Emotion overload.

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Starburst
Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
edited 23. Jul 2015, 11:14 in Living with Arthritis archive
I haven't been around much lately, I have been fighting with balancing exhaustion and my increasing workload. My emotions were bubbling away and things boiled over last night.

I was reading an academic article at 11.30 pm (bad idea, I was already tired and grumpy) when I got up, stumbled and collided with the dog. I squealed and he got a fright. He grabbed hold of my foot with his mouth. I squealed some more and he chomped down. Fortunately, he's a small dog and not aggressive, so I have a series of small puncture wounds that bled a lot rather than an actual wound. Unfortunately, I need antibiotics and a tetanus jab because I'm immunosuppressed.

The flood gates have opened and I have been crying on and off all day, which is so unlike me. Needless to say, I've taken today off work as I feel physically and mentally exhausted. I know the tears have been a long time coming. I've recently been found to be very anaemic; low haemoglobin, low iron, low vitamin B12, low vitamin D and my inflammatory markers are slightly raised. So, it's not overly surprising that I'm not feeling well.

I know I can't go on like this. GP thinks it could take 3 to 6 months until the anaemia and vitamin deficiencies resolve. I was planning to drop down to 4 days a week at work but other people in my team who work 4 day weeks say that it's worse because it's like cramming a full-time job into 80 percent of the time. I can't financially survive on 3 days a week and my job doesn't lend itself to working that part time anyway.

Friends and medical professionals have been encouraging me to look after my physical health. I know it's important but for my good mental health, I need to be busy and I need to be at work. I'll go stir crazy working only 3 days a week. I am toying with the idea of a trial period of 4 days and hoping that management will facilitate this but adjusting my workload accordingly but there are no guarantees. Now is the worst time for going off sick for a short period as I am less than 2 months away from completing my qualification.

I feel exhausted trying to balance everything in my life. I don't mind if you didn't read my rambles, I really just needed to vent and to be heard. Thank you if you did though.
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  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,281
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    You really neded to get all that out, and im glad you have..
    I really do feel for you young ones having to work and juggle everything,Iike yoy say work keeps you sane...I do hope you can get on top of the anemia very soon, at least that will help ..I do wish you well ...you deserve a break from all this...you go for the 4 days..at least its somthing, and who knows , it might just really suit you ..good luck...
    Love
    Barbara
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,720
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Oh flaming Nora! This is exactly what you didn't need. The straw the broke the camel's back or, in your case, the bite that punctured the steely resolve.

    Quite how you manage to cope with all you have on your physical and emotional plates (I seem to be in metaphorical mode today :roll: ) I don't know so I won't attempt to give you advice except to add that, many years ago, a friend who had tried it (due to her AS) said working part time was just a matter of doing all the work in half the time with half the pay.

    You are very brave (don't dare deny it) and tenacious, Sophie, and, if anyone can manage to juggle the disease, the meds, the work and the additional physical problems they trail in their wake then you can. But, should you? I honestly don't know. I do know that sometimes we need to explore the possibilities of accepting the unacceptable. Two months is not very long but it could represent an awful lot of stress.

    I send (((())))s aplenty.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Can't thonk of much else to add to the wise words you have already been given. I'm looking forward to going back into work tomorrow after 4 weeks off, even though it is only a couple of days before the school holidays.

    I struggled with my full-time return to a stressful and demanding job and had to make the hard decision to reduce my days.I was given the same advice about moving to 4 days, but with a lot of cheese pairing in terms of bills etc and my PIP payment I will be able to afford it, just, I am also applying to extend my mortgage by a couple of years. It was a hard decision as is having to accept a change of role which means giving up apects of my job that I have found rewarding.

    I am though relieved as I know I couldn't continue as I am. Take your time, think things through but remember that with the flexible working legislation you are entitled to apply for a reduction in hours, and as a disabled person it is harder for it to be refused. I would suggest contacting your union for advice on how to apply and your employers human resources dept for a confidential assessment of what your net salary would be.

    Look after yourself and take your time before rushing back to work.
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich
  • LignumVitae
    LignumVitae Member Posts: 1,972
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Oh Sophie how rubbish for you (((((()))))). Naughty pooch deciding to bite you, doesn't he know this is the joys of an arthritic owner? Something my pup seems to be learning quite quickly (that and how to just assume his place on the out of bounds sofa).
    Taking the leap to part time can be frightening because there is always the full time being squished into part time situation to contend with and I know about that. I have one client that no matter how clearly I state on a monday what days I will be working always choses to send urgent requests on my days off and I always respond because that's me... I wonder if you could maybe look at doing four days a little differently though. Would it be possible to do four days over five days so that you start later and finish earliereach day and thus having longer in bed and less time in work? One thing I found that really helped my cause at work was the Access to Work assessment stating in writing to my boss my needs (I purposefully shared the report with him). Since then there has been no pressure to go into the office (my desk has been given to somebody else) and no pressure to squish in extra work except for my one client who can't understand my working hours. Instead there has been increased understanding of my situation and that's helped communications both ways. I know you started the process but as I recall there was a hiccup along the way and you stopped it. If possible I wonder whether that may help you with adhering to a workload suited to the hours you choose?

