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Hi David,

Yes, one day at a time! You seem to be doing ok with work, yes I agree, it is daunting. And there will be bad days and good, with work life and life in general. I know it's easier said than done but just try to ride through every emotion, they're all normal and a part of recovery/ healing.

 

Monday this week was a better day at work for me, I didn't feel quite so lost and useless. It's hard though, I do get totally zapped out. I'm already wondering and worrying how I'll cope when my hours are increased.

 

I'm really glad the drinking lots of water is helping you, see we said it would!

Sorry to hear about your wifes health issues, is there any other family member or friend who can help you with this? Have you talked to your gp?

Keep in touch with us here, this site is such a support in so many ways.

Take care,

SarahLou Xx

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Hello everyone,

I met with the Occupational Rehab Therapist on Monday after my 6 hour shift. I was tired and therefore had difficulty focusing. There was the noise of a fan in the ceiling, a radio outside the door, and people talking on the phone outside the door. Thankfully she and I were in a small meeting room face to face just the two of us. The first meeting was really information gathering on her part. She has all my medical information regarding the NASAH and the summary from my GP and psychologist. She will also receive the neuro assessment results but I've explained them verbally for now.

 

I'm feeling very positive about what she has to offer. She explained that what I'm experiencing is common with brain injury and the prognosis is good. She explained just as others have that over time this is supposed to get better but even if it doesn't she is going to teach me coping strategies which will help me get more out of my day.

 

Liz, I really like your suggestion of short term and long term goals. Instead of reaching way out there it's easier to take little steps and acknowledge the progress and keep moving on that way. My first short term goal that I discussed with the rehab lady is to move up to two six hour shifts and one full day per week. I'm going to my GP on Friday to get the ok. The rehab lady suggested I try it but be ready to pull back if it doesn't work well.

 

She is going to create a suggested work plan for me along with outlining some coping strategies. She going to come and observe my work environment and in a couple of weeks will begin monitoring me pretty closely. She will check on me by blackberry and will be there when I need support.

I'm excited about this because I feel like I'm 'doing' something for my recovery. So much of our recovery is waiting. There is nothing wrong with waiting, our brains need nothing but time for a big part of the healing process. But I'm at a place where I want to 'do' and this makes me feel like I'm helping myself.

 

This week I'm working 6 hours on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. I also worked an hour from home today. On Tuesday nights I sleep 10-11.5 hours. I feel like its a Friday and it's been a long week! It's such a relief to have Wednesday's off.

 

Good luck to all of you who are also swimming upstream as you struggle to return to work. Again- thank you for posting your experiences here. The more we share the more we learn.

Sandi K. Xo

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I've been taking some time off the computer for the past month or so. Haven't been around here at BTG in that time.

Just checked in and got caught up on this thread.

 

I have been headache free for over a month now, for which I am so very, very grateful.

I still get confused. I can really identify with "auditory attention deficit". I find that when I read something I can maintain about 90% of the information (used to be 100% plus the details of what was going on in the environment at the time, weather and all sorts of unassociated details...not that I'm comparing myself to pre-SAH!).

 

When I speak with people and they explain things to me I understand what they are saying at the time. It all makes perfect sense, but when quizzed about it 5 minutes later it is all jumbled up in my mind and no longer makes sense.

I have found that when I converse with others I need to write things down to remember them afterwards.

 

I have negotiated to work from home till December 1st. My office has hired a temporary replacement till then. We will check in at that point and see how I'm doing and if it's good for me to come back to the office.

 

Trouble is working from home requires motivation and mine seems to have vanished. I mean to get things done, but the day passes and I look back to see what I have done and may find a really clean shelf in the pantry, or I spray painted a mirror frame last week, or I arrange my cookbooks. Actually, I've been decluttering like crazy. I've taken 3 vans of stuff away and will take another one to the thrift shop tomorrow.

 

So, I'm getting stuff done, but it doesn't relate to work, or gainful employment.

I'm trying to give myself permission to be where I am (I have to work at it). Perhaps I need to do that decluttering so I can move on lighter, freer. Hmmm, no perhaps about it - it's a fact. I am different from before and useless stuff sitting around taking up space just doesn't fit in my life anymore.

So far work hasn't given me any grief about my bare minimum of work done from home. The grief comes from me, and my own expectations.

 

I have found my slow cooker to be invaluable. With great recipes from here I have found the slow cooker is the answer to having dinner on the table every night, when my family comes home.

Speaking of which, that will happen soon!

 

Please keep us posted on coping strategies from the OT, Sandi. I can't afford one and don't qualify for funding to see one. I'd be very interested in her suggestions.

Be well.

R:-)

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Hi Riane,

The following might help you stay focused, and if you have a wipe board in your kitchen, stick it on that!

Prioritising List

A - Action/Absolutes!

