My wife’s ultrasound for checking to see how many follicles had been produced via the hormones taken for fertility was Friday of last week. I was on yet another mandatory work trip. There was only one follicle. The doctor took a blood sample to test if she had enough of a specific hormone. If she did, though not ideal, the IUI would take place the following day. She was sent home to await the results. We spoke briefly before my meetings for the day started and as you’d expect, she was really upset. It hit me much harder than expected, too. I ended up ducking into a nearby room that was empty and lost it. I’m not someone who cries. This wasn’t the case last Friday, and I couldn’t even get it under control. I asked my wife if she wanted me to come home and she said yes.

I sent a text to my manager and told him I had to go home to my wife. I’d be taking the next flight out of Chicago to be with her. He was really concerned and came over and found me still extremely shaken and not really able to speak for being so choked up. He ushered me to his office so I could have some privacy. After about 1/2 hour and a couple of klonopin later, I was at least somewhat sorted. I went back into the room I had been working in before the call, quickly grabbed my things and left.

Tuesday of last week my wife informed me that she had had enough with my work schedule. She wants me to find another job. I may have already posted this, but I’m tired and stressed and not going to go back and look. So, that conversation was had with my manager on Thursday night. I leveled with him and he said to always put my family first; which I always have, but in recent months my saying no to unplanned trips has been overridden several times, and not from management in my group. He said my best option would be to find work closer to home. I appreciate his honesty and already knew that would have to be the most likely scenario.

I reached out to one of my very few work friends and explained the situation to her. She said the company would be f’ing stupid to let me go because two of the ten offices I support can’t honor preset schedules. I agree, but here we are. She called a couple of managers in another division of the company and explained my situation and told them about me and the types of things I work on. They asked for a resume, so that was sent off this morning. We’ll see what, if anything, comes of that.

This morning I had a conversation with my manager and senior director asking what would be necessary for me to have the right work/life balance as they don’t want to lose me. I laid out the specifics, the most important thing right now being present with my wife for all fertility visits and procedures. It’s no longer even something to discuss. Those days are blacklisted for work and travel. They had me contact HR to try to get FMLA paperwork started. That way, no matter who in the company demands my time, they can’t do anything to force me. As we’re having this conversation, I’m choking back tears. I’ve been a wreck since Friday. I went in to see my GP and asked to be put on a beta blocker. I do have medical reasons that would warrant it, but mainly I just want the physiological affects of stress or panic to be minimized until things settle down a bit. I can’t function like this. The GP said to clear the idea with the psychiatrist, which I did tonight. Hopefully the script can be sent in and picked up Wednesday before I leave for Pittsburgh.

I’m at a loss. I feel defeated. I’m tired. Exhausted, even. The depression has been extremely bad for the last few days. I’m laying in bed typing this out on my phone because I need to get some of it out of my system. I had to fight back telling my wife that she deserves better than this. Than me. Someone who can be present and not depressed more often than not. I know that’s the depression talking, but I feel this way on such a deep and visceral level.

I don’t know where I was going with this post.. I guess I’ll just end it and try to get some sleep. My wife’s birthday is tomorrow. I hope I wake in better spirits than I did this morning.


2 thoughts on “”

  1. This is rough. I wish I could take some of this burden off your shoulders.

    In other news, your wife and I share a birthday (though I’m sure I’m considerably older).

    1. Happy belated birthday.

      So, the current state of several things are really crappy right now. They could always be worse, but at the moment my biggest concerns are my wife and getting my anxiety and depression controlled, even if it’s only temporary.

      Since this original post I’ve found a doctor that I’m comfortable with to try ketamine injections. The drawback is that he’s in Pittsburgh and I’m in Michigan. I’d need six days off from work in total over the course of two weeks. Ketamine is administered over three days, one injection being each of those days. This repeats a week later. I discussed it with my wife and she said she’d want to be there with me for this. This isn’t necessary from a logistical perspective, and I’m not concerned about complications. I’ve been under heavy general anesthesia several times and have had no problems at all. The doctor said to get a hotel room near the office and that they would provide or arrange transportation. Either way, she’d be more comfortable being there, so we’ll figure that out. My getting time off for this can be a medical mandate from my psychiatrist which would be protected under FMLA. Her time wouldn’t and is incredibly difficult to get.

      Since management was informed of my home situation as it relates to the work/life balance having crossed the line past what me or my wife are willing to accept, an unexpected battle with the executive management that ultimately overrides my schedule has broken out with the people I work most closely with, including some other management. Ultimately, if my wife says no more travel period, then I take a new job sooner better than later regardless of what my current employer comes up with.

      HR tells me that my having to be present for my wife on both days of a fertility treatment isn’t cut and dry FMLA, but the second day may be able to be protected as a half-day, basically only covering the part of the day that I need to be present to provide the sperm. Oddly, now that they are involved things are even more complicated on the work side of things because now they are trying to figure out how I have to log my time off for this, and they are incredibly strict about this.

      The birthday dinner went well. We split a bottle of wine and it helped us both to relax for a couple of hours at least.

      Just like other times in both my own and my wife’s life, we’ll get through this. The fertility treatments are the only thing we can’t take control of the situation and make it work. The job things.. That I can do something about, even if I’m not thrilled about it and have to deal with the financial implications of losing now $40k/year of income.

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