Last night a momentous thing happened, I gave up. I suspect that my decision to throw in the towel and admit I couldn’t cope was the result of 10 days working without a break and the constant state of flux as far as son is concerned, his ulcerative colitis is now labelled fulminant. Anyway, I gave up trying to juggle and arrange and phoned my team leader to lay things on the line and request her support. The final straw was son asking that I be available on Tuesday afternoon as the probability is that he will be having the surgery and he is worried about DIL. I know that in my last post about son all seemed positive but a lot changes in a week, and we are now back to all the medics becoming increasingly concerned, to the extent that the surgeon phoned son yesterday to tell him that ‘theatre is booked for Tuesday, starve from midnight Monday and pick up a prescription for potassium as your electrolytes are up the creek again and we won’t operate if they haven’t improved’. Son tried bargaining, again, if my bloods are better, if the sigmoidoscopy shows reduced inflammation then we’ll delay it until after the baby arrives. The surgeon was understanding, son doesn’t want to miss the birth of their first baby, but brutal. He explained that the tissues are becoming increasingly friable and this is lowering the success rate of the op, if they don’t act now son may see the baby born but not see it grow up.
Back to me and my losing a grip. I pondered and pondered. I am working on Tuesday, we are busy and short-staffed, I don’t want to leave my colleagues in the s**t. In the end I decided that I would work Tuesday morning and then take a half days annual leave to be with DIL whilst son has the op, I still felt guilty so spoke to my team leader to explain my dilemma. I say spoke, that is not really honest, more like gulped and sniffed, as once I had started unburdening the tears were not far behind. She sympathised, but that was bad as it made me gulp more, and said that she was going to speak to our manager about my request. When I came off the phone I wallowed for a while but then pulled myself together and set about relaxing, totally without the use of alcohol as who knows when DIL may go into labour.
After a wonderful nights sleep, and a long anticipated lie-in I faced the world and started gardening (hurrah for our Indian summer). The phone rang and it was my team leader. She had spoken to our manager and between them they have decided that I should not have annual leave on Tuesday……..I must take it as a carers day. Anyone who works in the NHS will know how absolutely amazing this is, I demurred and said that I would work Tuesday morning, I have a booking arranged and I don’t want to cancel it, but she was insistent, I will not be working Tuesday (actually I will go and do the booking but I will keep quiet about it). I have this feeling that they are concerned about my mental state but really they shouldn’t, as long as I have some framework in place to allow for this ‘crisis time’ I am perfectly able to cope. I’m so relieved now, one stressor has been resolved.