For years I've been told that I need to take the time to recover after asthma attacks and hospital admissions. I've always laughed it off, I'm far too young to need to 'recover', all I do is sit around in hospital, surely that's plenty of time to so called 'recover'.... in case you couldn't tell, I have big problems in using the word recover in relation to me!
When I first started to have hospital admissions over 5 years ago, I used to return to work the day after I was discharged. Nobody paid too much attention, I used to keep it quiet as I knew people would disapprove. Eventually Occupational Health picked it up once I qualified as a nurse and was working under a manager who knew I was in hospital, as opposed to agency work and student nurse placements where no one really cared as long as I did what I was supposed to do. Looking back, I can now see that I really wasn't helping myself by doing this, my admissions were so frequent but I just couldn't see (or refused to) that I was making myself worse by pushing myself. I worked 60 hour weeks for 3 years, that would be hard on someone who was completely healthy, nevermind someone who was struggling with their health, and frequently in and out of hospital.
Even though I can see this now, I find it so hard to accept. During this admission I was pushing for discharge, one of my respiratory nurses came along and tried to make me see that I needed to rest. Rest?! I laughed and gave her my usual spiel of not being an old person, and I wasn't planning to go home and run any marathons. We always have the same conversation, I'm sure she knows what I'm going to say before I open my mouth, but... I just can't accept that I need to rest/recover/take it easy.
When I eventually did make it home, I can't say that I did much but I felt awful afterwards. I find it impossible to go home and do nothing though, I live on my own and nobody else is going to do things like clear up after baby Tommy (my gorgeous cat), feed baby Tommy, make me something to eat and drink, tidy up, etc etc.
I guess it's all part of my determination and sometimes stupidity in refusing to let this rule my life more than it already does. Yes, I need to be in hospital every so often, but look, I'm fine now, I'm just like any other 'normal' person.
But I'm not, I have brittle asthma, I have life threatening asthma attacks, I've come very close to dying a few times and I'm lucky to be alive and not have more long term complications. This is another thing I find hard to say, it sounds so dramatic but it's the truth, it's what I'm told by my Drs and nurses, and what is written on my discharge summaries.
Meh, see now I want to delete all these because it sounds so over the top. There are a few people I've come across who are all doom and gloom and drama and look at me, I don't want to be like them!!!!
But no, I will post this, I guess it's been therapeutic in a way, to admit how I feel when I spend most of my time refusing to accept it, accept that my stupid lungs do make me different to other people, and that 'recovering' from acute attacks/admissions is part of my condition.