Wednesday, 25 July 2012

More New Than Normal

It has been ages since I last wrote anything here - or in my handwritten diary. That is not because nothing has been happening, but rather because so much has happened.

Back in April, the organisation I was working for lost the contract to deliver the service and I, along with employees in other organisations, was transferred over to the organisation that won the contract to deliver all of the advocacy in the area.  We had been told that although we'd all be transferred they would be reorganising the way the whole service was delivered and that as a result they expected redundancies. At the same time, they won contracts in a neighbouring county and ran the redundancy consultations together, giving us all the opportunity to apply for jobs in either area.

In the event I emerged with my first choice of job - managing the service in the next county. It is exciting and challenging. I'm working flat out at the moment and loving it.

Prior to the transition I had been working long hours finishing up pieces of work and closing the office, early starts, late nights and whole weekends. Then the transfer happened and although we had work to do, it was a much reduced workload. What I wasn't prepared for was just how tiring I found this period.  I knew that living what was, in effect, a 2 month long job interview would be somewhat stressful but I was taken aback by the exhaustion.

I would arrive home at night a good hour earlier than I had been used to (and after having left home an hour later in the morning) and then find that I was so tired I would sleep for an hour or so almost as soon as I got home. My energy level was right back to where it had been three years ago when I had just finished radiotherapy. And in spite of my nap when I got home I was still sleeping at night as much as I had been before.  At first I thought it was because all the extra work I had been doing prior to the transfer was catching up with me, but after a week or so I realised that there was much more to it than that.

I am now back working long hours but find that my energy levels are back to where they were earlier in the year. It has brought home to me that these days the weak place in my body when I am under stress is my energy level and my need for more sleep.

I shouldn't have been surprised; it has happened to so many other people dwelling here in the Land of New Normal. But it caught me unawares and I couldn't quite believe just how tired I could be when doing comparatively so much less than I had before.


  1. I'm so glad you got the job you wanted. The fatigue thing is so unpredictable though, isn't it? I've had many more days when I have a few hours of feeling normal & energetic & like I could really put all this behind me. But then this past week, for no apparent reason, I was under the bus again, needing to collapse into bed right after work, just as you describe, Elizabeth. At least we are able to work at all. That's what I remind myself. Hugs.

  2. I didn't even have the chemo etc and I feel the fatigued.. but at least we are here to tell our story Elizabeth that's how I see it at the moment.. So pleased you get ur job tho... just take it easy when you can.. Hugs xx

  3. I'm there with you Elizabeth, in the Land of the New Normal. It's a very strange place to be and often unpredictable. If I travel a lot I have learned that I need to spend at least a day just sitting doing nothing except being on the computer, not even doing things like emptying the dishwasher and then I recover more quickly. But what I can't get a handle on is how many of us are there in this New Land. And how many of our oncologists and doctors know that we are here?

  4. Thanks, K, S & N. Yes, at least we are here and working! I never cease to be amazed at how oncologists and others don't want to accept that there are long term consequences. It's not that I want to complain about long term effects; I just want an acknowledgement that it happens.