Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Day 172 - work and books

As promised, today I visited my therapist to talk, largely, about my return to work. We talked about what kinds of indications would let me know I was doing ok and could keep working or even increase my hours versus letting me know I needed to go more slowly or even decrease my hours. Of course, things like what my family notices or if I start looking or feeling tired or overwhelmed will be indicators. Other ones are if I am not able to get nine hours of sleep in a night (that seems to be what I need now), if I am not adhering to my four hour limit or if I am having a hard time keeping work to the twelve hours I'm starting with, if I feel like or other people feel like I'm not thinking well or not looking well or getting tired out regularly.

She also pointed out that since I am going back the week before Christmas, that it will probably be pretty difficult to work three days the week or Christmas and the week of New Year due to holidays off so those weeks I'll only work eight hours--two days--those weeks. I can do that! Then after two or three weeks, I'll reassess and see where I am: ready to add four more hours or wanting to wait another week or two. That seems like a nice gentle schedule.

My friend, Rob, pointed out quite wisely that in either direction, if I am off the mark, it is not hugely problematic; I can easily ramp my hours up or go back out on disability. I really want to avoid the going on and off that I have seen other people do, however, but I guess it would not be that terrible if I had to do it; it just seems very disruptive to everyone.

I appreciate everyone's opinions and thoughts. Thank you. At this point, my plan will be to return to work a little bit on the 18'th. I'll be starting first with Home, Health and Hospice and then back to Dartmouth in a few weeks.

In other news today, I decided to push myself a little bit on my walk today. I was able to put three 14 and a half minute miles in a row so that's pretty good. I was a little tired, but good tired, like I'll sleep well tonight. Sadly, it is so much colder now than it was this afternoon, I'm afraid it's back to Planet Fitness for me tomorrow. Today, I also did tons of laundry, a bit of weaving and dealt with a barfing dog.

I finished John Iriving's newest book "In One Person" today. I thought it was tremendously ambitious and didn't really succeed at all that it tried. It seems like the kind of "summing up" book that an author would write at the end of his career and I wonder if I will like it better when I'm seventy. It was also one of those books that refers quite a lot to other works of literature and I did not know any of them well. I wonder if that impeded my affection for the book, too. I thought it quite entertaining and funny in the way John Irving books always are, with a story not quite as engrossing as most of his other books, but more than adequately engrossing and a better plot than most recently written books seem to have. I wonder why John Irving's mothers are so weak and unlovable at best. I wonder what would happen if he wrote a book whose protagonist had a mother as good as the average step-father in his books is. I thought that in some ways "In One Person" was a reworking of some of the material from "Owen Meany"--the parallels are pretty clear, especially in that both seem to be quite autobiographical. The protagonist of "Owen" is more forthcoming with his inner life however which makes a much stronger work. I thought "In One Person" was quite a brave book to write and admired John Irving for that as well as for writing a great story. If you'd like to borrow it, let me know.

For me, for tonight, I'm hoping for skill in my work, writing and weaving efforts. For you, I hope you are able to get the results you would like as well in your skilled endeavors.


  1. I think I can understand your position as well as anyone can. My worst day at work has never been as bad as my best day when I was out of work. Most everyone wants to feel needed productive and intellectually challenged so I can understand your strong desire to return to your work. However, you have your whole life ahead of you and at least 25 more years to practice medicine, please take this time for yourself. There is no need to rush your recovery. Added stress...deadlines...critical decisions etcetera will only hamper the healing process. This is your one opportunity to enjoy this magical time of the year with your family without all the demands that are placed on you at work. Cut yourself a break, Mary. Your patients, co-workers and the big boss will survive your absence until you are stronger.Just my opinion for what it's worth. I want the best for you and for your family. As always, you are in my prayers.

    1. Thank you. Of course, you would understand exactly how it feels! It's not just "work"; it's much, much, more!