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Too Sick to Work

Posted Nov 23 2009 10:02pm
I have fallen into such a major crash that I am no longer able to work at this time.

Since my lumbar puncture and subsequent blood patch (see previous posts regarding the Georgetown CFS study for background info), I have been running constant low-grade fevers and been extraordinarily weak. I have been sleeping 10-12 hours per night and have needed another 3-6 hours worth of naps each day. And I'm still exhausted.

I've been plagued with daily headaches ranging from dull aches to full-on migraines. The lymph nodes in my neck and armpits have recently become more sensitive, and my throat has hurt for the past couple of days.

In short, I'm a physical mess.

I haven't left the house since I flew back home from Washington, DC on Saturday. My wonderful and loving husband, Kenny, has been taking care of me. He has picked up where my parents left off. It is fortunate that he has this week off from work. Kenny has been preparing all my meals and even helps me sit up in bed when I'm feeling extremely weak.

About half of my waking hours are spent lying down. The rest are spent sitting. I'd say I have about three or four good hours a day at most when I can think clearly and feel almost human.

I was at Georgetown University Hospital on Friday (my third visit in a week due to my continued fevers, headaches, and general crappiness), and I asked the doctor (a CFS expert, by the way) if he thought I should take a temporary leave of absence or work part time for a while. He looked me in the eye and said I should not go back to work until January.

I was shocked that he would suggest such a long period of time. At the time I asked the question I knew I was bad off, but I didn't think I was that bad off. This was me in denial. Thank goodness the Georgetown doc saw through my nearly always smiling "I'm ok" exterior to see that I was not ok.

I haven't been this sick in years.

I am now filing for short term disability.

The process is a bit convoluted if you ask me. An outside company will be deciding (a) whether or not to approve my disability claim and (b) if they approve it, they will decide how long I will be allowed to stay out of work. Even though the doctor has recommended I not go back until January, this outside company could say I need to go back immediately.

Despite all the insanity, I do not regret volunteering for the research study. In fact, I told the research team that if they have any future CFS studies, I would be ready and willing to volunteer.

I will be seeing my regular doctor on Wednesday. I have a lot to discuss with her, but I'll save this topic for another post.

Today's Activities: trip to hospital (again). Today's Most Annoying Symptoms: exhaustion, low-grade fever of 99.6, generally fevery feeling, headache, migraine earlier today, nausea.

Mood (10 is best): 4
Energy (10 is best): 1
Physical Discomfort (10 is worst): 5
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