    One more suggestion - academic articles are best read earlier in the day. You should be tucked up asleep or resting at that time of night :wink:
    Hey little fighter, things will get brighter
  • dibdab
    dibdab Member Posts: 1,498
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Oh flippin heck!!!!!!!! Life is sometimes beyond the pale, sending hugs ((( )))). I know the reduction of hours is a tough decision, been there, done that, finally admitted defeat and took early retirement...but then I'm much older and greyer than you! :oops:

    Serously Sophie, only you know exactly how much you can deal with, try not to be a hero, and try to look after yourself, you really are worth it.

    A weekend of proper rest is perhaps what you need.....no studying, just 'me' time.

    Take care, Deb xx
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    You demand much of yourself and give much of yourself. That is to be commended but, honey, for sure your emotional and physical resources are finite. No-one is indispensable but some kind of balance must be achieved, yes? I have no wise words but I hope you can negotiate a path which suits you. ((( ))) DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • Numptydumpty
    Numptydumpty Member Posts: 6,417
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I'm really sorry to hear this Sophie. You have been so strong for so long. Please don't look on this as giving in, it's just tactics, for staying in the job you love and have worked so hard for.
    A trial period of a four day week does sound to be the way to go. You won't know unless you try :?
    I do hope things work out for you, you deserve a break!
    ((((())))) take care,
    Numpty
  • villier
    villier Member Posts: 4,426
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    ((((())))) Sophie haven't got much more to add you have sound advice there I hope a trial of four days a week works out for you I think it is the way to go, keeping fingers crossed for you xx
    Smile a while and while you smile
    smile another smile and soon there
    will be miles and miles of smiles
    just because you smiled I wish your
    day is full of Smiles
  • mermaid
    mermaid Member Posts: 104
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Sophie
    Lots of good advice above and really do empathise with you. You have remarkable determination, but you are only human.

    One thing - how are all these deficiencies and low levels being treated?

    I ask because when they discovered I was very low in B12 and diagnosed with pernicious anaemia I quickly received several B12 injections from my GP within two weeks and the level rose dramatically. They were repeated after 3 months. Lack of B12 can make you feel dreadful.

    Likewise my anaemia and very low haemoglobin were treated with an iron infusion (or two). Again a rapid rise with much improved quality of life. I was so breathless with an HB of 7.

    Vitamin D deficiency can be treated with supplements and again I was given fairly high dose to begin with and now take a maintenance dose of Fultium D3 which my rheumy says is the most effective form.

    Do hope you get some timely help with all this, you deserve a break.

    Take good care xx
  • Megrose489
    Megrose489 Member Posts: 779
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I can't add to all the good advice already given, but just to say that I feel for you and really hope that you are able to sort things out satisfactorily. Take care of yourself. ((())) Meg
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,720
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Top up time. (((())))
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Starburst
    Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Words don't seem adequate really.

    I lay awake until 1 am, worrying about work and decided I would return to work today. I awoke this morning, drenched in sweat and feeling dizzy. I have called in sick and advised that I may not be in until the middle of next week, at least. I feel an immense sense of relief and then cried some more. :roll:

    I saw emergency GP as I'm feeling really rather poorly. I have a temperature and flu-like symptoms. It might be from the tetanus jab but it could be an infection. I've been prescribed a strong dose of amoxicillin just in case.

    I'm not going to make any decisions about work until I'm physically a bit stronger.
  • theresak
    theresak Member Posts: 1,998
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    So sorry you are having such a tough time Sophie. I cannot really add to what others have written, but just send hugs and hope you feel better soon.
  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Fingers crossed the amoxicillin helps and I hope your pooch is now providing comfort rather than pain!
    I was thinking along similar lines to mermaid about whether the deficiencies could be treated quickly to help you feel a bit better. I know iron can be a bit tricky but the VitD should be fairly easy to sort with loading doses for a short while and then maintenance and monitoring. Won't necessarily have any obvious effect on how you feel but at least it would be one thing to cross off the list! (and you'd know you were making best use of the calcium in your diet)
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,720
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Starburst wrote:
    I'm not going to make any decisions about work until I'm physically a bit stronger.

    That, in itself, is an excellent decision. I hope the antibios help quickly.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • dibdab
    dibdab Member Posts: 1,498
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Waiting till you feel stronger seems like a good plan. Hope the meds do their stuff and you start to feel more human really soon.

