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Archive for April 12th, 2012

PostHeaderIcon A Note from Candy

Dear clients, colleagues, and friends –

As many of you know, I suffered a neck injury late last month and I was admitted to the hospital last week. Now, after surgical intervention, I am home and healing.

This is a difficult post for me to write because most of you know what a workaholic I often am, but… I will be on a severely reduced work schedule over the next 12 weeks.

I will not be working at all for the next several days, and then only an hour or two per day over the next few months. Yes, I have a desk job, but sitting at a desk all day is a big strain on your neck. My team is in place and they’re working hard to ensure that everyone is taken care of in a timely manner. I ~know~ this is the absolute worst timing, with tax season coming to a close, but please know I’m doing everything I can to ensure things go smoothly.

A few things to note:

  • I can only sit at my desk for very short periods of time, so I am trying to reduce my email clutter during this time. I’m asking my clients to reach out to their account manager directly, when possible. I am available, on a limited basis, so cc me or contact me directly when needed.
  • Lanel Taylor will be stepping in as project manager and will be overseeing a lot of the day-to-day operations of OffAssist. Her email address is lanel@offassist.com.
  • Patty Dost is my VA — she handles my schedule. You can use the schedule me link that many of you have, but we will be severely limiting that, so please don’t use the tool until next week when Patty and I have ironed out how this is going to work. Her email is patty@offassist.com.
  • For those clients that I usually handle personally, I will, most likely, be training one of our team members to handle the account so that they do not fall behind. I’m asking them for patience while this happens.
  • For those of you for whom OffAssist handles payroll, have no fear, it is being handled. We also have to get out quarterly reports. IF these go out late–and we are doing our utmost best to ensure that does not happen–rest assured that I will send a letter to the agency explaining the circumstances. Most will accept this without a problem. If there is an issue, OffAssist will pay any late fees that may be attached as a result.
  • Our clients’ quarterly internal financial reports are going to be delayed a week or two while we internally reorganize. If you need them sooner, please reach out to your account manager and accept my apologies.

 

Those are the main business notes as this point and you are welcome to stop reading here. For those of you who have asked, “What happened?!” there are details below. Fair warning, you may not really want to know all this!

I went to see my doctor on Monday, April 2nd, because I had excruciating pain running through my neck, behind my shoulder, and down my arm, which was then going numb. The pain got worse and worse. I had an MRI on Tuesday the 3rd and by the night of the 4th I was dry heaving from the pain. I emailed my doctor late that night and she called me at 8am on Thursday.

Apparently, the MRI indicated I had a badly herniated disc and it was causing a nerve to be pinched. She instructed me to go to the Emergency Room immediately; she would call ahead because the pain was going to get worse–something I really didn’t think was possible at that point. Boy was I wrong!

By the time I got to the ER, I was in bad shape; the pain had gotten so bad that I went into shock. I was admitted to the hospital and put on IV pain medication–which only helped for about 2 hours. Because the medicine could only be administered every 4 hours, I ended up alternating two different drugs, one every two hours.

I can honestly say that nerve pain is the absolute worst thing I’ve ever experienced. At least with childbirth, there’s an end in sight (and a nice take-home prize).

On Friday the 6th, we decided to try a steroid injection/epidural. By Sunday it was evident that I either had to have surgical intervention or stay in the hospital for 2-3 weeks so they could control the pain while I continued to try the injections. I opted for surgery, which occurred on Monday, April 9th.

It was an ACDF Surgery — Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion.

I now have a lovely 1-inch incision on the front of my neck where they went in and moved my esophagus, arteries and muscles until they got to my spine. The surgeon removed all of the disc material between C5 and C6, freeing the nerve that was being pinched by the herniated disc. He put a spacer between C5 and C6 and screwed a metal plate on both bones to hold it all in place while the spacer fuses with my bone (in theory).

Per the doc, I am not supposed to work for approximately 12 weeks. However, since I have a desk job, he said that while I cannot work at all this week (April 9-16) I may work VERY, VERY, VERY part-time next week and for a few weeks after. Realistically, I won’t be working much at all for at least a month. The surgical pain is severe and the post-op pain meds knock me out, I cannot scarcely move my head, and I randomly fall asleep. Most importantly, I want to give this thing the best possible chance of fusing like it’s supposed to. If it doesn’t fuse within a year they will have to redo the surgery.

The good news is that the original nerve pain resolved immediately.

The bad news? My neck is very weak and I’m still in a fair amount of pain–but at least I’m home!

Honestly? I’m afraid of the future. It is very hard to force myself to rest so that this fusion can take effect like it should.

Thank you all for the good wishes, thoughts, prayers, and flowers*. It is times like these when we see the true worth of the people we surround ourselves with and I am grateful that I have all of you in my life.
 

candys headshot Candy Beauchamp, Chief Number Cruncher
OffAssist, LLC
Phone/Fax: (877) 226-3925 Ext 101
Real Bookkeeping. Virtual Assistance.
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Learn more about me:
Personally: candybeauchamp.com
My VA project – 2 Minutes With A VA
I am on a severely reduced work schedule due to a neck injury. Please allow 2-5 days for a response. I appreciate your patience during this difficult time.

*Thank you to all of you who have sent flowers!  They’ve meant so much to me, particularly while I was stuck in the hospital while friends stepped up to make sure my kids had a good Easter and I spent the days in bed wishing I was anywhere else.  That said — poor Tom is running around doing everything these days since my awake periods and range of motion are both tiny right now — and he’s still teaching full-time.  I’d like to ask that, as lovely as they are, please don’t send any more flowers — Tom has enough to do caring for me and the kids and I don’t want him to feel bad if he forgets to water something.