I don't know what to do
I am off work yet again with my sore back. I have been off work far too much this last year, in fact when I go back I will have to have a management meeting because I have had more than eight days off in the last six months.
It's so strange because prior to starting university I was never one for being sick. In the nine years I was in my previous job the only time I missed work was when I broke my hand and wrist in four places and after the original accident that damaged my back in the first place.
I think I have just been really unlucky to be honest, I was misdiagnosed with gallstones and was off for a week or so with those. While I waited for my scan I went back to work as the pain had subsided a good bit, then I ended up with what I thought was the winter vomiting bug - very common in nurses due to all the people that come in with it. Well it turned out that I didn't have gallstones and that meant more questions than answers but it was only when I appeared to get the winter vomiting bug for a second time which would have been a little strange that they decided to run a test for helicobacter and it turns out that's what I had. I had treatment and thought my problems were over.
Last week I changed my shifts so I could go away at the weekend, this meant I worked Friday Saturday sunday nightshift before doing Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday day shift the next week. I knew it would be hard going and to be honest knew I shouldn't be doing it with my back not being great. I couldn't miss the party though, my old boss was retiring and he had done so much for me, it would mean the world to him to see me there.
I felt my back getting worse the last few days of my shifts but that happens sometimes when I do too much and its never a problem that a day or so of rest doesn't solve so I didn't think much of it. I put it out of my mind and went to the party.
When I came back on the sunday I knew I had done too much but I was due in work Monday Tuesday Wednesday night before getting a decent break and not being back till the next Tuesday. I would rest then I thought.
I got up at tea time on Monday and knew I was in trouble, I couldn't straighten up fully and even walking was painful. I stupidly went to work anyway. I parked my car and struggled to get out of it - why I even drove I do not know, I knew I shouldn't be there but I also knew that there are concerns about my sickness absence and that the ward would struggle to get the shift covered. I hobbled to the ward which by the way is miles away and was pretty much instantly sent home. I was told not to drive myself home but I had no option, the other half doesn't drive and there was no one else to come get me. Had I left my car where it was parked it would have gotten a ticket as soon as dayshift came on and I likely wouldn't have gotten anyone to move it before it was towed or something. I had to get the car out of where it was.
I hobbled to the car and drove like I was driving on an ice road. Every bump in the road a constant reminder of how stupid I had been to even attempt such a ridiculous idea. I got home, managed to park the car which was interesting given I couldn't turn around to see behind me. Then I realised I couldn't get out the car. He came and got me out and we somehow managed to get me up the three flights of stairs and straight into bed.
The next day at the doctors I was signed off work for two weeks with instructions to contact occupational health. I have always tried not to involve them because they can, in extreme circumstances take you out of your job or make adjustments to it due to your injury. I knew the wait for regular physio would be more than the sick time i have left so i made the call and got an appointment the next day would you believe.
The physio basically said I have not been looking after my back properly and it has taken its toll. I have a strict exercise regime and will hopefully be back at work in a few weeks. The painkillers I have just about knock me out and i am just generally feeling sorry for myself right now.
I worry about my future, will I be able to continue doing my job? Should i look for something else? I am fortunate in that there are so many options available to me, do I go get a community nursing post where i will not need to do as much physical lifting but i may be miserable forever? I looked at the NHS recruitment site and there is a job going in the homeless and asylum seeker health service here in Glasgow, its an area of particular interest to me, do i go for that? I doubt they would give me that job because i have no community nursing experience and would need a decent amount of extra training to do the job. Do I apply to a less demanding ward? Well I have already done that and hated it.
Or do I go back to the job I love and risk something really awful happening to my back which could put me out of work all together? Oh i just don't know what to do!