Monday, December 07, 2020

2020 - the year that was...

When this year began, I was looking down the barrel of unemployment. At the time I was working out of our Kensington office and applying for NDIS case worker jobs. Those applications were not successful. I’d started looking at new places to move to. I hated the idea of leaving our lovely home.

Since then, COVID hit the planet big time. Work moved to ‘remote required’ and I started working from home, relieving me of three hours of travel three times a week.

This move to Teleservices opened up an opportunity for me to run national, rather than regional, groups. Working with my interests and talents and qualifications, I put together a creative writing group proposal which has taken off in a far bigger way than I had anticipated. I am currently teaching 5 groups per fortnight. This meant my work contract was extended and my title changed to Recreation Worker. I had resisted the title change for a couple of years knowing that role usually attracts a lower renumeration. However, I have retained my current income bracket, so am happy with that.

In addition, I was recommended for a position to administrate and moderate a pilot project for parents of our child clients. I commenced that temporary position as Parent Community Lead mid-October. Working with parents in an online community is very much in line with previous experience. Developing skills in content development is definitely a boon to the resume. If the community goes well, the contract will be extended past April. If not, we’ll deal.

So, I’m back to working full time, but am working from home, which is far more convenient and less stressful.

I may well be unemployed in 2021 again, but for now we have a reprieve.

Health wise 2020 has been a bit up and down. In March I had what turned out to be my third cardiac arrest - including one I was completely unaware of. My last ICD check up has revealed a number of near misses throughout the year (episodes of arrhythmia which did not end up lasting long enough to trigger the ICD, thank goodness).

Then 10 days ago I had an appendicitis attack. It started slowly on Friday night with what just felt like a stomach ache that wouldn’t quit. It stuck around Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. On Monday, I felt very tired and ended up napping after lunch. On Monday night Panadol wasn’t touching the sides. Early Tuesday morning, I was starting to feel nauseous. Dave suggested calling a doctor to home visit. I took one look at our lounge room and said no. Which turned out to be a very good thing.

A GP would most likely has diagnosed constipation because the pain was all up under my diaphragm. That would have been very, very bad. Instead, I said we should go to the emergency department. By the time we got there, I was feeling quite a lot of pain. I got in to see a doctor after about an hour. She thought maybe I was having and ectopic pregnancy after a physical exam which pin-pointed pain around my right ovary. Neither Dave nor I liked that diagnosis! A pregnancy test was added to my bloods panel, but of course that was not the situation. Seriously, I’m about to turn 49!

I was sent off for a contrast MRI, which revealed an appendix more than twice its usual size and I was admitted for an emergency appendectomy. As it turned out, I didn’t get into the OR until first thing Tuesday morning. An operation which should have taken about an hour, took three. The appendix was perforated and necrotic, so there was quite a clean up job to do. Three hours of anaesthetic led to four hours in the PACU and a five day stay with two different antibiotics which were continued on in tablet form for five days after returning home. In the PACU, I caused a flurry of activity twice due to hyperoxia. Don’t know if I seized, but I’ll ask during my post op check up.

On the sunny side of health, I’ve lost 25kg since April, which is nice. 

We’ve decided not to host Christmas this year because of COVID. I’m relieved, I wouldn’t cope with arranging a big Christmas lunch right now.

On the whole 2020 has been a pretty good year for us. Lots of family time thanks to remote education for the younger boys. I’m very impressed with both of them being very conscientious about attending classes and being self-regulating in their required work. Ari was the only student in his class not to miss a class. He managed his own time, as well, always in class on time.

There are still 3.5 weeks left of the year. Hopefully these weeks will be uneventful.

Good Job!