This will be my last "professional" post as a licensed real estate agent in the State of Oregon. My license expires today, and I will not renew. For all intents and purposes, I have to RETIRE, from a profession I love, due to health issues.
Almost 10 Years Ago . . .
To recap to kneecap: May 28, 2008 my body was severely damaged. A medical device was used on me during a knee replacement and the device was not FDA approved. Who knew?!?
The surgery was so bad, there was total misalignment of my left left. Ironic, since the #1 outcome of a successful TKA is: Alignment. Who knew?
The second surgery, six months later, shows how metal rods had to be implanted to correct the "malpositioned prosthetic components."
The U.S. Dept. of Justice went after the company, fined them over $88 Million Dollars, and sent the CEO to jail. Me? I had to suffer through it all with zero . . . zip . . . nada . . . no compensation or redress for my injuries. All I got was this New York Times Article: Knee Replacement Device Unapproved, But Used in Surgery.
How Active Rain Changed My Life
During the time I was in the thick of my medical crisis, I had Active Rain. I vaguely recall an agent in San Francisco mentioning AR to me in 2007. In 2008, when I was so badly injured, I started "lurking" on the site. I read so many wonderful posts, and felt an immediate connection. Then I became a member, still only "lurking." Then I started to comments and finally, I wrote my first post.
When my body wasn't working well, my mind was still active, and ACTIVE RAIN was there for me. I poured myself into it and learned so much. AR was a sustaining force for positive during this time. The ability to stay connected with real estate colleagues through the nation -- when I could barely walk -- was a blessing beyond compare.
There was so much good found here. PLUS . . . if anyone recalls the mortgage meltdown . . . that happened at exactly the same time as my PERSONAL health meltdown. Not only was I suffering with a badly damaged body, an MD in total denial about the damage he caused, but the nation was slipping into darkness.
WordPress to the Rescue
Connecting with more and more people through ActiveRain (loan officers, stagers, real estate agents) there developed a theme . . . namely WordPress. WP blogs were beginning to take shape and make an online difference. I learned "HOW TO" write real estate blog posts. And I did. LOTS OF THEM!
Around 2010 things were really tough for me. I had $75 cash to my name, and was behind on two mortgage payments. I'm not making this up. I had to file for bankruptcy protection in 2009, but still with the market as it was, and with 3 other medical procedures needed, in order to "try" to fix the medical oopsie doodle, I was once again down.
But I kept plugging away. I had to. I had no choice and I had to survive.
Business Got Better
When I was posting on Active Rain about my Word Press blog I had just created, an ActiveRain member reached out to me and asked if I wanted to meet once per week with a group of other AR members. That was a life changer! I'm not naming them here, because I'm not sure if they'd want me to. But, there was a core group of 7 of the kindest people. They helped me with my WordPress site. I applied what I learned, I learned on my own, I wrote, I did the heavy lifting . . . and it paid off!
I kept going and each closing I would have, I said a prayer "Thank you God" for helping me and blessing me during this.
Health Got Worse
Unfortunately, our bodies are like cars . . . once you're in an accident it's just never the same. The medical procedures I've had to endure, the pain, and with some on-going mental health issues, I just can no longer work. It's more than a pity, but it's time for me to retire. I am unable to work.
To give an example: Just this weekend I was re-screening screens with Fareed, my boyfriend of (going on) five years. We were sitting in the living room on the floor, my left leg (the "bad" knee) was outstretched since I can't bend it anymore. My right leg (the "good" knee) was bent so I could maneuver around with the screen and spline. About 30 minutes in, I felt some pain and thought it was my leg "going to sleep" . . . I stretched it out. I'm still on the floor, not doing much but re-screening . . . but the pain was increasing. About 5 minutes later, I couldn't move. I could barely make it to the couch. Nursing the right knee with ice packs for about an hour, I felt I needed to seek medical attention. Turns out I either sprained or tore the medial collateral ligament on my right "good" knee! MRI's will show what is what. With over 20 years of over-compensating my left leg (the "bad" knee) I have ruined my right - weakening the ligaments, tendons, meniscus. I could feel the pain advancing in the right knee for several years. Seriously . . . I was on the floor, with my leg bent slightly . . . and the ligament is torn?!?!?! Yup . . . right knee shot.
But, in the meantime . . .
My decision to retire was made a few months ago. I believe it was the only decision to be made, and I did so with much sadness. After this weekend's WTF . . . I know my body, and mind need to rest.
I was blessed to work when I did, and when I was able. Make hay while the subshines, as it were.
I was blessed to have met so many wonderful people here on Active Rain.
I was blessed that in my real estate career I helped people and did a good job for them.
I was blessed that what I learned here helped Buyers find me . . . so that I could earn a living.
What I Will Miss The Most About ActiveRain
This experience has been a true life changer AND life saver for me.
I will cherish the time I spent here, countless hours, learning and developing.
I leave with a sense of peace knowing how blessed this AR experience has been for me.
I thank everyone who touched my life, by a comment, by phone call, or with a thought.
My AR profile has been edited to reflect my inactive real estate license and retirement status. I would like to keep my blog posts up.