Tuesday, January 20, 2015

When life throws you a curveball...

I remember being a senior in high school and thinking that all of the teachers and guidance counselors were absolutely crazy. I was only 17, how in the world was I supposed to choose the exact career choice I would pursue for the rest of my life. That seemed like a task way too heavy for a person who was still considered a child. I mean what if I chose the wrong thing, went to school for eternity, and then hated it? Essentially I was right, I was far too young to even know what career my personality was compatible with. Everything that I thought I wanted to be was in the medical field. I sat through numerous biology and chemistry classes, and I was miserable. The first time someone spoke about catheters and foleys, I ran in the opposite direction. After only two years of college, I decided that I never wanted to work in a hospital or doctors office. The medical field just wasn't for me. Ironic how life plays its cards, huh? Now I get to be nurse mom, and experience it all anyways. I took a few years off to re-evaluate things and during that time I spoke to a woman, essentially a stranger, who made me realize that teaching was my calling. History was my favorite subject to learn about, and the way she spoke about her students made me want to make a difference in the next generation.

I was young and unmarried. There was nothing in my life that would stop me from devoting my time to 180 children every year. I finished my degree in three years, and got a job immediately. Six months later I was married, and only a year later I found out I was pregnant. That's when life changed drastically. Eventually my one miracle baby required more of my time and attention than all 180 students combined. In the three and a half years since Parker was born, I am sad to say that I haven't been as stable and consistent for my students as they need me to be. Dialysis, transplant work ups, annual procedures and tests, surgeries, the big kahuna of surgeries- transplant, and post- transplant complications have all taken me away from my duties as a teacher, because my duties as a mom came first. It hasn't been fair to my students, my administration, or my co-workers. Most times the responsibility of my classes falls on the shoulders of one specific co-worker, and not once has she complained, taking it all with grace. Honestly, I don't know what I would have done without her.

This last illness, the blood infection, has kept Parker our of school for nearly two months. His ANC didn't quite recover as quickly as we all hoped it would, and it's still on the low side of normal. After looking at our calendars, Parker has almost been home sick more than he has been at school. For an entire year post transplant he never had a single major illness, but in the five months that he was in day care we had numerous illnesses and two lengthy hospital stays. By no means is that a reflection of the daycare, but a reflection of his body's ability to fight off the germs and bacteria. 

After much consideration, we have decided to take Parker out of daycare for the rest of the year, and I will begin a new journey towards a career that will allow me to be flexible and available to Parker and his needs. This is not something that we have taken lightly. I have spoken in great length with two local mothers of chronically ill children, and they both work in the same career field. They are able to make their own hours and schedules. They are flexible for doctor appointments and hospital stays. They are able to bring their child to work, or work from home when necessary. These career qualities are all necessary for one of us to have in order for our family to remain a two career home. So please say a few extra prayers for us, because this will be a big change for our family. This change is not only in our daily life, but also in our financial life, and honestly change in any form is always scary. I have completed the necessary courses that I will need, and hopefully in a few short weeks I will be a licensed real estate agent. Yes, I know that is a huge change from being a teacher, and the amazing students that I have had over the years make it hard to leave, but like I said flexibility and Parker's continued health are what is important for our family. We believe that these changes will give us the best chance to make that happen.

As always the continued prayers and support from our family, friends, and the community are greatly appreciated! We are lucky to have each and every one of you in our corner.

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