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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Massive Update on our personal lives (finally!)

Hello, friends! Here I am with the long-promised update. Since it has been about three months since my last general update, I hope you'll bear with me. This will not be a chronological post, but rather a snippet here and a snippet there.

First, on the work front, I have big news to announce. Some of you may know that I have twice switched shifts on the job. The first time was because of the shift bids. By the time they got to me, the only shift available that would work for me was 11:00 am-7:30 pm. So I worked on that shift for a number of weeks. You may recall me mentioning that I had problems with sleeping on the job. Well, one day, I was hauled in for two meetings with Trent, my former team leader who has been promoted to be a supervisor under our top man on the project. He told me during those meetings that I had twice been caught sleeping on the job. During the first meeting, I was written up for it. During the second meeting, Trent was very frank and direct. He explained that since I had once again been caught sleeping on the job, Young Living wanted me fired, even though I have been getting mostly great reviews from the members I interacted with. Trent told me he had been able to intervene in my behalf and had offered Young Living a compromise: If I would agree to start working on the late shift the next day (Friday; the shift goes from 12:30 pm-9 pm or whenever the phone lines close for the day), Young Living would give me a one-week trial period. If I had no problems during that time, I would be allowed to keep the job. If I fell asleep again or would not agree to this shift change, my employment would be terminated.

They had me over a barrel. Since I wanted to keep my job so we could maintain eligibility for a loan to buy a house, I had to agree to switch. So I am now working the evening shift. It's turned out to be a good thing. Due to health problems, I have had to miss work on several occasions, even taking many unscheduled days (like today) off because I didn't feel well. Where on other shifts, all my absences would ordinarily result in write-ups and perhaps employment termination, I have found, much to my delight, that the afternoon shift supervisors are a lot more easygoing and would only have me written up if I have unexcused absences. They are also much more easygoing about what we can do during our downtime at work. Where the day shift has to stick to the rule of no non-work related internet, my supervisors on the late shift don't mind if we visit favorite sites during our downtime, as long as we are not checking our e-mail or using Facebook. That's why I've been able to post so much Church-related news after work that I find out about during work. And with the late shift, I can get most of my medical appointments (including physical therapy) taken care of before work, rather than having to take time off during work for them.

Additionally, my work has given us 16 hours of approved time off for each month. Any time not used during a month rolls over to the next month. Also, I haven't had one single incident of sleeping on the job since changing shifts. Trent stopped by my desk the other day to tell me that my trial period had ended and that I had proven to Young Living that I was worth keeping, that there had been no complaints about my conduct since switching shifts. This was great news. I am out of the woods as far as that is concerned. One thing that does trouble me is my continuing absences due to health difficulties. I am working with my doctors to resolve these problems, but I  still am missing one or two days per week due to my health, and that's not good.

In the interim, I have developed vertigo. I have been seen by many doctors for it. Just yesterday, we went to the Hearing and Balance Clinic in Provo. The doctor there has suggested some things that he hopes will help me. I have met numerous times since my last major update with my neurologist, and she has suggested things that, so far, are helping me feel better. The main problem for me health-wise now is my vertigo. That is what prevented me from going to work today. Thankfully, I have been able to get notes from my doctors that have kept me from getting into any trouble at work for my absences.

Our families are doing well. My older sister, her husband, and their son moved to the small British-owned islands of St. Kitts and Nevis on my sister's birthday, May 4th, so Lyle can go to medical school. He will be on an accelerated program that should only take 1½ to 2 years. We are missing them, but know it is wonderful for Lyle to finally fulfill his life-long dream to become a doctor. I have been able to Skype with them a couple of times, and that has proven to be a great way to keep in touch. Amy's brother that is just older than she is was admitted to the hospital a few days ago with a torn aorta. He is out of the woods now, thankfully, but that still gave us a bit of a scare. My brother Neal's wife Sammi was admitted to the hospital several days ago after she passed out. What's going on with her remains to be seen, but we hope and pray for the best for them.

We continue to look for a house. There have been a couple that we have been interested in, but either they are bought by someone else while we have been trying to get a loan to pay for them, or they are out of our price range. The Lord has told me that He wants us to stay in the American Fork East Stake, where I have been ever since moving to American Fork 16 years ago. I have felt very strongly that I haven't finished the purposes I have come to the East Stake to fulfill. This makes our search for a house difficult, as many of the houses in this stake are over-priced, but I know it's where the Lord wants us to be. So something will work out.

Amy had a doctor's appointment last week because she was feeling ill. We had her thyroid levels checked, and she was also tested for mono. I hope the doctor is able to find out what is causing her to feel so sick all the time. Our lives are complicated enough without both of us being plagued by health issues.

My headaches are a lot better controlled now that I am on a better medication schedule. I take my first set when I wake up rather than having to get up early in the morning to take my first set, and making allowances so I am covered pain medication wise even when we stay up later.

I will be getting a new home teaching assignment next week that is effective this month. I will lose one of the families I home teach and perhaps pick up one or two new ones. Sundays have been great days for us with visiting family after going to Church, or just relaxing at home.

Saturday was my 10 year (where did the time go?) High School reunion. It was much better attended than the 5 year one. We had a lovely catered dinner (although I did cheat on my celiac disease diet for it) and got a tour of the new parts of the high school from one of the janitors that works there. That was great fun. I found that I had the stamina to deal well with the walking tour of the school. And my strength and energy held out for the whole reunion, which I was grateful for. It was an awesome event, and I am very grateful to all the Senior Class officers of the class of 2005 for making this 10 year reunion such a success. Directly after the reunion, we did some errands. At the Wal-Mart market, we ran into Dallas Smith, one of my teachers from AF Junior High School. We greeted each other enthusiastically, and he asked about my family. It was a good capstone to a great day.

We were able to go to the Payson Utah Temple Open House. I was able to walk all the way through the temple with just my cane, and I was grateful to be there for that. I was VERY excited to find out about the Provo City Center Temple open house and dedication. I am glad the First Presidency is making the temple dedication available to all LDS members in Utah, rather than just restricting it to those who live within that temple district.

I have loved keeping my eye on Church-related news, and I know that for the most part, those posts have been widely read and appreciated by my readers. I am so grateful that the article I wrote for the Ensign will be featured in the July edition. I have also gotten back to writing my first book. I've come a long way with that, and I'm grateful for all the support I have gotten and the interest that has been shown about my first book. I fully anticipate that I will have that book published before the end of the year.

Amy and I will celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary in December, so we've been making tentative plans for that. That has been great fun. How grateful I am that the Lord saw fit to bring Amy into my life. She is everything I ever wanted in a wife, plus infinitely more. The only way our lives could be richer is if we were blessed with children. But I feel confident that will come when the time is right. For the moment, we treasure any and all time we can spend together.

That, in a nutshell, has been our lives for the past three months. It's been wonderful to be alive, and I have every confidence that life will continue to be fantastic. There is so much to be grateful for in this life! I would like to end this post by thanking all of you who follow this blog and have expressed interest in and support for all that is going on in our lives. This blog would be nothing without my readers. You all give me a desire and reason to write. If I become any success as a writer, it will be because of the wonderful people like you all. Thanks again. Until I write again, all the best!