It is hard to believe that 11 weeks has passed since my surgery. This past Monday on my 11 week hysterectomy anniversary, I finally returned to work. I was off for a full 10 weeks and am now back to work on a limited work schedule. I will only be working 5 hours a day for the first few weeks back. This is both helpful and frustrating at the same time. Easing myself back into the swing of things is important. Also there is the fact that even after 11 weeks, I still have a good deal of pain and discomfort if I sit straight up for to long. That all being said, it is frustrating when I finally get things progressing with the piles of work on my desk and I have to stop and leave because I’m not allowed to be there any longer then 5 hours.
Although I cannot say that I fully “enjoyed” my time off, it was still nice to have a bit of a break from work. This was the longest I had gone without working since I started working fulltime 2 weeks after high school graduation. Prior to surgery, I had made myself a list of all the things I planned on accomplishing while I was off. I knew I couldn’t do anything physical during the early stages of recovery, but I also knew that I had many tasks on my never ending “todo” list that require no more then a computer and time. Time!! Something that I normally do not have a lot of was finally going to be available to me! I wanted to get all my pictures transferred off my phone and organized and uploaded to Snapfish. I planned on scrapbooking and blogging several times a week. Yet, the weeks passed by and I did none of these things. My physical and emotional recovery was a lot more difficult then I imagined and still continues to be to this day. The extended recovery time and my inability to feel “normal” as quickly as I anticipated caused me to feel depressed. I found myself week after week feeling more and more like all I wanted to do was hide away in my home. Although I saw little moments of improvement, I found myself having very little energy or enthusiasm to do the things I once enjoyed. As the days and weeks ticked away and my return to work date grew closer, I found myself falling deeper into this dark place. I was sad…and yet I wasn’t really even sure exactly why.
Jumping forward to Monday June 10th, my appointment with our onsite clinic was set for 7:00 a.m. I needed to be seen there before I could be officially released to return to my desk for work. By 8:00 a.m., I was once again walking the familiar halls of my office building. It was strange, but once I was actually onsite, I felt almost excited. I explained it as that “first day of school” feeling. The butterflies and the anticipation. Yes, it’s silly I know. I had only been gone 10 weeks, not a year. But nonetheless, here I was heading back to what for me was routine and familiar. Being someone with extreme anxiety and OCD, routines and familiarity are important aspects of contentment. Little did I know this would help pull me out of my funk. I’d become so recluse the last few weeks at home that I had forgotten how good it felt to interact with other people.
When I walked into my office, I had to smile as my coworkers had decorated my office with cute balloons and streamers to welcome me back. It felt so nice to know that I was missed and that people were happy to see me return.
It’s been 4 days now since I returned to work. Things are going good and I am slowly getting back into the grove and catching up on emails and paperwork. I am thankful for the 5 hour a day limited work schedule, as I do notice the pelvic pains start at about hour 4. I am assuming that as I start strengthening my abdominal muscles, the pains will eventually subside overtime. Until then I am trying to go easy on myself and not get to terribly frustrated when the stabbing pains get to sharp to ignore. I have said often over the past 11 weeks that I am not sure if I will ever feel like my old self again… I’ve been fighting this internal battle to try and regain what I feel like I have lost. But I’m starting to realize that it really doesn’t matter. The old me.. the new me… either way, I’m still me and I plan on making the best of whoever I happen to be at this very moment.
So, let the journey continue……………………………………….