‘I’ll be fine’ I exclaimed as we walked down the hill towards the coffee precinct near the University. We always enjoyed catching up – we had both studied both Economics and Social Work, there was always lots to talk about. Distracted for a while, it gradually dawned on me that my left wrist was feeling rather tight and stiff, indeed rather painful! Thinking it might be a sprain. and ever independent, I insisted ‘I’m fine’, that I could drive back to Ballarat.
Heading towards the Freeway, I rested my left arm on a pillow on my lap. It hurt to use the gear lever when this was needed, but fortunately my car was automatic. As I neared Ballarat I became increasingly aware that something was almost certainly badly wrong with my wrist!
What to do next? I needed medical help. I knew no-one in Ballarat to ask for help at that hour on a Sunday night. Fortunately my house was in walking distance of the Ballarat Base Hospital. Carefully guarding my arm, I parked and unpacked the car, grabbing a few things to take with me to the hospital in case I was admitted. I can’t remember much about the walk to the hospital, but remember having my wrist X-Rayed and being told I had a complex fracture which would need to be re-set under anaesthetic.
While recovering in hospital I wondered whether I should continue to live so far from my family. My life had become logistically complex. My mother, who lived in East Malvern, increasingly needed my support; my sister and her husband were largely living in Benalla where they had become partners in our Uncle’s farm. If we did have family gatherings they were in Benalla, never in Ballarat.
“Perhaps I should move to Benalla”, I thought. My uncle had always wanted me to work in Benalla when I was teaching, but I had resisted. Perhaps now was the time. I was between jobs anyway and needed to look for work, as I’d recently resigned from my social work position with the Ballarat Community Heath Centre .
Reading the The Age Careers section the following Saturday, my focus changed from looking for work in the Ballarat area to Benalla, Wangaratta and Shepparton. A Social Work position was advertised with Centrelink in Wangaratta! So began the process of writing application letters, getting referees, driving to Wangaratta for the interview and then not long after, accepting the offer of the position and arranging the move to Benalla.
I’ve lived in Benalla now for just over 20 years . A year at Centrelink was followed by some consultancy work then 13 years teaching at GOTAFE – and I’m now enjoying my 8th year of retirement.
All because - ‘I Broke It’!
March 25 2019