I tried. I really did. After being admitted in hospital for three days with pneumonia (a chest infection), urine infection and in diabetic ketoacidosis, I had a week off work to recover. I managed the week, then went back off sick.
I’m constantly beyond exhausted, needing to sleep all day and night on a bad day. My blood sugars are all over the place, which isn’t helping matters. I just don’t feel right. I’m being really honest – I don’t know exactly what’s wrong. I can’t pinpoint specific symptoms any more than I have explained.
I went to see my GP today and he said:
Just what made you think you could return to work after 1 week? – My GP
He had a point. I’m not twenty any more. At thirty-seven years old, I now have to accept that infections have a bigger impact on my body. Having diabetes also means my body takes longer to heal. The bigger the impact, the longer the recovery time. This has been my main lesson from my GP today.
I’ve never really have to taken more than a week off work to recover from infections in the past. So this is new territory for me. But I have to listen to my body. It’s crying out for recovery and time to heal. And it is always wise to listen to your doctor – especially if you’re lucky to have an amazing one like I do.
My GP has requested some more urgent bloods. Given me a sick note for two weeks and strict instructions to rest, recuperate and not to return to work before being reviewed by him again.
Despite knowing that I can’t help getting sick and that it isn’t something I have any control over, I do feel guilty for taking time off work. I feel like I’m letting everyone at work down. My manager, my colleagues and my patients. But I hope they understand.
I really have no choice. I’ve been very poorly and I’m not fit enough to get through a day without a nap (or several) due to exhaustion. The littlest things, like for example taking a shower wear me out.
My GP was very tactful, but he basically explained that if I don’t take weeks off from work to recover now, in the long term it might take me months to recover. My GP explained that I will have good and bad days during this period of recovery. He warned me about good days and the assumption I could make that one good day means I’m fully recovered.
So here I am. Sat here writing this post. Accepting that I need a period of recovery to allow my body time to heal. Not knowing how long it will take. Not being able to do much to help it apart from self-care: eating well, resting when required, keeping a good sleep routine, you know, the basics but essentials.
I would like to thank all the people in my life that have and continue to support me. Thank you. Without you, this would be so much more difficult.