Being a Patient as a Healthcare Professional: Recovery

It’s been 2 months since I was admitted in hospital and SHOCKED by how quick the time has flown by. It took me a while playing catch up with work both in acute care and private practice and felt so guilty for being sick and taking time off (how silly do I sound?!)

As much as I learned from the admission experience I gained just as much experiencing the recovery process. For a solid month, I didn’t feel like myself at all. I was tired from the smallest of routine tasks, was frustrated by all of the pains/fatigue and took a while to get back to my typical schedule. As someone who tends to keep to my personal life to myself in my day-to-day work life, having to answer my colleagues questions of how I’m doing, how I got sick, how long I was admitted, etc. was really emotionally straining – my coping mechanism for crappy situations is to write it out through via journals or blogs and then forget about it so having to relive the admission over and over again when asked questions every day was tough (sorry to all my close colleagues for dealing with many tears the past couple months!) The worst was the weird hallucinations I would get at night thinking I was still admitted with all the machines and IV lines still intact – my poor partner dealt with many sleepless nights being awoken by me crying or screaming in my sleep. The first month post discharge was not fun.

What caused all of this? I still don’t know for sure (and probably won’t find out). That leaves me feeling uneasy. I’m a control freak so not being able to prevent something like this from happening again does make me nervous in my everyday life and love for travelling abroad every year. The assumed cause I’ve been told: a mix of a bacterial pneumonia with some underlying virus that really set the illness over the edge. They’re not sure if I got the virus from working in acute care, from my travels a month before admission or some other weird source.

The upside: I’m cleared from any crazy autoimmune issues, have no inflammatory causes for all my weird pains and now working with an awesome Physiotherapist (thanks Eddie!) to help with some of the weakness. The biggest source of stress the first month post discharge was the fear that all of this was from an autoimmune source (and having rare autoimmune diseases already in my family made that thought more real). I still have one last specialist appointment to complete this week but I’m crossing my fingers for some continued good news! I can say I’m back to my normal self mentally but still trying to get back some of my strength and stamina. I’m attempting some hikes with my guy during this last month of the summer which has been a bit of a struggle but it super fulfilling being able to finish ’em!

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(Post Hope Lookout Point smiles)

I’m appreciative of: Everyone who has been so supportive. The colleagues, friends and family who have reached out to see if I’m OK and just being around to chat with have gotten me through the emotional aspects of it. Mental wellness is just as important as physical recovery!

Goals for the next month: Narrow down what I love to do and stick with it. Prior to being admitted, I had my hands in many extra-curricular pots and was feeling overwhelmed with work. One thing I love to do is have fun in the kitchen and gain more skills with my camera. Time to really invest time in what I love to do again! Expect lots of Insta-stories in the weeks to come with recipe testing. And if there’s more things you like to see/read from me, please let me know in the comments!

 

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