Work Series: A Day In The Life

This blog post is part of World Autoimmune Arthritis Day 2014.
6:00am: Wake up. Feeling awful after tossing and turning all night. It snowed overnight, and my pain levels spiked, which led to insomnia.
6:05am: Snooze alarm goes off. Force myself to wake up, and start doing a few daily stretches in bed so that I’ll be able to stand and walk when I get out of it.
6:15am: Drag myself out of bed and proceed to brush my teeth. Stiff fingers haven’t loosened up enough yet, so this proves difficult because I can’t get a good grip on the brush.
6:30am: Take a hot shower. This helps a little, but I don’t have enough time to really soak most of the stiffness out. Take first part of morning meds.
7:00am: Time to leave for work. Luckily I made my lunch the night before. Mom offers to drive, but I insist because she recently hurt her knee and driving on the icy roads might stress it out. We discuss taking the bus due to the roads, but this is not an option because there isn’t a bus available at the late hour when my night class gets out.
9:00am: Finally reach work, an hour late. Achey and exhausted after getting little sleep and the long drive. Make a cup of tea and plug in my heating pad while my computer starts up. Take remaining morning meds.
9:30am: Heating pad starting to release the tension in my lower back a bit. Have thawed out and getting down to work. Managed to eat my apple (breakfast) and the cup of tea has revived me a bit.
10:00am: Get called to another part of the building. Spend the next 2 hours on my feet running around the building. Feet hurt despite sensible shoes.
12:00pm: Lunch time. Too tired and pain levels too high for hunger, but make myself eat a bit. Manage maybe half of my lunch. With food in my stomach, able to take painkiller.
12:30pm: Nosy co-worker comes in for something work-related, then wants to know why I have a heating pad. Make a joke about keeping warm in this frigid winter, because am not comfortable talking about my illnesses at work, especially with gossipy co-workers who I barely know.
1:30pm: Try to get some work done. For once, grateful that at least some of my job involves just sitting still and working at a computer, because don’t feel up to running around the building some more.
4:30pm: End of the normal workday. Happy hour planned for officemate’s birthday. Feel like I’d rather just have some time to myself to rest before class, but feel that it’s important for my work relationships as a large part of the office is going. Attend but don’t drink because have taken painkillers and have to go to class in a bit. Pretend I’m feeling well, because I don’t feel like answering questions. Don’t want to bring down the group mood, and most of the staff don’t know about my illnesses to begin with.
5:30pm: Leave happy hour and cross campus to classroom building. Pick up a cup of tea from a coffee shop to help me get through class.
5:45pm: Time for class. Snack on some nuts and dried fruit with my tea. Foggy brain makes it hard to focus.
9:05pm: Class finally ends. I’m exhausted.
9:30pm: Finally get out of the parking ramp due to all the students leaving campus at the end of night class. Drive home is painful as knee is stiff from long drive in the morning. Mom took bus home at the end of the workday.
10:00pm: Reach home. Try to eat a bit of dinner so that I can take my nightly meds. Wish for a hot soak in a bath, but fear I’ll fall asleep. Take a hot shower again instead.
11:00pm: Lights out, finally. Fear another night of pain-induced insomnia.
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