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catbirdseat

A very difficult decision

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I've been unemployed or underemployed for a year. Thanks to a buddy of mine, I have a job in construction that allows me to barely eek out survival. It's very hard work and unpleasant oftentimes.

 

We're paying $1000/month for COBRA for medical coverage, which is absolutely essential, as my wife has terminal cancer. COBRA will last another 6 months.

 

I just received a job offer in my field of analytical chemistry, but it is in California. I like it here and would prefer not to move. My wife is too sick to move. She wants to stay put. She has doctors she trusts and all her friends are here.

 

I am considering taking the job and living with my invalid mother and her full time care-taker. My brother and sister live in nearby cities. The big house my dad built could use some work, which I could exchange for room and board.

 

The job would pay very well, but it would be a very demanding job. I know I could do a good job at it though.

 

Things I am considering:

 

1) We're entering a recession. It could be long. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

2) It's the only offer I've had in a year.

3) The job comes with full medical benefits.

4) I haven't seen a local job in chemistry that I would apply for in months.

 

On the other hand:

 

1) How am I going to take care of my wife if she gets too sick to care for herself?

2) How can I keep my Seattle house in good repair?

3) What's it like to fly back and forth once or twice a month?

 

Then on the other hand:

 

1) My best climbing buddy moved to LA last year. We could go climbing again.

2) I could go to Joshua Tree any time I wanted.

3) I could check out Yosemite.

 

Life is at a crossroads for me. :eek:

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If your wife's condition is very critical, go with whatever she wants. The rest is of little consequence, relatively.

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I'm so sorry to hear this news Brian. By all means, I think you should go where you can to help your wife the best. We'll all still be here as your friends. Yes, California sounds like a great place for climbing.

 

But at the same time i can't imagine having to go through being terminal. listen to your wife and come up with something that you both can be happy with.

 

my heart goes out to both of you.

 

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I've been unemployed or underemployed for a year. Thanks to a buddy of mine, I have a job in construction that allows me to barely eek out survival. It's very hard work and unpleasant oftentimes.

 

We're paying $1000/month for COBRA for medical coverage, which is absolutely essential, as my wife has terminal cancer. COBRA will last another 6 months.

 

I just received a job offer in my field of analytical chemistry, but it is in California. I like it here and would prefer not to move. My wife is too sick to move. She wants to stay put. She has doctors she trusts and all her friends are here.

 

I am considering taking the job and living with my invalid mother and her full time care-taker. My brother and sister live in nearby cities. The big house my dad built could use some work, which I could exchange for room and board.

 

The job would pay very well, but it would be a very demanding job. I know I could do a good job at it though.

 

Things I am considering:

 

1) We're entering a recession. It could be long. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

2) It's the only offer I've had in a year.

3) The job comes with full medical benefits.

4) I haven't seen a local job in chemistry that I would apply for in months.

 

On the other hand:

 

1) How am I going to take care of my wife if she gets too sick to care for herself?

2) How can I keep my Seattle house in good repair?

3) What's it like to fly back and forth once or twice a month?

 

Then on the other hand:

 

1) My best climbing buddy moved to LA last year. We could go climbing again.

2) I could go to Joshua Tree any time I wanted.

3) I could check out Yosemite.

 

Life is at a crossroads for me. :eek:

 

It sounds like you are between a rock and a hard place. Maybe you could try moving down there and working for a while and see if that works out or not. If not you could always quit and come back and there would be no harm (that I can think of)?

 

The commuting thing for weekends would be tough (and expensive!) but it could be doable. Maybe you could arrange to work 4 days a week at 10-12 hours a day, and have 3 day weekends?

 

Best wishes in this difficult time!

 

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Take the job. You'll get to spend time with your mom in her last years and if you lose health insurance you and your wife will be in a tight spot. You can easily hire people to keep up your home in WA on an as-needed basis. Economy is going down the tubes for a while, job prospects aren't likely to recover for a couple years. And nothing prevents you from continuing to seek out any opportunities that should arise back in WA while you're working in CA. Better to be employed in SoCal for 6mo and suddenly find a job in WA than to stay up there hoping and wishing and end up out of health care and strapped for cash.

 

Besides, SoCal isn't so bad if you can avoid LA proper. Tahquitz/Suicide and Josh are close. All things considered, the Needles is probably the best granite rock climbing area in North America and it's easy striking distance.

 

Headed to San Diego on Fri to interview for a position myself. Don't want to move there, but the job market is tight and my background is highly specialized as is yours.

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Awwww, man, CBS, I'm so sorry to hear about your wife and about the tough choices on your plate. :(

 

As far as whether to go or to stay, I'm basically of the same opinion that DeC posted upthread. While neither decision is a win-win, do whichever will give both of you the most peace of mind now and fewest regrets later. The "bird in the hand" may very well be this time you have left to share with your wife.

 

Hugs,

Sherri :wave:

 

 

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Cat, that's a tough situation. I've had to leave my family to go work during hard times before, so I can empathize with your predicament. But my family was going to be alright in my absence and be there on my return - yours is a much more difficult situation all the way around from the sound of it. I'm can't say what decision I'd make under the same circumstances, but I think I'd take a last hard look around for a job in WA/OR, talk things over with my wife, and based on that discussion head south if that was what we decided. That would be very, very hard for me to do if I knew my wife was that sick.

 

Again, sorry to hear of such a rough situation - hope you can figure out something that works as well as possible for you.

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What a horrible situation to be in, CBS. Hugs and prayers.

