Posted on May 8, 2016
I am bad at convalescence and the past 6 months
My life in a nutshell right now
On April 8th – four days before I had neurosurgery booked – I slipped on a scarf in our front hall, landing full-weight on my leg. That led to a surgery the next morning on my leg and a week-and-a-half jaunt in the hospital. I do not recommend having two surgeries in four days. Nothing quite turns your life upside-down like being confined to a wheelchair and in a cast & a collar for 6+ weeks. At the very least, it’s definitely not a party.
I honestly don’t want to bang on the drum all day
Still, after two weeks I was so bored out of my skull that I practically begged to come back to work (I am supposed to be off for 6-8 weeks but I work in an office, not construction!). Luckily for me, I have a progressive director who ensures his employees can work from home and so I had the tools to start slowly working myself back up to full time hours. My logic was that I was sitting in front of a computer all day anyway, I may as well make those hours productive. My director told me to start with two hours (he’s smart) but I ended up doing half-days from the get-go and by the second week I was working almost full days, so next week I do plan to work a full week. The workload is there, I feel good and am taking breaks when I need to, and frankly, I love my job and feel really blessed to have landed in such a great place.
Since I have been relatively AWOL since I took this contract, I should update with some news: for the first time in 8 years I will be working during the summer. I accepted a 1-year-term with my current workplace and it is my hope I get to stay longer. I really enjoy my current job and there is a lot of interesting stuff coming down the pipe so I can actually see myself in this position more long-term. I am excited for all the interesting projects they have, and the people I work with are great.
On the plus side: I have benefits (kicked in 7 days before I was admitted to the hospital – talk about fortuitous!), paid sick days, and paid vacation! On the negative side, we had to outlay almost $3500 in summer camps for the kids. Considering that was not an expense we had planned for, that hurt a little bit. Still, I am working and getting paid so it will work itself out but when I had to book the camps I liaised with my working parent friends they said: yep, it hurts but then you don’t have to work about child care all summer. True, I guess. I plan on biking to work as soon as I am able and the camp is on my commute route, so you can’t beat that for convenience. Mr. Tucker can bike them to camp in the morning and I can pick them up & bike home with them in the evening.
Living the dream-I’ve-never-had of riding the electric shopping cart
Exit the dragon
Sadly, I had to give up my Dragonboat spot on the team until after the festival. Since training started May 5th and I won’t be able to join them until the first week in June, I felt it was best for the team and I to pick up after the festival. Luckily, they found someone to replace me until then. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was just until I was better but Mr. Nick and I are going to Italy for two weeks at the end of May/beginning of June so with all that time off, there is no way I’d be a good paddler for the team.
So, Italy! Mr. Tucker decided to book a trip to Italy for our 10-year wedding anniversary and my 40th birthday. Unfortunately, since the Canadian dollar was so low when it was booked, it pretty much negated the savings we got from the sale of the trip. Thankfully, we had a second income coming in or else it would have been incredibly painful. A bunch of stars lined up at the same time, which is why he decided to go ahead and book a trip:
1 – I had just been hired at my current position and since we live off one salary, we had the money to pay for the trip.
2- My parents offered to us the gift of babysitting the kids for two weeks while Mr. Tucker and I headed to Europe.
Since those two factors may never come together again, the opportunity was seized. At the time we had no idea that neurosurgery and orthopedic surgery would happen six weeks before we had planned to leave. The best laid plans…
Break a leg!
So now the only thing I am concerned about is healing. I have appointments with both orthopedics and neurosurgery a week before we leave and I hope that both appointments will lead to the conclusion that I will no longer have to wear a collar/cast and that I can go to Europe on my own two legs. I am eating well, making sure I get a lot of good sleep & I am trying to make sure I am not moving any way I am not supposed to. Fingers crossed!
Still, being confined to a wheelchair and stuck in the house is incredibly difficult, especially when you are used to being independent. I am trying to take it in stride but some days it just feels like forever. I have to rely on Mr. Tucker for everything and that is pretty hard on both of us. I will say that I am so glad I married such an incredible person. He’s risen to the challenge of not just taking care of all childcare, cooking, and cleaning but he also takes incredible care of me. Our friends have also been so amazing from offering to help with childcare, bringing us food when we were in emergency, to helping build a ramp so I could get in-and-out of the house. My parents took the kids overnight and for the weekend and made sure Mr. Tucker got a good night’s sleep when he suddenly came down with a cold. Nurture your communities, friends, it will be returned to you thousand-fold in your hour of need!
Despite having benefits and sick leave, I still had to take leave without pay during a time where we were paying a lot for things we hadn’t anticipated. Some of the mobility devices we had to rent for me aren’t covered by my benefits, we outlaid a lot for parking at the hospital, and we spend a lot on medication above our benefits. To be fair, we also had a lot more eating out over the course of April to just because we hadn’t anticipated the chaos. We tried to hedge our bets with more pre-made grocery meals from the frozen section (much cheaper than actual take-out) but with the awful hospital food it was nice when Mr. Tucker brought me in some delicious offering that hadn’t been microwaved.
Luckily for us, our emergency fund is robust and can cover these expenses. It sucks to watch the amount dwindle but this is exactly why we have this fund. It’s going to take awhile to build it back up so let’s hope we have no more emergencies over the next little while!
Overall it has been a tumultuous time for the family and I but we’ve weathered the storm. Hopefully that means we will have a relaxing, uneventful summer!