Throwing in the towel! A letter…

Dear Minimalist Sometimes and friends!

Yeah, I know… I know I’ve been completely out of touch lately. I bet you’ve been wondering if I dropped of the face of the earth, considering my spotty writing performance lately. Well, I’m still here 🙂

I’m really sorry I’ve been out of touch, but there is a reason.. I’m not saying it’s necessarily a “good” reason (even though I think so), but there is a reason nonetheless! Anyhow, there has been stuff going on that have occupied my mind a lot, and unfortunately there haven’t been much “energy” left over for the fun things like hanging out with the blogging community.

You see, a little while back, I had to make a decision, a decision that will affect the rest of my life!

Yeah I know, that sounds really dramatic, don’t it? I guess it’s not really that dramatic (in the big picture of things), but to me it’s been major!

Let me get you up to speed!

Remember I wrote last year about taking a couple of months hiatus from work, for health reasons? And how that two months turned into 6 months before I started back up at work January this year? I told about starting slow, first 10%, then 20% from about mid February, and how my plan was to continue to step it up to 30, 40, 50…

But….

Not so much, I’m afraid…  A few weeks back, my plan took a nosedive, straight into the ground.

Let me tell you a little non related story: When I was about 17 or 18, I was out biking, in shorts, since the weather was great. I was going down a long hill, picking up speed, not a care in the world, because I was having a great day. At the bottom of the hill there was a steep turn that I just flew through, not realising there was a bunch of gravel on the ground and that I really, really should have slowed down! Next thing I knew, I slammed into the ground and skid so hard that by the time my body stopped sliding, I had gravel in places I don’t want to mention 😉 And I think I remember not having much skin left on my left side either. Let me just say, I was not a pretty sight, by the time I finally managed to pick myself off the ground 😉

A few weeks back, I mentally slammed into the ground, just like I physically did on that bike, years back. It all happened, when we (my doctors and me), or rather I, realized that my health was not quite where we had hoped and wanted it to be.

“Realizing” this is one thing, making the decisions that naturally would follow such realization, is a whole other ball game, trust me!

It’s been 5 years since this “story” started. During these years, while I’ve been working (any % between full and nil you can imagine) I have done all sorts of “weird and wonderful” treatment, to try to get healthy enough to get back to 100% work. I really focused on treatments during my hiatus last year, in hope that a break and extensive treatments would work out.

I’ve been so focused on getting back to work,  that I have never really stopped to think about if getting back to work, really was the best thing for me, health wise.

Work is and have always been a really important part of my life (I live and breath for it). I love my job, and I love hanging out with my colleagues. And having to make a decision that will have such a permanent affect on my current life, and not to mention the rest of my life, has not been an easy thing to do.

But, I’ve decided to throw in the towel when it comes to work! So that I can focus/use what energy I DO have on getting my health as good as I possibly can, and maybe have a little extra left over for me.

It seems like (I have found, during my conversations these last weeks), that what I have finally figured out (yeah, I’m a bit slow on the uptake), my doctors, specialist and even my representative at NAV (Norwegian Labour and welfare administration) seem to have figured out a while back. But since I’m the ever optimist, and have had such a drive to get back to work, they have not pushed their conclusions, they have waited for me to figure it out on my own.

It’s been 3 weeks since my meeting with HR, my boss, the company health department and the union, where I told them, that my doctors and I had concluded, that I needed to go back to 100% sick leave, and that I would apply for disability pension.

Just like I’m quite shocked that this would be the result, I think they got a bit surprised as well, especially since I’ve been so optimistic that I would beat this illness and get back to work.

It’s taken me days to write this letter/post (not to mention weeks) as I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around that this would be the end result after 5 years of struggle.

I’m under no circumstances stopping treatments and focusing on getting healthy, it’s the work part of my life I’ve decided I’m leaving behind.

And it’s tough! I still get a bit teary-eyed, thinking about it. I’ve worked for my company for 32 years and it’s going to be hard to leave.

So, what now?

For now, while I’m waiting for the results of my application (which might take a few months). I will continue to focus on my health with treatments, workouts and rest.

