I took a big risk and I’m so glad I did!

Risks and choices keep life exciting!

Today I am six months postop from my shoulder surgery. I have been cleared by my surgeon.  I am free!

But this is about so much more than my arm.

 

A lot has changed in the past six months.

I went from going to therapy for almost a year prior to surgery to deciding to have surgery during a pandemic for a variety of reasons.

First of all, we were not sure what would happen to my husband‘s job, and our insurance is through him.

Secondly, we were spending money on therapy to maintain my range of motion and function, so our deductible was met or close to met already. Due to the long-term therapy, my pain was well managed, and really so was my use of my arm, which happened to be my dominant arm.

But the bottom line was, It was not going to get any better without surgical intervention. As a matter of fact, it would continue to get worse, and could potentially have become suddenly much worse, leaving me in pain all the time.

Last but not least, there was a concern that elective surgeries would shut down again for an unforeseeable amount of time. What if something happened then to increase my pain or worsen my condition? I didn’t really want to find out.

So here is what I have learned… 

Six months can seem like a long time, or a very short time.

When I was pre-surgery and immediately post-surgery, six months seemed like a very, very long time! And honestly, now it seems like it was a really long time ago that I had my surgery.

The first six weeks, were the longest of my life. But after that things gradually improved, and now it feels like I have been back to close to normal for a long time. I have even been done with therapy for 3 months, but it feels like much longer.

I am so grateful for a great therapy experience prior to surgery, a great surgical outcome, and a great recovery. I tried to do most things the way I was told, but I did push a little bit from time to time. In general, I understood that the rules were there to keep me safe and give me the best opportunity for a good outcome, but it was still a bit of a challenge from time to time. Having said that, I realize that some people do all of the right things and still have bad outcomes. I don’t know why that happens. I am so grateful for the recovery that I have had.

Sometimes we all need help.

I am stubborn and do not like to ask for help. Sometimes I like to feel sorry for myself when I want help and somebody doesn’t read my mind and offer it, but asking for help or admitting that I can’t do something does not come easily to me.

This was a great reminder that people are good about helping, but not always so good about mind reading.

It’s easy to feel guilty.

When you’re part of a team and you feel like you are letting your teammates down in some way, guilt can set in. But with rare exceptions, caring for yourself, particularly if you are a caregiver in some capacity, has to come first. Ideally, there is a balance to it, but it doesn’t always work that way.

If things don’t work out the way you had originally planned or the way that is ideal, look for other ways to make it happen.

When I was off and was not working my hospice job anymore, I was able to be home at night. Every night. And to be quite honest? Sleeping all night, or at least not driving around in the middle of the night, was great. My family and I started to discuss the possibility of me not returning to my position. A part of me loved and will always love hospice! I have been blessed by so many patients, families, coworkers, and other healthcare professionals that I cannot even begin to number them all!

And just like God led me to hospice over 15 years ago, then led me away almost 4 years ago, I felt him leading me into my new purpose.

As I felt God leading me into growing my coaching practice, I started looking at ways to supplement my income that would be flexible and work well with my overall goals. Soooo I became a personal shopper, shopping for groceries for people who couldn’t or chose not to shop for them themselves. And I discovered that it was super fun! I also started doing some temporary/as-needed nursing work (for three different companies) that I can work around my schedule. I continue to work with my coaching clients and my Neora business and have started working on a combination of a self-guided course and a personalized coaching program to help women rekindle their passion and purpose. 

Know when to let a door close.

After much thought and consideration and prayer, I turned in my notice. I offered to stay on to do after-hours phone triage as needed, but I knew that happening was not likely. And I accepted that if God wanted that door to be completely closed he would close it. But I still cried when it closed. It is hard to leave something that has helped to shape you, even when you know that is the right thing.

But sometimes we have to let go of (or say no to) something good so that we can step into something better. 

And we often feel a little nudge, a little voice deep down, the “what if I …?” I believe that is God.  Call it God, call it intuition, but listen to it.  At least give it a fair shot.

  • Brainstorm – what could it mean? What are your options?
  • Pray about it.
  • Talk it over with supportive people that you trust. (this may be the most important! We all have people in our lives that are great – we love them, we accept them for who they are, but they do not have much vision for something other than the status quo.  Or they are very negative in general.  These are not the people you want to share your big dreams with! Go to your people that are honest, share your values, and will support you.  That doesn’t mean you want people to tell you something is a great idea if it’s not. You just want to share your dreams with those who will dream with you, and help you refine your vision and work through the plan if needed. And if you don’t have those people? Start looking for them! A great place to get acquainted with some new women is in our Facebook group. Real, honest, supportive, encouraging women – join us if you haven’t, and if you have, get more involved! Feel free to share and post!
  • Continue to revisit it. If it keeps coming up, that may mean something.

 

This past year has been tough, but you are tougher. 

I’d love for you to share a success story or a challenge that you’re currently facing so that I can pray for you or celebrate your wins! Reach out here.

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