One of the many things about this experience that makes me laugh is how little I knew about operations, hospitals, recovery and absolutely everything. Before the op, when I was talking to my bosses, I genuinely thought that one week off work would be completely sufficient and even that would have me pacing around my mum’s place with boredom! My justification was that the operation was on Tuesday, I then had Wed, Thurs, Fri to ‘chill’ and the weekend to prep for coming back to work. Makes total sense, right?
What the sweet baby J was I thinking? I think I realised that I wouldn’t be going back to work quickly on the second day of being at home. When the anaesthesia depression hit me. When I remembered that I had actual cuts in my flesh. When I tried walking and didn’t find it that easy and when I realised that I didn’t like stairs.
Quite what the walking and stairs had to do surgery on my boob and underarm, I do NOT know, but believe me, it was all very real, and I was very, very feeble.
When I emailed my bosses, it was SHOCKING (and very amusing with hindsight) how quickly they came back with various forms of understanding, kindness and mockery. They were just waiting. So was my mum, so were my friends. It was just me that was the muppet who didn’t have a clue.
On the first day back to work, I was both excited and nervous. It was strange. I almost felt like a new girl again, and this was my real first day at the company! I’ve had two week holidays before, so do know what it’s like to be away for that long, but I think I felt like there something new and different about me as well. There was less of me for sure. I’d like to say it was a difference in weight, but bearing in mind that I NEVER lose my appetite and also that the lump removed was only a centimetre in diameter, I can’t say that I was ‘physically’ a new person.
I needn’t have worried. The first day back was BRILLIANT! Everyone was caring, and I just chatted the whole day away with an endless trail of people coming up to say hello and ask about the operation, etc. I have to say that I thoroughly loved being the centre of attention and had no shame in that. It was fabulous. Also, not much work was expected of me, so that was like a holiday. I had, of course, been doing email for a good few days before coming back full-time, so there wasn’t much to catch up on. Thank you, Blackberry.
I was wiped out with fatigue by the middle of the afternoon and so sloped off a little early. Tired, but very pleased to be back with the gang. Slept for England that night and found it terribly hard to get up the next day all the while thinking, “How the HELL do people get up to go to work every day before 7 to be in London for about 9ish?”.
The first week was pretty much the same, with people forgetting about the absence towards the end of the week. Was I more crotchety and grumpy than normal that week? Who knows? There would be plenty in the office that would have some firm opinions on my moods during that particular programme, and they *might* have some justification. I can’t possibly comment!
On Friday night, there was a joint birthday celebration at some bar and the beginning of the day, I was looking forward to it. Another step towards normality – me, being able to go out socially without a care in the world.
Except. Except for the unbelievable fatigue. Un-be-lievable. By 5 pm, if I could have gotten away with sneaking off home, I would have. When I say ‘gotten away with’, who was stopping me at this point? Yes. It was me. Determined to be normal and ‘fit’ and the usual Fear Of Missing Out syndrome, I just had to be there and be involved.
Got to the bar, got sat down somewhere and instantly wanted to go home. Like, instantly. Got a drink. Wasn’t standing up chatting like the rest of the crew. Was just acting like and old, old granny. No-one was sitting down and talking to me. Why the hell would they? This was Friday night, letting off steam, celebrating birthdays. The attention wasn’t meant to be on me. I think I was a bit miffed at that, deep, deep down. Plus, I was genuinely so fatigued that I could have cried.
I snuck out at about 7 pm, and no-one noticed. Got home. Straight to bed. Slept for 12 hours.