Hello. It's been a few months since I posted but needing a 'kick up the backside' to snap me out of my mood. I had my stroke in July 2019, aged 40. Thankfully, I have no Lasting physical difficulties but the fatigue and sensory overload remain my nemesis.
Over the last 6 months I have learned my limits and learned some strategies for coping; mainly if I need to cry then cry or if I need to sleep then sleep.
I have also learned to say no and to put me and my recovery first. It has meant losing friends but my true friends have remained which I am grateful for.
I was adamant for a 'new year, new start' and no longer let my stroke define me but boy have I been knocked down!!!
I started a very brief return to work just before Christmas (5 months to the day after my stroke) where I had 3 x 4 hour shifts. These went well but I was shattered at the end, which I expected. I also appreciated these were a false sense of reality as there was the festive cheer and catching up with everyone, sharing my story and having meetings about my return after Christmas. And boy what a return it has been.
My work have been very supportive throughout and are doing their best to ensure I am supported in my return. I am continuing a phased return, building up slowly and have reduced from 5 days to 3 days.
However this week, I have found it a struggle. At the end of each 4 hour shift I am exhausted and sit at home for hours in silence and darkness and struggle to eat. But although I am so exhausted, I am finding it difficult to sleep which has a knock on effect for the next day. I am also feeling a little 'lost' in the workplace and struggling to know my place. I am sure this is normal for anyone who has been off work for a while but it has worried me. Then I had the mother of all meltdowns on Friday - 2 hours of sobbing and hysterics for no reason! My poor colleagues!! But on the plus side, I finished my 3 full shifts for the week.
I am feeling apprehensive that this is all a sign that I am not ready to be back at work but then again I am maybe being harsh on myself and these anxieties are perhaps normal. So I am going to dust myself off, give myself the proverbial kick up the backside, smile and start again next week!!
sorry for the rant but it is good to share with people who understand.
take care everyone. Michelle