go to the YMCA a couple of times a week. I feel better about my personal fitness.

Hearing Aids

At the end of 2014, I met Dr. Mainord who got ENT clearance for my hearing aids. My hearing aids have given me more confidence and have increased my self-awareness. With my hearing aids, in my last week at day-neuro, I was able to participate in lunch discussions with other patients. I was always isolated at lunch time due to background noise.

Job Termination

I was terminated from my job on Sept 10. I spent 9 years with L-3 and I started as a co-op. Before I was hired, the IT director (Ron M) went to the Computer Science department at my college (TAMU-Commerce) and told them to give them their best student. My professor, Tom Brown, recommended me. During my career, I’ve worked under 3 or 4 directors and Ron was the best one. I gained a long employment history and received many awards. My career began with writing business applications in IT. In IT, due to the nature of organization, I worked under many supervisors. I worked with VB6, ASP.NET, C#, and Java.

In 2011, I transitioned to Engineering. My IT experience was constantly sought after when I was in Engineering. My goal is to return to the job-market when I recover 100%. When I do return to the job-market, I hope my previous work experience will help me find another job.

Day-Neuro Discharge

I was discharged from day-neuro on September 26. Although I was upset at the time due to the circumstances with my hearing aids, I believe the transition turned out to my benefit.

New Rehab

After Thanksgiving, I started a new rehab that specializes in auditory processing issues. Although I only go twice a week,  I get more individualized attention than my previous rehab. After a few sessions working with me, my new rehab suspects that I have CAPD and not auditory agnosia. They are going to perform specialized CAPD hearing tests at the beginning of the year to confirm this diagnosis. I am so happy that I have a rehab that is going to research my condition in depth.

Negative Outcomes

Ex-Employer Issues

As discussed in previous blog entries, my ex-employer acted like I was an animal. I thought that I should be treated with respect and dignity with everything I’ve been through. I work my ass off every day to prove them wrong.

With my job termination, I lose a pension. I had 9 years invested in the company.

Possible Rehab Misdiagnosis

During my entire time in day-neuro, I was told that I could hear normal. Only one type of hearing test was performed.  They didn’t think outside of the box. What they didn’t realize, background noise outweighs my ability to understand speech.

Brush with Death

When I think about my brush with death,  it’s easy to get discouraged. I’ve been through so much this year. If Jesus would have taken me, I wouldn’t have to face so many struggles. When I was unconscious and Ricky found me in the bed on Aug 31, 2013, I did have a “white light” moment. Two men were looking for me and I was at peace. Eventually, Ricky woke me up and I woke up screaming. I guess it wasn’t my time to go.

Grandma’s Passing

This year we laid my grandma to rest. My uncle Tommy also passed away.

My grandma had a collection of family pictures. One picture of me is shown below.

grandma fayemeg1

My Dog’s Sickness

My dog, Gizmo, developed a colon polyp. The problem started with bleeding out of his backside. We went to the vet multiple times to determine the issue. Eventually, a colon polyp came out of his rear. As nasty as it sounds, Ricky saved the polyp so the vet could run some tests. Our vet told us that there were abnormal cells in the polyp and Gizmo could have cancer. Our vet recommended that Gizmo have an endoscopy. We were so scared that Gizmo had cancer. Luckily, Gizmo is now healthy and has no problems.

Fraud Against My Credit Report

I found out there was fraud against my credit report from Sept thru Nov. When someone called Ricky’s cellphone and requested my personal information, we knew something was wrong. Ricky gave them nothing. The guy that lives in my childhood home notified my family that I was receiving mail at his house.

I ran my credit report and found out that there were multiple credit cards and inquires in my name that were fraud. Immediately, I froze my credit. Ricky and I were fighting the credit bureaus (Equifax, Transunion, Experian) for months to try to get the fraud resolved and got nowhere. Equifax said that we need to file a police report. I also received a letter from the State of Georgia which I ignored since I don’t live in Georgia. I just figured it was more people trying to steal my personal information. Our local police officer looked at the letter from the State of Georgia and said that it was a letter saying that the women that were using my name had been caught. According to him, since I’m disabled, it will make their punishment longer.

