Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Post of encouragement on chiarisupport.org

I posted my concerns about being 5 mths post op, yet not going back to work yet. I had many responses from people that admittedly had less strenuous jobs than I. I was thankful to get this reply this morning from an RN. I appreciate this anonymous poster sharing her experience.

I am also 5 months post op and an RN. I tried to go back to work at 3 months, knowing that I wasn't 100% but felt pressure to try and quickly realized that it was too soon. I was completely exhausted after a 4 hour shift. After those 4 hour shifts, I would come home and be so weak and fatigued that I would be in bed the rest of the day. I also started having severe neck pain and muscle spasms which I had not been having as bad, plus worse flashes and floaters in my vision which were present before surgery but had lessoned since the surgery.  My surgeon and also my PCP said that it was probably too soon for me to have gone back and my body was letting me know this. I was placed back on medical leave. I started having bad joint pain and a few other symptoms that are making my PCP wonder if I have developed an auto immune disorder which is complicating my recovery. I have a lot of trouble with cognitive issues some which I had prior to surgery, some that i developed after. Things like difficulty focusing, brain fog, short term memory loss, trouble with word finding. These had improved to the point where I felt I was safe to go back to work, but when I tried at that 3 months point, I realized that it was too much for me physically and mentally. I am also a wife and mother to 3 young kids, and now I struggle to get through the demands of just being at home each day. It is so frustrating to realize that I set myself back in my recovery and now I am having a hard time moving forward. My energy level is starting to improve only slightly on good days, but I can not push myself too hard or I pay dearly. I agree with previous posters that it really depends on the type of work that you do. Nursing is a very physically and mentally demanding job. I remind myself that I had a major surgery and that it was not a cure for the Chiari, just a treatment. I am still better than I was prior to surgery! I think we have to learn to give ourselves grace and listen to our bodies. It is so hard to do, but better for us in the long run. Just know you are not alone! Sometimes that helps more than anything. Hang in there!

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