Long term absence


The fatigue is starting to impact me more

Before Christmas I was travelling to work 4 days a week and working from home on Wednesdays. I was coping with the 1 hour journey each way (part of “me time”) by having a 30 minute sleep at lunchtime in the first aid room and then another when I got home from work.

But over Christmas the fatigue has progressed:

  1. It feels like being on constant night shifts or jet lag
  2. When I wake up in the morning I don’t feel refreshed
  3. Concentration levels are not what they used to be, which is interesting when you’re driving
  4. I tend to take two naps in the day – an hour each
  5. When I have a “busy day” – which isn’t really that busy – I end up paying for it the next day, so I’m trying to find the level of activity that sustainable
  6. With limited energy you feel you’ve not accomplished much in a day and you have to choose what you spend it on

As a result I’ve decided to start long term sick from work, one year after the symptoms started. I need to spend my limited energy with family and friends. Luckily work is very generous in this.  One benefit of being TUPE’d between various companies over the last 16 years means I’ve picked up some good conditions that have been protected as I’ve been moved.  I never thought there was a good side to being forced to work for different companies – but it seems it has paid off now.  Now being back at Three is great – they have really looked after me in this; my management chain right up to the board have made it easy. I get the feeling someone is looking out for me.

Over the last few weeks I have missed:

  1. The work family – all the characters I work with – the good, bad and ugly. Nah – they’re all nice really!
  2. The projects – Three is quite a dynamic company always pushing ahead with projects, never a dull moment.
  3. Getting out of the house.
  4. The drive to work – an hour of forced “me” time each way – singing along to worship songs with no one able to hear.

So I’ve got to get into new routines. There is a risk I just stop and sleep all day – but I know that will be bad for my mental health.

It does feel like I imagine retirement is going to be like.

I suppose there are dangers of getting into daytime TV like Judge Judy, Jeremy Kyle and Good Morning, spending all day watching funny cat videos on YouTube or sitting watching Cbeebies all day with Dexter my grandson? Though we do like Duggee and his latest song (Click picture below to see..)

A good friend recently said she used her long term sick to get close to God, treated it like a job. I like the idea of that, chilling out with Him. We are getting a summer house for the bottom of the garden, fully insulated with power. It could be my new “office”.

I think I’ll do social visits to work, catching up with people and seeing what new crazy projects the guys are up to.

I’ve got a feeling before long Julia will go back to work, just to get out from under my feet.

If you’re in to praying, please pray I get into a sensible routine – and use my time wisely spending it with family and friends and getting closer to God. Also that I adjust to the new norm – I don’t think my identity is in the work I do – but there may be a little of it in there?