The workers united will never be defeated

October 11, 2012 § 13 Comments

I so wanted to do a blog post today on my Moon Face but I went to work and the floodgates opened.

I’m have hated not being able to work. I did no work at all for about 2 months – which when you consider I’ve not taken more than a few days off at a time and rarely even that, for over 5 years, is a big shock for my system (some may say it’s that kind of work intensity that has seen me end up where I am…I can’t really argue with that). Mind you, I was so ill during those 2 months, that I really didn’t notice it much as I just slept a lot.

But as I’ve increased my stamina and the drugs have worked their magic on me, I’ve wanted to return to work, not just for my own sanity and because I enjoy my job, but also because other people in the micro company I work for, have had to cover for me and that, I feel uncomfortable about – even though they are wonderful and would NEVER say anything about it.

In the last few weeks I’ve worked up from doing a couple of hours here and there, to more hours per day and then today, the floodgates opened and I had to deal with various Β issues and concerns and management type problems and I’ve spent hours on the phone and sorting things out. I am UTTERLY exhausted and sore and I feel physically sick. Im not sure how I am doing this post, other than running on some sort of adrenalin, which I’ll pay for tomorrow.

Saying that, I do have a sense of achievement and almost satisfaction. But it scares me, really scares me, that I won’t be able to handle things consistently and will end up having a crash, or worse my disease will flare up – stress being a factor in flare ups. My consultant wanted me not to do this, yet here I am doing it, back to the bad old ways. Another worry is that others will not understand the complexity of this disease (dermatomyositis) and will think I’m fully better, like after a bout of flu or something, and their expectations will, as evidenced today, draw me into the full on, hard core, world of work. I’m afraid, very, very afraid, once you’re on this ride, it’s hard to stop it again.

Why do we make ourselves work when we clearly aren’t well enough. I know I’m not alone in this as Suz does the same thing. It’s dangerous and very stupid, yet I know, If I am able to and haven’t crashed, that I’ll be back at my desk tomorrow. I do have a sneaking feeling that it’s made worse by being a female in a male orientated industry. Oh, I didn’t mention what I do. I work in product development, specifically product strategy and futures and it’s my job to understand where our products need to be, by analysing the requirements and expectations of people like yourself reading this blog. As a woman in this industry I always feel I need to prove myself, therein lies, most likely, the core problem. But thats another long and arduous story.

Fortunately, my desk is in my home, but the stress is just as bad here as in an office I can assure you. I’ll try to rest now, tomorrow hopefully I won’t crash and maybe my stamina will hold out.

After all…the workers united will never be defeated!

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§ 13 Responses to The workers united will never be defeated

  • It’s such a hard balance to achieve, isn’t it? Like you, I feel I gave too much of myself at work, and perhaps brought my ‘sell-by date’ forward with too much stress. I’m annoyed that women seem completely hard-wired to trouble-shoot, support everybody and make things work, struggling with ever-increasing workloads. And we’re absolute fools to ourselves, making it look so easy that people don’t even realise how furiously we’re paddling underneath the water.
    I’m so lucky that I took redundancy a couple of years ago and turned it into a very happy early retirement. I can do just what I want all day long. My heart goes out to everyone struggling with treatment AND job, family etc. That must be so hard.
    Even with hindsight, I can’t think of a solution. I just wished I’d looked after myself better and not put myself last all the time. Genetically programmed, I’ve no doubt my cancer would have got me in the end, but I might have been 70 instead of 60.

    • susiemorrow says:

      Oh what a great phrase to describe this, “bringing your sell by date forward” how scarily apt. I used to be completely unable to control my work load, I let it build and build as if that was some testament to how ‘important’ i was. All it got me was a lot of ill health, I had virtually permanent ‘bugs’ for months before getting this disease and I didn’t even take time off then, like a bloody idiot. You are incredibly lucky to have found an out without it being painful, did you have the cancer before the redundancy or was that just a coincidence? Im still at that age where I need to work to pay the bills, I do feel lucky I have a job, many people end up loosing it because of this disease and that’s worse as the benefit system for disabled people is terrible and getting worse in the UK as you know.

