Ramblings on why I needed a week off
Saturday 17 June
I’m at the end of the three weeks that the doctor signed me off work. For the first two weeks I was definitely ‘not fit for work’. I was in and out of hospital, wracked with anxiety or pain, resting on the settee with my hot water bottle was the most I could manage.
But this week there were no more appointments, the diagnosis was certain and the worst had passed. I’m so glad I was advised to take another week off, so many people have told me they went back too soon after their miscarriages. The doctor knew his stuff, I was still not fit for work this week.
Physically I’ve been exhausted, with not getting enough sleep and my body working overtime dealing with all the various drugs and hormones I haven’t moved much during the past 8 weeks other than some walking.
I have had headaches and abdominal cramps throughout the week. When I thought they’d cleared up enough for me to brave a trip to Tesco they surprised me with stabbing pains in my womb that left me leaning on my trolley and grimacing like an eejit all round the store. (Sorry Ocado, I’ll never cheat on you again.)
For weeks people have been telling me I look really well, but that’s no longer the case now the steroids and hormones have worn off. I’ve got loads of spots, grey bags under my eyes and my hair is doing a good impression of Worzel Gummidge.
Mentally I’m struggling to focus on anything, I found myself drifting in conversations and I’m not following the plot as well as I usually do when watching a TV drama! And emotionally I’m up and down. I might feel strong, practical and capable (strong and stable?!) when I wake up, then four hours later I just want to sit and cry. Though the crying sessions are really short lived now, hardly worth the effort!
I know this is all part of the change process and it will pass. I’m definitely much much better now at the end of the week than I was last weekend.
The biggest boost I’ve had this week has been to have control over my own time. For about 4 months now I’ve been told what to do by doctors. Starting as weekly appointments in London at non-negotiable often unsociable hours, through the intense two weeks living near the clinic and then ending up with days spent in the local hospital. So much waiting. Waiting for instructions. Waiting for results. Waiting for the opinions of experts. All the various drugs to take at specific times each day, dictating when I eat and when I need to be home.
Soon I’ll have my days mapped out again by meetings and projects as I go back to work, by train and bus timetables as I restart my commute. It has been therapeutic to be able to go at my own slow pace and mooch through the week without phone alerts reminding me of a drug dose, no pressure to fit in three hot chocolates and lots of protein every day, to sit in the sun without worrying about my core body temperature rising too high.
A highlight of this week was an afternoon spent with Husband – we needed distraction, exercise and food (I was craving meat to get my iron levels back up). So we walked into town to a new restaurant (Cote) where we sat outside watching the world go by.
I had a kir royale and felt immediately tipsy, the good kind where your arms feel wobbly and things seem funny. We were amazed at the couple at the table next to us who had a bottle of wine each with their lunch and managed to walk away normally, as I merrily bounced off all the chairs on my way past. We ordered steak frites followed by pot au chocolat – hooray I can eat puddings and cakes again!
We followed up with a good mooch around some charity shops, one of our favourite pastimes, then a walk along the river towards home via a sunny beer garden (I stuck to soft drinks, not ready for a hangover just yet). It was bliss to just take time out together, relaxing.
I know I have to go back to reality sometime so I’m getting ready to ease into work next week. We’ve decided to book a holiday in about four weeks so there’s something to look forward to. Nowhere exotic just yet, I’m still paying off the clinic fees. Maybe this heatwave will continue and the British coast will feel exotic anyway!