Week 18 was also the week I attempted a phased return to work. I’d had to attend a meeting at Occupational Health a few weeks before so they could make sure I wasn’t fibbing as I had been off for 13 weeks 😳. My mum had to drive me down and I sat in the waiting room with my (stolen) cardboard sick bowl! Safe to say the nurse was convinced I wasn’t at it.
My phased return involved starting on 4 hours, then adding an hour on each week until I was back to full time. I was nervous having been off for so long, and still feeling terrible, but looking forward to seeing colleagues. Surely work would take my mind off the HG? 😕 Having things to do will miraculously cure me or make me just forget…😏.
At home the most I’d exerted myself was walking down the stairs to let the dog out in to the back garden. Now I’d have to get up at the same time and wash…EVERYDAY 😳. I’d have to speak to people. This terrified me as I’d pretty much lived like a recluse for weeks on end. What if the art of conversation made the HG worse?!
I went back to work and most people, especially senior management were really nice and supportive. One person in particular, was not. I don’t think this person realised just how sick I was. After all, I’d returned to work so I must be fine right? I was in town at the weekend and read a plaque that said “don’t work so hard at making a living that you forget to make a life”. It reminded me of said unsupportive person 👎.
I really struggled back at work, especially adding that extra hour on each week. Most trips to the toilet involved waiting an extra 10 minutes just to make sure I wasn’t going to be sick. In the end the stress of worrying if I’d be able to go in each day and the lack of support from the individual mentioned beat me. My husband and I decided it was best I take the earliest maternity leave possible (11 weeks before my due date), but I ended up being so unhappy I also resigned.
The week I was due to finish was also the week I was due to stop my course of steroids. As I mentioned before, anything below 10mg and my body set off alarm bells so I ended up not being able to lift my head off the pillow and didn’t make it in. I dragged myself out of bed on the Friday and crawled in to work to clear my desk and say a few goodbyes. Then I left, in an unwashed, see through state….I felt so sick that I didn’t even care.
And so ended my employment. Without all that stress i’d start to improve and enjoy the rest of my pregnancy, right?