Massachusetts Paid Medical Leave & Life Recently

herbs and marigolds balcony garden

How to even begin writing here? I’m not sure how to do it except to just do it.

Well, my balcony garden is mostly looking good. The basil and rosemary are loving all the rain. The marigolds too. I’d prefer a little more sun, but there’s been enough to keep us all alive. Speaking of which. Things got dicey for a bit.

So a little over three weeks ago, out of the blue, I got really sick. The pain in my stomach was so brutal I couldn’t sit or lay still. I had chills and kept vomiting, which I never do. I spoke to my aunt about my symptoms and she said it sounded like gallstones. I looked online and saw several articles stating that if symptoms last more than a few hours to seek immediate medical attention. Because there could be an infection spreading to other organs and be fatal. I had already waited close to 24 hours. Gulp. I called 911.

Long story short, my gallbladder was acutely infected and I ended up having emergency surgery to remove it. I was in the hospital for a few days and have been recovering at home since. I’m feeling much better and plan to return to working next week. I’m so glad that Massachusetts now has paid medical leave and I was able to get it. What a relief.  Paid medical leave needs to be available at the federal level, so that everyone can have it when needed. Because life sure can change in an instant.

Because of the surgery, I still am not allowed to lift more than a gallon of milk for another week, and have needed help with basic things at home. Luckily family and friends have been there for me in a big way.

* * *

This year has been a trip. Well, the last several years really. Most of last year was devoted to helping my mom sell her house and move her closer to me. That was done just days before Christmas last year. I was so happy that we were able to make it happen and had planned to write about the process of helping to sell a parent’s home — the downsizing involved, etc. Life was just too much though. I was extremely exhausted and stressed from everything and just couldn’t do it. I fell behind with a lot of things. And I’m still behind.

But I decided that my priority had to be my well-being. My focus this year is to relax, enjoy life and take care of myself.

I was able to do a bunch of fun things though. I finally saw Hamilton! My mom and I did a paint night! I saw Jill Scott in concert! I visited with family in Maryland and saw the cherry blossoms in DC! I got a Wordle in one! And just a week and a half before I got sick, I went with a friend to the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in the beautiful Berkshires. We participated in the RISE program to help with stress management and resilience. The program was amazing! I learned so much and was probably better able to handle everything recently based on that experience. I guess the universe decided that I still had not rested enough!

So now the year is more than half over. I’m sure that I have no idea what the rest holds. But regardless of what life throws at me, I’ll give it my best.