• Lauren Burke

A little bit of my Life

After thinking about it for a long time, I've decided to jump into blogging. My life is at a crossroad right now, and I'm trying to sort out all of this adult stuff. So why not start a blog in the midst of chaos?

Hi! My name is Lauren. I am almost 25, and I was diagnosed with type one diabetes on 11.14.2005. I was placed with Ricki, my diabetes alert dog, on 8.1.2016, she was trained by Early Alert Canines.

I graduated from Mills college in May of 2016 with a BA in each biology and economics. One day I'll write the story about how I ended up with a double major. After graduation, I stayed in Oakland, and was placed with Ricki. I got a job as a temp at an environmental engineering firm, and worked there until I moved back to Orange County at the end of January, 2017.

I moved back to OC to help take care of my dad's dad, Pop. Pop was 89, has Alzheimer's and pretty bad arthritis. He had been through a few caregivers, and my family needed someone to live with him and help take care of him. So on the same day my company was going to offer me a full time job as an assistant project manager, I handed in my resignation, and gave notice on my apartment.

I took care of Pop full time for probably 8 months before I was completely burnt out. We couldn't keep a weekend caregiver, and my health (mental and physical) were declining. I kept working with The 24 Hours of Lemons, and I started working part time with Early Alert Canines (EAC) to keep my mind off the drama at home. We had a revolving door of caregivers, and it seemed each one was more incompetent than the last. My days were spent managing my grandfather's doctors appointments, medications, food, and caregivers. I was training new ones as they came in, while trying to make sure they didn't poison him with any of the dozen foods he is allergic to.

Eventually we found decent caregivers, and I started looking for a full time job. I got a basic position as an administrative assistant in Irvine (July 2018), and despite being content with the paycheck, my grandpa was upset that I wasn't home, and my health continued to decline.

After a month at my new job, my doctors gave me an ultimatum--I needed to take two months off for a physical rehabilitation program. I talked about this with my employer, and they weren't happy about it, but they said they liked me, and they would try and keep a position open for me. So, on August 4, 2018, I started my pain program.

I made incredible progress in the program, and am now able to do things I haven't been able to do since high school. If I continue with the strengthening routine they laid out for me, I should be able to start pilates and swing dance again by the end of the year. My mental state was better, too, which I suppose comes with the territory of being in less pain.

I was set to go back to work on October 1. I tried and reach out to my company, but didn't hear much... Eventually, HR sent me a cryptic CYA email, saying I was never guaranteed a job, as I didn't qualify for FMLA. A week or so later, they sent me the current job listings, and told me to apply for something. None of the positions on the list were similar to what I had been doing, and I really wasn't qualified for any of them. Plus most of them were not at the same location as I had been working... So I applied for the one I thought I might qualify for, and now I'm waiting to hear back.

Meanwhile, I started applying elsewhere, because I had a feeling my current company would fall through. I have an in-person interview coming up, but I'm not even too sure about that job right now, even though I think it would be perfect for me.

Now I am considering getting my MBA in Marketing. Maybe it would be something I am good at? I am doing alright with EAC's stuff, and I'm sure a strong education would make it much more successful. But I'm depressed and down on myself, and really starting to feel my lack of friends.

So this blog will be one of self-discovery, as I contemplate my life and try to figure my sh*t out. And the journey that comes along with that.

I'm sure it will end up being a lot about diabetes and service dogs, too, because Ricki is my life.

I hope you enjoy!

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