Friday, June 09, 2006

Hitting the wall

I'm almost reluctant to write this for fear that it gives the 'other side' ammunition to say how hard life is on the spectrum and wouldn't it be so much the better to have a 'cure' for Asperger's Syndrome. I also don't like to whine and I *do* understand how blessed I am with the support and love I have in my life.

Or maybe this is just my expression of a mid-life crisis and has little to do with AS, or raising kids with AS/NLD. I'm tired. Not physically tired, but emotionally tired. I spend a great deal of my life taking care of other people--both in my home life and my work life.

I've been a physical therapist for 20 years and I know I'm good at what I do. I specialize in working with people who have chronic pain and dual diagnoses (psychiatric and physical stresses). I think I'm burning out.

I'm so far behind in my billing that there are months of care provided I won't get paid for and the billing agent I've contracted with keeps threatening to quit if I can't get more organized and timely in submitting my billing. Whenever I think of dealing with my Medicare paperwork, I just cringe inside--the details and the following up are beyond me right now.

I missed almost a whole week of work earlier in the month with a bout of pneumonia and by the end of that week, was happier than I'd felt in quite some time. Getting back to work the following monday brought the same crushing stress right back.

I'm not looking for pity or for solutions, I'm just trying to work my way through what is 'garden variety stress', what is career burnout, what is related to my very Aspie self on the verge of overload.

I need to make some difficult decisions about my PT career, but I can't make them while I'm stuck in the day to day details of keeping my practice running. Currently, I'm planning on taking the month of August off from the practice if only to find a place where I can stand still and analyze what's going on.


Julia said...

I'd be looking for someone to help with the paperwork each day. I don't know how long it would take, but it would probably be worth a lot to you to have that detail managed by someone else.

We've talked in vague terms about who's going to be responsible for what when my husband can retire, and I'm going to push very hard for him taking over all the cooking. That's the worst task for me, and I think if I could hand that off I could stay on top of the other stuff much better, more than if it was just the time spent cooking being an issue. That's me.

MothersVox said...

I am so glad that you shared this . . . It can be emotionally, physically, and financially exhausting doing all that we do to take care of our families. My guess is that anyone who says otherwise either either hasn't done it, has a very high-functioning and high-earning spouse, a trust fund, or a high capacity for being oblivious. :) I wish I had one of the above!

August is only six weeks away, but it's still six weeks. Is there any way that you can get yourself a couple of days of downtime before then, doing whatever you do that rest and recharges you. You are also still recovering from pneumonia, and that takes a lot -- really a lot -- out of one's body. You may need some more rest and re-creation.

My thoughts are with you.

And as for the ASA asking you to pay for your registration. I wouldn't do it. Period. That is ridiculous. The only logic I can see in their policy is that some professional conferences are opportunities for professionals to drum up new clients or make connections for new projects. If this isn't the case for you, it doesn't make sense that you're paying. Especially when you're feeling so exhausted in the prior post. You need some energy coming in. Too much energy is going out.

Thanks for visting over at Autism's Edges.