We've been in the hospital for a long time. Nearly 3 months to be exact. 3 months of ups and downs, good new and bad news, 3 months of hospital food and sleeping in a recliner most nights and 3 months of a lot of sitting. With a lot of sitting comes a lot of time to think.
As I sit and think, I think about what I want to be when I "grow up". I love what I do. I love being a massage therapist, doula and placenta encapsulation specialist. I love the flexibility of being a small business owner and setting my own schedule, but I also can get overwhelmed with all that comes with that.
Even more than that, I realized this past year that as of right now, I can't support our family off of my small business income. The hope would be that I wouldn't ever be in the position again to have to support our family off of my income alone, but that might not be a reality for us.
The thing is, lung transplant does not have great success rates. We were told to see the statistics, but not dwell on them because CFers tend to do better than other transplant patients because they are younger and stronger at the time of transplant. But I'm a numbers persons and when I see the numbers, it's hard to unsee them. 5 years post transplant only 50-55% of patients are still alive. That's the flip of a coin. I'm acutely aware that there may come a time again when I have to single handedly support our family financially and right now I can't do that.
So I've been thinking a lot about other areas that I'm really interested in. I've been thinking about returning to school for awhile so that I actually have options if I want to enter into a new career or if I find myself in a position where I have to support our family on my own.
We have been incredibly blessed to receive so much support that we can live here in Pittsburgh until Elias is cleared to go home and not have to stress about how we will pay the bills and rent both here and in NY. It's been such a gift and incredibly humbling When Elias had to stop working in August, we only had enough finances to get us through a couple of months at most in NY, I wondered how we would get by and I don't want to be there again if we don't have to be.
But there is another thing, something that is even more crucial. Health insurance. As a self employed individual, I do not get employer based benefits and Elias has worked in positions where he either received no benefits or part time benefits that were not comprehensive and left him "underinsured". With the changes that are happening in health care in our country, having employer based coverage might be our only option and that is if they don't deny him coverage based on his preexisting condition.
So I'm thinking about going back to school, so that I have options for a career that I will enjoy and that can hopefully provide health insurance for our family and will allow me to support our family on my own if need be.