My Journey Back to Work

I lightly mention this work thing here and there. I use the hashtag #canigobacktoworkyet on the blog’s Instagram handle. The hashtag is not my own if you’re curious. So. Here it is. I have been out from work for months, edging closer to a year. I absolutely love my career, and having it taken away in one sentence was as awful as my physical independence gradually fading away as my body became more and more slippery.

Now, my boss, my team. I sit here in tears. I have spent so many months in isolation trying to process this new reality that I couldn’t quite grasp. Trying to understand how someone so active was almost bedridden. Through that time, the flowers never stopped coming. I was asked to join the team picture, and mailed a copy when I was too sick to make it. I keep it up on the bookshelf at home. I love knowing that aside from our boss, I am the only female on our team. I was asked if my desk could be moved to accommodate new team members, and to prepare for my return. Did you read that? My return! They believe I can return. They also could have scooted me over without asking. They didn’t. They continue to support and encourage me. I am overflowing with gratitude.

Put the love of career with constant support and encouragement from my work family and BAM!! (Said as twangy as possible). I ended up with quite a bit of motivation to get back to it. I no longer ask Kyle to take the long way to the pharmacy to avoid driving by our firm. I want him to drive by it. I need him to drive by it. I need to feel that chaotic buzz that drains me and energizes me all at once. I need to remember that feeling of my first day. Seeing the sun rising over downtown and the valley as I turned into work. I felt unstoppable. That is what I need. A large dose of unstoppable.

I recently tried a new neurologist, Dr. S. I knew by the way he entered the waiting room that he understood. He didn’t start walking toward his office immediately when I stood. He waited…everything went brown. I was sweating. my heart felt like it might beat out of my chest, my hands and feet felt like balloons that may burst at any second. Burning pain. Searing pain. Kyle was telling me something. I don’t remember what he said but I do remember his voice was smooth and calming. His arms were firm around me as he braced my body on his. The browning faded. I realized where I was and what had transpired. I stood up as straight as I could, through the popping pain, balancing what felt like a bowling ball head on a toothpick neck, desperately grabbing for Kyle as inconspicuously as I could, stating, “I’m okay. I’m okay.” thankful no one else was in the waiting room to witness this embarrassing situation. Meanwhile, Dr. S quietly observed, respected my dignity, and patiently waited as my body tried hard to fight syncope and nausea.

I view my health as a partnership. The doctors are there to guide me and provide appreciated expertise. I am there to devour education, tackle my many therapies, follow my regimens and implement as much as I can on my side. Lucky for me, Dr. S believes this too. He is direct, but not rough. He shoots it straight when he tells me the last nine months have been wasted. Do not wallow. We are going to do this together and it’s going to take an enormity of work. I felt time hanging in the air after I asked, “is my goal of returning to work unrealistic?” Silence. He shuffled papers. Time loomed. My mouth felt like cotton. He stopped, looked up, and made deliberate eye contact before telling me goal of returning to work is not unrealistic. There is so much power in that!

I ended my appointment in gratitude, for this doctor who understands my infatuation with Wendy Rhoades (with better boundaries), but mostly for this doctor who knows what he is doing. This doctor who believes in me and believes I deserve a better quality of life. Dr. S and Kyle are my large dose of unstoppable. With them and my God, I can and I will work every day to be well enough to fake normal again.

In the name of health and #myjourneybacktowork, I am thankful for those of you choosing to give me some of your valued time. I’m doing my best to work greens into my smoothies for my infant-like gut. Please share your tips with me in the comments!

Smoothie One:

Ingredients:

  • 3 organic oranges, peeled
  • 1 organic apple, cored
  • 6 frozen, sliced organic bananas
  • Generous handful of organic spinach
  • 3 fresh, large, organic strawberries, hulled
  • 1/2 an organic avocado, skinned
  • Hemp milk (to satisfaction)

 

Arizona cutting board
Slicing prior to freezing simplifies smoothie blending.

 

Directions:

  1. Juice oranges and apple.
  2. Blend with bananas, strawberries, spinach, avocado, and hemp milk. Add enough juice and milk to thicken to your satisfaction.

 

Smoothie Two:

Ingredients:

  • 6 organic clementines, peeled
  • 1 organic apple, cored
  • 6 frozen, sliced organic bananas
  • 3 fresh, organic strawberries, hulled
  • Handful of organic blueberries
  • Generous handful of organic spinach
  • 1/2 an organic avocado
  • 1 tsp of chia seeds
  • Hemp milk (to satisfaction)

Directions:

  1. Juice clementines and apple.
  2. Blend with bananas, strawberries, blueberries, spinach, avocado, chia seeds, and hemp milk. Add enough juice and milk to thicken to your satisfaction.