B - Before anything else!

C - Could do

D - Delegate

E - Eliminate (silly things that cause you to procrastinate)

I'm trying to put this in to practise myself, otherwise my mind wanders. I've also got some sheets (courtesy of my psychologist) which might help with organisation/timekeeping - will send them via pm. Just a laborious case of re-disciplining the brain.

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My list of priorities

A = armholes to those who put us down

B = blow it do it later

C = catch up on B

D = Do your best and be proud of what you have done

E = Excercise the best you can Brain and Body (and mouth for eating yum !)

F = Pass lol

G = Gissa song xxx

Regards

WinB143 xxxxx

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I try to keep happy...but my language is so awful !hink I might have tourettes coming on, hence I never answered "F" lol

Keep well Jan.....A question Jan ok ready ? Do you get scared when in traffic ? ie in car on motorway ? I don't always get scared

but the big lorries scare the pants off me lol

Love

WinB143 xxxx

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Hi win, to answer your question - I used to be very jumpy when I was in the car and have now got used to it again. I started driving again after 3 months and took it slow to start with but now am driving all over the place which is a good job cause hubby had a stroke 6 weeks ago and I have to be his chauffeur now. I still have times when I don't feel up to driving.

Jan x

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Hi Jan

So you are the mad driver on the road (Joke)...Do you drive a lorry lol

Hope you and hubby are both keeping well and smiling xx (when possible)

Keep driving

Keep happy and singing and I'll keep shutting eyes when traffic bad lol

love

Winb143 xxxx

Edited by Winb143
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Hi everyone,

My GP gave me the ok to start adding a full day as I'm feeling ready. I was really hoping tomorrow would be my first full day. I'm not ready yet though. I worked 6.5 hours on Monday and was so wiped out at the end of the day that I physically hurt. Tuesday was better but I worked less time. That tells me a full day is still out of reach. I'll work 6 hours tomorrow.

 

It was my day off today and I did my usual meal planning and grocery shopping, laundry, housework, treadmill, chiro. I was so very tired by the afternoon. I know I pile it all on. I keep wondering how the heck I used to be out of the house 10 hours a day, 5 days a week and then pile all this on top of that. It seems like so much.

 

Im still waiting to hear from the rehab therapist so we can begin working together. We had the preliminary meeting but haven't begun a program yet.

Sandi K.

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Thats great news sandi !!!! just dont be rushing it (easier said than done ). matbe you should try your first full day when your ready but be sure your not working the next incase its really hard. Ive been trying to build my hours up by getting up early going to work for a while then coming home and doing as much as i can

donna

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DonnaMarie, I think you are right. My first full day needs to be a Thursday - between a Wednesday and Friday off. So I'm able to build up some energy (must cut down my Wednesday list) and then be ready to fall flat on the Friday just incase!

Your idea of building up work and chores on the same day is a good one. If I didn't have such a long commute I would consider that. The commute itself knocks me for six some days.

Good luck DonnaMarie! I know you've been trying hard to find more energy.

Sandi K. Xo

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I spoke with the rehab therapist this morning. We will begin my program in December. Seems like a long way away but I've waited this long already. Peter and I are going to Mexico for the last 2 weeks of November so December isn't really that far away. I'm still very excited to get started working with her.

 

I worked 6 hours today and it went well but included a lunch at a very busy and noisy restaraunt. It was a working lunch so especially hard to focus and filter out the noise. I was also explaining to my very supportive boss how I'm doing and I find it difficult to talk about myself. No problem on BTG!!! Just don't like it face to face. So now I'm done in. Good thing supper was prepared yesterday, I had a feeling my brain would be mush by the end of today.

 

Back at it tomorrow. : )

Must try harder and remember to take breaks...

Sandi K.

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Well, I didn't take breaks yesterday and work was a zoo and my brain is protesting loudly.

My team leads were both out of the office. One on vacation and the other working but outside the office for 3 hours. During that 3 hours we had a telephone system die. That by itself wasn't too bad. I know the process, I've handled it so many times over the years and there are many who help. All I need to do is figure out who the best resources are for the situation, pull them together, approve the communications, approve any expenditure for the fix, stuff like that. I was doing ok with that, it was a drain, and I was taxing my brain and it was challenging but in a good way.

 

However, during all of this I had a steady stream of staff at my door asking me questions about day to day stuff like the on call rotation, vacation requests, purchase requisitions and so on. This constant tugging of my brain and my attention was more than I could handle. I didnt deal with it well. I was very cranky and lashed out. This is so very frustrating for me because I've always considered myself to be an 'open-door manager' which means I keep my door open and I'm available to my staff. I know I have to change how I interact with the team in order to protect my brain and my reserves of energy but it's so hard!!!!

