I’ve started back to work, as of last Friday. So that’s a good thing, right? For me, I think in some ways that’s when it gets harder.
Now, I’ll be the first to tell you that I was tremendously, wondrously, gloriously lucky. The hospital’s occupational therapist and physical therapist checked me out and didn’t even think I’d need their services. So not only am I still alive, it looks like I have no permanent disability.
However, the one symptom that’s lingering is something of a problem: If I stand for more than a few minutes, I feel “woozy” — not exactly dizzy, but headachy, weak, and faint. Sitting for awhile seems to relieve it, and lying down definitely does. I haven’t yet gotten in to see a neurologist (which is a whole other annoying story that I should skip!), but I suspect that’s a leftover from my cerebellar stroke. After all, when I stand my brain needs new connections to keep my balance. I tried to step over the baby pen in the nursery on Sunday, and almost fell over. I’ve never been terribly graceful, but now I especially need to take care!
Anyway, I’m not someone who likes difficult decisions. Before the stroke, I had a headache that lasted three weeks, and every morning I had to figure out if I felt good enough to go to work or if I were just being a wimp. Then the stroke hit. Okay, now staying home was a no-brainer! Especially when I was in the hospital! But even after that, it was easy to understand I should take it easy and let myself heal.
But isn’t two weeks enough time? And how much do I need to do some standing and walking to help my brain build new connections? I did compromise by leaving early yesterday, and today I didn’t have to compromise — we got sent home early because of the earthquake! But it’s harder when there’s a decision. This is definitely not a contagious illness, so it’s all the harder to evaluate when I’m up to working and when I’m not.
Another thing is I almost felt guilty all that time off, having extra time to read and write book reviews. But since writing book reviews takes a lot more energy than reading — I’m still way behind with books I’ve read and want to review. So now my time off is up, and I am still behind. I don’t want to push myself extra. So that’s where not having energy for much more than work gets pretty frustrating.
Anyway, I already had vacation in Oregon scheduled for next week, so at least I will have next week off, decision-free! And it sounds like ALL my twelve brothers and sisters will be there with me at the end of the week for my brother’s wedding!