Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Trying to find a balance

Back in 1979 I had brain surgery.

Not many people can say that and still be alive!

For a neurosurgeon today, I am sure it looks like a cave man did it!

Anyway, when I was discharged from the hospital, my rehab consisted of the admonition, "call us if you are still alive next year"!

Eventually I decided there were probably much better ways to help someone going through what I did and sought out a Master's Degree program at UNT to work with people with disabilities.

There I had a professor who emphasized that our bodies try to be self adjusting, but when pushed too hard they will rebel resulting in a variety of illnesses.

This summer I began to have problems with a cold that just would not go away.

I finally went to the doctor, a new doctor, who took time to sit down and talk about a lot of things and ask questions. He asked about medicines that I have taken forever for asthma. He really got me thinking about some things but I did not slow down.

At the time, work was especially stressful, there was never enough time at home to accomplish what I wanted to do, and money was a constant issue.

But I kept going at the same rate until my body started with a variety of other problems and when I stopped for a minute, I realized my body was trying to tell me something, that there has to be a limit. There are only 24 hours to the day and a finite amount of money.

I started with the money.

This was hard.

I cut down our cable to a plan so cheap it doesn't even appear on their website. I called my insurance agent and worked hard to cut out the non essentials and upped deductibles and decreased limits. I looked at the prescriptions that I have taken forever that my insurance has paid less and less for and slowly, but surely cut out all but one. (This has had to increase to treat the symptoms that I have developed from what I think is stress induced problems.) I'm still trying to figure out a way to cut down on my cell phone and home phone, but haven't found a plan that helps yet.

From there I started looking at things that cost a lot in both money and time and realized that the majority of these were things for my girls. It was really difficult to do, but the tutoring for Annabel was costing a fortune and wearing me out trying to get her there. That sounds very selfish as I type it, but my goal is to clear out the time for me to help her, which hasn't been happening. Grace has flourished under her piano teacher, but at $50 for 45 minutes, it just had to go. She was also taking an art class, which she loved, but the time to get her there and the cost really was taking a toll.

Trying to recover some of the time has been even more difficult.

Time isn't just the physical time spent, but the mental time, email time, and more importantly for me, the stress of the situation.

This is the one area I have not been successful in yet. People don't thank you for a job well done and volunteer to take over for you. This is actually requiring a ton of work, time, and stress almost to the point that it doesn't feel worth it, but I know what my goal is, finding my health again, so I can focus my time, attention, and money where I want it, where it needs to be.

I'll keep you updated.

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