It seems no matter how good my intentions I am unable to put in a full week at work. Last week, Babygirl and Hubby went to Philly, but I was scheduled to be out Monday afternoon to run folks to appointments. That meant I intended to work four and a half days.
I called in sick Monday and Tuesday, worked Wednesday, left early Thursday (since I'd been up all night in the ER) and managed a full Friday.
This week we are not going to Philly at all. But I have two doctor's appointment for me, one for Babygirl and one for my mom on Thursday morning, so I'm only aiming for four and a half days again. And since today was my last day of steroids and I'm still coughing QUITE a bit, my ability to cover those days remains up in the air as well.
I've always tried to enjoy my life in the day-by-day. But I've never really been forced to LIVE my life day by day by day by day. I was the one who handed in my vacation schedule for the year in January. My patients were always astonished when I was gone. Now, they're astonished when I'm THERE.
There is an underlying sense of insecurity in all of this. Our family's physical health went from extremely good to extremely unpredictable overnight, without warning. Two years ago at this time, Babygirl and I had annual ski passes, and skied regularly. She was on swim team. I pulled extra shifts in the ER and walk-ins. I never missed work. She never missed school.
I haven't worked an extra shift since November of 2010. She's missed six and a half days of school since it started in September. I've missed three and a half since then myself. We never had the opportunity to use our 2011 ski passes, and decided not to buy any for 2012. We didn't slide gently into health disasters, we plunged headfirst out of control into a bad health section of hell, and we are still grappling our way back out.
I've practiced medicine long enough to see that the average person is exactly one illness or injury away from abject poverty. If I hadn't listened to a good insurance agent almost 25 years ago I'd be without the disability policy that is holding our budget together, and very few people I know have disability insurance of any kind except for whatever temporary coverage their employer gives them. If I get to a point where I cannot work, we are not yet financially stable enough to live on that policy alone, especially if we have to pay for health insurance for Babygirl.
I can't afford another personal health issue. I can't crash the car, get whiplash, sustain a head injury. I could, I suppose, have my appendix out provided I don't go for any long term complications. I could break a leg but I'd best avoid an arm fracture - I can work from a wheelchair but not without my hands.
It's easy to see the absurdity in thinking this way. If I had an ounce of control over any of this crap, I'd have skipped the migraine hell and gotten something easier (like the appendectomy?) in the first place. And I sure as shootin' wouldn't have let my kid need dialysis and a kidney transplant! Let's get her an appendectomy too!
And that lack of control is what leads to the insecurity. A few years ago I watched a nurse practitioner friend go from fully employed to fully disabled when her asthma suddenly went from minor inconvenience to biweekly hospital admissions. Life keeps coming, and you can't stop it, and the disasters can pile up deeper that we ever thought possible.
I don't want to have to keep digging up out of things. But I'll be darned if I can think of single way to keep them from happening.
So. I'm back to day by day by day. Otherwise I'll make myself absolutely insane. So I'll settle for the fact that, despite my cough, I put in a decent day's work.