PCS - Attempting work...again
I have 2 motives for posting this. One as I sign of hope of improvement for others, the other for any additional tips for me as I return.
Historical summary: In Nov of 2011 I received 2 blows to the head by bumping into doors within days of each other. 5 days after the 2nd blow my symptoms came crashing in, the worst was the pain associated with what felt like brain swelling for a couple of months, dizziness, loss of vision, loss of balance, fatigue, hearing issues, memory and concentration.
Currently, at home I can remain mostly symptom free. I have issues around fluorescent lights, difficulty in crowds/commercial settings, sound sensitivities/left ear popping. There is also some undiagnosed neck trauma that has drastically improved.
Returning to work: My doctor signed off that I should be able to work on a gradually increasing schedule in a couple of weeks. She came up with a proposed schedule slowly increasing my hours over a period of approx 18 weeks to full 8hr days. I too feel that I can start and am anxious to get going after 10 months at home. This is not my first return to work attempt, I did one in June that was successful for about 6 weeks and then off again. I had also tried earlier on in my injury before I realized how serious PCS can be and eventually stopped completely which may of delayed some recovery unfortunately.
Support team: Behavioral optometry, Massage, Chiro, Osteopathy, Accupuncture, Physio, Naturopathic Doctor, Stress mgt councillor and my GP. I have yet to receive an MRI and am still waiting for my referral to a neurologist, ENT and physiatrist. Did get a CT in January which was negative.
Coping strategies/working conditions: I work in IT in a large organization in a cubicle environment. For accommodations upon my return I will have the following in place:
- Private office to minimize noise, distractions and allowing me to control the lighting and cognitive rests.
- Dual monitors with 3M filters to minimize strain and reduce the amount of memorization being able to refer/copy from one screen to another.
- Ear plugs and special glasses to handle the noise and fluorescent lights if I have to attend short meetings.
- Computer glasses to minimize focus strain on computer
- Stress control techniques and reduced workload during easeback
- Supplement program based on this forum and bloodwork
- Light exercise at home
- New chair to support neck and shoulders
Outside of trying to be aware of exceeding my limitations and using recent advice from Mark in regards to "brain energy reserves" any other insight to try and make this successful?
I honestly feel that I am recovering (slowly) and feel much better than I did in the first 4-5 months. I am almost back to where I was in June where I could golf a bit/play with my kids or go for for lunch with my wife while remaining completely symptom free, not quite yet but close.
There may be a light at the end of the tunnel, I hope you all find yours quickly. I will continue to lurk, post and throw in an update, but while here I would like to thank all those who try to help others. Special note of thanks to Mark as well who invests alot of time and support here for everyone.