This is a really hard one to write as it is me excepting just how unwell I am and how broken my body specifically my lungs have become.
Anyone who knows me will know I love my job. I am proud to be a nurse, I love my job, my colleagues and will do all I can to keep working. I have been so fortunate over the years to have a fantastic set of bosses. I am pretty sure if it was not for their care and compassion I would not have a job.
Asthma has plagued me for so long but I have always pushed through it and kept going, taking each attack, hospital admission and going to intensive care in my stride but since November this has not been the case. A particularly bad attach which despite it being managed by respiratory from the outset we could still not get control over my chest despite everything they did, then my consultant coming in during the evening to see me several times highlighted just how serious things were. He has since gone on to mention in my clinic appointments just how serious an attack it was and how we need to plan things and do what we can limit the risk involved.
That attack in November scared me more than anything else has in life. It is a strange feeling when you are fighting with everything you can but your best is not good enough, a combination of wanting to give up but knowing giving up was not an option so you find that extra bit to keep you alive. Once I recovered I got myself back to work and despite a phased return I found it hard. Much harder than I have ever fond before. I found myself back as living to work and not able to do much else. I reached out to friends who were also on biologic treatment to ask advice and the general feeling was that once on treatment you tend to take longer to get over things and back to full health than you did before.
After struggling a lot I had a clinic appointment and was hoping for some answers but I didnt really get any. The decision was made I would be off work for a few months as my lung function was down, had lost a significant amount of weight despite lots of steroids and my heart was really unhappy. The most shocking part about this was that I did not try and fight him when he said I was not to work for a few months. I have always been someone who wants to go back to work. I love work and when well enough I want to be back. It also gives me normality and I can forget about being unwell.
I felt so awful and so run down that I was ok with not working. This was a shock to my GP as well who called me to check if I was ok because I was going to be off work and surprised by the length of time. Over the first few weeks of not being at work I had a long think and evaluated life, and what was important to me and what is important in life.
Its not been easy but I have come to the decision that if I want to continue to live and have a decent quality of life I need a time off work to focus on my health and really allow this new medication time to work and get the benefits I need from it otherwise there is no point in getting this expensive new treatment. I have decided with the support of my Step Dad, Mum and my bosses at work to take a years career break to really give me time to get myself well and able to enjoy life and work again.
During this time I will of course have plenty to do. I will keep doing lacrosse coaching as this gets me out and I really enjoy it. I will be able to do lots of research as well which I find I can do no matter how unwell I feel or even if I am in hospital i can still do it!
I do hope that with taking this time off I will be able to return to work in better health and be able to enjoy life like I once did many years ago.
It is a big step for me but when I didnt fight being forced to take time off work that’s when i knew how bad things were and that I needed to change.
Onwards and upwards from here and
dum spiro spero!