Gosh, it’s been almost a month since I’ve written for you. And what have I been doing while away from you? Pecking away with fury on my computer, iPad and leaving notes for myself on my iPhone. I also have finished 4 pieces of art. So below I’ve included an excerpt from the book. (If you need a little more background on my mission, please read earlier blogs.) Read it through and let me know what you think. You can be honest, I can take it.
When I first went out on short-term disability, I was seeing my therapist and medical doctor every week. The disability company said they would like reports after every visit. The doctors complied. The first couple months of my disability I was simply miserable. I made no attempt to hide that from my doctors. After about three months, I was feeling a bit better and wanted to see if I could go back to work, even if it was only part-time. I think at that point I still didn’t recognize how ill I was and that my healing was on its own timetable, not mine. Neither of my doctors was excited about my decision to return, but they signed off on it.
I quickly learned it was too soon. I was extremely fatigued and at the same time completely restless. I sat at my desk, paralyzed by the ridiculous number of emails in my in-box. I went to meetings and sucked in my yarns while I tried to look interested. I didn’t feel like checking on my consultants’ work for quality purposes, or meeting with them to inspire. My greatest fear was I’d have to take a supervisor call and not only would I not remember how to help the client, but I really wouldn’t be motivated to figure it out. Apparently my team had been warned to go easy on me, or they could see the tired apathy in my face. They continued to function like a well-trained crew of a battleship who had lost their captain in war. After about two weeks, I went back to full-time disability.
The challenge I began to have with being on disability was, how do I get well when every week or two weeks I have to prove I’m still sick? I felt stymied by the contradiction. I left my appointments feeling hopeful but confused. Was I really progressing or did the list of irregularities the doctors could come up with mean I was not? In my mind I had to separate my getting well from my going back to my job. I couldn’t worry so much about proving my continued illness in order to keep the disability check coming and my job waiting. I had to focus all my energies on getting well.
The ongoing battle with the disability company for more information from my doctors and my desire to keep as much of my situation as private as possible finally came to a head. I knew I wasn’t ready to return to full-time work and I wasn’t sure that even if I could, I wanted to return to the stress of my old job. I decided to resign. Again my doctors were not enthusiastic about my decision. I gave notice, barely made it to my desk those two weeks and then quietly faded away.
That’s it for now. I’m waiting to hear from you. You also can email me your thoughts at email@example.com
- Disability arts links (enablingoccupationaltherapy.wordpress.com)