    Deb xx
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I'm pleased that you are taking some time off work, I know it's not an easy decision but sometimes we just have to listen to our bodies and "give in" so to speak. I 'm also pleased to hear you are not rushing into any quick decisions about reducing your hours, it is a big decision and one you need to think through carefully. I took a good couple of months, discussed it with close friends and family as well as getting advice from my union before deciding and it was not easy, especially as I was aware there would be implications for my school.

    In the meantime, to avoid taking on too much and undoing any benefit of this time off, and while you are getting on top of everything physically, as well as mentally, have you considered asking your GP to put you on reduced hours for a while? I was on these for a few months before my op and it meant I was able to continue working with hours that were manageable for me, I ended up working 6 hours a day on alternate days, but also meant I remained on full pay and it was not counted as sick leave.

    I would try and see your regular GP if you can before you return to work and take advice, and more importantly follow it. It wasn't until my first day back at work last Friday, after my GP had insisted on signing me off for 4 weeks that I realised why he had done this and why he was concerned about me returning to work.

    Remember that ultimately you are doing no-one any favours, yourself, your employers or your clients, by trying to struggle on when you are not at your best, you have a stressful and demanding job.

    (((((()))))
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello, how are things going now? I hope you are feeling better in yourself and benefitting from resting. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,281
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello Sophie, I do hope the ABs are helping and you are being kind to yourself..((())) xx
    Love
    Barbara
  • Starburst
    Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thank you for checking in on me.

    I feel a bit disconnected from work at the moment. I was very anxious last week but I've realised that I won't recover if my brain is whirring at 100 miles an hour. My team's management are quite lax about picking up work when someone is on holiday or off sick, so it's stressful knowing that, when I return, things will be in a mess. However, I really can't work like this, so I've just accepted that I'll need to deal with a chaotic caseload when I am better.

    I'm planning on getting up tomorrow and seeing how I feel. I haven't made any decisions but ideally, being back at work for my supervision session on Wednesday would be useful. I've been seeing an excellent counsellor for a few months to help work through my anxiety, so I will discuss a plan with her tomorrow evening.

    I've been on vitamin B12 supplements and high dose vitamin D for just over 2 weeks now. I've had issues with the iron supplements because they flared up my stomach condition and caused me horrible pain. I've now got a syrup, so fingers crossed that I can tolerate this one. I keep meaning to phone rheum nurse to discuss the blood results and see if there's anything I can do to speed up the time it will take to build up the levels. I suspect it's the iron deficiency anaemia that's the real issue as my B12 is not that low whereas my ferritin is very, very low. I've had even lower vit D before and I've never felt this ill.

    Sorry this was a long ramble and now I need to lie down to recover which does not bode well for making it through a working day tomorrow. We shall see, I suppose.
  • mermaid
    mermaid Member Posts: 104
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello Starburst,

    When my Hb has been very low and ferritin near zero I was given iron infusions which had minimal impact on my dodgy tum and a much quicker result. It was prescribed and arranged in the day unit by my rheumy, but worth a mention to your GP or consultant, given how you are feeling?

    Wishing you much better and thinking of you. So glad you have an excellent counsellor to help you formulate a plan forward, sounds really helpful. xx
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,720
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hm. Doc SW's advice would be to get up and see how you feel but pre-plan only to go in if you're feeling distinctly better. Going back to a large backlog will require relatively high levels of fitness.

    (((())))
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Starburst
    Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    It looks like I shan't be returning to work for the next week at least. :? In the last few days, I've been back to the GP twice and traveled 20 miles to find a hospital in my local (ha!) area that could do urgent walk-in blood tests. The upshot is that I have an infection but where, it remains unclear. They've changed my antibiotics to much stronger ones and advised for me to return again on Friday. I'm having short bursts of feeling ok but then I am absolutely wiped out.

    I had planned annual leave next week and I had some really fun things arranged but this looks unlikely which is a shame. I'm feeling a tad sorry for myself but everyone is being very lovely and supportive, which is helping.

    Back to the sofa and daytime TV for me....!
  • dibdab
    dibdab Member Posts: 1,498
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Sorry to hear you have an infection, but at least you have a reason to feel yuk, and the promise of feeling better when it's gone :) (I've always been a glass half full kind :wink: ). If the new antibiotics are really strong you might want to think about trying to eat some live yoghurt each day to help the digestion......strong antibiotics can wipe out the useful flora in the gut, and live yoghurt goes some way towards replacing them.....since the RA damaged my lungs I've had lots of nasty and persistent chest infections and the resultant meds have given me all kinds of tummy upsets until a friendly nurse gave me the same advice.

    Hope you start to feel more human very soon.....in the meantime resume the duvet day strategy with no guilt feelings at all!!!!!!

    Deb xx
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Sorry to hear that, but glad that hopefully things will get a bit better once this infection is dealt with. In the meantime just take it easy and try to relax. Your body is clearly tellng you that you need a good rest.
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich