Monday, 25 July 2011

My panic at work...

For those of you that don't know I do actually have a job. I work at UCLH in pharmacy. Much of my time is spent in the cleanroom which is a controlled area. We make aseptic products such as chemotherapy, IV antibiotics and TPN. Whilst I am working in these areas obviously I don't have access to my phone. For most people this would simply be a mild annoyance, but as a mother of a diabetic child it causes me a huge amount of panic. I like to be near my phone just incase there is a problem at school, especially around lunchtime. I do tend to keep my phone in my pocket, so that although I can't always get to it straight away, at least I know that it has rung, if that makes sense. However, the fact that it has rung and I have missed it also panics me.
Take Wednesday last week for example. I am working in the chemotherapy cleanroom and my phone begins to vibrate in my pocket. I glance at the clock and it is 11:30. My immediate thought is that there is a problem with Samuel. It is almost lunchtime and I know that they were going to test early because they were going to another school for the afternoon. Is his bg level too high? Have I forgotten to sign the dose book? Have I forgotten to even write the dose in? For the record I have actually forgotten .....TWICE!!!!!
A couple of minutes pass and I am starting to panic. I have to find out who called, I can't ignore the fact that it rang, I have to get out of the cleanroom!! What you now have to realise is that I have three layers of clothes between me and my phone. I have my normal clothes on, then I have the firstblayer of sterile clothes. This consists of trousers and a top which actually resembles a pair of pjs. On top of that I have a rather fetching blue all in one suit, boots, a hood, a mask and a pair of gloves. I am sure you have a rather fantastic mental image of me right now!! Anyway, if that wasn't enough I have three lots of interlocking doors to get through. Finally I reach my destination, the changing room, and I look at my phone. It's NOT the school, but it is a local number. In my mind though it could still be school, they have several numbers and not all of them are in my phone memory. I try and call them back I have no credit! I text my husband to ask him to phone me, which he does and I explain what has happened, so, he called the school to see if was them who had called. Thankfully, this time it wasn't the school, so I got myself a new suit and went back into the cleanroom to finish the session.

When Samuel was diagnosed back in March 2009 I was on maternity leave. I struggled to get myself back to work. My Gp signed me off for four months with anxiety and depression, I truly felt that I could not leave him. In September it will be two years since I returned to work, and it is no easier now, than it was back then. I work in London and live in Essex, it task me over 1 1/2 hours to get home from work. So, three days a week I get on the train and I go to work, and I try to push diabetes to the back of my mind, if only for the six hours I am there. However, the anxiety is there waiting in the background and every once in a while it raises it's head and comes crashing in, in the form of a phone call!!

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