A new obstacle course

Yesterday was my first official day back at work – I am allowed to work the hours of 10am to 3pm this week for two days and building up over the next two months.  What was fascinating is that as my world is slowly getting bigger again how difficult it is to make adjustments.

When I am in the house I am able to get around doing most of my daily activities as I have been making adjustments for them for the last 2 1/2 months so I don’t even think about hanging washing out, or getting something out of the oven – I automatically do it with my left hand.  A learnt behaviour, just like driving.

Yesterday though was a whole new obstacle course. I didn’t have to battle with the barrier to get in as I have been given a ‘disability pass’ ( imagine how that makes me feel) so that I can park at the front of the building. To get into the building you have to swipe ( card reader on the left) and open the door with your right arm. However, the doors are too heavy and as I am not allowed to push, pull or lift I cannot open the door with my right hand, and wouldn’t have the strength even if I wanted to. So for me it is swipe with left hand and quickly pull the door with left hand and whilst I am sure it is a movement that I will get accustomed to it was a little awkward.

Then the desk – I have to lean over the desk to plug in my laptop and all the connections are the right hand side where I can’t reach. The pen pot is on the right where I can’t reach ( not that I can write at the moment). At home I have an Apple mouse so have been easily able to use it with my left hand, but the one at work is contoured for the right hand so uncomfortable to use.

I went into a meeting and was carrying my briefcase in my left hand so went to take a swig of water out of a bottle using my right hand – but couldn’t do it as I couldn’t reach up –  to the bemusement of others in the meeting.

I had forgotten that we walk round the building carrying books, laptops, folders etc and pull open doors on our way. Tricky with one arm.

Because I look fit and healthy from the outside no one is really aware of the discomfort and awkwardness I felt. Add on to this the emotional drain of having to relive the accident and injury repeatedly as everyone is very concerned and kindly inquires after my health, and the mental challenge of using my brain after 10 weeks and it is no wonder I am exhausted.

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