I’m in the process of filling out the police report and State of Georgia paperwork now. The State of Georgia is supposed to keep me informed on the court proceedings.

Needless to say, I hope 2015 turns out better then 2014!

Pictures from the Christmas PJ party we attended at our neighbor’s house:

christ1 meganchrist ricky santa

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4 thoughts on “2014 – A HORRIBLE Year

  1. I couldn’t agree more. 2014 was the most challenging and heartbreaking year. Losing my daddy and my grandma left me feeling like I have to find a new kind of normal in life. Family being torn in all directions didn’t help. Like you, I am hoping and praying that 2015 is a wonderful year. You will have a wonderful testimony when all is said and done. You are brilliant and determined. God knew what he was doing when he spared you death.
    We love you both,
    Tammy, Shane and Caleb

  2. You and Ricky deserve a break from all the stress you have been through. I am so glad you are still here because you are my only daughter and I could not make it without you. You have been through so much and I pray everyday for your recovery. Most people would have given up but I have known you all your life and you always have strived to do good even when you had family problems with your parents. Sometimes I think why my daughter? She is so smart never gave us any trouble while she was growing up? All I can do is pray everyday and know
    I am always here to help you. I am so thankful God let my daughter stay for her family. Last year has been the worst in my life also. I have redbirds in my yard and I wish on them when I see them to make my daughter well. I pray Year 2015 be better for you and Ricky.

    Love you both!
    Mom

  3. Wow, Megan; you have had a rough year. I’m so sorry to hear that. Mine wasn’t the greatest either, but 2011 was the worst by far. We are kindred spirits in so many ways if you think about it.
    I was terminated from my employer last September after they refused to extend my medical leave any further. Since I worked for a municipality as a civil servant, I was under a pension system also. The story is too long to get into in a comment; let’s just say that I have to pay the Dept. of Pensions & Benefits to buy my last year of time back since my former employer never paid it out of my retro-pay.

    I know the overwhelming feeling of depression that used to hit when I wondered why God didn’t just take me when I had the hemorrhage. I would’ve been none the wiser and as you stated, would not have had so many struggles. Luckily, looking back, I have to consider myself lucky. I lost four people from the same sort of hemorrhage I had. Three were younger than me. It prompted me to start my second blog; the one I met you on. I’ve connected with some great people and have helped a couple through some really tough times via email communications, etc. We have great things in store for us. Believe that!

    I remember soon after finishing outpatient rehab the first time going to my former neurologist and explaining to him about how much difficulty I was having moving my left arm and shoulder. His words to me were basically to get used to it and be grateful that I survived. Excuse me? He didn’t even bother to run any tests let alone one. I still had speech trouble when I became upset (still do, I stutter badly), so I couldn’t express my fury in any way that would’ve had a favorable outcome for me. I had very little in the way of support or advocacy. Needless to say, I found a rehab doctor who took me seriously, ran some tests and found that I had frozen shoulder. Off to physical therapy he sent me. Six weeks later, my shoulder was unfrozen. I found a new neurologist post-haste.

    I can see from your comments that you have family and friends that adore you. I love that!!! 🙂 2015 is going to be a great year for us both. Sorry if I was a bit long winded in my comment. I just wanted you to know how much I relate to what you go through. Have a great night; hugs to you and Happy New Year! Eva

  4. I sure hope 2015 will be better! So far, it has been. I’m pleased with the direction that my speech sessions are headed. I’m making great progress.

    The problem is that I won’t get a pension. I would have if I had 10 years vested into the company. I was 1 year short.

    As you discovered in your experience, I learned to get a second opinion on everything. The audiologist that my first rehab recommended for me stated that I had normal hearing. Later, we discovered that the first audiologist didn’t perform a full audiological eval. We had an another audiologist get clearance for my hearing aids.

    Nice to hear from you, Eva! 🙂

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