Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Thanks, Thanks and No Thanks!

Last Friday, when I first started my blog I had no idea how popular it would be. I've had so many messages, emails and tweets from people who have thanked me for helping them understand, for teaching them about something they've never heard of and for making them think differently about invisible illness. So, my first 'Thanks' goes to all you readers, celebs and people who retweeted, posted links and even included my posts on some of their online newspapers!! 

My second 'Thanks' goes to my partner, Rob. Over the last year things have been tough for both of us. I was a nitemare to live with when I was pregnant and being constantly in pain, I wasn't much fun to be around. I was an absolute dick if i'm honest. Hormones, depression and chronic pain mixed with lack of sleep turned me into Superbitch.

When I eventually got my diagnosis in April and after reading up on it, I tried to educate Rob on what the condition was all about. He obviously never took it all in as anytime I'd mention something else that was wrong with me i'd get 'Your never well' or 'Your always tired' or 'All you do is COMPLAIN!' Not very supportive comments, I know. 

This wasn't all the time though. He helped out loads with the baby, especially bath time. I've still never bathed my baby by myself as I just don't have the strength to hold him over the bath and my back aches far too much. The one time I did try I ended up letting him slip and I panicked and hurt myself trying to get him back up. Luckily Rob was in the house to take over from my uselessness.

Bobby's first ever bath - absolutely hated it!

My illness has caused many arguments in this house and with the divorce rate among the chronically ill being over 75% something needed to be done asap. We get married in 4 weeks and I didn't want to start married life with the stats piling against us.

The turning point came last weekend, after I wrote my first two posts. I asked him to read them to see what he thought. 


The posts really got to him. I don't think he had any idea what it was like for me, even though I did tell him, he must have thought I was just moaning about nothing! I think he was trying to ignore that fact that I'm ill so that everything would just appear to be normal, or it would disappear. 

I've got news for ya!! This is not going to disappear anywhere anytime soon! 

We had eventually talked about it! 

After nearly a year of me being really bad. He told me he had got angry or annoyed when I was having bad days as he couldn't do anything to help or stop the pain, not because he was annoyed with me. He used to compare his 'hard days at work' to my days lying around at home, not realising how physically drained I always feel and that just staying home looking after a baby  on my days off is just as tiring for me as it is when i'm in work.  

Now he has an understanding of HMS things have been SO much better.

I've had so many extra spoons these past 5 days it's been unreal! After a lovely apology for not listening sooner and not being as supportive as he could have been, the help I've getting at home has been amazing. Just by cooking the tea, washing the dishes and doing a few extra night feeds than normal I've been able to rest up that little bit extra. It may seem nothing to you but it makes a massive difference to me.

So 'Thanks' Rob - Thanks for reading my Blog, understanding, supporting, helping and being there for me even through all my moaning, crying and just generally being useless.

Me and my two boys.
As I already mentioned in From the Start, I'm back to work full time now. I've been back just over a month and it's not goin well. In fact its killing me. 

You would have thought as i'd had such problems with mobility before I had the baby and my role is quite physical that they might have asked me was I actually OK to return to work. 

As I went straight onto maternity leave from sick leave someone decided to just fill in a Return to Work form saying that i'd be fit!! I was never asked was I capable of doing my duties? Was I alright driving 20 mile home late at night when I would be fatigued and dosed up on Tramadol and Naproxen? 

I managed to get through two weeks and then I had to ring in sick. I couldn't move out of bed and the tablets just weren't making any difference. I wasn't prepared to attempt to drive with weak legs  just to go and sit around at work in pain. 

On the Return to Work form I had to fill in for the day I missed, I stated I wanted to been referred to Occupational Health, something that should have been done before I even came back to work.

My request was sent off. In the mean time I seen my GP. She gave me a note stating that I 'May' be fit for work. It listed suggestions, e.g. avoiding late shift patterns, light duties and number of hours worked. I handed it in. It was put in my file and nothing was changed or even mentioned. I continued to work late and still doing the same role. 

After not hearing from Occupational Health a week after my request was sent off, I decided to ring them myself. I was given an appointment for the next day. Not hard eh? 

They were as much use as a wet paper bag. He didn't know what to suggest to make work easier for me and keep me in employment even though my Dr's note was right in front of him with the suggestions wrote on!

I'm now waiting on the report being sent to me so I can agree/disagree with anything that is on there before it goes back to my manager. I wouldn't be surprised if it had something along the lines of ''We'll give Stacey a new office chair to help with her HMS''  IDIOTS!

This last month has made me ill! I felt I was getting better before I went back to work. I'd imagine going back to work would be hard for anyone after having a baby but for me it's been unbearable. To be on your feet for most of an 8 hour shift and have to be responsible for everyone in the building was hard enough when I was coping with a much lower pain level never mind when i'm in agony, fatigued and trying to hop around with a walking stick! 

My 2 days off a week are now spent in bed or lying around the house trying rest up before the next shift. You can imagine how enthusiastic my partner is about pushing myself through shifts just to come home and be an absolute cabbage! It's like my work life is coming before my family life at the minute and I need to be capable and fit enough to look after my son. 

Something needs to change and it needs to change quickly!

So in conclusion, the last 'Thanks' or should I say 'No Thanks' goes to my employers for not doing their job properly, not following and ignoring policies and procedures and making my condition worse than it was before therefore delaying my recovery! 

The hunt for a more regular, less physical and closer to home job continues!! Any offers would be gladly accepted and more than likely considered! lol 

Stacey xx

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