While working at Gulfstream, one night my sister showed up with her suitcases and everything she owned.  No phone call, no nothing, just I’m moving in.  While I would never turn her away oh my, is she hard to live with.  To make a long story short after a couple of months I had to ask her to leave…..and she did, but it wasn’t pretty.

    My other sister was in rehab working very hard on a drug problem.  My son had just moved out, and I was making some very bad choices. 

     After getting laid-off from work, my husband went into business with his father.  I started doing all of the office work.  I think this was one of the most difficult times in my husbands and our marriage.  My father in law was so narcissistic and was constantly pitting my husband and I against each other.  His mistress of over 40 years had left him, and my husband wanted to help out his Dad by keeping him busy working.  My hubby’s theory is that his Dad was grooming me to take his mistresse’s place.  That should tell you what a sick freak he is.

     She eventually came back and married my father in law.  A few weeks later I got my first case of MRSA.  It was on my scalp and was so bad it put me in the hospital.  It was one of the most painful experiences I ever had.  The IV antibiotics did seem to be doing the trick, althouth I did not get out on time to be home when the Bears and the Colts played the Superbowl.  I don’t know how to explain how miserable I was working in the office.  I knew I was in way over my head and I told my father in law the same thing and his answer was to throw more paperwork at me.  I would be there until well over midnight most nights while we screamed at each other.  I did everything I could to help him out but at the end my husband and I were constantly at each other’s throats and we were both miserable.  Maybe in some part that led me to one of worst things I ever did.

     On Good Friday I got arrested for shoplifting.  I ended up doing 93 days in jail and it was one of the worst times of my life.  Even now, years later I don’t know how I got through it.  My husband never missed a visiting day and kept me in commisary funds throughout my entire sentance.  I never went to the office again.

     After I got home, my husband made it clear that he did not want me to go back.  While I was relieved I was also confused.  It seems mother-in-law number 2 had completely taken over and found many mistakes I made.  I certainly don’t deny makeing them, God knows I was way out of my element.  My husband heard all day about what a fuck-up I was from his dad who would never acknowledge his own mistakes he made.  To make peace in the family my husband as that I apologize for abandonging the office and leaving my mother in law to pick up the pieces.  While I didn’t think I owed an apology to anyone, for the sake of making peace I sent her a half dozen roses with an apology on the card.  It really stuck in my craw to do it, but I did it out of respect for him.

     I also started getting sick again around this time.  Mrsa put me in the hospital at least half a dozen times.  Acute pancreatitis did it a few times, and diabetic ketoacidosis put me in ICU on at least more that one occasion and my weight went to do 117 pounds.  I hated being in and out of the hospital, all I felt like was a patient.  I had a psuedocyst on my pancreis, I was vomiting all the time and really felt like something was wrong.


Day by Day

     I’m just sort of getting through life now.  The better part of a year is spent healing.  About a year after that, I got diagnosed with diabetes.  I was put on insulin within months as the pills did not work for me.

     I was able to get a job or two and work for a few years.  My most memorable job was at Gulfstream during the hurricane Katrina project.  It was a crazy time of working 12 or more hour days 6 days a week.  I don’t know how I got through it, but it was something I was most proud of that I DID do it.  Of course the formaldehyde exposure didn’t come out until months later, we had no idea people were getting sick from those trailers until we started reading about it in the papers.  All of a sudden it became clear to me that between Gulstream and Fema it was going to turn into one big cover-up.  I was sick all the time I was working there.  Given that I spent my entire shift outside inspecting trailers through the cold of the winter, it seemed a safe assumption that I had a chronic sinus infection.  We all thought that.  Cold pills were traded through the plant like crack through a crack house.

     I’m no longer proud of the work I did there.  That was taken away from me, and that’s why I came forward with what I knew.  It’s important to me that I not only do the right thing, but teach my daughter that you do the right thing even though there might be a personal cost to you.

     After my work at Gulfstream I started getting sick, and going back back and forth to the hospital again.  Only this time I did it without insurance for most of it.