First Week Back at Work


I went back to work this week. Three days a week, four hours a day. It’s a good way to go back, say the professionals. I do like having afternoons off – to rest and recover. And it’s also nice having two days a week off. Here are some things I’ve noticed.

  • I wasn’t out of a routine for long – for six weeks I was going to Pathways from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. – but it didn’t take long for me to get used to sleeping in! Some days I didn’t get out of bed until after 10 a.m. It’s taken me this week to get used to getting up and out by 9 a.m. (I was even early today. I walked in before 8:30 a.m.)
  • It really helps to have everything ready in the morning. I like to have everything lad out and ready. (Especially since I’m not back at my house yet, but that’s a different post.) If I can get a bath or shower the night before, all I really have to worry about is my hair.)
  • I’m still having some slight issues with my hands. My grip isn’t as strong, and it’s not uncommon for me to drop things. I was punching holes in paper today and had to separate the paper into smaller sections to make it easier to punch.
  • I feel more single-minded. I can multi-task, but it’s just easier not to. I am trying to be more deliberate with things, making more lists and such. Why go to Walgreen’s or Kroger for one thing if I can wait until I have more of a list and can knock out several things at once.
  • I also feel a strong urge to organize and simplify. In the past, that has indicated that I feel things are a little out of my control. Especially at work, I feel like I’m getting a fresh start and want to take advantage of it. Start things off right, like I would at a new job.
  • And yes, I’m still at Mom’s house. I’m capable to be back at my house, but I’ve put some conditions on my return. I want my room to be neat, clean and organized. I’m switching out clothes and finding places for all of those goodies I got during my rehab and recovery. Mom has been very gracious, and it has been good to get my “land legs” before leaving the nest again. But I’m ready to be back in my own bed.
  • I am slowing down, in a good way. It’s easier for me to put things on the back burner. For instance, last night I knew I needed a sympathy card. But instead of stopping on the way home or at Walgreen’s on the way in this morning, I waited until I got to work, where I knew I had one. Not everything is as urgent. I’m learning to combine things and make lists to conserve my time, stamina and sanity. It’s working out well, but it’s a work in progress.
  • My fingernails continue to grow, and they’re starting to get in my way when I type. Granted, my long is not nearly as long as most people’s long, and they’re not getting in the way, but I know they’re there. I’m going to get a gel French manicure on Tuesday; I’m hoping that by taking care of my fingernails, I’m more likely not to start biting them again.
  • I’m having trouble with passwords. My memory is good, as evidenced by my neuropsych evaluation. But short terms memory of passwords is escaping me. I have a password book, and I need to start using it. Sooner rather than later.
  • Speaking of lists, I had to do some organization with my speech therapy exercises. I find that I needed a specific list of exercises, and I made a checkoff chart to help me keep up with them. I know practice makes perfect and needed something to keep me straight and hold me accountable.
  • My voice and speech is improving slower than I would like. My speech therapist and I are going to an ENT on the 20th, and I have a lot of questions. Will I ever regain my pre-surgery volume? Why do I have to clear my throat so much? Why do some words feel like they get stuck in my mouth and come out wrong? Why can you now see my pulse in my neck (by my trach scar)? I drafted a speech therapy checklist to help me with my exercises, hoping some consistency will help.

Next week, I continue at three days a week, four hours a day. I’m going to have to play with the days as I see my new neurologist Wednesday, and I have a quick walkaround meeting Wednesday a.m.

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