 

By the end of the day I was dizzy and my head was as tight as it was months ago. The rehab therapist will give me coping strategies to deal with these tough situations but I don't know how I'll ever be comfortable with not being able to multitask the way I used to.

I'm off today, I will give my brain a much needed rest. I think I'll re-read 'letter from your brain'!

Sandi K.

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Hi Sandi

Have you spoken with your staff and explained to them that your still 'finding your feet'? It may well be that they (like so many people) look at you and think that your 'better'. Do you have an engaged sign or a do not disturb notice that you can put on your door and close it for part of your day? You can still be an open-door manager some of the time. It's no surprise that you got cranky, your head must have been spinning!

Have a good rest day.

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Hi Sandi,

Your situation sounds so similar to mine. I deal with alot of people and there is so much going on. I used to be so good at multi-tasking better than most but now I have to focus on one task at a time to make sure I get it right. I also send out checks for thousands of dollars so getting it wrong won't be pretty.

I am working 25 hours a week with Wednesdays off. I feel ok in the AM but by 1-2 oclock I'm getting wired and my head tight. I take a quick lunch at 2 and then get thru the day. I feel I am improving slightly. Work has been understanding so far.

 

Keep trying Sandy, it should get better or so they tell me. Are you on any pain meds? I try like heck not to take them at work. One day last week my head was ready to explode at 1pm. I took half of a pain med and that relived the pressure and I kicked butt the rest of the day. How can you work with a exploding headache.

I hope you are resting today as am I and gonna cook a nice dinner. Stay positive.

David

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Wow, sweetie - you had a tough day yesterday! I'm glad you're home and hopefully found some time to rest your pretty little head!!!

 

To be in the middle of a challenging situation at work and have others pulling at you with personal things that aren't a priority at the moment. Multi-tasking has been a huge hurdle for me, even though I'm no longer working. Lashing out was and isn't my style, but sometimes it happens. You just get to a point where your brain is screaming STOP, and still, they just keep coming at you.

 

I think it was Liz, who suggested a sign on your door? Great idea. And also communicating to your staff, that while you are doing your very best to handle it all, there will be times when they have to wait to have their needs addressed.

 

It sounds to me like you handled the day brilliantly, even though your head was spinning and tight. I'm sure things will improve for you with time - you really are doing so well with everything! I'm sure you would like to be able to just get the job done as you used to, think that's where some of that acceptance has to come in, and know you are doing the very best you can. I admire your tenacity and strong will to keep at it ;) 

 

Get some rest, drink lots of water, and love yourself for all you've accomplished thus far!

Sending you lots of healing energy and hugs,

Carolyn

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Thank you for your support, I really do have to come up with a new way of doing things and I need more practice with communicating my situation, it still feels awkward and in the moment of stress it's the last thing I want to talk about.

 

David, I don't take pain meds at work. Before my brain blew up I was taking up to 6 ibuprofen a day for headaches. When my head exploded all that stopped. Now I take anti migraine/epilepsy tablet every night so don't need headache pills. The tight head feeling I get doesn't go away with pain killers, the only thing that works is quiet time. No TV, no talking, no activity. Just quiet. I guess its similar to not walking on a broken leg. I need quiet so I'm not using my brain.

 

Thank you again for your ideas and comments. I'm going to think about the sign on the door. Once I get used to the idea of having the door shut! : )

Sandi K. Hugs

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I passed a milestone this week folks!

I worked 21 hours! : )

Big grin!

 

My full time work week would be 35 hours. My real hours before the SAH were somewhere between 40-50 every week. 21 hours is a HUGE accomplishment and I'm so THRILLED!!!!

I'm also very aware that I overdid it on Tuesday to the point that I was seeing stars by the end of the day.

 

But I had a rest day on Wednesday and then Thursday started over. Someone described me as tenacious. I think that sums it up quite well! Haha! Yesterday was my longest work day. 8 - 3:30. It was much smoother. I went in 'armed' with some communication strategies discussed here. Anya also phoned me (thank you my friend!) and reinforced everything. I reminded staff to see the team lead first before asking me questions. It was amazing the difference in the day.

 

Glad to have today off to reflect on what I learned and I am so happy for this accomplishment and milestone!!! No one else really 'gets it' so couldn't wait to write about on here. 21 hours YAY!!!!!!!!!

I don't expect that this means I'll do 21 hours next week, I won't pressure myself. Just cuz someone climbs Everest one week doesn't mean they will do it the next right?!

Sandi K.

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Congratulations Sandi!!!

WooHoo :thumbsup: Hope you're celebrating that milestone this weekend! You really have come a long way in a relatively short period of time. I'm so excited for you and excited that you're excited :lol:

I really love this thread you started - helpful and inspiring to all of us. Thank you for sharing your journey here!

Huge hugs coming from the deep south :biggrin:,

Carolyn

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