Jump forward to the 1st September and I am summoned, by works phone, to appear in front of my line manager. It seems, that although it was pre-determined how long I would be away work for recovery, I had to have an interview to discuss my “return to work strategy“. It was not a disciplinary interview, more of “fact finding interview” Fortunately I had already formulated my phased return, so I was able to show her my plan of action. There was a slight moment of finger wagging during the twenty minutes I was there, but I got over it.
Two weeks later, and another phone call. This time it was HR, who wanted to have a little chat with regard to my phased return. They said they could come to me at home, or if I wanted I could see them, at my nearest office. I opted to see them and made an appointment for the next day. This turned out to be a real discussion. I explained my plan, which was to phase my return over four weeks. One day, then two days, then three days followed by the last week of four days. The lady that interviewed me said the plan was a good one, but was worried that it might be too quick and they would monitor my progress. I did mention that I had had the same interview with my line manager and was told that it should not have happened. It seemed that because it was a pre-elective procedure with a set recovery time, I was technically not on sick leave.
The phased return worked well for me, and I managed to get back to working full time with very little problem. However, people were very understanding and I think they made special efforts to get me back to normal. In all truth, during those four weeks I had very little to do. In fact apart from reading work newsletters, catching up on emails and trying to read software manuals, I did very little at all. It became very boring and quite stressful.
Now, this is an interesting word. Are we looking at a milk churn or something else?
I am actually thinking ‘milk-churn’. I am usually transported to those imaginary childhood days when I like to think of milk being delivered in churns. Those days when the milkman had either a horse and cart or one of those new-fangled ‘electric’ milk floats. The horse was often a black and white shire horse, and quite often had blinkers. Those long gone days when everything seemed to happen a lot slower. Type of day that you would read about in one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books. The type of day that I never really knew, but thought I did.
Churn also make me think of job interviews. Especially those interviews where I thought I may have a chance, but it was down to me. That horrible feeling in the pit of your stomach, when you know you can do the job, but do not know the competition. That strange ‘I want to be sick, but I don’t feeling‘. That feeling you get when you see the smart-arse going in before you and you start to question why you even applied for the job. That is a stomach churn. Horrible.
Well, I think it all went according to somebodies plan yesterday. It was one of those days when you just cannot get your head around what is happening. My appointment was at 12:30, and we got there about 12:15. The Staff Nurse (I think she was the Staff Nurse) went over a few points before realising that there were more men than women for the procedure. So they had to swap beds around, which looked fun. K*** was told she would have to go and I was shown to my bed/trolley. Paper knickers, I ask you. As if it was bad enough, they gave me paper knickers to wear.
I sat around for about an hour whilst they ‘did’ the ones before me. I have to say, some of the people that were there were a couple of years younger than me, but without being too smug…..they did not look it. One guy was 6 months younger than K*** and he looked about 10 – 15 years older. Laid there with a bit of a smile on my face, which kind of lasted until they told me it was my turn.
F**k, it’s happening!
I was wheeled in to what they called ‘the lab’, which was basically a room with lots of high-tech equipment. Bless them, they did their best to put me at ease, but I knew from the gibberish that I was coming out with, that ‘ease’ was the last thing I was feeling. Then my consultant came in. It was unusual to see him in his ‘scrubs’ (see how I got the technical talk off to a tee) as I have only seen him in a suit. He explained what was going to happen, and it was all quite painless really. I think there might have been a little panic at one point when someone called something out and the consultant shouted back ‘I’m on it!!’ I looked at one of the many screen and saw that the heartbeat monitor was off the scale. So that was a bit scary, but it all settled down and I was out of there in less than 20 minutes, after being told that my arteries were good.
After a couple of hours recovery, I was told I could go and K*** was waiting for me. They explained that I was to take it steady for the next 48 hours and to keep checking for problems.
So today, I was classed as being ‘on the sick’. I was going to work from home on Friday, but was told to just rest. So rest I will. I’ll need all my strength for when R*** gest bak from respite.