Thursday, March 26, 2009

I think I've made my decision...maybe

The title should say it all; I'm 100 per cent behind the decision I've made about my stay-at-home vs go-back-to-work dilemma.

I'm going back.

And now I have exactly 4 weeks to get an open mind about it. Because if I don't have an open mind then I'm just going to hate it by default and then what's the point of going back in the first place?

And what is the point, when I really do want to stay home with the kids? Well, that's the million dollar question that I've been struggling with for a week and a half. And the answer is I feel like I need to go back to see if I want to stay home because I'm just comfortable doing so and don't want to go to work every day or if I want to stay home because I really do want to spend 12 hours a day with my kids and pick up my career in 4 or 5 years. (And I mean 12 hours because lately, Austin is Mr. I Don't Want To Nap So I Won't. As I write this, he is upstairs in his room singing Jingle Bells at the top of his lungs and banging on the wall instead of napping. At least Alex is sleeping through it.)

It's been a tough week for me trying to figure out what to do. I talked to a lot of people -- some who have been or who are stay-at-home moms and others who made the decision to go back. Both helped me argue each option equally well.

So, four weeks from today, I'll be sitting in my cubicle like a deer caught in headlights willing myself to have an open mind about being at work. Who knows, maybe I'll even like it.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Yet another 'itis' for me

It seems that the cause of my arm infection (which had a name -- it was cellulitis) has been discovered.

And the reason is another 'itis'. Bursitis.

Apparently, I somehow injured the bursa sac in my elbow and this is what likely let the infection in. (A bursa sac, for those who don't know (because I didn't) is a fluid-filled sac that cushion pressure points between your bones and the tendons and muscles near your joints. They help your joints move with ease.)

Now that the infection has finally cleared, this conclusion was drawn by the doctor because the pain still lingers in my elbow. It still hurts to the touch, it hurts to lay down on a table or even a couch arm rest and it hurts to pick up anything heavy -- like my daughter.

Unfortunately, the cure for bursitis is resting the injured area, anti-inflamatory drugs and time. Well the drugs I have, the time I have but resting my arm when I'm home with two kids all day is easier said then done.

So I'm making do. I carry Alex around in my right arm all the time now; which is awkward because I've always carried her in my left. This has led to a bit of juggling at times because I'm so used to carrying kids in my left arm. For example, I can't tell you how many times I've put my keys in my pocket, picked Alex up in my right arm, walked to the car and discovered that my keys are actually in my right pocket (because I use to always have my right arm free). So now, I'm trying to balance her without putting her full weight on my left arm while at the same time, reach for my keys.

At least I can do everything with two arms again when I need to -- like push the stroller, drive the car and make lunches.

I just hope that this all gets better soon. I'm getting a little tired of always having an 'itis'.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Who knew two days could make me feel so weepy

My start date back at work is April 27. That's exactly 41 days from now. I've known this day was coming since I left work last April.

But as the day gets closer, I start going more and more into denial mode. And today, as I was talking to my manager (because it's prudent to touch base with work after being gone for so long), she asked me to do the unthinkable: come back to work two days earlier so that I could have some time with the woman who replaced me (because her last day is the 24th).

I calmly told her I'd see what I could do because I don't have child care for those days. And when I hung up I cried.

I cried because I have to work two extra days. But not really, because those are vacation days so I'm getting them back to take at another time. So really, how silly am I?

I cried because I realized that I really am dreading going back to work. For weeks and months, I've been saying 'yes I'm going back because I can always decide later if I don't want to be there'. But suddenly, I'm starting to realize that I'm really happy at home with the kids (as much as they drive me crazy from time to time) and I don't want to leave them.

Unlike as my last maternity leave drew to close, I'm not excited about rejoining the real world and re-establishing a sense of 'purpose'. And although the fact remains that I do still really like my job, I'm not sure I want go back to the real world.

So maybe I shouldn't. Maybe I should stop telling myself that I'm going to do the right thing and think about just doing the right thing.

But what is the right thing? Where is the magic envelope that has the right answer in it? And is there a right answer? And if there is, how do I know it is?

One thing is for sure...I have more questions than answers right now. But if the thought of going back to work just two measly days early makes me weepy, then I have a lot to think about in a very short period of time.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I have two arms again!

I saw the doctor again yesterday and it's the first time I've seen a doctor in four visits where I haven't been warned about the need to go to the hospital if it appears to get worse.

In other words, I'm officially on the mend.

I'm still on antibiotics for another six days. And I still have some pain and swelling, but I pretty much have full use of my arm again -- which is a relief. Because it means I can care for the kids by myself again.

I still have to remind Austin to be careful of my arm when we're doing things (because the elbow still hurts to the touch) and I still can't carry Alex in my left arm. But at least I can use two arms to pick her up. Things get kind of interesting when you're trying to pick your 11-month-old up off the floor using just one arm!

Hopefully, when the antibiotics are done, this infection doesn't persist. I don't think I want to go through another week like last week any time soon.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Me and my useless arm

It's been four days since I was told I had an infection in my arm. And the good news is that it's getting better. The bad news is is it's not getting better fast enough -- at least not for my liking.

I was back at the doctor today, and although I was told it's healing, it's not healing fast enough for her liking either. So I've been given more antibiotics -- for a total of 17 days worth when they're all said and done -- have been given another appointment to see her in five days and been ordered to go to the hospital if it doesn't continue to get better or if starts to get worse again.

I've regained much mobility in it, but not all and some of the pain and swelling is gone -- but again, not all. So the long story short of this is, I can do some things, but I'm still pretty incapable of doing a lot by myself.

And because of this, I feel pretty useless.

And I hate feeling useless.

All weekend, Ryan took everything on his shoulders. From doing all the laundry to carrying Alex and keeping Austin from needing me and my arm. But on Monday, he had to go back to work.

So, I've had a steady flow of people coming through my door to help out. First it was a friend who is also on maternity leave and her daughter; then it was my neighbourhood high school student babysitter who is kind of, sort of, not really still a student and had the time -- and well, of course, I was paying her. Then, it was my sister.

There's much I can manage on my own, but there's so many little things that I can't, which is why I need help. Everyone who has helped out has taken the kids outside (because this is a hard one -- the double stroller can't be pushed with one hand but the single one can except then I can't hold Austin's hand when necessary), made lunches, carried Alex around and/or changed diapers.

I mean, you try wiping the poopy bum of a squirmy 10 month old while using only one arm for the job?