Thursday, August 9, 2012

End of a Chapter, Rest of Story Unknown

Disclaimer: Long detailed blog ahead. Proceed with caution.

My, has it been a long while since my last blog. Shame on me. I have been crazy busy though. And A LOT has happened since that last post. I wrote last about adjusting to life with my hubby at work again. And just as we were getting into a nice rhythm and getting used to things, life threw us another curve ball. The Tuesday after I got back from Alabama in early July, hubs woke up and could barely walk. He eventually called in to work after wrestling whether to go in and try anyway but it was clear there was no way he could do the job he had before him. So, we got him into a podiatrist that day and when she looked at his x-rays, she couldn't believe it. She told him she had never seen anyone his age with so much arthritis in his feet.

Now, allow me to build some back story...for those of you not acquainted with my husband. He has severely flat feet. We joke that his feet suction cup to the floor because they're so flat, although it's really not a joke. For the years that I've known him, he's struggled with his feet. At his old job, there were nights he would come home and literally have to crawl around because he could barely walk. But after a night of sleep, he'd wake up ready to go to work. But that Tuesday morning, it wasn't happening for him.

The doctor suggested 3 weeks off of work but he asked for the doctor's note to read light duty b/c he knew asking for 3 weeks when he was still in his probationary period was not a good plan. But as was ultimately God's divine plan, his supervisor told him he'd have to take 3 weeks b/c there was no light duty work and that the points (basically demerits) alone for missing so much would be enough for termination. Now his supervisor was extremely understanding and was mostly concerned for J's health and physical condition in the long term. So, we prayed and trusted that whatever happened, was God's plan.

The doc wanted an MRI for his left foot thinking he had a torn ligament & also gave him braces to wear. A couple days of wearing the braces, and he was feeling good. He called his supervisor up to tell him that he didn't think it was torn, he just needed better support & that if he could just put him on the gate until he had the money for better boots & support, he would love to come back to work.... but he needed a doctor's clearance to do that & she wasn't going to write one until the MRI.

Those few weeks turned out to be good though. His oldest sister and her family came from Texas and he got to spend some really good time with them that he wouldn't have gotten had he been working. Gabey and I had just spent a whole week without him and that gave us more time together but we were still feeling like the job was going to work out. His supervisor told him not to worry about the points, just to call him whenever he would hear something else.

The 2nd to last weekend in July, my mom officially moved from the house I grew up in and I went by myself that weekend to help out. Earlier in the week J had his MRI & Friday, while helping move things into the apartment, I called to find out his results. It wasn't a torn ligament...it was worse. Apparently, the bones in his left foot are fusing together at the joints, a rare and genetic form of arthritis. The doctor herself said he was the first case she had actually personally seen. Fantastic. I was a wreck. Putting faith in God when you have no idea what is going to happen is tough. But I had to trust that God knows best & whatever his plan was...was perfect. They ordered custom orthotics for him & she released him back to work with a warning that his job was not ideal for his feet. He wasn't ready to give up yet so that Monday he went back & told his supervisor that he would know by the end of the day if he was going to make it or not. It looks better to resign from CSX for medical reasons than to be terminated & they assured him that it was much easier to get in again once he's worked there once.

By 2 o'clock that afternoon, he was done. He could barely stand & although he was frustrated, he knew that God was in this no matter what. So he resigned & was told what position to watch for on the website b/c if it showed up, he should apply.

So here we were again. But...here's the thing: without this CSX job, he would have never gone to a specialist & we would not have found out about his feet...something we really wanted clarity on for a while. We also would not have noticed this soon how Gabey's left foot pronates in a lot just like his daddy so hopefully we can catch this early and can start preventative measures so he doesn't end up in the same boat. And, right after he resigned, our reliable and trusty Honda started to make a really terrible noise when we cranked it up. Bad enough that my mechanically inclined husband refused to drive it anywhere. Is that any coincidence that the car he drove to work would poop out the day after he resigned? Not to mention the other vehicle, the dreaded Ford, hadn't been a reliable source of transportation for quite some time.

He spent 3 days 2 weeks ago working on his sister's car in Zephyrhills and then was able to work on the Ford. He replaced the water reservoir that had a crack in it & we thought that might be it but upon driving to Ocala that Friday it acted up again. I was supposed to stay with Gabey at mom's for the week and help her get settled and get ready for the moving sale but it was apparent that first day that I would be of no help with my adorable and loving but rambunctious son so daddy took him home & told me to stay & help my mom. So that I did. He was supposed to come up the following Thursday but told me Wednesday night that he wasn't driving the Ford...it had acted up all day & he was convinced it was the alternator. Great! The extra money we had was being saved for his orthotics. I lost it again. Why did it seem like everything was happening all at once? I was trying to keep it together but it was growing increasingly difficult. Mom let me borrow her car and I drove to pick them up. She also told me that she was giving us money from the moving sale to pay for the alternator. While I was grateful, my independent streak wanted to refuse. I hate taking money from people, even if it is my wonderful mother.

We ended up doing really well with the sale and she gave us the money. We were able to fix the Ford, thereby making it the reliable vehicle...go figure. We still thought we were in for a rough month. J had looked at his paycheck wrong & thought he got paid just enough to pay for the orthotics but when I looked at, that amount was in the checking...he had the other HALF in savings. He forgot he had them split his check up so now we have this extra money to last us until I get paid again. In all of this, God has shown Himself as He usually does and Matthew 6 always comes back to me: Why Worry?

And I have learned how to shop cheap. I've started shopping at Aldi for basics and am saving more than I did with couponing and I'm shopping at Winn Dixie for specialty items that get me fuel perks so we can save at the pump. I also had to buy clothes for work...we have to wear uniform style which yes, kinda stinks, but at that same time is fine because now I don't have to worry about what to wear. So I bought four pairs of pants from Goodwill for $19 and I bought 3 polos from Salvation Army for $6. I'm thinking I'll just stick with those places from now on for anything. Who needs brand new when you can pay a fraction of the price on clothes that, for the most part, are gently worn? I mean, I bought 4 pairs of pants and paid what I would normally pay for one pair and bought 3 shirts for LESS than what I might pay for one. Saving money? Yes, please.

So, some chapters have closed on our lives: the house I grew up in, working at Sleepy Hill, J's job at CSX for now (short chapter, but sometimes that's how they are). And although mom moving out of our house has brought a ton of emotions with it, it's a good thing. And I'm getting some cool stuff out of it: my great grandmother's sewing machine (need to learn to sew now), the gazelle machine (elliptical style), an antique children's desk, some antique style classic books (Wuthering Heights, Gone With the Wind), among other things. The chapters of our lives as we knew them are closing and new ones are opening. I know the rest of the story will hold new and wonderful things, even if it is unknown for now.

"I know not what the future holds, but I know WHO holds the future."
That's good enough for me.


In all of this, this song right here has been our anthem...it always reminds us what HE said & plays on the radio at the exact moment that we start to question....