Dec 10, 2008
Busy day at work yesterday. Trying to spend less time in front of my comp. UTI is getting better each day, yay!! Had an awesome night's sleep, fell asleep in 10 seconds and didn't stir for 7 hours. Helps that the UTI is no longer forcing me to get out of bed every hour...
Someone asked me how I manage to keep working through tx; for me it is partly necessity (I am a freelance contractor and do not get sick pay etc and the company is under no obligation to hold my job open for me should I be unable to work due to health reasons) and simply wanting to stay occupied.
I did have to take a few days off in the beginning but I have pretty much managed to keep going so far. Parts of my job are very demanding and involve lots of interaction with people and I was surprised how I managed to do it. To be honest I think the adrenalin and the 'having' to do it propelled me forward and made me 'forget' about my sides. The days in the office have often been the hardest as there was nothing external motivating me to keep going.
Also, Panadol is wonderful stuff for fighting off the body and head aches. I also spent most of my away from work time, resting or sleeping. Everything felt better when I was horizontal!
My most difficult times are the mornings when the nausea and diarrhea hit. I have been fortunate that I have been able to go in to work late on those more difficult days. I also have an anti-nausea drug if I need to use it.
In the early days I suffered from brain fog, inability to concentrate and had a few speech and cognitive disabilities. I would often say things back to front or combine two words into one, creating a brand new word! I had to joke my way through those moments and they have now become much more infrequent.
Sometimes my mind just seems to shut down for about 15secs and I can't remember what am I doing or why I was going somewhere. That was somewhat freaky at first but I have learned to not panic about it, take a deep breathe and relax and it will be ok. As soon as I do relax everythig is restored to 'normal'.
It's when I get panicked or stressed that things really go haywire, as I think the extra cortisol produced under stress doesn't react well with the tx meds.
I also found that I completely lost my mojo, and would find it incredibly difficult to just move and walk. Part of this was due to Hb dropping but that mainly manifested as dizziness when moving rather than an inability to move.
The single, hands down most effective solution to all the side effects above (apart from dropping Hb) have been anti-depressants. Of course they have no immediate effect on the physical sides but they did help the way I dealt with the physical side effects. They have also helped improve my brain function and restored my mojo! That was the first thing I noticed when I started taking them, I felt like I wanted to move rather than just sitting like a piece of wood staring into space.
They helped me stay calm amidst the pressure which in turn stopped me having the minor brain malfunctions I had been experiencing due to too much cortisol. They've also allowed me to keep a perspective on my working life and certainly helped me not to rise to the bait when I have been challenged by other people. Of course, our tolerance levels are so affected by the tx meds that it's easy to become irritated by seemingly innocuous comments or behaviors and again the antidepressants have taken the edge of those potentially difficult situations.
Any way, this was not meant to be a diatribe on Anti-D's but rather an explanation of how I have managed to keep working throughout tx.
If I had the choice of whether to work while txing or not I am not sure what I would I would choose. Sometimes work has been a welcome haven and taken my mind off what I was going through. I have toyed with the idea of only working 4 days a week but that puts pressure on me in other ways, mainly in that being out of the loop for one day can have a real impact on the smooth running of the rest of my week. I'm still considering it for the first few months of next year.
And, talking of working, I had better buzz off and do some!!