Arlo : Back to work (hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go etc)
Diary entry posted Tue 6:58am 6 December 2005
Monday 28th November 2005
After just over three weeks in plaster, I've managed to organise a mutual return to work date with my boss.
I've been off work for 157 days which is a LOOONNNGG time. Way too much daytime TV and definitely way too much eating whilst sat on my butt on the sofa.
Time to get moving.
I'm lucky in a lot of respects that I can actually go back to work (probably won't be saying that one week in):-
1) I work as an IT professional so I spend the majority of my working day sat on my rear.
2) I work in a disabled friendly building. Lifts to all floors, no stairs in the office etc.
3) I have a work colleague that lives very close by who can pick me up and drop me home.
This is a big, big deal for me. I haven't worked for nearly 6 months and the challenge seems daunting after so much inactivity (mental and physical). But I know that it's another hurdle that I have to overcome on the long path back to normality.
Well my boss proposes that I come in three days a week to begin with and take it from there. I decide to play it by ear and see how I am after the first day.
Anyhow, my first day back is quite a struggle because of all of the crutching around I have to do. I had originally intended to use a wheelchair but the more I thought about it, the more I thought "No way!". There just wouldn't be any incentive for me to get walking and get better if I used a wheelchair, so I bin that idea.
My first day back is further compounded by the fact that I am also recovering from pneumonia! I've taken nearly two weeks worth of strong antibiotics but the infection has left me feeling weak and breathless.
Still, I manage to finish the day completely which is remarkable (in my eyes) and I'm further cheered up by the fact that basically I've had my leg down for over 10 hours (from the time I got up to the time I got back indoors after work), and my foot still looks quite a normal colour and the leg is not swollen or sore either. I decide that this is a good sign that everything is doing fairly well in the old leg department.
Tuesday 29th November - Friday 2nd December
As each day progresses, I find that I am getting better and better at getting around. I can now move a lot quicker and easier on the crutches and find that I'm less and less out of breath. I don't have the luxury of a nearby toilet and have to walk a 150 yard round trip each time I want to go. More exercise which is no bad thing.
It feels really good to be back at work and my mum notices the change in my mood as I now appear charged and positive to her. At the end of each day, I feel like I've achieved something and have every good reason to feel good about myself. This I decide is also a "good thing" and can only assist in my recovery. The good wishes and support from my work colleagues who have welcomed me back has also boosted my spirits.
So I go to see my OS on the 16th December and don't have any reason to expect anything less than positive news. I'm a firm believer that your body is best at telling you whether or not you're making progress and if you're overdoing it too! So far, my leg has been very obliging in that department and has (touch wood) so far been pain free. As every day passes, I find that I am able to put more and more pressure down on my BL and it feels more like normal walking rather than lurching when I get about.
I still have a fantastic fear of contemplating walking unaided, but that's probably mostly to do with the fact that I haven't walked unaided for 6 months now. As my recovery proceeds, I will have to learn how to walk all over again and endure a lot of pain as the atrophied muscles in my leg are put through round after round of torture (sorry, PT lol).
I can tentatively say that I do now think that the light at the end of the tunnel is getting that much closer now.
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