It's Not Brain Surgery - Oh, Wait, It Is!



Photo by Marcelo Leal on Unsplash

I’ve been absent from the Queen of Quit Blog’s social media for the past couple of weeks. I’m sure nobody has noticed my absence. That’s one of the benefits and part of the tragedy of social media! I had a good reason to be absent; I was giving my family my all.

My husband was referred to a neurosurgeon the week before last because one of his doctors found a mass on his brain during an MRI. We were scared of the implications but hopeful because he was able to get in for the initial appointment with the neurosurgeon the same week. She met with us, looked at his past and present MRIs, and said that his best bet of removing the mass was to undergo surgery first with the possibility of near-future radiation to follow. She said her team would coordinate with the hospital and another doctor who would do another surgery to embolize the mass first. She would let us know when the two surgeries would take place. To our great surprise, her PA called us the next day and told my husband to check in to the hospital on Sunday, two days later. On Monday, he had the embolization surgery, and on Wednesday, neurosurgery removed the mass. Both operations were very successful, and he is now recovering well at home. He will start radiation treatments in 5-7 weeks.

Why all of the personal details in a work blog? Because my life is more than work. My manuscript is with my editor right now, so I’m playing a waiting game anyway, and compared to my husband’s health, my blog and social media could definitely wait until now. What do I want my readers to know about this situation?

  • We work to live, not live to work. Work has afforded us good healthcare insurance and short-term disability insurance. We’re grateful to my husband’s employer that they offer benefits such as these to take care of health crises.
  • Even while he was in the hospital preparing for his second surgery, hubby tried to respond to work messages on his phone. His workmates assured him that they had everything covered and urged him to unplug to take care of himself. Sometimes we have to unplug and focus on our health (physical, emotional, or mental) to give us the best shot at returning to work as a whole person capable of contributing to the mission. We’re not robots!
  • My husband’s boss and co-workers have been SO supportive. If you don’t have a workplace where your team can be flexible and empathetic towards you during a personal emergency, seek employment elsewhere!
  • Plan ahead, and don’t count on FMLA covering your medical leave. Many companies are too small to offer FMLA benefits. In my husband’s case, he hasn’t been with the organization long enough to qualify for FMLA. You may need to talk to your insurance agent to find out if you can add comparable coverage to your insurance plan to cover lost wages. Your employer may or may not have to hold your job, so be aware of what coverage exists before a medical event.

Although these past two weeks have been a total whirlwind, I appreciate that my husband received the urgent treatment he needed. He has a good prognosis, and I hope that he can settle back into work without the stress of a tumor hanging over him once we get him through his radiation treatments this summer. Meanwhile, we’ll both unplug from work as necessary during his recovery to ensure we’re taking care of what is really important.

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