Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hard to take..

So here I am, up at 5 am writing on blog. I have had a pretty restless night and the dog finally decided seal the deal at 4:15 when he needed to go out.

What is there to keep me awake and write about at 5am? Well, yesterday afternoon I made my way to Millinocket to have my 2nd follow up appointment with my knee surgeon. On my way up which takes about half an hour through the woods, life was good. The sun was shining, there was no traffic (yes there can be traffic, even in the middle of the woods, this traffic just usually consist of 140,000lb log trucks). I even got to see my first moose of the spring, which his fresh new antlers poking through his forehead. Life seemed good for those 30 minutes. Then reality bitch slapped me.

My knee surgeon is the best. From the very first minute I met him I felt comfortable with him and for some reason at that same moment realized that I totally trusted this man. In all my appointments with him I have found that I really take what he says to heart and I believe what he tells me really is what is in my best interest. Maybe it's because he's british, I don't know.

Anyway, as the appointment went on and we discussed my aches and pains, he was going over his reports from physical therapy as I related my side of the story. What it boils down to is progress is not moving at the pace it needs too. My knee cap is not re-aligning the way he had hoped it would and my leg is only working at about 20% capacity. He is giving me 6 more weeks of physical therapy. This somewhat stole the wind out of me, kind of the whined up to the bitch slap coming. I was only supposed to be out 6 weeks to begin with after the surgery. Next Tuesday it will be 2 months. I have worked full time since I was 15, when I was 19 there was a little lull in there where I was laid off, but that was only for a couple weeks. I found under-the-table jobs that had me working more than a normal week.

So as I was running things through my head at the speed of a f'in bullet train, the next thing that comes out of his mouth is that if he doesn't see the progress he wants in 6 weeks, there is a better than fair chance he will want to take me back into surgery to do what he can to re-align everything his way. And KER-POW. It literally took me about 5 seconds to truly process what he had just said to me. He was seriously talking another surgery. A surgery that by my understanding is a bigger undertaking than the first one we went through.

I am honestly lost here. I am torn in ways that I really can't describe. There are going to be people here that say its a no brainer decision. But its not that simple. I have been out of work for 7 weeks, we're talking 13 by the time I even know if I need surgery and then could very well be another 12 weeks of recovery after that. My wife has been stellar through this whole process. She could of very well told me to go fuck myself several times but she has stood by me through everything. I don't know if I want to put her through this again.

The thing that scares me the most is my job. The Lumbras have treated me like family over the years. Whenever I have needed something they have been there for me. They really are the best people in the world to work for because they are the only place I have ever seen that truly, truly cares more about their employees than themselves. That being said, I can only expect them to put up with so much. They already had to hire someone to take a lower job so one of the more experienced guys could slide up and fill in for me. I am going in this morning to talk to the bosses and see what they have to say.

I need to get in contact with my short term disability provider cause I am not completely sure how long my benefits will last. I absolutely cannot and will not put all the financial burden on Heather. I guess that is what it really boils down to. If I lose my benefits, I'm going back to work.

My knee, I think, is better than it was before I went into surgery. It might have to be good enough. I said from the beginning that if I was going to go through this I was going to do it the right way, because there was no sense in doing it if I was going to half ass it. Now I'm scared I just might have to half ass it to survive and worry about fixing it the right way later on.


Fox In Detox said...

Bear, 1) Heather is your wife...through thick and thin goes with the territory, and from what I've read of you both over the years...she doesn't see taking care of you as a burden. 2) You're a hard worker, no doubt...but some times you have to let go, and let others. Maybe your knee is the universes way of saying "back the truck up"... 3) If these people have treated you like family all these years, why would they stop because you're injured. You're not faking it, and you're not taking advantage of them. If they know you, they know this.

It's ok to be afraid of surgery...but don't be afraid that you're letting people down. Think of it this way...if it were Heather or your bosses who had the knee issue, what would you do? Would you tell her to go f herself? Or would you take care of her? What about your company? Would you pour on the steam to make sure the work got done? Or would you leave them high and dry?

I think maybe you're putting too much pressure on yourself, and not giving the people who love you enough credit.

Then again, what do I know? I live 3000 miles away, and I've never met any of you.

Bear said...

You know much, my friend. Although its true we've never actually met I do have much respect for you and your opinions.

I have never been one to pass on my burdens to others and it IS hard to let go sometimes.

I went and sat down with my bosses the other day and came to an understanding that works well for me.

I'm lucky to have Heather, no doubt and I can only hope I can continue to be so lucky to have her and friends like you who give me a good "slap" upside the head now and then.

Thank you, Fox

Fox In Detox said...

Right back at'cha, and no sweat.. ;o)