April 17, 2018
A hernia, a new job and why it has been a little quiet around here
I’m doing something I haven’t done in a while: sitting down & typing away on this blog. Its not that I’ve been meaning to neglect you. It just has been… hard. The last six months have been some of the most mentally challenging of my life. I’m not entirely sure why, but I have a feeling it has a little something to do with…
As many of you know, last October, I suffered a bilateral inguinal hernia during our long awaited anniversary trip to Italy. It was weird & painful & I couldn’t really wander, which is what makes me tick while traveling & cutting our trip short was one of the hardest travel-related decisions I’ve ever had to make.
Six weeks after we got home, following a series of tests, an emergency ultrasound & way too many doctors appointments, I had successful surgery. Rather than enjoying the season, I spent most of the holidays on the couch, trying to be patient with my slowly healing body. After the first of the year, I was cleared to start exercising again & tried to get back on my feet & back to my ol’ self.
I did too much. Pain which had gone away returned & back to the surgeon I went.
“You could have another hernia,” he said.
“9% of hernia repairs fail,” he said.
I was crushed. More tests, more mental anguish.
Luckily, I did not have another hernia, so the past few months have been filled with slowly trying to get back to my pre-hernia activity level, my pre-hernia weight & my pre-hernia mental state. I’m still crazy bloated (apparently that takes 6-8 months to fully go away) & about one night out of three, I roll over wrong in bed & it feels like someone is stabbing me in the abdomen with a knife.
So here we are at this new normal. I know that this experience pales in comparison to others with chronic health struggles (y’all are my heroes!) but for someone who was pretty sick at the beginning of their life & has been pretty healthy since, it was jarring. Couple this with the fact that it all coincided with a gray, cold, gloomy time of the year & it has been a mental challenge.
I haven’t been able to bring myself to write much about our Italy trip, even though we had some really lovely moments. Maybe I will one day – my notes aren’t very good, but my thousands of photos are. I would like to go back & finish our trip; to do the things we didn’t get to do & to visit the places we had to cut from our journey. But that is challenging this year because…
A new job
As many of you know, this blog is my full time hobby, but not my full time job. I had been in my previous position for six years & was no longer growing professionally or being challenged. I knew it was time for a change, so I decided my new year’s resolution for 2017 would be to find a new professional endeavor. It might be the only new year’s resolution I’ve ever kept.
In the midst of hernia-gate last fall, I was also interviewing for a new job. A job I really wanted. My last interview was during that weird time period between returning from Italy & my surgery – yup, there I was, teetering around on high heels in a suit with three hernias. Afraid I was going to screw up my chances of getting the position, I didn’t even say to my now-boss, ‘Hey, so if we could take the elevator instead of the stairs, I have three hernias & that would be super.’
A few weeks later, I accepted the position before my stitches had even fully dissolved. My first full day back in the office post-surgery was the day I gave my notice. My boss was wonderful & gracious & I spent the next three weeks trying to wrap up my work, celebrate Christmas & not hurt myself.
I started my new position on January 8th & haven’t looked back since. It has been mentally challenging to step into a huge organization, figure out how I can begin to implement the ideas I want so badly to have succeed, figure out how to implement the ideas my brilliant team has been sitting on waiting for me to start & just figure out where the bathroom is & how to submit an expense report. When you work at the same place for six years – & are very comfortable there – you forget how mentally exhausting it is to start somewhere new.
It has been a little quiet around here…
I come home every night happy, but tired. I look forward to every weekend so I can sleep & veg & clean my messy house. I’ve thought a lot about this lil’ blog, but the act of sitting down & writing is a hurdle I’m having trouble tackling.
We’ve been traveling a little: on a much needed long weekend getaway to Puerto Rico in February & to Charleston for a quick weekend escape to my cousin’s wedding in March. The rest of our travels? With the exception of our annual Labor Day jaunt to the Finger Lakes, they’re up in the air for the rest of the year, which is extremely jarring & uncomfortable for me. I went from having 28 vacation days to having 13, so I need to plan our travel carefully.
- try to go on a few long weekend trips (Nashville, Savannah, New Orleans…), saving vacation days to roll over for a bigger trip next year (hello, Norwegian fjords!)?
- only go on one longer trip this year, blow most of the days, & be stuck in this same position next year (hello Italy or Portugal)?
- try to figure out a combination of the two?
I’m honestly not sure. I need a travel life coach or something – someone to look at my life & my travel wish list & make it all work.
In the meantime, while all this cluttery stuff continues to get worked out, I appreciate you, dear readers. If you’ve stuck with me this far… for the past eight years & for the past eight months, thank you! I will be back, I promise (after all, the architecture in Charleston was just too pretty not to share), it just might take a while.
Thank you for hanging in there with me.