This is entry was hard one to write. Life was perfect...until the call from my doctors office saying that I needed to come in to discuss my lab results from my yearly physical. I asked if everything was ok. I was told that doctor would discuss it with me when I came in. I felt my heart sink into my stomach. At my appointment, I was told they found something in my yearly. I needed to go to a specialist to have it removed and discuss further treatment when the time comes. Couldn't process what I was hearing and tried to make sense of it. I said, "So I am going to see another doctor for a second opinion? Maybe have another lab, see what my options are?" I was told, "No, you are going to a specialist and going to have surgery. This needs to be removed. There maybe some options after your surgery, but those will be discussed when you are at that point." The reality hit, as did my heart to the ground.
I wanted to run out the room crying, but I took a deep breath and calmly left the room. I was mortified when I saw a line of people checking out. To make things worst the woman in front of me couldn't make up her mind on scheduling a future appointment. I was having such a hard time keeping it together. I could feel the my face increase in heat and my eyes starting to fill. I wanted to yell at her, "Would you pick a ##%$#$#@ date!!" I instead dung in my purse found some cash and my business card. I excused myself told the assistant I had to leave placing the cash and my card on the counter and walked out the door . I spent an hour in the car before I could drive home. The following days were hard. Make things worst I did what any sane person would do which is to Google your illness. I went through every emotion known to man and felt so small.
Days after my surgery. I received notice that there was going to be a board meeting and everyone at work should be there. My family wanted me to stay home, I was still bleeding and recovering from surgery. I had heard horror stories about this board and made it point to be there no matter how much it hurt. My consumers and their families also made a point to be there. The meeting was a nightmare. They fired the executive director. Many within our community that were present in the meeting were in shock by the board's behavior and disrespect to everyone present. The days that followed, they placed themselves as ED and fired many of the staff. I was called into a meeting their exact words was "We are going to revamp your program for those that stand a chance" and then went into detail about their plans. My mouth dropped. I later confronted them in private, "So a person with autism that is now singing with music therapy, a person that never read a day in their lives that is now reading at a 1st grade level, a person that is learning to use IT to have a voice, a person that is withdrawn who could never be touched that now laughing and hugging. Those people in your mind don't stand a chance?! "
My young adult group would also be dismantled by their changes. When I told my kids they were upset and angry. I told them what ever they wanted I would support and find a way, if they wanted to follow the changes we would, if they did not then we could meet after hours...I would never leave them or dismantle the group unless they wanted to. They responded, " One for all, all for one" I spent the next days researching and putting together a plan that would provide funding for the board to do what they wanted and still provide services those that I felt had and needed a "chance"...hence everyone. After presenting my plan to the interim executive director, I was given a paper to sign stating that I would follow and backup the board or risk loosing my job for insubordination. With my health I needed insurance more then ever. I had a doctors appointment and used it as an excuse to avoid signing it. That night I called the organization worked at in Clearwater seeking guidance... what I got was a job. My condition in accepting was I could take my young adults with me and our group would be worked into my project. I offered the position to oversee a state wide Transition program for young adults transitioning from high school to community. I would be creating curriculum and hands-training, advocacy to transitioning young adults and their teachers. It felt good to going in and offer my resignation, put that paper in the shredder, and tell the kids "We are out of here! All for one, One for all". Leaving the others was hard I tried my best to find alternative programs for them until my last day.
I was able to have sometime off before starting my new job to focus on my health and treatment. I spent time researching what I could do to help my body fight off infections and illness. I needed some kind of control of the situation and control over my health. I learned about the importance and health benefits of fresh local food. I decided to make a "victory veggie garden". Unfortunately garden was not getting pollinated. I started to hand pollinate my "crop" just like grandma taught me before heading off to work. The little harvest we had was amazing, we had enough to make a salad. lol. We joked that we needed to eat our salad slow because it was the most expensive salad we have ever eaten. The salad took me back to my childhood, to my grandmothers garden. Then the light bulb moment! Grandma always had honeybees in her garden. I need to get some bees! In Texas we have the honey bee shuffle. In school we were taught to shuffle our feet when out among the wildflowers to avoid stepping on a honey bee. In spring time the fields are full of cover flowers, blue bonnets, and honeybees. One of the most beautiful things to see is Texas during the blue bonnet blossom.
It took a little while but I did find a local commercial beekeeper to set me up with some hives in my back yard. He has been a commercial beekeeper in our area for over 30 years. As fate would have it he lived 2 blocks from our home. He would also become a very dear and loyal friend.