Obligatory Covid-19 related post (kinda)

So, as we all know, there is a pandemic at the moment. As someone with a chronic illness (and as someone whose partner has active asthma), I am concerned. I don’t want to catch coronavirus and I certainly don’t want my partner catching it. If we did, it would be extremely serious for us both.

I work for the NHS and so am classified as a key worker (as is my partner). Where he can work from home, I can not. I am currently at home due to an IBD flare-up (which I’ll get into in a bit), but I will eventually need to go back to work. The thing is, even though my work’s Occupational Health has advised I stay away from patient interaction, my job is patient-facing, so I’m not sure what I’ll be able to do when I do go back. And on top of that, what if I pick up coronavirus on my way home or from an asymptomatic colleague? There’s not a lot I can do other than opt to self-isolate. This will have to be something I discuss with my manager when I return to work.

As for the flare-up, it started about three weeks ago. We had just got back from the Netherlands and I was starting to experience stomach cramps. I put this down to having tensed during the flights as I dislike flying, namely take-off and turbulence. I thought they’d go away after a bit but no, they kept getting worse. Two weeks ago, it got to a point where I was having to sit down because I would get nauseous if I was stood for too long. That’s when the fatigue began to set in, to a point that my colleagues where starting to notice. They would tell me that I didn’t look well and that I should go home. I didn’t want to. The fact is, I haven’t been at this job for a year yet and my probation period had already been extended due to two instances of sickness (both of which I was hospitalised). If I called in sick, that would be three instances within the first nine months of my employment and I didn’t want to risk losing my job (despite all the reassurances from my colleagues to the contrary).

Come Friday of that week, and I am feeling awful. Thankfully, Friday afternoons are quiet for me at work so I didn’t have to do a lot. I decided I would use the weekend to rest and evaluate my condition Monday morning. I think they saw it coming as my manager was not surprised when I called in. I was signed off for two weeks. That two weeks is almost up and, unfortunately, I am not feeling much better. If anything, the pain is worse. I’ll be speaking to my GP again Monday to extend my sick note. It sucks but I have been advised by my GI to stay at home if I am experiencing flare symptoms. Hopefully, things will settle down soon and I’ll feel well enough to return to work.

Anyway, to everyone who reads this, whether you have a chronic illness or not, stay safe.

Day 1 back at work

I went back to work today for the first time in seven weeks. The plan is to do four days a week (two days on, one day off, another two days on) and to do four hours a day and build back up to fulltime over a few week.

I knew I would be tired after but I was surprised that I wasn’t as tired as I thought I would be. I had a really good day at work today, everyone is being very understanding and helping me get back into the swing of things and I feel like it won’t take too long to get back to my normal.

Need some advise…

I have a new colleague at work who is about seven years younger than me and has been trying to advise me on my Ulcerative Colitis. She’s been saying I need to eat more, have breakfast (because it’s “the most important meal of the day”), have more fruit and veg (despite me telling her it’s bad for me when I’m flaring) and she has even said once that she think it’s “all in my head” and that I need to “think positively” to feel better. I want to tell her in the nicest way to back off but I don’t know how. I don’t want to get my manager involved but I can’t let my colleague keep thinking my UC is an open topic. She’s even said she wishes she could be like me and “not eat” so she could be skinny. It makes me kind of angry and annoyed that she thinks like this. I want to say something to put her straight but I don’t want to make thinks awkward at work. Our store is tiny so it’s not like I can avoid her.

Any ideas of how to approach this are welcome!