Wednesday 3 June 2009

so, where were we...?

You find me at home writing this having been signed off work for another week (at least). Here's what's been happening:

I went back to work last week at the end of my two-week doctor's note and decided to just get it over with and tell everyone at work about my condition.

In my head I had a perfect vision of how this was going to go - ladies sobbing and offering hugs, men fighting back tears and punching me on the shoulder. Well this wasn't perfect - the only person in tears was me - I can talk quite dispassionately about 'demyelination' this and 'steroids' that until the cows come home. But when I have to look someone in the eye and say, "this is what this is", I tend to lose it completely.

Take my advice - if you're going to do this, make some notes beforehand.

Everyone has been cool about it so far; apart from the Health & Safety Officer who wanted to use me as a guinea pig in their Evac+Chair training, and even he was coming from a good (if misguided) place.

The first two days back were rough - lots to catch up with and my boss was going away for a holiday, so we had to hand lots of stuff over; meaning that I ended up working a couple of really long days. It was only on Friday evening when I was dragging my leg back home that I started to think that maybe I'd gone back to work too soon.

Back in the real, non-work world, things have been ok on the whole. I've started taking Amantadine to help with fatigue - I can't say I've seen any major effects (good or bad) so far - but it's only been four days. Although I did manage a two-hour shopping-shift in Marks & Spencer's on Sunday without complaining once.

And then last night, our bedroom was insanely hot and my mind was racing all over the place with work stuff. All of which adds up to one sleepless night, the start of some slight relapse-like feelings, a trip to the doctors this morning and another sick-note.

The doctor was shocked by how quickly I'd returned to work and tried to give me a note for two weeks off - we talked her down to one week. I suppose if I've learned anything from the last month, it's that I sometimes need to listen when my body is saying, "take it a bit easier".

An aside:
Woefully inappropriate music overheard in the doctor's waiting room this morning - Norman Greenbaum's Spirit in the Sky ("when I die and they lay me to rest" etc.) followed by the Bee Gee's Stayin' Alive. TRUE.


  1. My partner is learning the to listen to her body too! She has started having 20 minutes 'chill out' when she gets home. That involves laying on the bed and doing NOTHING for 20 minutes, completely shutting off. Seems to be working nicely so far.

  2. I have to agree with that, Simon - that's what I have to do and my wife knows that it's nothing personal when I shut myself off as soon as I get home.

    Some less sensitive men will be reading this and thinking that I've found the perfect existence, not having to hear about my wife's day as soon as I walk through the door... shame on you!