Hi All - some advice if possible please? (Sorry - long post alert!)
I’m 11 months post a major stroke in my left occipital cortex which left me unable to move my right arm or leg, or see out of my right eye. I’m very fortunate to have made a good physical recovery, with everything now working again. Where I’ve continued to struggle is with energy levels and the fatigue we’re all familiar with, and which at times can still be debilitating.
I also have a colourful medical history of cancer (testicular, spread to abdomen and lungs, stage 3), 15yrs of end stage renal failure, 15 years of a kidney transplant (with a compromised immune system as a result of the medication), multiple skin cancers, septic shock, and a slipped disc in my back - all of which are possibly compounding/contributing to how I’m feeling.
I’m now 52, and despite all of the above, it’s always been my aim to return to work. I was even checking my work emails from hospital the day after my stroke and have been doing so everyday since - even though I’m officially signed off until the end of May. My employers have been great, and I’m also very fortunate that whilst my salary stopped after 9 months, we have a group insurance policy in place that still pays me a percentage of my income whilst I’m off. So again, I’m very lucky that - with some adjustments - we can still pay the bills and put food on the table, even if I didn’t go back to work.
My current ‘struggle’ is that having caught up with my boss yesterday, he’s told me that he’s been successful in securing a promotion within our organisation. As his Deputy, it would be a natural progression for me to take over his role - which is one that I’d always wanted and seen myself retiring in. So it’s an opportunity that feels like ‘unfinished business’ due to the stroke, which took away the control I thought I had over my life and career. (I should have known better than thinking I was in control!)
So how to explain my dilemma. I’m not yet back at work. I’ve aimed to get back every month for the last 10m, but seem to keep burning myself out in my attempts to get back to ‘normal’. I’ve always been able to push myself hard, but now it seems to come at a cost (fatigue, low energy, low immune system etc).
My heart is telling me to have a one last roll of the dice, push myself to get back to work and take back control. My head (and my wife) tells me that the price I would have to pay would be too high. I could go on, but hopefully you get the issue?
Any advice/shared experiences would be greatly appreciated.