The Decision

If LeBron James can do it, I can too.

For those that may be reading this blog for the first time, let me recap very quickly. I am currently on disability and working with the Texas Workforce Commission to create what they call an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE), which is basically a list of what they’re going to do to help me go back to work, and what I need to do for myself during this process. I started working on this in September of last year, and in late December, after several false starts for picking and then deciding against career paths, as well as contradicting information from my counselor, I signed an IPE that would find me education in a field that I hadn’t even thought of before that final meeting. I felt railroaded into making that decision, and recently I approached them to discuss my progress on that initial plan. That’s when I discovered that the counselor that had been assigned to my case was no longer with TWC, and I decided to be bold and mention my less-than-satisfactory experience with my previous counselor and see if I could tweak my IPE from a vocational certificate in medical billing and coding to the next step up, which is an associate’s degree in health information technology. They told me that they wanted to meet with me to discuss the possibility of changing my plan, and during that meeting they proposed another career path. I told them that I was going to insist on a week to think things over and make an educated decision this time, and due to my father-in-law’s death they gave me two. Today was the follow-up meeting.

I was very nervous going into this meeting because I’d been in this situation before, where I went into a meeting with one expectation and walked out with something completely different, and I didn’t want to get my hopes up only to have them dashed against the rocks again. This time, I was wary.

I’m not going into too much detail about the meeting today, for now. Until I get written confirmation that the amendment to my IPE that we agreed upon today was officially approved by TWC, I’m not going to claim victory. But today’s meeting was considerably more transparent and productive than previous meetings that I’ve had with TWC, and I remain cautiously optimistic that things will wind up in my favor.

At the last meeting, where I presented them with an associate’s degree in health information technology, the counselors there presented me with the alternate choice of sonography. In the two weeks since, I spent hours researching both fields. I talked with people I know that work in both and got their candid, no-holds-barred opinions of their respective careers and what I could expect from working in each. I weighed the pros and cons and did a lot of soul searching about what was best for me in the long run.

In the end, I chose sonography.

Again, until I see written confirmation of approval, I’m going to assume the amendment that I signed today is subject to change or outright rejection. But the things that transpired in my meeting this afternoon were all in my favor, so I am cautiously and hesitantly optimistic about the future.

Right now, though, I have a lot of work to do to get ready for the fall, just in case things do work out as planned, and there isn’t much time.

More on that when I know something for sure, hopefully within a week.

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