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Welcome to Paul and Tracy's main blog. Here you can keep track of what we've been up to, and join us on our adventures.

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Monday, June 1, 2009


Back to Work!!

Normally going to work is hardly a reason to break out the champagne and celebrate, but today is different. Today, Tracy returned to work for the first time in almost 2 years! The last time she was in work she was saying "Goodbye" before we set off on our proposed 4-week motorcycle holiday to Eastern Europe, a trip that ended after just 2 weeks with Tracy spending the next 22 months recovering sufficiently to return to work. And today, she did.

In her own words:

"With the 1st of June being agreed as my return date a month ago, I had, what I thought was plenty of time to get use to the idea of ‘going back’. These last four weeks have flown by, the last week spent, finding my uniform and dusty shoes, emptying my bag of all the out of date dressings and medical equipment and really psyching myself up for the impending day...

I had already worked with this team when I first started district nursing way back In May 2006, so I was lucky in that respect - we all knew each other. Having been away from work for so long, as today approached ever nearer my nerves began to kick in and my mind was stuffed full of all the things I might not be able to do, rather than all the things I could do… me being a pessimist again!! Over the past two years, apart from recovering physically, I have had to try to recover emotionally as well and I’m not ashamed to say that it’s been the hardest and longest of all things to try and recover from. And I’m still on that path.

As Sunday the day before my return arrived, I spent it constantly thinking how the other members of staff would behave with me, whilst most knew about the accident and my road to recovery few knew of the injuries I had sustained and the disabilities I now had and none had seen me since the accident, when I was a fully paid member of the team. It’s quite bizarre really, I wanted them to treat me the same as they had done two years ago, yet I didn’t want them to just expect I could do everything...

Monday morning, and with the clock showing 3:05, then 4:17 it was a long night, and a relief when Paul got up just after 6:00 to go to work, though today I had to get up too. I had a routine before, get up just after Paul, shower, dress and then take my breakfast to work and leave about 7:00. This morning, was a bit of a shambles, as Paul now leaves early to go to the gym, I’d lost the routine completely and couldn’t remember whether I had time for a cup of tea, how long it took to get to work, and so on. After the fourth trip to the toilet, it was very apparent that I was in fact quite scared, but not actually sure of what… the work, the environment, the people or the patients?

Having taken an hour and twenty minutes to make the journey and with my stomach still flipping about like a tiddly wink, I arrived at the secure car park only to find I couldn’t get in as my pass wouldn’t work and the security guard didn’t know me! Great. I had to wait until another member of staff arrived, smile sweetly and plead to be let in. I could have actually returned home at this point, but didn’t, damn!

My old team were all very welcoming, pleased to have me back, patting my back with “oh you’re so brave”? … Actually I’m not. I’m shitting myself. That’s not brave.

Having been away for so long I’m now being supervised and shadowing others, quite a change to how it was when I was showing them how to do things. I’m happy with that, as I need to build on my skills again and there will be things that I can’t do and this is the best way to find out. As the morning progressed the nerves abated and it began to feel better, at times as though I had never been away.

Helpful reminders of challenging patients, who lived in smoke filled flats and bedrooms that reduced you to tears with the pungent aroma of ammonia, soon had me back in the good old days and once again praying for fresh air and a smile. Some things never change....

So now, I’m sat here writing this and thinking "I did it!". I fought to return, nagged them constantly and won, and proved all those doctors who said I would never return to district nursing wrong. Just how bloody stubborn am I!"

I think that just about says it all!

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