" Yesterday I left my diary in somebody's office by accident. I returned to retrieve it some two minutes later (enough time to walk up and down the stairs, poke my head into the office & discover that I should also have brought back an original copy of the document I'd just delivered!)
Having found a stranger in the office, which I suppose should be expected after four years absence, I had introduced myself to the lady concerned & asked if I should know her. That may sound a wee bit of an odd question, but she was obviously a part of the furniture and I felt as though I ought to have known her!
In any event it turned out that she worked in the A&E Dept normally and was just holding the fort, so I had no need to have known her in the past. Phew, this means that I'm not barking mad after all!
She seems like a nice woman and when asked about my story, I divulged all my darkest secrets. You know, the ones regarding intractible pain, fatigue, memory loss, blah, blah, blah, oooh, and the fact that before I went off sick I was as cross as the proverbial bear... So, that all went nicely. I photocopied the document and promptly forgot to take my diary with me when I returned to theatre. Nice one!
My diary is my lifeline. It's got all sorts of stuff in it, including reports, reminders, my name, and all the stuff that I'm likely to forget - so a lost diary is something of a disaster!
Anyway, as I already told you, I returned to 'the office' , knocked quietly on the door and walked in. I could hear voices coming from the inner office and thought no more of it. All this meant was that I could retrieve the diary easily. Or so I thought...
"...she's the girl that's been off sick, claims to be sick when in fact there's nothing wrong with her..."
I don't know for certain, and I can't be sure, but it's one heck of a coincidence that I've recently returned to work after four years and four months sick leave.
It's also a coincidence that I've had to take my employers to task to enable me to do this legally and safely. And it's also a coincidence that I met a woman I didn't know, introduced myself to her and told her about my recent experiences and then forgot my diary and walked in on this conversation. Isn't it?
Thankfully my stint as an axe-wielding psychopath with murderous tendencies is over. My menstrual cycle appears to have released me from yet another potentially catastrophic phase in my existence which is lucky for the woman whom I overheard.
I ignored what I'd heard, asked for my diary, swapped an original document for the copy and thanked her sweetly - with a smile.
Later on yesterday evening I took my magic tablets early, in the hope of avoiding the need to take additional mediciations to make me sleep (no such luck). I also took pain relief because my feet and hips were particularly sore.
Thankfully the pain in my chest had settled down, although it was on the left side directly above my heart I knew it would pass because I've had it before. In fact I've had it nearly every day since 2004!
It may not always be in the same place, but it's forever present. Medications, rest and adjusting my daily life have helped. But, it's still there, underneath the surface just waiting for a crack in the pharmaceutical armour.
Just for the record, my last working day before my sick leave was 1st February 2006. The symptoms became troublesome in 2004 on a particular date, in a particular place. I was given my diagnosis in February 2005. And I returned to work on 31st May 2010.
I'm on a rest day today. Working just 15 hours a week has resulted in my insomnia returning, pain returning, an increase in my medication, resting on my rest days - as in staying in bed for most of the day and an increase in the balance in my bank account!
Is it worth it? I don't know. It's nice to feel useful, but is it nice to be in pain and put off taking medications because it's a low grade pain and it might go away? The problem is that it doesn't. I take medication. I feel fatigued and my head is spinning. Who said I wasn't sick, eh? "
Originally published 1 September 2010 at 12:19
Just for the record I'm currently on sick leave, suffering much the same symptoms as when I originally went off in 2006 - except this time I'm already on the recommended regime!