It’s been a wee while since I last updated, mainly due to trying to hold down a full time job with all of the difficulties that crop up. I managed to make it to the Summer holidays in more or less one piece and am now recovering before starting a push to improve my stamina before I go back to work in September.
Largely, if I was asked to sum up the last three months with one word, it would be “difficult.” I can’t tell you how much I wish it was jackpot (not that I’m dreaming of winning the lottery…much). It has been difficult adapting to full time teaching with the amount of pain I am in, and accepting that, for me, energy is less of an abstract concept as it was prior to the accident, but more tangible. Pacing myself has become central to managing the pain at work, I lose count of the times when the pain ramps up to unbearable levels but these days I know, even when it’s unbearable, that I can manage it.
I know that sometimes people, especially colleagues, don’t quite believe that I can be in as much pain as I am and can want to work but it has helped greatly with my sense of worth and with the Depression. I feel that I have a purpose and that I am useful, something that eluded me when I was off work.
The other word I’d use to describe the past 3 months is “rewarding.” I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed teaching again. I have found that the skills required to help me to manage the pain are incredibly transferable and I have more patience than I had before, allowing me to develop a better rapport with the pupils. I have been astounded by the generosity of spirit that the pupils have shown; opening doors, nudging their friends out of the way in case I get jostled, picking things up off the floor when I (frequently) drop them. (Oh the irony, I was teaching a Year 8 class the meaning of “maladroit” (clumsy), trying to act out the meaning so that they could guess what it was (a bit difficult when you’re sat on an office chair,. but I couldn’t back out of a challenge) the other week, when I dropped my walking stick, got it wedged under the office chair and sat there chuckling at my own clumsiness. Luckily the children saw the joke too.)
So, this leads us to the Summer holidays and I, for one, am very grateful to have reached this point. The enormity of what I have achieved hit home yesterday when I had a Pain Management review, where they took me back to the sheets I’d filled in on the first week of the course where I’d written my long term goal was to get back to work, but I didn’t have a hope in hell of achieving this. That was written eight and a half months ago. They highlighted how it really was a huge turn around and how it was down to my tenacity. I have had to accept my restrictions in a number of areas, I’m currently scoring E-Bay for a wheelchair so that we can go out over the Summer and Mr D is still doing everything for me but I do feel, increasingly, that I’m getting my life back to normal. While the pain remains, I am determined to live my life as normally as possible, the next big goal is to get back to horse riding. Well, you can’t say that I don’t have ambitions, even if they are a tad unrealistic at times 😉