First day at a new job, but my health problems are getting in the way

I was sent for a barrage of tests on Friday and I spent the day scared and alone. But Monday, I started my new job at the publishing house, and for a moment, it felt like a new lease on life.


After my doctor appointment last week, I was sent for more bloodwork as well as an ultrasound and scan on my thyroid to determine what exactly is going on. I will be getting the results Wednesday and I’m scared. In reality, the ultrasound should have been about as calming an experience as an ultrasound can get: The lights were dim, the transmission gel was warm, and the technician was kind and explained every move she made. But for some reason, I couldn’t get myself to relax. When the technician left the room to give the ultrasound to the doctor to look over, I burst into tears. And when I say tears, I don’t mean a few glistening ones in the corner of my eye – I mean full on sobbing. Not at all something I felt like doing at a public place.

When the technician came back in the room, I’m sure she was shocked to find me in a puddle of my own tears. She stood in front of me and smiled, then patted my knee and, in broken English, she said, “It must be very hard to be a soldier.” Although her words were meant to console me, they didn’t help but, instead, broke my efforts to keep myself somewhat composed. I grabbed my bags, headed home, and I’ve been worrying ever since.

But nothing – not even my worries and overwhelming exhaustion – could contain my excitement about starting my first day of work at D&M Publishers Inc. I was surrounded by books and other people who love to read as much as I do! I was greeted with kindness and acceptance, and treated as though I was a valuable member with a special military skill set. I wanted to kiss the feet of my lovely employers.

To say the very least, I have a lot to learn about civilian life. I don’t need to be 15 minutes early for everything. My bosses are not ‘Sirs’ or ‘Ma’ams’ but rather, they have first names that I’m allowed to use. I can wear whatever I want to work (within reason), jeans and sneakers included. What I do know is that compassion extends from the military on to civilians jobs too, and good people are everywhere.

However, on my first day, no matter how excited I was about my new employment, there was no hiding my physical pain from Karen, my boss. She came around to my cubicle and said something to the effect of, “Kelly, I know you want to prove yourself, but go home. You’re not at your high point right now.” I wanted to hug her and almost cried out in sheer relief.

I’m hoping that the doctors will solve my health problem soon and I’ll finally be able to prove my worth, and work to my full potential. But right now, all I want to do is sleep, then wake up next year when I’m feeling better…hopefully.

So it was a day of fresh starts and miserable ends. But I have confidence that it will all change. I will be healthy. I love my new job. There is always hope.