28 December 2020

Not back to work yet

The first four weeks were behind me. It was time to get back to work! At least, that’s what I thought. I phoned my GP as I am supposed to do that before my sick leave expires, but she was skeptical. She said RSI tends to take at least six to eight weeks to recover from. And I was at four! So she gave me another two weeks. And in these two weeks, I hoped my adaptations would get sorted. But I was a bit taken aback. Two more weeks? Four was already so bad! But I figured that this was the sort of mindset that had got me in trouble to start with. If your body needs to heal, then it needs to heal. And if there is work to do, then too bad. You only get one body! And jobs are replaceable. So I tried to resign myself to this ASAP. And continued my medication and exercises and all that.

Then the adaptations started to come in. The plan had been get them sent to my home address, but that had clearly not happened. I started getting messages from the receptionist of the School that packages had arrived. The software came just as an email with a download link. So soon I had software, a vertical mouse, and a wrist support. Enough to start with! The keyboard hadn’t appeared yet, but the whole point of the software was that I wouldn’t have to use it very often. So that could wait. The more important thing was: the software training! Software is only useful if you know how to use it.

The new setup with vertical mouse, mousepad and ergonomic keyboard

I had imagined it would be online training; that I would be given access to online tutorials. As there was nothing to choose between regarding training, I hadn’t looked too closely at the details. But when I did, I realised it was training by an actual person, and that that had to be organised. And then I figured it was me who had to sort this. And it was coming close to Christmas! I quickly set everything in motion. I wanted to get this sorted soon. So I contacted Occupational Health, and the training provider, and the administrative powers that be, to try to get everything organised. It turned out the provider had to be registered with the University as a supplier of services, but everyone was very helpful and it was all sorted in time.

There was a catch; the provider provided training in two parts, and I had only been assigned the first part. That was learning how to use the software in Word. That’s quite intuitive! And the second part involved software like Excel, PowerPoint, email tools and browsers. That was where the real gains were going to be made! So I suggested I just do the second part of the training, and teach myself the first part, but the provider wasn’t up for that. I can imagine though; that might not make for a good business model. I tried to convince the school to get me the second part of the training as well. Watch this space for results!

On the eve of my phased return to work my arms are still not quite right, but there was clear improvement, and I had faith that once I would be proficient with the Dragon software, I could work a fair number of hours quite efficiently without doing more damage to my arms. So I had hope! And the new semester was already really close, so it was about time!

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