On Monday I went back to work for the first time since the end of May. I am now working part time in the morning then going to treatments in the afternoon. It has been bittersweet going back to work as I feel like I have had a “taste” of retirement. Monday morning as we pulled out of the garage and drove away from the house there was a bit of longing to stay home. I always knew I would be going back to work and I enjoy my work but still it is really nice to just be at home puttering around. I am really good at that.
Working just 4 hours a day is really hard. The day goes so fast. All it takes is one or two meetings and your day is just wiped out. Plus, I have to change the structure of my work day now. Monday just whooshed by and I was able to hit the gym before my treatment. The goal is 4 hours of work in the morning, an hour of gym time, then off to get my brain zapped. Mondays workout was quite the eye opener revealing just how much fitness I have lost. I wanted to take it easy and did but boy there is a long way ahead.
A few weeks back we met with the Palliative care group at OHSU. Their goal is to help you be comfortable throughout your treatment. One of the questions I had was how to workout while undergoing treatment. With any kind of training you are essentially breaking down your muscle in hope that your body repairs them thus making you stronger or more fit. I was not sure what I should/should not do while taking a drug that inhibits cellular repair. I was given a referral to see an Oncological <sp> Physical Therapist but she is so popular I could not get in until September. Monday I got the call she had a cancellation so I went to see her on Tuesday. Wow, so happy I did. She said this is not going to be like typical PT for a knee where you see them for 6 weeks and you are done. This will be a long term thing as I am dealing with a neurological issue and trauma to the brain that affects your entire body. They approach this as a complete system. Your nervous system is tied into everything and does not turn off. Plus it is sorta freaked out from the surgery, the swelling, the radiation, basically everything going on in the brain. The eventual goal is to teach me ways to calm it down and reset it. She talked about something called Neuro-Glides and Qigong so I will learn more about those on my next visits.
The good news is she wants me to do strength training but to listen to my body. Don’t push as hard as I did in the past. Maybe not multiple sets but one set and to get 10 good reps. If I can do more than 10 my weight is too low and to increase. AND it is going to take me a couple days to recover and expect that.
The other good news is she got me in with another PT that specializes in vestibular issues. While I still do not have an actual diagnosis as to what caused my vertigo, it is generally accepted it is something related to my inner ear/8th nerve causing my balance and dizziness issues. Looks like I will have to retrain the signalling system in my body to compensate as we have no ideal if/when it will heal. I still have a week before I see him.
So, back at work and VERY glad to be able to return to work (they have been great throughout this whole ordeal and I really appreciate that). Back to the gym and have a long road ahead. Back to a little bit of normalcy and that is probably the best thing for me.