And hopefully, if the weather holds, you’ll find me in the garden – we all know, how I love tinkering around out there 🙂 And knowing me, since I’m a bit of a restless soul, I’m sure a small “project” or two will pop out of the woodwork at some stage  – I get awfully “creative” when I have a little time on my hands 😉

And later?

I don’t yet have all the answers on that, but I’m sure I’ll figure some things out in the months to come.

So stay tuned and I’ll let you know, as I find it out 😉

With love, Anne Lene

 

Finally back at work… sort off!

As some of you know, about half a year ago I made a decision to take a two month hiatus from work, for health reasons.

My neurologist and me, had made a 5 month plan, where the focus was on treatments, rest, exercise and a slow reintroduction back at work. I’m not sure if you remember my “wonderful” plan:

5 month plan

From the headline of this post, you can probably gather, that things didn’t quite go according to my original plan. Turns out my two month hiatus turned into 6 month off work!

We can have the best intentions, but sometimes there is no rushing the body, it seems to take it’s own time, regardless of what we want! And that’s pretty much why this has taken much longer than I thought it would do.

So what’s been going on, these 6 months;

Medications:
I followed my original plan when it came to medication and that seemed to kick-start my body into getting a little better.

Workouts:
Have not gone according to plan, at all! For some reasons the treatment I started, aggravated an inflammation in my hip early July, and I’m still struggling with it (going in for an MRI on the 19th) so it kinda put a dent into my workout plan. I have done walks and stuff, but no gym 😦

Treatments:
I’ve done extensive treatments these last 6 months. As I’ve earlier mentioned, I started going to an osteopath. Turns out I ended up switching between two, since they did different things.. as one have specialized in cranial osteopathy.

To be frank with you, the progress has been excruciating slow, and my original osteopath actually had to throw in the towel. But I have continued to work with the one that does cranial manipulation, and he is still hanging in there 😉 and during the last few weeks, we are finally seeing some good progress.

A couple of months into my hiatus, my neurologist and me decided it was time to try medical Botox. It’s a know treatment for people that suffers with chronic migraines (you can read about it here), and we decided that maybe it would be worth a try for my 24/7 tension headache/migraines. It’s a treatment you take every three months and I was really lucky and got an appointment quick. My first round of medical Botox I got early September, and my second treatment I had just a month ago, in early December.

It seems like that second treatment is actually doing something for me! 🙂  As my osteopath treatments is having much better effect than ever before. My daily basis headache (the one that is present 24/7 – yes that’s, 24 hours a day, every day) has gotten better and better, to the point where this is the best it’s been since August 4th, 2010. And my migraine attacks seems to have reduced some as well the last couple of weeks. Woohoo!!!

So I might finally be on the mend 😉

And therefore, I think it’s time to get back to work (been kind of antsy to get back)!

My neurologist on the other hand, wants us to reap the benefits of me feeling better, a little longer before I get “hot and heavy” at work again, and she didn’t really want me back quite yet. So we compromised 🙂

Tomorrow I will start back at work, but only one half day a week! Yes I know, sound puny, but that was all she would allow me to do. And it gives me a chance to clear my mailbox, say hello to people, catch up a little with what’s going on, and get to know my new department (we were reorganized as of January 1st).

Then in 5 weeks time (February 16th), I will start work two half days a week, and do that until I have seen my neurologist again, end of March.

And hopefully by then I will have had even more progress with my osteopath, and maybe if I’m lucky, even had a day or two without a headache? My world, wouldn’t that be grand 🙂

So you can see, this is slow going. But guess that’s always the way isn’t it, there really is no rushing it. It’s probably taken a long time to get bad, and it needs a long time to get good.

In hindsight I do realise, I should have not pushed my body as much as I did. When I originally started feeling bad early 2010, I should have taken it easy right out of the bat, instead of what I did, which was to continue to work as hard as I could. If I had know then, what I know now… sheesh… I would have taken 6 months of right away… and maybe never have ended up in all the trouble of the last 4,7 years…

So if you are out there, struggling with health problems! Listen to what the body is trying to tell you! Slow down! Take care of yourself! Your health is the most important thing in your life… without it… well we all know how that goes!

And here I am, about to start work again, if ever so slowly! And this time around, I HAVE to be better at paying attention…

PS:
nite to self