Monday, January 8, 2007

Take care of yourself. Please.

I love that now when I see people for the first time since my injury, they like to tell me that they thought of me as they were getting on a ladder to do a repair over the weekend. It's never, "Oh, I was touching myself yesterday and I thought about you" or "Hey! I was just thinking last night that I want to give a random friend some money, and I thought of you!"


But I can take it.

What I am having a harder time with is getting settled back into work. Last week was harsh. Going back to work was tough in so many ways, emotionally and physically. I just felt so damned fragile. On the verge of tears a lot. Just like all hysterical women, right?

The first day back was nice and gentle. Everyone was so sweet. They even had a little Welcome Back breakfast for me, which I really appreciated. It was so good to see everyone. So many smiling, supportive faces. People were very careful to be gentle with me and to give me space. But as the week wore on, that quickly faded. This is a business, after all, so you can hardly blame the office. And I look fine on the outside. So why wouldn't anyone think I'm okay? I tried to be Ms. Superwoman way too quickly. Tried to act fine, work fine, laugh fine and take on as much of a workload as I did when I was young and spry and not broken. It quickly caught up with me. I started to feel all sorts of aches and pains again and was so tired by day's end. Still, I told myself I could take it. What an idiot. I have nobody to blame but myself.

My boss was so great about being understanding and looking out for me, but the point is, if you don't speak up, nobody is going to read your mind. I was miserable all week. Granted, it was a particularly crazy time to come back--lots of new business pitches and people being sick with the flu and our staff being incredibly short-handed. But I only took all of that to feel more guilty for somehow not being back on top of my game yet.

The good news is, I'm over it. I took the weekend to cry it out and talk about it with my sister and a few trusted and dear friends, and regained some much-needed perspective on things. Since when do you put work before your health well-being? I know, all the time, right? But I'm here to remind you that it's not right, and life is too short. After a potentially disastrous and life-altering experience, it's crazy how quickly I fell back into old patterns of not taking care of myself and trying to take on too much, too fast. I thought I'd be different, but the truth is, I tried to force everything back to normal overnight. Well, it's not back to normal. How could it be? So why act like it is.

I'm going to give myself some time and space to adjust and be fragile and slowly fall back into life again. My insecurities are going to have to wait. It's now or never to smell the roses.


lara said...

note to self: next time I touch myself...

carlos said...

I came out of my halo on Friday, 2 weeks early. Went through many of the same things. Now I get fatigued fairly quickly again, more so than I did in the last days of the halo. Doing a little light duty, work-wise, but that's about it. Also, I get to wear one of those hard plastic collars around most of the time and a soft one when I sleep. Still it's a lot more freedom than the crown of thorns.

Anonymous said...

I hear ya!

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you check this anymore. I have been trying to talk to people that have been through the halo experience. My children and I were in a car accident in June 07, they both have c2 fractures and are in halos. My son is 3 1/2 (that's what he says even though he is almost 4) and my daughter is only 20 months old. I'm just trying to get a better idea of what they are going through and how I can help them... our email is, please email if you get this. Thanks - Lauren