When is it time to go back to work after methylpred?

This methylpred has knocked me around a bit more than expected… I had it last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (a gram a day, baby!) and it is now Wednesday of the following week. A full week has passed since my first infusion.

The initial side effects were insomnia, restlessness, energy highs and lows, general indecisiveness and vagueness, an overall feeling of just not feeling like myself… Appetite effects were only realised by me later in the week (an “Ah-ha!” moment of realising why nothing took my fancy even though I knew I was hungry).

Now, I’ve been putting up with a bit of vertigo every now and then (see last post) and mostly have just been absolutely whacked of energy. I had a headache for most of the day yesterday and, even though I stayed on the couch or my bed for most of the afternoon, it progressed rather than eased. I finally relented and took a pain relief tablet at about 4pm. I got a bit of energy from the enjoyment of preparing a basic dinner for my boyfriend, one of my housemates and my friend who lives across the road but who is bunking here for a few days. It was a nice evening.

Today, I have not had a definite headache, but have had the hint of one… I walked around the corner to the shops as my outing for sanity’s sake, and then stayed on the couch for the rest of the afternoon watching the movies that I’d hired (then she found me – a really good drama starring Helen Hunt, Colin Firth, Matthew Broderick and Bette Midler – and Alvin and the Chipmunks … what can I say, I grew up with them on Saturday mornings in the 80s!) I felt spaced out by the time I got back from my stroll (its not a long walk) and still feel a bit odd in the head when I move about. Writing this blog entry is taking a decent amount of concentration.

So, am I ready to go back to work tomorrow? Part of me says yes. Part of me thinks I’m not “sick” so I shouldn’t be at home. I probably am capable of doing some work in the office. I think…

Then again… if a drive to the shops on Tuesday night or a walk around the corner today tired me out, how do I expect to do work after a drive to campus and the walk to my building? Even when I’ve been cruising the web and checking my emails at home, my mind reaches a point where it just can’t take any more words on the screen.

But is this a cop out? Am I really up to work? … a half a day, at least? Or am I just being lazy? Or worried..?

My hesitation at not staying home longer is that I know that the longer I am away, the more concerned people will be about the severity of my absence. Its not as easily explained away as having been away with a cold or the flu for just a few days. Many of my colleagues know that I have MS because of the fundraising that I did for the MS Society three or so years ago, culminating in the bike ride around Mongolia in 2006. I don’t want people to know why I have been away, but I know that a number of my colleagues probably do (because they know of my MS, and my boss has relayed via a phone call that at least one person is “really concerned” about me. His secretary had symptoms of pins and needles etc., so I can only assume that the conversation then included the truth of my absence last week, which is okay by me with regard to this particular colleague and the friendship that we have).

Essentially, I don’t want the pity. I don’t want the “That’s too bad!” or “You poor thing!” response. I want to downplay it, because that is the easiest thing to do sometimes this time. It is a step towards taking back some privacy with regard to this thing that I have… Then again, I usually advocate talking openly about MS! I talk about it all the time because people need to know more about MS and support research into MS more. I get cranky at my boyfriend’s father who tends to have a “We don’t need to talk about that” attitude to it! I think I just want to move on from this episode…and get back to the place where there was less proximity to an episode in my talking about it. I’d like to return to the space where it was mostly just a hypothetical and I only remember that I have MS every second day when the Rebif injection ends my day.
So, aside from the answer to whether or not I’m ready to go back to work (I think I am actually still in space cadet land…), I need to be okay with being non-specific to concerned and caring colleagues about my “illness” for the past two weeks. I need to be okay with saying “I’ve been a bit unwell and spent a bit of time recuperating and now that I’m back at work I’d rather not dwell on it.” I need to be okay with laying on the couch for another day or two and letting my brain recover…

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~ by pincushiondiary on October 8, 2008.

One Response to “When is it time to go back to work after methylpred?”

  1. Just caught up with your blog. For months NOTHING and then six hundred posts all at once. You should stay home more often. Hehe. I am glad you’re feeling better though. Sucks being sick and unable to do anything. My back regularly renders me useless for days on end. Anyhoo… no more tippling for you!

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