Ah, Mondays. That day of the week that brings you right back down to earth after a glorious weekend. The day that feels the longest and the slowest. The day that is unpopular (unless it is a Bank Holiday).
As much as I encourage that we should be embracing each and every day (yes, that includes you Mondays!) and how Mondays are definitely a good way to start a new week, this Monday was not so good.
I spent the days leading up to the weekend in pain, spent the weekend in worse pain, and woke up this morning with pain. I felt exhausted and my arms ached so bad (my arms are often worse than my legs with M.E.) that it was an effort to roll over, let alone physically get out of bed.
Nevertheless I dragged myself out of bed and got myself ready, ate some breakfast and set off to leave the house. And that is when it started…
– I couldn’t actually leave the house as my husbands car was parked behind ours on the drive.
-I drove my husbands car off the drive and made a fool of myself parking it somewhere else
-I locked myself out of the house in the process
-finally drove off in my own car, got halfway down the road and had to drive back because I couldn’t remember if I’d locked the door
-annoyed a neighbour as I tried to turn my car around
-had to run back into the house because I’d forgotten my uniform
-got to work late
I arrived at work and sorted myself out. Even though it was supposed to be a super quiet day with no inpatients or scheduled physiotherapy clinics, it was still manic. Other departments running late meant the few squeezed in outpatients I had were even later to see me, I had flurries of phone messages one after the other and was constantly pulled out of my office by other healthcare professionals to do this and that. There was a never-ending stream of paperwork that seemed to come out of nowhere and my lunch was so hot that my break time was over pretty much before I started eating.
But in a way I am thankful for days like these. I mean, it’s a total pain when its so busy you can’t even grab a hot drink and drink it whilst it’s still hot, but it meant that I was too busy to think about anything – I was too busy to think about my pain.
Now this is a constant debate I will have with my GPs and consultants. I think they struggle to understand that, if my pain is really bad, then why am I willing to go to work? And I can see why it is hard to understand, but I also see how important it is for me to keep going. I explain to my GPs and consultants that I find work a welcome distraction for three reasons;
- I am often so rushed off my feet that I don’t have time to drink, let alone sit and think about how much pain I am in
- A good natter with a patient does fix a lot of problems
- I have no opportunity to not do anything when I am at work, as I have other people that need me
I think if I gave up working, then I’d be lost. The reason I love my job is I love helping people, and my job allows me to make a positive impact on a patients lives – that feeling is a wonderful feeling and temporarily nothing else matters. When I’m dealing with an emergency situation, how on earth can I let what I’m feeling get in the way?
It may sound selfish and I am in now way bragging about how important my job is (have you seen those “what I think I do…” memes? Yeah, google one for physiotherapy and then you’l have a little chuckle), but I’ve come to realise over the years of being chronically ill that actually, work is really important in order for me to keep going.
So even today, when my head was pounding and my stomach was throbbing, I was happy to be there and keep going.