Sunday, March 1, 2009

Reflections 3/1/09

Work: I have been off of work for close to a month. I have not been off the whole time, rather, going in for a few hours every day to get some face time in my office and try to stay mentally sharp. I feel very ineffective, though. It takes me so long to get up and walk to another office or to the copier. I work in a recreation center, and part of what it means for me to do a good job is to be active throughout the facility. I have not walked through the facility in weeks... I stay in my office stuck in my desk chair. I will try to work on administrative tasks that can be done in this position, but when I find myself needing to pull something out of a file cabinet to complete a task, I have to stop everything because I can't open the file drawer. I have to ask co-workers to stop what they're doing, come into my office, and open the drawer for me. Very simple administrative tasks that I think I should be able to do at my computer have turned into lengthy, cumbersome ordeals that I can't complete by myself. It's very frustrating to feel so helpless. I feel like I create more difficulty by trying to continue to manage projects. I am not communicating effectively with my co-workers because I am simply not there enough, as I can only sit and stand upright for a few hours without my back and trunk muscles failing, creating the need for me to lie down and rest. I have hit this wall several times at work in the last few weeks... a sudden, overwhelming urge to lie down, because my body will not physically hold itself up anymore. I am fortunate to be able to take a large amount of paid leave, and my co-workers are supportive. However, this situation is not sustainable. I am going on like this day after day, hoping that I will be functional enough to contribute soon, but it is not happening yet. I feel like I am straining the resources of my co-workers by delegating all of my work, and deadlines can be postponed, but they will catch up soon. It is hard to operate without a plan, and part of my anxiety rests with not knowing when or how this will resolve.

Friends: Wow. If I am experiencing negative emotions and fears about not being able to do my job, I am experiencing warmth and gratefulness with the support and love shown by my friends. I have had such a tremendous outpouring of concern, and more offers for help than I have a need for. Friends have taken shifts in letting me stay at their houses or staying with me in mine, helping me take showers, loaning me clothes, cooking for me, and cleaning my house. They have arranged get-togethers and pot-lucks for me. They spend their nights and weekends with me, catch me up on gossip, and discuss future plans for when I recover. They listen to me talk about the minutiae of symptoms. They talk about how much butt we're going to kick when it's all over. Our lives are so full and free time is so precious... I know how much of a gesture of friendship it is to allocate time for this kind of care. I am truly touched.

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