My first day on leave from work was May 25, 2018. (two days after my birthday so happy birthday to me!!) Today is July 15, 2019 and I am FINALLY going back to work! That is 415 days from when my leave started to today. I don’t know the exact numbers but over half of that has been spent in the hospital. If you factor in that I was ready for work on April 15, 2019 it is even more of my time “off” that was spent in a hospital bed. When you have a leg and half of your pelvis amputated, even the federal government doesn’t question if you qualify for disability!! I could easily stay on disability without any kind of question by the government and continue to collect my monthly check and in a couple of years get free medicaid for myself and my daughter. Believe it or not, I would actually be “making” more money doing that than by going back to work.
On top of that, I am going from a job with regular hours to one where I will be working every Saturday. Instead of working with businesses, I will be going back into the tech support world. This time however, will be on the Social Media team so much better than what I had when I was in regular support. Thankfully, my hours are still daytime hours so I can still be home to tuck my daughter into bed. While spending the last few months looking at jobs and waiting for the right ones to come up, I was dreading the thought of going back to working nights and again not being home to say goodnight. But as important as that is, it’s not what is the most important.
Instead of having my daughter remember that I was home every night but just coasting by and not doing everything I could, I want her to remember that I did everything I could to support her and my wife. That I worked my butt off to get where I am and earn what I earn. Now, I am not saying that it is something to be ashamed if you get disability or help of any kind. What I am saying is that I am truly able to work and live a normal life, and that is what I want my daughter to see. Not that I just gave up but that I lived life as fully as possible, dispite my disability.
I thank God that I was able to be hired back into the role that I have so that I can both show that to her but also be there at night. Yes, I will be giving up some things on the weekend, but that is a small price to pay. This role and these hours are not permenant, but the example for my daughter will be. If I was not able to get these hours and I had to go back to nights, I would. Again, it is important that I set the right example for her. We all have things in life that we don’t want to do. But no matter how badly we don’t want to, sometimes we have to. And when we have to, we can’t go in and just do a mediocre job. We have to go in with the same enthusiasm and effort as we would if it were what we actually wanted to be doing. That is what setting a positive example is all about.