If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you notice that I talk about a lot more than crossdressing and fashion and LGBT topics. I do tend to talk about my personal life; it’s something that, I think, this feminine persona gives me the comfort to talk about. Those personal topics include those of my family. One story I must talk up here involves the eldest of my two sisters (she’s 13 months younger than I). Sis has always been smarter and has had a better head on her shoulders than I (not that I mind or anything). It’s that headstrong sense of intelligence that has led her to a career in the healthcare industry, working mostly as a physicians’ assistant since graduating from the University of Wisconsin in the late 1990s (yep, she’s a UW alum).
Sis has spent most of her professional years driving back and forth from her home in Eastern Wisconsin to a clinic or hospital where she earned a paycheck if not the respect of the bean counters. Yeah, the managed care industry isn’t always a fun industry to work in. But the past few years, Sis had a side practice conducted out of her home. Sis took up training in the fields of reflexology and natural health, and with it set up an office in the basement of her family’s home, set out her shingle, and provide reflex therapy and natural health advice to her clients. Keeping her side business running along with working a clinic job wasn’t easy, but Sis pulled it off and built a pretty good client list.
Last night, however, I received an e-mail from Sis (I was on her practice’s e-mail list, because, of course). She broke the news to her clients that she decided to close her practice, effective next week. As I noted above, I knew holding down a job and a side practice, both in health care, wouldn’t always be easy on her. But when I called her up later last night, she gave me some details: Finances for her family (her, her husband, two daughters) have become pretty tight. Her husband is going through a serious down time in his work right now (he’s in the dairy industry), meaning there’s not enough cash going into their bank account. So, she’s decided to take a new position with the managed care company she’s been working for. Beginning next month, she’ll work as an employee care person, i.e. providing care for factory workers.
This new work dynamic definitely won’t be easy for Sis, as it’s a 90-minute drive from her home to where she’ll be starting out. Luckily, her employer will provide lodging for her so that she doesn’t have to drive so much unless totally necessary. Also luckily, she’ll be reassigned to a new, much closer location in mid-October.
Needless to say, it’s sad and bittersweet for Sis to decide to close her side practice and refer her clients to other providers in the area, including one who trained her. (I could tell the sadness and disappointment in her voice when I talked to her last night.) But with finances being tight, a mortgage to pay, a distant dream of building a new home, and her husband being a little too optimistic (and thinking too much about fishing in his down time) for her tastes, she has to do what she feels she needs to do. I think I’m more sad for her than she is. I’m so proud to be her brother, and I awe and admire the career and work she has done.
As for whether she may venture back into reflexology and natural health, either joining a preexisting practice or possibly reopening her own practice in a few years (something someone suggested to me on Twitter last night), I didn’t think of suggesting that to Sis when we talked last night, nor did she broach the subject. But I’ll suggest it to her the next time we talk, and though it’s probably way in the back of her mind right now, I hope she’ll consider it. There’s nothing better than being your own boss and enjoying what you do for others.