361) Returning to Work

April 27, 2009

Morning: Went in for Labs this morning... on time... but had to wait for awhile and didn't get home to take 8 am meds til 8:30. Today I am returning to work again. Just preparing for work took longer than I expected, starting last Friday, when I stopped by the office to talk to folks about preparing for my return. Fortunately we have several germ-o-phobes in the office who agreed to everything I am saying and offered to help. It is very helpful to have employers' assistance in ensuring a work environment that is as antiseptic as possible when a transplant recipient returns to their workplace. This is the email that our ED sent out:
Three major points:

1. Jack will assume responsibility for keeping his hands clean; that is number one – minimizes transmission of anything

2. Don’t even think about coming to work sick. If you feel good enough to do some work at home, with your supervisor’s approval you can arrange to do work at home – of course that depends on having a computer with which you can access your work computer.

3. If you feel you may be not sick but still possibly carrying around some unwelcome germs (not sure if you have a cold or allergies, for example) – let Jack know to stay away from you, and be EXTRA cautious about limiting your ability to spread germs.

Then there are a variety of precautions we should all keep in mind:

· Wash hands at least after using the bathroom and before eating; Faith will post info about this in bathrooms.

· Use Lysol spray to clean off door knobs, faucets, light switches, toilet flush handle, and other key places that everyone has to touch.

· Don’t use Jack’s desk, computer, phone, etc.; he will keep his office a sanitized area.

· Keep conference room tables sanitized; perhaps use this as area to meet with Jack.

Faith is making some hand-washing posters for the two bathrooms.

My own preparation this morning included lists of things to take (pee bottle, chart, and several items I might need) and I finally get to the office about 9:45 or so. The day was fairly normal and I felt like I was getting back into the stream, so to speak; catching up on projects, updating my time sheet, and getting my future appointments, etc. on the calendar. Met with Kim and Theresa about status of projects and with Christine about the Legislature and the only real difference I notice is using the bathroom five times in 5 hours, versus using it about once a week before the arrival of Mordechia.

The advice I have for people going back to work is... "Go slow to get going". Today I work about 5 to 6 hours and intend to build upon that as I go.

Call from Bernadette: Back at home, late afternoon... Bernadette calls and reports that my labs were "perfect"... therefore, no changes in meds this week... and my creatinine was 1.0!
I had emailed her about concerns about getting back out on the road and training and she discussed them with Dr. Lewis: "You can do anything you want to do. Take a mask if you fly and if you are sitting next to a cougher, put the mask on. Don't put the mask on before getting on board... they might think you're a terrorist. Otherwise, avoid shaking hands and don't get too close to people."

So it goes... getting back into the river of work.

Katie's 20th birthday is today... We had the kids over for a nice steak dinner on Sunday night and Katie brought her friend Jenna. Nice time.

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