      • I was lucky to get out a couple of years before ‘Cancer 2’. I had breast cancer 10 years ago, and stupidly thought it was all behind me, as I had a bilateral mastectomy. Now it’s come back with a vengeance in bones and liver.
        A dear old friend, suffering from cancer herself, used to say ‘be careful, you HAVE had cancer, you know’. I wish I’d taken more notice.
        I was very proud to be a major earner, and provide a good standard of living for husband and daughter. Would I have been able to take a back seat, happily? Probably not.
        I will now say to you ‘look after yourself’, like that friend did to me several years ago, but like me, you probably won’t/can’t take any notice! I don’t have an answer. It’s a real cleft stick.

      • susiemorrow says:

        Cancer 2 how bloody awful! And why do we ignore good advise? I am terrible at ignoring good advise. A close friend of mine has been telling me for years to slow down, but I ignored her – to tell the truth it needed to be something this serious to get me to slow down. Today I am intending to take it slow. Im so sore and tired that i think my body is forcing me to and will override my mind, today anyway…until next time… xxx

  • jillinois says:

    I had 2 different employers tell me to go on disability as far as 8 years before I actually had no choice. Being unconscious upsets employers- go figure :). I tried and tried to hang on, and all it got me was a few more years of horrible pain. And yet, I really miss it. The social interaction (I literally don’t have friends here that I see – plans to see one soon, for the first time in 30 years). I have my Texas friends on FaceBook which is great, and some old high school friends as well- but no face to face, like I had at work.

    People don’t understand when work is taken from you. It’s not like any of us opted for early torturous retirement. But we ‘look OK’…. so must be fine, when the innards and mind are moving slower than molasses and the muscles seize up from sitting in a chair. I give you a lot of kudos for trying πŸ™‚ I went back after the first 7 months on disability, and it ended badly. 😦

    Ya gotta save what you have left for your future… if work fits into that, that’s great- if not, it’s a grief process that few people understand. At least the ones I know. Hugs (gently) πŸ™‚

    • susiemorrow says:

      Are you able to do any work now Jill? YOure right about the grief. Work is such a central part of our lives, in one form or another. I ave really struggled with not being able to work for months and now I’m, sort of, back at work, well at least part time, I am finding the anxiety of it difficult to deal with, but at the same time, being able to talk to my co-workers and have that whole feeling of belonging is such a comfort. Its a fine balance and the trouble is when you’re very unwell and can’t cope with ordinary things it can have very serious effects on your health and in the end your health is the priority – trouble is us sick people don’t have a lot of choices. Hugs back at you Jill xxxxx

      • jillinois says:

        I’ve been on disability for 8 years. I was getting sent out by ambulance so often that they assumed it was for me and not one of the old folks in the nursing home…. :/ I go into a lot of spasms even making a sandwich, and pain increases the risk of the autonomic stuff getting nuts (and then passing out) as does the temperature- I have to keep my apartment around 65 degrees year round. When a heater is on in someone’s house (like relatives during the holidays), I can’t stay.

      • susiemorrow says:

        Dear god Jill, how do you keep going. I know over the years you’ve had lots of awful illnesses – is this the result of the drugs or the illnesses?

  • jillinois says:

    I do fairly well when I’m at home, with the controlled temperature. I shop once a month, and have some things delivered via Amazon to minimize what I have to lug inside. Shopping days are very painful. The symptoms are from the illnesses… fibromyalgia, degenerative joint disease, degenerative disc disease…and the autonomic dysfunction. The epilepsy can cause some added fatigue, but most seizures are at night (I wake up with the inside of my mouth chewed up).

    If I keep to my usual activity (or lack thereof), I can watch movies, be on the computer, or fiddle around here. Doing a decent job cleaning this place is a nightmare- and embarrassing. If I had the money I’d hire someone. I’m also trying to go through things to send to the thrift stores (do you have secondhand stores there? They often have nearly new stuff for very cheap prices). That’s going slowly. If I get into a rhythym of doing something during TV commercials, and then resting until the next ones, I can get some ‘light’ things done…

    Could be worse. I’ve still got all 4 limbs, a weird sense of humor, my dog, and my dad- I do have friends, but none locally who I see.

    • susiemorrow says:

      That is a helluva list of ailments Jill! All of course incurable, my heart goes out to you and I am virtually giving you a good old northern UK cuddle, tight and firm and with love. Nowadays, friends don’t need to be next door, they can be far away. My friends stretch across several continents and the other Sus on here is 10,000 miles away from me but she is a person I tell my most initiate and deepest thoughts too and that I love dearly. You ca count me as one of your faraway friends too if you like πŸ™‚ xxx

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