×

Make Sure Alina Is Not Alone This Holiday Season

Your contributions to Alina's journal this year made sure that they never felt alone. Your tax-deductible donation in Alina's honor will make sure that Caringbridge continues to bring hope and healing to those who need it most.

Donate Now

bringing home the bacon

So Monday was my return to work after 2 months of being out injured.
It's been both great and terrible.

I love my job, I love my coworkers, who are more like friends than coworkers, and who I would totally hang out with had we met under different circumstances. In both of the departments I work in I deal a great deal of the time with new products, which I love. Today I sat on the ground and dug through the blue totes under my desk, that were filled with new product acquired since I've been gone. I love that, pulling out new lotions and shampoos and facial care products. Smelling everything, rubbing random creams onto my arm, reading ingredients list. My other department is similar, new candles woolly socks, special leaf trapping tea mugs. Testing everything, being able to give my favorite people gifts whenever I feel like. 
Getting to be back in my office, with all the decorations I have up (I have things like Gumby and Pokey in the window well, a poster of a smiling Buddha etc) and getting to be "valid". Not just sitting on the couch bemoaning my injuries, actually going to work and being a productive member of society. 

Another big part of it is having something to talk about. This has been my reality for two months, I have had little else to talk about! A friend asked me "so what else is new?" and I really had no answer. It's always how my recovery is going. Now I will have new things to talk about! I have a friend who I went to lunch with nearly every day at work, and we talked about just about everything. I feel guilty, I have been sorely lacking in the conversation department, he's been holding up his side and I've been repeating the same laments.
Which brings me into the next tangent. I don't want to be one of those people that is constantly complaining of pain! When people ask me how my day is, I rate it by what kind of pain I was in. Please tell me I will either be able to either A: control my pain or B: be able to just cope without complaining about it. I feel like I must be irritating, talking about my pain all the time. I feel like I'm transitioning into less and less of a social person, I feel rather reclusive. I'm hoping returning to work will help that, keep me from retreating into my shell.

And segway into my last tale of returning to work. My pain! No way!
Ugh
Anyways. My back has been really problematic. The first day I was hurting two hours in and squirming in my seat. It starts out this ache on the right side of my spine, which gradually creeps around both sides, and eventually starts to feel like the bones are literally poking through the skin, The neuro-surg doctor says moving around will improve back pain, getting up and shifting. But that doesn't make my feet very happy. My right foot is having to do a lot more work than it has been. My toes ache and are sensitive to the touch, but overall not bad. I am desperate to take off the shoe when I get home though.
My left foot has swollen back up again from being in a dependent position. I put my foot on the yellow beanbag footstool I got, but this presents a problem because I can't rest it on its heel, as I still have that pressure sore there that I CANNOT seem to heal up. It's not infected, it's just persistent. So I rest my calf on the stool, and hang my heel over the edge, which means my toes frequently touch the back wood of my desk. Ouch! Mom says I might have to just go to work and come home and elevate my foot during this healing period. I initially boo-ed the idea but realized she was right. I literally have to come home and recover. 

Well enough of my whining for now. I'm going to RSVP to a coworker's pumpkin carving party :) it was great to be invited to something despite all the hooplah it takes when I'm around. I have to get there (with my scooter), get in the house (there are always stairs!), have a place to put my scooter AND a place for me to sit. My coworkers are good to me. They watch out for me, but don't treat me drastically different. 

Love to all, especially to my friends in Japan. I received a lovely decoration made of 1,000 paper cranes (used in Japanese culture to show solidarity,is said to grant a wish or heal an illness, grant long life etc) these wonderful handmade dolls and ornaments, and biscotti made by a friend of my grandmothers. The most precious (although really, how do you pick?) was a notebook of letters from the people in one of the temporary housings in Ofunado, Japan (these people were devastated by a tsunami last year, lost their homes, loved ones,seaweed bed that provided their incomes). Beautiful, kind thoughts are prayers written in Japanese by everyone, then translated by the wonderful woman who made the biscotti, Akemi. 
How do you not believe in the goodness of people? Reaching out to relate to me, across miles. My tragedy feels so small in comparison to theirs. But they still reached out, sending love.
I'm basking in that love.