My blog is about the scenic, stressful, spectacular life (and everything screwy in between) of a
California girl turned expat transplanted to the land down under: North Queensland, Australia.

September 08, 2010


DISCLAIMER: This blog isn’t going to be my usual chipper, ready-for-new-experiences-self. Normally I would post emo things in my other blog, but it’s related to Australia, so I posted it here.

I quit my job today. Yes, my three-day-old job. Not because I hated it. I quit because I am so out of shape, or broken, or something else that I’m in pain hurt every single day. I have been complaining of my back hurting since last November, when I bent town to pick up a rubbish (trash) bag at work and pain screamed through my back. I didn’t have health insurance at the time, and tried to see if I could just see a doctor through my workman’s comp, but nothing came of it. Anytime I would stay in one place for longer than about 15 minutes, my back would just start throbbing. I couldn’t use my computer (!!!), tossed and turned when I slept, had a hard time walking even from my flat (apartment) to the mailbox. I blamed it on me being overweight, and tried to eat better and do more tasks, but a wave of crippling depression shut me down and I laid in bed for months. Oh, and gained 25kg (roughly 50 pounds). I was a mess. That whole episode is what got me blogging in the first place, actually, so at least one decent thing came out of it.

When we started planning our move to Oz, I told myself I would try and take everything with a grain of salt. I wouldn’t let fear, anxiety, or sadness rule my life and I would chock up all of my ups and downs to a new life experience. I have been doing well…I think. I’ve still had back pain, especially the month before we left the States-I even went to my chiropractor to see if there was anything he could do to fix it. No luck.

A couple of our long trips through the airports we were in and the train station had my back on fire. I told myself it was because I’ve been moving more in one day than I had in months, and the pain was due to me carrying a backpack. Even on our first day with the in-laws, we walked the beach-a tiny little stretch of the beach!-and I was dying. I’m the type of person that doesn’t want to cause a scene, or feel helpless, so I just walked with them and waited to get to the car.

I’m an idiot to think that working after so many months of inactivity wouldn’t affect me. Even walking up and down the main street had me aching. Nonetheless, when I talked to the bakery owner and she told me she was hiring I jumped at the chance because it was something I was really interested in doing and it was a busy bakery, so I thought I would always have something to do. I took it as a sign for better things to come my way, finally. The staff was cool, and I was excited to get some work experience in Australia. Now I just look like a fool. My first job here, and I logged 6 hours before I quit. Well done, Hed.

I still don’t have insurance here, so I’m going to look into travellers insurance, but from what it looks like you only go do a doctor here if like your leg is chopped off or something. I was raised to go to the doc if you have a runny nose! Now I have this searing back pain, and I’m in a catch-22: I can’t get treatment if I don’t have insurance, and I don’t have money to get insurance. Crap. I even tried a holistic massage therapist that my mother-in-law raved about, and it did nothing. I actually felt worse afterward. I didn’t want to offend my mum because she offered, and I really went in there with an open mind that her treatments would make me all better, but that is not the case. Now I’m sore, jobless, and a sad panda. To pour salt in the wound, I have nine days before my thirtieth birthday.

So once again, my apologies for my bummer post today. I needed to tell myself what a loser I am so I can get it out and release it from my body like a poison (that is the only hippie thing you will ever catch me saying!!!). If any of my Australian readers have any knowledge of where I can go for treatment or what kind of cover (insurance) you use, I would welcome all advice. Thanks for letting me vent, friends.

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