 

Arizona mug
Although not as pretty, very tasty. This 27 ounce mug is linked below. I think I need a Texas one too!

Smoothie Three:

Ingredients:

  • 1 organic apple, cored
  • 4 frozen, sliced organic bananas
  • 10 frozen hulled organic strawberries
  • 1 carton organic raspberries
  • Generous handful of organic spinach
  • 1 tablespoon of organic black chia seeds
  • Hemp milk (to satisfaction)

Directions:

  1. Juice apple.
  2. Blend with bananas, strawberries, raspberries, spinach, chia seeds and hemp milk. Add enough juice and milk to thicken to your satisfaction.

 

Smoothie Four:

Ingredients:

  • Generous handful of organic kale
  • 2large organic carrot
  • 1 organic orange, peeled
  • 4 frozen, sliced, organic bananas
  • Handful of frozen blueberries
  • Generous handful of spinach
  • 1/2 an organic avocado
  • Hemp milk (to satisfaction)

Directions:

  1. Juice kale, carrots, and orange.
  2. Blend with bananas, blueberries, spinach, avocado and hemp milk. Add enough juice and milk to thicken to your satisfaction.

Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1 organic red beet
  • 1 dragon fruit, halved, skinned
  • 4 frozen, sliced, organic bananas
  • Hemp milk (to satisfaction)

Directions:

  1. Juice beet.
  2. Blend with half of dragon fruit, bananas and hemp milk. Add enough juice and milk to thicken to your satisfaction. Top with dragon fruit and chia seeds.

 

pink smootie bowl
My presentation and recipe both need some serious work on this one!

 

Back Notes:

I thought it may be helpful to know a few tips and tricks in case you have additional knowledge for me, or maybe they’ll help you too.

  • With any leftover juice in the recipes, I will frequently pour it into BPA free ice trays. The next time I have left over juice, I can pour it over these cubes to keep my drink cold and not watered down. I also love knowing I’m not throwing out something useful.

 

Fresh squeezed juice

 

  • I use hemp milk without guar gum or carrageenan (care2.com). I need to ingest calcium in my smoothies due to the high oxalate content of some of the foods like spinach and berries. Per my doctor, the calcium binds to the oxalates, preventing the oxalates from exacerbating kidney stones.
  • Various sites suggest that boosting Vitamin C and Omega 3’s ingestion can be used to help balance hormones. Sprouting melasma on my face is enough of an indication that my hormones need some help, despite showing up within normal ranges on blood draws.
  • Remember that giant 27 ounce Arizona mug (for my Texas readers)? Or that Arizona cutting board (again for my Texas readers)?

 

 

For those that want an extra dose of God this beautiful Sunday:

I feel very confident that the Lord is working through Dr. S. I accidentally came across someone in my support communities that also has POTS, EDS, and Immunodeficiency.  This individual had also lost a significant amount of weight, couldn’t sit up because of his/her heart rate and slippery joints. This individual was bedridden. After a year and half with her new doctor, both working very hard, she is back up and at life. Managing every day. Her doctor is Dr. S!!!! I had seen him the week prior! Definitely not a coincidence! Definitely God at work! I feel so encouraged by Him working through Dr. S. He changed my life. He told me that we can do this!

What is your large dose of unstoppable in your life?

Win the day! Every minute, every hour, every day. We will win!

Vaya con Dios.

 

 

9 thoughts on “My Journey Back to Work

  1. I love God’s coincidences! 🙂 Like meeting you via ETSY. I fully believe that you will find your way “forward” to where you are meant to be!
    My tip: “balancing what felt like a bowling ball head on a toothpick neck”…I know this feeling. My PT recently told me to start wearing an Atlas Vista Cervical Collar, the kind with thoracic extension throughout the day. It has helped. Maybe something to try for a week or so, just to see if it makes you feel better. Our neck joints are wonky like the rest of us, but can cause head, vascular, and brainstem issues.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I absolutely love God’s coincidences, exactly like meeting you! I cannot tell you how often I read your encouraging words. Thank you immensely for taking the time to read, say hello and for graciously passing along that information from your PT! I am learning so much from this community and feel grateful to God for all of it! May y’all have a blessed Father’s Day!

      Liked by 1 person

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