In April I hit the wall. My pain levels were escalating, I was getting increasingly more exhausted, and was finding it harder to deal with the daily grind that is a life in chronic pain. It felt like things were spiralling slowly out of control so I went to the GP to discuss medication and pain management. After some discussion we decided that it was better to rest and see if the pain levels would subside. I took 1 week sick leave and 1 week annual leave. In the 2 weeks I took off work, I slept a lot, watched DVDs and towards the end underwent ‘active rest’. After my two weeks of much needed rest my pain levels had gone from a very uncomfortable 6-8/10 to an easy (and relaxed) 3/10. The space this gave me to breathe was immense, its funny how you don’t realise how bad the pain is until it is almost taken away.
And then I went back to work. My pain levels shot back up and the tiredness crept back quickly. It was very clear to me how much pain and suffering my work is causing. Sitting at a desk is creating havoc with my health, it is the number one thing I can’t avoid that flares up my hip pain. While the standing desk helps, its not working for me as my standing tolerance is so low (made worse by spraining my ankle). The overstimulation of the office environment makes things worse, the bright lights and noise wears me down.
My two weeks of rest paid off though, I filled my cup and learnt the value of rest as part of my pain management toolbox. This gave me the confidence to ask my employer to reduce my hours leading up to the operation. I’m now working 32 hours a week, which gives me time/energy to do my physiotherapy, swim, go to medical appointments and get some rest.