 

What will happen once COBRA ends if you don't take the job? I've heard of people who've been "terminal" for a long time so keeping treatment options open and affordable for your wife is important. As Trogdor posted, keeping health insurance seems to be key right now and you could always continue to look for a job back in WA.

 

 

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Chances are that you will get another offer within 6 months but it will probably still be in California. But if you don't, medical bills could wipe you out financially so better just take this offer. Does the new insurance plan cover a pre-existing condition? If not, the better pay can pay for the COBRA. Also you should have enough extra resources to cover some trips back to Seattle and take care of any tasks around the house and assistance for your wife that you don't have time for. It will be easy to move back here later, even if you just outright quit and pick up the kind of work you have been doing. For the next 3 to 6 months it looks like climbing is going to be better down there than here anyway. You can have my copy of So Cal Select, which I don't have time to use, if I can borrow a pair of snowshoes.

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With only 6 more months of cobra, if your wife is ok with it, I think taking the job is the best thing you can do. Without insurance your wife will almost certainly be worse off.

 

CBS - that is sound advice. it would be horrible not to have the best medical care possible for your wife b/c the cobra runs out.

 

has your wife expressed an opinion on the subject??? what would your new employers schedule flexbility be? i work with some folks who are working away from their spouses and will be for the foreseeable future. they've all made arrangements to either leave early on fridays or come in late on mondays. long distance things can work well in some situations.

 

i like sherri's view that this is a win-win. either decision will have some good things. i'm sorry you're faced with such a tough choice though.

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Having spent some time in the hospital then constantly going back for follow up visits I can't begin to tell you how good it was that I'd been paying in to have good insurance. I remember bitching it for years before I used it about paying the monthly fees, but now I'm very happy that it was there for me.

 

Take the job for the insurance then hang out with our mom and climb with your friend. In the mean time you can keep searching for a job up here and making regular visits.

 

Good luck

Edited by Feck

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hey CBS, sounds tough, man. It sounds like a decision you and your wife will have to make together. It seems like going to Cali might have the most benefits...besides, it doesn't have to be permanent, right?

 

But then again, maybe your wife doesn't want to leave her friends? I can understand that, too. It sounds like you guys needs to do some soul-searching.

 

Good luck, man

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I often work away from my kids, always trying to find something that actually pays a living somewhere near them. The guilt is terrible, but one is forced to make a living in this money driven society.

 

Do what you gotta do buddy, and know that no decision is permanant.

e

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Hey buddy,

 

I've always worried about you and your wife. I would say the same as most here and take the job in Cali. Either way you are in a compromise and if it doesn't work out, you can still have COBRA from that job and Cali has some really great FMLA (Family Medical Leave Absence) laws. I mean, really, really, really, great ones. They'll basically pay up to like 60% of your wages if for up to six weeks. I can look up some more stuff for you if you want. You're a tough dude. Tough times don't last, Tough people do. Cheers mate :brew:

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wow. sucks. taking the job seems to be the best realistic option, assuming your wife doesn't prefer you stay of course. do the skype thing if you go. being able to talk to my brother in iraq and actually seeing him makes it feel like hanging out w/ him again, and he doesn't seem so far away then...

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CBS - I'm sorry to hear that and I wish you both the best.

 

I have a bit of a different perspective on this.

 

First, it seems like the writing on the wall is that you need to take the job. Both you and your wife critically need the medical benefits and you probably need to keep in your field lest your technical skills get out of date. You can always move back if conditions change.

 

The bigger decision falls on your wife. You didn't mention a timeframe for "terminal," but it seems to me that she has to decide between: (A) staying in a Seattle comfort zone with friends and doctors she knows, but without you being there in any significant way; or (B) moving with you to CA even if it's difficult.

 

I know from my perspective, if I needed care, my decision would be to follow my spouse without reservation, even if it's out of my comfort zone. It's tough to change doctors, particular when under care for a serious disease, but who knows, another doctor might even click better and in any event, her Seattle doctors are probably only a call or e-mail away. Same with her friends - plane tickets are cheap and true friends will understand and visit her as well as being a call away. The bottom line for me would be the daily emotional and physical support of being with my spouse and I would value that far above doctors/friends. I'm obviously not her, but my point is that that particular decision is really hers. You choice seems far more constrained and directed by events.

 

A tough spot, for sure.

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My son lives at home and my daughter lives nearby. They are young adults and I would count on them to help out around the house.

 

My brother suggested that if my wife becomes unable to care for herself, she could live with my mom and I and we'd hire a second part time care-giver. It's a tough subject to broach with her though.

 

I feel that my skills and my edge are drifting away. I need to get back into the lab to be able to hold onto what I know let alone keep up.

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Wow, sorry for the tough choice. It sure seems like taking the job would be the best of bad choices unless your wife wants it other wise. Also, some of the things you are concerned about have not happened yet so maybe focus on what you and she can deal with now and worry about the other things when they come up. I know it can't be easy to leave her but the benefits could really help. You can always quit if and when she needs you more at home. If it were me, her wishes would be weighing the most though.

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I know that I've got friends here. If I move, I'll still be around cc.com, you can be sure. Maybe not as much as in the past, but I'll be around.

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Sounds like you want to make the move to Cali because it has the best opportunities, but because it's change and uncertainty, there's hesitation and second-guessing. Just say yes, and you'll feel a lot better now that you've come to a decision and committed all the way to it.

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Well, I feel better now that I've committed to a course of action. It's like climbing, you imagine all sort of things that could go wrong on the pitch, but once you set out and focus on the moves, you settle down and deal with problems one at a time as they present themselves.

 

Too bad it's winter. I was thinking of all the cool rock climbing places I could visit on the way down, like Castle Crags.

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