Yesterday was my first day back at work after a week of leave. It should have been just fine. It was just fine. But you know me I’ll always have something to complain about. Well, what was it this time…?

I logged on to SystmOne just after 10 (yes, I did take my time back from working during my annual leave!) and I found myself battling waves of nausea as I looked through my list of over 40 tasks waiting for me. To be fair, many of them were the outstanding reports from before my leave, and some were “notifications” of reports that other colleagues were sharing with me. All manageable. The ones that left me feeling quite sick were the ones that actually required just that little more time, because of the complexities. Plenty of medication queries and behaviour queries. Nothing that I can’t actually manage, nothing that I have not done before. However, having seen so many at once and feeling so much pressure to do something NOW. It was just a little overwhelming for a Monday morning. Everything, everything all at once.

I logged into my email, which, as you know, I have been quite shamefully checking all last week, so there was nothing new there and I had flagged the ones that I knew I wanted to respond to on my first day back. After my initial assessment of the ‘damage’, I mentally started putting together a ‘to do list’. You just need to prioritise, I told myself. I figured the medication queries, the calls to parents, the prescriptions needed to be completed first – of all which I did. And then I corrected as many reports as I could losing myself once again in the world of assessments, conclusions and plans.

Then I stopped, it was lunchtime I needed a break. It was just before 2 and I thought it was time to eat. I had the day before planned to make a salad which would include tuna and anything else I could find in the fridge, this consisted of the conchigile pasta leftover from the day before. Some avocados that were lounging around in the fridge from last week, some spring onions that were slowly dying in the back corner of the bottom shelf and a cucumber at the peak of it’s existence. And finally, a lettuce, a whole lettuce head, that I had to peel half away before I could find leaves worthy of eating. I boiled some eggs as I thought they might look pretty chopped on the top and I added some pumpkin seeds as I thought it might add some interesting crunchiness to the whole ensemble. At the last minute I chucked in one chopped up tomato. I mixed it all together with some salt pepper and olive oil and later once Ignacio joined me we added some balsamic vinegar to give it some actual kick.

The whole thing was OK. Nothing to write home about and certainly nothing to fill a whole blog post about!

I went back to my desk taking with me a cup of tea and a pear with me to keep me going. I prepped for my telephone clinic booked for the afternoon and after that I managed to write up the notes, dictate a letter and referral, then start preparing for my clinic today (Tuesday). Amazingly I managed to do all that and finish by 6:30. Switched off my laptop and I thought I was done for the day.

I had booked into a yoga class scheduled for 20:15. Yoga is a thing that I used to do a little more regularly pre-pandemic and it sort of tailed off over the past few years. But I certainly experienced major physical and emotional benefits from taking part in it. So I decided to go to the gym and actually take advantage of the classes that they offer. This was my first one for 2023 and I was quite excited despite the fact that I seem to have sustained a shoulder injury which is actually limiting many of my movements. But I didn’t want that to stop me. I decided to have a quick dinner of a toasted sesame seed bagel filled with chorizo slices and brie. At the time it seemed like a good idea, something light yet filling and I thought leaving just enough time for it to settle before I went off to yoga. I soon learnt my lesson.

I got to my yoga class on time and it seemed with social distancing there weren’t actually many people in the class so aside from the teacher there were six other people in the class which was kind of nice and cosy I suppose. I ‘disclosed’ at the beginning of the lesson, that I had a shoulder injury and therefore the yoga teacher (who’d arrived late due to a sick cat emergency) told me the way to best of the session. And I actually get did a great deal from the lesson but with a few little dramas along the way.

I know now that I probably have to either eat earlier than I did before yoga class or eat afterwards because all that cheese and chorizo kept rising up my throat every time I did any kind of bending movement on the mat, which was pretty much the whole lesson. Which meant the whole thing was actually quite uncomfortable although I tried to ignore these sensations. I also realised that actually a lot of the mat work does involve using your arms and relies on you having good power and strength in both of them. So much of the time I was just resting while the other people did their down dogs and other such movements. I could never do down dog at the best of times but at least I could pretend in the past! Now it wasn’t even an option could I try. I also found that despite my internal distress about my constant reflux and limitations in movement I must have been clearly very relaxed because I spent a great deal of energy and effort trying to hold in a fart! I felt that releasing my bowel gases in that room despite the social distancing probably wasn’t going to be socially acceptable…

So while my left shoulder muscle got a little respite, some other muscles were working hard to keep everything ‘tight’. And then while I was thinking about all this craziness that was going on in my head and body, I had to then try and stop myself from bursting out into laughter just thinking about it. Despite this I did manage to finish the class in a place of peace and harmony. I did actually feel relaxed after the class. Which had been the experience when I had taken yoga classes before I almost felt transformed like a new woman.

I drove home on a mini-high and then promptly preceded to behave like the old crazy woman that I was trying to leave behind. I was slightly agitated by the emails that had arrived during my annual leave that I had exerted a little bit of self-control to not reply but then spent the next hour after my yoga class, replying with copious and ridiculous details about my thoughts on the information sent to me. It was quite silly really because I know that no one was going to read those e-mail that night. I know that it was unlikely they were going to read them the next day and even more unlikely that they were going to reply. And I couldn’t quite understand even as I was typing away why I was even doing this. I recall I was just pushing away the feeling of agitation that had been gnawing away at me by not replying and maybe something else that i was not yet ready to confront. Once I hit send on the last e-mail, I finally felt relaxed, more relaxed than I had felt all day, since the moment I first logged on. Silly really.

Tomorrow is another day. I will do better, hoping this was just a symptoms of ‘first day back blues’ or something like that. I have another yoga class booked after work this week. I will try and make sure I am properly wound down before I go.


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