I’m becoming increasingly aware that I’m not really getting away with it at work.
And there was me thinking it would be the dead giveaways – the tripping over every single thing, the fatigue, the balance.
It’s being ‘too well’.
MS, eh? – you’re never too ill nor too well, eh?
I’ll explain: over the last four years, I have calibrated (shackled) myself to MS – so I now obey MS like a good servant and go to bed early, wake up early (in the dark) and more often than not, fall asleep on my sofa after work. That’s how I deal with the clinical fatigue and nerve pain. And it kills me, I hate it. But …
… luckily, I work for someone, The Boss, who also starts early. Result! Or so you would think. I truck up at 7am, yawning, the first person there, and catch up on a little light University reading. The Boss arrives, we chat over coffee, day begins. I then finish at 2pm.
And that’s the problem.
Honestly, I don’t mind being called ‘Half-Shift’. I can take the jokes, the swearing, the rib-nudging.
As the lone female in amongst upwards of seven blokes, I think I can roll with the punches and to be fair, I’ve developed a thick skin, which can only help me in the dating scene, no? Every cloud.
Plus I can speak knowledgeably upon many subjects, including drainage, tracking down antique architrave and where to source the best windows this side of the M4.
But, because I can hold my own, the shouts of ‘Oyyyyyyy-oyyyy Half-Shiiiiiiiift’ when I leave at 2pm are growing ever louder. And I’m not happy.
What they don’t realise is:
a) I earn less than them
b) Having to lie on the sofa for hours on end is not, NOT, a cushy life
c) I would give anything to have a normal job. One where I didn’t have a pink hard hat
So, yes, my co-workers have a laugh at my expense. And you know, no matter how hard I try to explain, they don’t understand. I’m not saying I want a ‘softly-softly’ approach, far from it. I’m made of far tougher stuff.
But, a wee bit of understanding wouldn’t go amiss? And what they don’t see is:
- The ridiculous nerve pain
- The twerking/twitching in my head and arms
- The dead feet
- The garbled speech (I cover this well – I’m Glaswegian!)
- The utter soul-destroying fatigue
- The endless days I have to take off work to recover from a spike in symptoms
I just wish, for once, they would be chuffed to see a peep with MS, still working, still trucking along. Despite everything. Rock and hard place …