Saturday, June 22, 2013

Hurray For Brad !

Yesterday Brad found out he passed the last of 4 exams to give him his 3rd class Power Engineer Certificate.
This was a HUGE accomplishment.  Brad was already a 4th class engineer, he became one in 2007.

To give you some idea of this road he went on we have to go back a number of years.  Brad was working as fuel truck driver at a construction company back in Thunder Bay.  One evening he stepped wrong , slipped & fell approx 100 ft to the ground.  He crushed several vertebrae in his back.  He was unable to go back to work on the fuel truck as the constant bending & pulling of the massive hose would have put him in a wheel chair in about 10 yrs, so his doctors said.
So, he went back to college!  I believe he was 45 yrs old at the time, in school with the 20 yr olds lol!  He graduated in 2007 & began applying for jobs, which is what brought us to Lethbridge.  He was hired on here as an engineer.

In 2009 one of his bosses encouraged him to try for his 3rd class license, a step above the 4th & harder to achieve. He passed the first 2 of the 4 required exams within 2 yrs., but then he suffered from another bipolar episode which landed him in the hospital for treatment, & off work while he recovered.

When a bipolar episode happens you are not over it when the mania diminishes, the mania is always followed by depression.  The brain is actually bruised from the episode & requires sometimes a year to fully heal.
Brad went back to work within 3 months of getting out of the hospital, big mistake, he was not fully recovered.  So, 6 months later he had another episode, back into the hospital.  There was just no way he could study, he needed to heal.  When he felt ready he began studying again & wrote the 3rd exam of the 4 required & failed , so he wrote it again, he failed again.
Frustrated he didn't want to continue.  After a couple of weeks he changed his mind & started studying again.  Instead of writing the 3rd exam he had failed twice, he decided to write the 4th exam in the series.  He didn't get a spot in Lethbridge to write it, so he had to drive to Calgary.  The collies & I went with him for support, I drove & he studied all the way there :)
By the way, these exams are 3 hrs long with over 150 questions, essays & drawings to be done.  2 weeks later we found out he had passed it, phew! I cried, I don't think I could have handled seeing his disappointment again.

So now he had 3 down & one to go, the dreaded 3rd exam that he had already failed twice in a row, and by failing, I mean only by a couple of percent , but still not good enough to pass the requirements.

3 weeks ago he wrote the 3rd exam again.  You can imagine the torture of waiting for the results, ugh!
I came home yesterday & he was mowing the lawn , when I got out of the van he turned off the mower & told me the news.  There we stood on the front lawn hugging, I cried, he probably wanted to but didn't :)
4 years from the start of this journey to the end, 4 long years.

Brad's side was so hard, imagine at 50 studying again, every single day, for hours he studied.  I couldn't do it, no way.  Also to be bipolar & be able to concentrate & study is amazing.

From my side, I had to deal with the pain when he failed, to see him upset & frustrated & feeling like a failure, it hurt my heart.  I tried to be encouraging, telling him not to give up, try once more.  It was exhausting at times, & now that it is over the relief is overwhelming.  I didn't realize the stress I was under, & the pressure he was under.  Now it's gone, I find myself getting choked up alot! I am just so thrilled for him !

Brad is now looking for a 3rd class position which will hopefully not mean moving again.  I just couldn't do it, I left my life in Thunder Bay in 2007 to move here, I have so many wonderful friends & such a support group I just can't imagine going anywhere else.

With any luck our dream of owning our own home will come true.  Imagine being 50 plus & not owning your own home, it saddens me.  I want it so bad.  Unfortunately with bipolar disorder when you have episodes you don't work, bills pile up........ but touch wood only good things are in store for Brad & I.  I think we deserve it.....god I'm proud of that man ♥


Sharrie said...

That is a fabulous success story. Congratulations to both of you!!!! Best wishes in the job search....making it one near to home.

Squishy said...

You both deserve greatness most definitely and a home of your own. Great story on Brad. I did not know this and am so happy for both of you. So many people change careers many times now, not like years ago and not everyone is up to the task. He's a winner and you're a winner for supporting him!! Give him a big hug and congratulations from me!! Oxoxo!!
Oh, and I hope you don't have to move, but if you did, could you move to Auburn?????

Dianne SS said...

This is such a touching story and beautifully told. I am so happy for you and Brad that your dream is getting closer. And Brad deserves a huge round of applause for completing his 3rd Class Certificate despite the adversities he faced. ♥

onecollie said...

thank you everyone xoxo
We are still giddy over it lol!
Today his certificate came in the mail, there was more celebration ! :)

Koping Weims said...

Ah Jolene...yeah...funny I was just wondering the other day how his exams were going...
Very happy for both of you..but yah would be sad if you moved...


WigglyZack said...

That is so great!!! Congrats

Anonymous said...

Huge kudos to Brad!