Sometimes life throws you a curve ball. Sometimes it also gives you lemons. And sometimes life comes up, smacks you in the face and says "take this you stinkin' bitch!"... The latter has been the last 10 weeks for me.
While continuing my every other week trip to Kuala Lumpur for work, in Mid April my backaches started getting worse. They were pretty localized in one place and it seemed very odd. The first week of April, I was in KL and was dying. I was in so much pain I could hardly stand it. Massage didn't work, I was feeling sick, just overall was not doing good. So I went to the doctor at the company and she took a good look at me. She gave me some great news... I fit 3 of the 4 "F"s which increase my risk for Gallstones. The 4 F's are 40, female, fertile and fat... I will leave it to your imagination which of the three I fall into...but anyway after some photo therapy, and lots of Advil the pain went away. I came back to Singapore, visited a local doctor to undergo some tests (in between another trip to KL and multiple end of school year functions for the kids) and had to go through multiple rounds of blood work and ultrasound on the gallbladder. They saw two small stones but figured they were both very small and wouldn't cause any pain.
All along I am continuing to work 60-70 hour weeks, doing end of school year stuff with the kids, trying to find 8 boxes of product I shipped to the US that was slow to arrive and keep sane.
Early May, I fly back to KL for two separate trips and then I then flew to the US for a two week business trip. While I was only at home a total of 10 days that month, the trip back to the States was good. I felt good (no pain), busy, connected with my co-workers but then it happened again. The last day before I flew back to Singapore I woke up with a backache again. I knew that I was passing another gallstone and I just hoped it would wait until I got back home. It didn't. Thursday morning, 5am wake up call to get to the airport, return the car and I feel like crap on a cracker. Fever, aches, chills, back ache to end all back aches. Yep, I was in the full on pass-a-gallstone mode. From the time before i knew this could last for 2 or 3 days and what was my choice. i was going home.
I came home, landed on Saturday at 2am went to the doctor later that morning at 10 and got a referral to an internal medicine/general surgeon for Monday. He did my tests again and scheduled me for surgery the following Monday. It was a bit of a rushed surgery as I couldn't do it that week (I had to be in KL on Tuesday-Thursday) and we wanted to be ready to fly home to the US on the 20th.
Surgery happened on June 7. I am discharged Wednesday the 9th. At 3am Declan wakes up with a side ache and screaming in pain. Jeff takes him to the doctor at 9am Thursday when they open, he gets medicines and doesn't see any big improvements. Saturday night at 3am his fever goes up the 39 C (about 103) so Sunday off to the doctor again at 9am. Doctor sends us straight to the hospital... Declan has walking Pneumonia and a serious case at that. Other than a small cough on Monday-Tuesday, he was mostly symptom free until Wednesday.
So, Declan is in hospital, I am supposed to still be on medical leave (like that was going to happen, I took 3 days off)...and our trip to California is now in question. He has to be in hospital and on IV meds for 7 days and our flight was scheduled for the 20th. Long story coming to a close, we can't rebook tickets because we were using miles/points until July 7th. Our much planned for summer home has been cut short by 17 days and will cost us an additional 1000 dollars for the shorter stay.
Obviously the health of our child is the most important thing, that is why we did change the trip, but we had been planning the "summer" home for 2 years. In 11 years overseas we have never spent more than 3 weeks at home and this was our one chance at doing that. This was the thing I was able to hold out and say, okay so you have been working your ass off... in only 3 more months you will be able to take an extended leave and be able to enjoy summer in the States. When I scheduled my surgery, I was cool as ice. Wasn't worried... it was all okay, because in 2 weeks I was going home... When Declan was admitted, it was okay because after 5 days in hospital we were going to come home pack up and leave for the US on Sunday. That all came crashing down and I lost it. I hate this. This is not what I signed up for.
I have come to the recognition though that something has to go. There is too much on my plate. I know what will be cut, but it is painful to do so and I will make that announcement this summer after the break. Other things may go as well, but I am not sure yet. The thing is there has always been a goal and end game plan for all of this work, the goal has been to get a cushion, a savings plan... a nest egg to provide for us. I find the more I work the less I save and the more I hate my life. The last 10 weeks have been some of the most challenging, heart wrenching, stressful and pain filled weeks of my life.
time to practice what I preach and slow down, find balance again and do what I need to do.