Working with Chronic Pain (Part 3)

If you have been reading my “Working with Chronic Pain” posts you’ll know from PART 2 that I now work from home.  I have been working from home now since January 2015 after returning to work from my last surgery.  “Work from home” I hear you say – wow she has a cushty number there!  When you say you work from home, everyone’ s reaction is to automatically presume that all you do all day is sit and watch TV, nip to the shops, do your housework, and whatever else you feel like, basically anything other than actually working.  Maybe that is the case for some people, but not for me.

I see myself being able to work from home as a second chance and a way to prove that I can still do my job, no matter where im located.  Just because I am at home, doesnt mean Im not working, infact i actually get more work done at home than i would in the office, which is slightly strange!  I guess though there are not as much distractions at home as there are in the office, which is a good thing, but not always.

When I started working, i never ever imagined that in 14 years time I would be working from home, back then working from home didnt happen, it was never even really thought about.  But now, i am greatful that the idea did come up, and people do work from home, if they didnt I wouldnt be working.

Dont get me wrong, being at home isnt all sunshine and roses, there are drawbacks.  I work every day in my spare bedroom downstairs in my house, which means i only have to come down the stairs to work, no traffic jams there!  I work from 8am till 1pm, and take as much breaks as i can every day.  Sometimes I need to take more breaks than the previous day, but it just depends on my pain that day.  Being able to get up and move around without everyone looking at you and wondering where you are going, is great, I can please myself when I do it and not disturb anyone with my sighs and moans when I cant get out of the seat!

I do however get lonely being here on my own, knowing everyone else is working 40 miles away from me and talking to each other, going to lunch or grabbing a coffee together, that is something I do really miss.  Although i have my cats, they arent quite the same as human contact!  I guess thats something that I have to deal with, and im still dealing with, its still strange!  I still speak to all my friends and colleagues at work through messenger software, which to me is a life line, I would be lost without it now!  Instant contact in a click!

One of the things that I find hard to deal with (maybe one day i will work out how to solve it) is I find it hard to switch off when Im finished work for the day.  Seeing as my “Desk/Office” is in my house, and I have to walk past the door every time I am downstairs, I often think, “I should have done this, or that”, or “I better write that down for tomorrow”, or “maybe I’ll just check my emails”.  I have to learn to try and switch off, when I’m finished work, I need to finish work and leave it for the day.  I’ve always been the person that can’t leave anything undone, I have to complete a task before I can stop working, but I also have to realise sometimes, that isn’t possible.  Something I need to work on for sure!  

I’m grateful for the chance to work from home, but also for people to understand that, I’m not as fit and able as I once was, and that just getting out of bed nowadays is a struggle, but if I wasn’t working, I wouldn’t get out of bed, so I guess you could say, I’m grateful for the chance to keep my daily routine. I have to get out of bed, shower, have breakfast and start work, it keeps me going, keeps me human, keeps me sane.

I do hope that one day I will be able to return to working at the office, to be able to claw back some some of who I once was, to feel normal again. But for now I have to concentrate on the here and now, I cannot let myself focus on the future too much, I have to take it one day at a time, and pace myself, otherwise I set my self up for failure, disappointment and heartbreak.

One day I might just be my normal self again.  One day……

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