Saturday 17 August 2013

Double Life

Hello everyone =] Hope you're all enjoying your weekend. I finished my first week of work! (Having thought up until a couple of days before that the paperwork wouldn't be ready in time)

As I'm a 50/50 jobshare I worked the longest stretch I will be working (Weds, Thurs, Fri and then Mon, Tues) and I survived.

It comes at a cost though. I knew it would, I knew what I was getting into - but it's really strange. At work I may look disabled - what with the wheelchair and everything - but I don't look sick.

People don't see me in the evenings when I get home and I'm too tired to hold my own head up, or I get drooly from 'stroke face', or I rock my own personal blend of dysarthria and dysphasia, or I faint mid sentence. They don't see that I've spent the last two days lying flat because my pelvis is (sorry if this is a complicated medicalism that goes over your head) utterly buggered or that my joints are all over the place because my muscles are worn out.

I mean, obviously they don't. My health stuff isn't my patients' or colleagues' business. It's just very strange. It feels a bit like I'm pretending somehow. Sometimes the adrenaline carries me through and pretty much as soon as I leave the ward I'm on the point of collapse. I wonder if they wonder why I'm part time because when I'm there I am (wheelchair aside) no different to my colleague. Or, am I kidding myself - does the wheelchair make me look sick to them anyway? I just don't know.

I don't suppose it matters in the scheme of things and I am *so* grateful to have started (even if I did write TWENTY discharges on Monday), but it's driven home just how different an experience of this I'm going to have to the people I work with. I know that people get beyond tired during FY1 and that it is not without a lot of payback for even healthy full timers, but this is different. It's also a bit weird because the ward I'm on most of the patients are pretty healthy as it's mostly elective surgery. I loosely judge the complexity of a patient's case based on how many medications they take in comparison to me (not in any official or serious way) and there's only been one patient on more meds so far.

In part this year will be an experiment. Rather than pacing activity on a day by day basis (balancing energy expenditure over the day) I'm moving to a doing more for a couple of days and totally resting another couple of days. I'm not entirely sure what this will be like physically, but for now it seems to involve this double life, this seeming normality and then the payback.