We’re moving to Charlotte, NC. I can finally say that with finality instead of talking vaguely about maybes and we’ll sees. It started a couple of months ago with the acquisition of Mission Health System by HCA. We’d been through one before, so we weren’t too worried until we found out that HCA does their IT construction very differently and Jason’s job would likely be eliminated. Another possible job popped up that would decrease Jason’s commute to Asheville while also being a bit of a promotion and for a while it looked like he had a chance, but we also recently found out that HCA has a different way of doing interview and selection, as in they don’t do it at all.
Jason began looking for other positions. He started in Franklin which produced no results, he looked in Asheville even though it costs double to live there and he honestly doesn’t love the city and there wasn’t much. We had hoped he could find something remote, but his skills aren’t specialized enough for that. It became apparent that he would have to search outside of our 100 mile radius for a position. We still held out hope that something would come open allowing us to stay comfortably in our own home and not have to make anymore changes, but then I came back from a girls weekend with him unable to leave the bed without excruciating pain.
Jason had been having sciatica pain in his leg for a few weeks and started going to the chiropractor to alleviate it, so we didn’t think anything catastrophic had happened. By that evening however, it was clear a trip to the ER was imminent. The poor guy had to crawl to the car in order for me to drive him. He was in pain, but we had no idea that once we got to the ER and they did an MRI that it would produce a result of herniated disc. That’s the goo between your spinal disc oozing out onto your nerves and pretty much making life hell. They gave him the good pain meds and he started physical therapy a few days later to see if it would heal and he’d be able to avoid surgery. He’s a great patient and did his daily exercises while continuing to drive to Asheville 3-5 times a week. This lasted a couple of weeks with a few more episodes of not being able to get out of bed until the last time that we almost had to go back to the ER. That was the last straw and he called the doctor about surgery. Miraculously they had a cancellation for the next day and he was able to get in and get it done.
While all of that was happening, he began interviewing with a company that does nurse call (the technology that allows you to push a button while in a hospital room and page a nurse). Jason has only ever gone to one conference to learn one thing in all of his career and it was about nurse call, so he’s definitely interested. He had three interviews that were a week or two apart and we took a trip to Charlotte for the second one and to see if we even liked it there or could imagine our family living there. It’s about 5 degrees hotter and so developed that every house looks the same and some places don’t even have trees, but it wasn’t bad. The roads/highways were easy to navigate and the drivers drove well (I’m looking at you Atlanta) It’s a large city, the largest in North Carolina, with over 800,000 people, but it didn’t feel crowded (I’m looking at you Orlando). With that being said, we’re also looking at settling in Gastonia which is a smaller city close to Charlotte (76,000 people) and an easy commute to his new job.
Since he was likely putting in his notice, I took the opportunity to get my wisdom teeth out before we had to start all over again with insurance. I don’t know if you know this, but getting your wisdom teeth extracted after about age 25 is not easy. It’s a little dangerous because your body doesn’t heal as quickly and your bones have solidified them. I don’t think they take them out after age 40 unless it’s an emergency. They’ve bothered me for years, and my dentist told me at every 6 month appointment to get them out, so they wouldn’t cause problems down the road. I bit the bullet (or the gauze in this case) and got them extracted. The procedure was quick and simple and not as painful as I thought. I had a traumatic experience when I was younger when a dentist extracted one of my impacted wisdom teeth without putting me to sleep which is why it took me so long to agree to get the other three taken out. All of that drama with Jason’s back and the surgery happened on day 2, 3 and 4 of recovery. I’m thankful for my mom who took care of the kiddos while Jason was in the hospital and for the nurses at Mission who took care of Jason because that allowed me to get some sleep and take my actual pain medicine instead of limping along on ibuprofen. I’m still not 100%, but slowly improving while the holes fill in and the pain subsides. (All that to say, you can still get your wisdom teeth extracted at 38, but it ain’t a walk in the park!)
The last few weeks Jason has improved enough that he was cleared to attend our pre-planned vacation to Orlando to drop the Bigs off. We went by plane because a 12 hour drive to Florida was out of the question. It was Henry and Lorelei’s first ever plane ride and it was so exciting. The procedure Jason had was very simple, he has a small scar on his lower back, but is doing so much better now! He’s easing off pain meds and although he can’t go running or twist, bend, lift like he used to, he’s not laid up in bed all day either. It has definitely effected our lives to the point that he can no longer commute and changes must be made.
We are sad to leave a few family members here in Franklin, our beautiful house (though we hoped to downsize a little bit) and our comfortable lifestyle, but we are most definitely getting pushed to grow and we accept the challenge.