This morning has been another step towards getting back to work. I arranged an appointment with my GP, went in and saw that he had the fit note all filled out to say that I wasn’t fit for work. Well, I don’t like to be predictable, as you might have gathered by now, so to say that he was taken aback with the news that I was now in control of the pain and wanted to return to work, well it’s a bit of an understatement, though he did look thrilled, bless him.
I’m now in possession of a note which says that I am fit for a phased return and for amended duties, that I have difficulty standing, sitting and walking so I’m hoping that this will be enough for work to be able to start the wheels in motion for this phased return. I also have a Pain Management appointment next week in which they will be able to give me advice on pacing myself, managing the pain, medication and what alterations to the classroom will help. They will also write a supporting letter to confirm that I need a longer phased return than 4 weeks.
In all honesty, I don’t know how I feel about this. Part of me is HUGELY excited at the thought of getting back to work, seeing my colleagues and the pupils, feeling like I’m a part of society again. The rest of me is blooming petrified, it’s been nearly a year now since I last taught anything, I have visions of the children running amok, Lord of the Flies style, while I’m strapped to the chair, guarded by two minders brandishing plastic rulers as weapons, while the rest of the class runs riot, swinging from the blinds and dancing on the tables. I’ve even started to have dreams where I’m practising my behaviour management techniques and reprimanding children. I’d much prefer to be dreaming about Eric out of the Southern Vampire mysteries series, that would be infinitely preferable…In any case, mixed feelings but tinged with excitement.
A part of me feels, however, that this is going to be the beginning of a new journey, filled with new challenges and obstacles and I feel weary at the thought of having to go through all of this again in a work setting, however it’s also a new beginning. A new chapter of my life, living with a disability and setting (hopefully!) a good example (or I could be a horrible warning, who knows?) to the children I teach. One of the best quotes I’ve heard was at my Pain Management course and it’s one that I try and remind myself most days. It was said by someone who is paraplegic and an athelete, I can’t find the exact quote online but it was along these lines “There are millions of things that you can do in this world, and only a handful of them I can’t do because of my disability.” I always think that if he could be that positive, then so can I.