I saw my therapist tonight. He was pretty happy with how I'm doing. I've actually come to an acceptance of my current limitations over the past few weeks, and that really is working. He told me this is one of the days he got a glimpse of what I would probably be like without this disease. That, of course, is very good. It turns out that not fighting how I feel is maybe even letting me feel better, because it wastes less energy. It also is encouraging me to take it slowly, which is simply not my usual style. I'm trying so hard to follow my body's lead this time, and it is just possible that if I had done this sooner like everyone encouraged I might have suffered a bit less. I think I'm going to be out of work 3-4 more weeks, period. Fighting that wouldn't help.
It appears I have very different short-term disability coverage. I think I have the option of partial disability, allowing part-time return to work sooner. I also have a longer covered period. It's really, really good insurance. If I am correct and I have that, I'm hoping to use it to work 2 or 3 days/week for a while and slowly increase, using up the whole 6 months if needed. The holidays are always brutally difficult for me, and the season change does not help. I have SAD for sure. I did better last year, and have been working as hard as I can to be ready for this year in advance, but unfortunately part of the annual reaction is from bad associations, and I can only control that so much. Also, December is the busiest month for having rehab patients as people choose elective procedures while their co-pays are paid and the weather is not going to allow them out anyway plus injuries and illnesses from bad weather. So cutting my stress some during all that may be good. I'm very nervous about going back to work and facing all that stress at once, but I also want to go back when I am ready. I know my being off is hard for my company because they are very short-staffed, plus I just miss working. I'm somehow not feeling particularly guilty anymore, which is good.
I'm really surprised I don't feel guilty because I really don't want to be working right now and I'm not even really feeling any desire to go back. I think it's mainly a generalized indifference that comes from the meds and fatigue, combined with feeling at peace with letting this recovery occur at its own pace. I will admit that after fighting taking Seroquel for literally years, I really like this med. I just started 400 mg tonight, so I've really gone up slowly, and I'm glad for that. I have a bunch more adjustments to do before things are good, but it's looking like I may even wind up on less total meds. I think in the end I may only be on Depakote, Seroquel, lithium, synthroid, vitamins, and questionably Provigil. I've been on Provigil for years and need it to work, but I'm not sure the doctor is going to be much of a proponent with this much mania. I stopped it immediately, just as I've done with every mania before, but I don't know if we'll be trying to do absolutely anything to avoid mania forevermore now or not.
Anyway, from an outsiders' view things still have a long way to go, but at least for now, from my perspective, at least things are tolerable.