Saturday, 15 January 2011

Beware, Elephant at Work!

I haven't really blogged about this much, but I have been going through a phased return to work after an ME/CFS crash a while ago. It has been fraught with pitfalls and disturbing situations, but I hope we are now someway to sorting all this out and sanity resuming! I am seriously hoping for a reduction in the stress that I have had to endure over the last, erm, well...... 11months all in all!

What I was striving for was a return to full time hours. The powers that be were not very keen to let me do this, and I don't think it has much to do with their concern for my health!

It's immensely hard to have such a huge knock to your health-an ME/CFS crash, and to have to try to make it back to work. Then to have to go through situations which question your work, your honesty about your health and to have to endure comments which are at best discriminatory is really piling on the pressure. All the pay, conditions and decisions are taken out of your hands and the only one who knows how you and your body is coping -you- is not consulted! All this with the weight of an elephant in your holdall!

When I look at it like this I think it's a small miracle that I have managed any recovery from the 'crash of '09' at all! In my brain-fogged state it is often easy to sit and ponder why this crash has been so much more difficult to return from, and to assume that it is because of a worsening of my ME/CFS or even (God forbid!) that I'm not a spring chicken any more!

This illness is so complicated and reactive to stress. This crash and subsequent climb back have been my longest and most difficult to date, due in no small part to the 'stressful' feel of the process specifically put in place to aid and enable my return to work. CRAZY!

I am sure however, that this process goes quite smoothly for some people, and if all advice from GP's or Occupational Health is respected by the bosses it can have great results. Unfortunately it is the patient/employee who suffers when this does not happen. I can only speak about the process as it was for me.

It would be easy (but not advisable) for me to point fingers of blame and resort to a bit of dirt-dishing, but I won't. I want only what I have wanted all along, for my elephant and I to return to work and to be able to just get on with the job I love to the best of 'our' ability.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Lemonaide Anyone?

Here goes, such a long time and SO MUCH has happened in the last few months...where to start!?!

I am feeling surprisingly OK bodily-not much in the way of symptoms today really. I have my good old sound sensitivity but most of the other troublesome stuff seems to have relaxed for the time being at least!

Mentally things have been a HUGE challenge lately though, but thankfully that too has started to lift so all's good! I take thyroid hormone for an underactive thyroid and had allowed my drug regime to slip a bit with the stress of some work issues that have been rumbling on for a long time now. This resulted in me becoming hypothyroid, with the usual dry skin, hair falling out, worsening fatigue, pain and depression.

Depression is such an empty word don't you think? Doesn't really cut it when you start to try to describe how it eats away at your life, your character and your very being. I've had it before, and recovered before, but it's always just a few forgotten thyroid meds away-but I am fortunate to know it's cause and to be able to sort it out within a few short weeks of following my drug regime properly, or altering the dose with the gp.

I can't really say what's happening at work STILL....! Suffice it to say that it is a very uneccesary situation concerning my working hours and advice from Occ.Health. It seems to go from being confusing, troubling and upsetting to MORE confusing, MORE troubling and MORE upsetting!!! I really hope I can get some resolution with it so I can blog some details...maybe it might help someone going through a similar process, you never know. I sincerely hope that nobody is though, it's such a stress.

I'd like to say a warm and VERY HEARTFELT welcome back to my good friend Kerry, who has been absent for such a long time due to ME/CFS which had begun to affect her eyes so badly that being online was no longer possible. She is a fantastically determined and strong lady, who instills great calm and admiration. She writes 'Lemon-aidonline', a beautifully written blog, the link to which is on my bloglist. Thanks to some magical software Kerry is now able to rejoin her friends in cyber-space, and am I pleased to see her!

After stumbling across and reading her blog, then becoming friends, I was inspired to have a crack at blogging myself- so if you wish to protest at my being let loose with a keyboard at all.....Kerry will be pleased to hear from you!!!

Enough for now- take care and take a trip to 'Lemon-aideonline' to say "Hi" to my mentor!!!