Many have asked (thank you!) how I’m doing now, three weeks after returning to work, following 12 weeks off for recovery from sepsis and its resulting liver damage.
When you get to a certain point in adulthood you may think you know it all about your body. Oh that tickle in my throat means I’m getting a cold. Or my trick knee aches – a storm is coming! Now I have a completely new experience to add to my knowledge base; the way my over-taxed liver makes me feel. It’s fatigue with a dull ache in the mid-section as well as a complete disinterest in eating, moving or thinking. A nap comes on like flicking a switch! That doesn’t cover it, really, but it’s the best I can do to explain it.
My return to work has been, on the surface, pretty smooth. In week one I think I was running on pure adrenaline and my dial was turned up to 11. It was just such a relief and a joy to be back among the working world, to have the IV out of my arm and to feel normal. I dropped for a nap every afternoon but I made it through the days with just a blip or two of fatigue.
Week two was rough. The liver is a funny thing. Funny strange, not funny ha-ha. When it gets to its limit a simple nap or even a night’s sleep isn’t necessarily enough to rejuvinate it. On Wednesday morning I woke up feeling as wrung out and icky as I had felt on Tuesday night but I carried on and was grateful for the short week.
This past week was better. It took until Friday for me to feel how I felt last Wednesday. That’s progress! I’ve done some research about my particular condition and this is perfectly normal. It’s also why my surgeon told me explicitly to start back with part-time hours – which do not exist when you host a radio show. He also suggested I take two more weeks off before going back to work and I balked at that. How much longer could I just sit around, feeling useless? In other words, things are going as expected and week by week I’m getting my mojo back.
During my first week back a first cousin of my cousins (on the other side of their family) died from exactly what I had. You may recall that I had a doctor and others wrongly tell me I had the flu. She was an RN and misdiagnosed herself the same way, not getting to the hospital until it was too late. It was very sad and needless and it brought the whole thing back for me in technicolour. I came “that” close. And I’m overwhelmingly grateful that my story has a happy ending.