June 4, 2020 at 6:32 pm #25550DawnParticipant
Hi, Everyone. I need to ‘vent’ a little, but it’s basically about my own thinking. My job has been working from home since the end of March. We’ve had a very minimal schedule of 2-3 people who go in to do things that can’t be done from home. We only go in two days a week, and just long enough to get done what has to be and then leave. Our team has been rotating who goes in.
About a week before my first day scheduled in office I got a notice from Johns Hopkins stating they recommended those with pulmonary issues work strictly from home. I debated about it for almost a week, then finally let my supervisor know about the notice. It was fine, and I’ve been kept off the in office schedule. I emailed the other people on my work team to apologize and explain why and they were great about it.
The notice I got from Hopkins said that outdoor activities were still ok as long as social distancing was observed and not more than 10 people involved. I’ve continued to do my volunteering at the equine assisted therapeutic riding center, based on those guidelines, and double checking with my Hopkins doctor’s nurse. I’ve volunteered with the horses for about 12 years, and would hate to give them up until/unless absolutely necessary. They keep me going, especially since my medical ‘issues’. I have my own routine as far as what I take care of (stalls, watering,grooming), and typically spend very little time with anyone else there – usually less than 5 people total, including me. I prefer hanging out with the horses!
The issue I’m having with myself is acknowledging that it’s ok to do the volunteering even though I’m not working in office. Those old ‘rules’ of growing up – if you couldn’t go to school you couldn’t go out and play. I’ve worked every single day, just not in office. I’d be absolutely lost without being around the horses. Both staying away from in office work, and continuing with the volunteering, strike me as taking care of myself.
I think part of the issue is that it’s forced me to acknowledge the very real threat to my health in this type of situation. I was very sick in January, with a horrible impact on my breathing, and don’t want to do anything that could put me in a situation like that again. It was extremely scary.
Any thoughts? Thanks.
June 5, 2020 at 11:38 am #25565Colleen SteeleKeymaster
@dawnt my advice is don’t give up the horses and definitely don’t feel guilty about doing it! Work can be both physically and mentally exhausting and the stress of it can compromise your immune system. I think between those things and the threat of exposure to Covid-19, it is best if you work from home. The horses are therapy and if anyone everyone questions you about I suggest that be your response. I believe that when you take care of your mental wellness you are also helping take care of your PH.
You’re not a child home with a cold. You are an adult living with a life-threatening illness who is still trying to function and maintain responsibilities. That is a lot for a person to deal with and if caring for the horses helps you manage it all then there isn’t anything to feel guilty about.
When my son had PH he missed a LOT of school. But even if missed classes, I would allow him to attend birthday parties or have a friend over for the weekend. School was draining on bad PH days but seeing friends was therapeutic. Like I said, big difference between staying home sick from a cold or staying home sick due to PH.
I hope my thoughts help.
June 5, 2020 at 1:36 pm #25567Jen CuevaModerator
Hi @dawnt, I am so sorry but can understand your frustrations and confusion related to COVID. Like @colleensteele, I say stick to the horses. The volunteering is your therapy and much needed right now. I hope that you will let go of the guilt from that and put yourself first.
I think that it is only natural to feel guilty about not going in-office. But, you mention how well your colleagues are with understanding. That is huge, and you should welcome that with open arms. This COVID is new to us all and brings up a ton of extra emotions for those not living with PH. PH and other health issues impact this and add to the stress and confusion. I am fortunate to work a little from home, but I, too, have lost a few times through this COVID pandemic.
The most important here is you and your overall health. The horses and volunteering are your therapy, and that is nothing to feel guilty about. Take care of yourself and pay attention to your body. This is a stressful time. You are not alone. I hope that our words will be helpful.
June 5, 2020 at 8:12 pm #25577DawnParticipant
@colleensteele & @jenc, thanks so much for the replies! It was difficult for me making the decision about working strictly from home. I try to not use my medical issues as any sort of reason/excuse but know I need to be realistic about what I have and make me my own first priority. Putting me first in my own life has never been one of my strengths! I’ve gotten much better at it, through therapy, but I hate feeling like I’m letting people down. I appreciate your kind words and support. It’s been great being home with my two pups all day (Benny & Bear), working from home. They, and being able to still be around the horses are certainly loving therapy!
Jen, you asked in response to my posting on ‘welcome tracy’ how I’ve been doing. I’ve actually been doing very well. I get really frustrated with the changes in my physical abilities, and my limited time when I’m out due to being on oxygen tanks again, but do also recognize how blessed I am to be able to do as much as I can. Somehow, working from home seems to be more tiring so I’m usually ready to get off the computer once work is done. I’m intending to get back to more posting here though.
Again, thanks to both of you. Your words are very helpful.
June 8, 2020 at 2:54 pm #25588Jen CuevaModerator
Hi @dawnt, I am grateful to help you with this challenging time. Yes, please do make yourself and your health a top priority.
I love the names, Benny and Bear- too cute.
Keeping up with the horses is something that you enjoy and therapy, too.
Learning how to cope and adjust to limitations is not easy. We all have days when our limitations frustrate us. I certainly go through this more than you know. That is why we are here to lift one another. Please feel free to vent anytime. Enjoy your new week.
June 9, 2020 at 3:19 pm #25618V.R. PetersonParticipant
I agree, that there’s no reason to feel guilty about working with the horses. You’re still doing your job, and doing it 100% from home doesn’t take away from your contribution to your employer. If your supervisor finds out and asks about it, tell him/her it’s psychological therapy. It keeps you sane so you can give 100% to your job while you’re on the clock.
June 10, 2020 at 6:04 pm #25638
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