Returning to work!

Haven’t yet posted the detailed story, so I’ll give a brief account here. I’m a 24 yr old female who suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm late the night of February 4 2012. I was life flighted from the ER in my town to UT Southwestern Zale Lipshy in Dallas, Texas. I had my aneurysm clipped on Monday February 6 2012. I was in ICU until February 15, 2012 and discharged home the afternoon of February 17, 2012. I’ve had a couple of setbacks since I’ve been home… One with acid reflux that has been treated with Prilosec, and another allergy issue/sinus infection type thing that I believe has been under control with an antihistamine, 10 day course of Augmentin, humidifier, and mucinex dm if I need it. Praise God I’m feeling much better as far as that goes. I did very well in the hospital, and came straight hone afterward. No rehab needed! But those two little setbacks seemed horrible because they were unexpected, didn’t experience them in the hospital. When I first came home, my headaches were still bad at times, and the fatigue/irritation levels were bad. I also went through this fearful stage where every little ache or pain I wouldn’t have thought twice about suddenly seemed like some other awful thing happening. That has since calmed a lot. Thank God!

I followed up with my neurosurgeon on March 6. We discussed me returning to work and what I was feeling… At the time my emotions were just all over the place and I told him I didn’t feel ready. He agreed, said it’d be 2 months, and cleared me to drive short distances with someone with me before then. I have since driven a few times and feel comfortable doing so. He has since cleared me to start back to work…TOMORROW! I have two jobs in retail as a sales associate. Since my fatigue, emotion, and concentration levels have been improving… I feel confident I will readjust to work. I am going back on a 4 hour day/4 day week (Mon-Thurs) and then if I feel ready, come April 23, 3 weeks after starting, I can go back to my pre rupture/surgery schedule. Which was about 30 hrs per week. Each employer knows about my condition, restrictions, and how I feel. I feel like they’re respecting my graduated return and will give me tasks that won’t drain me. I’m grateful.

My question/issue is, for some reason today I just feel slightly anxious about returning to my job tomorrow. For those who have experienced returning to work, would you say this is normal? I’ve been working at this store since 2006, and I’ve only taken a break there 6 months when I had a full time job in the ER. I will go back to my other job on Wednesday afternoon from 2-6. It’s a smaller store, family owned, and we are all close knit. I’ve only been there since October 2011. However, they have been incredible with this entire ordeal and they even raised some money for me to remain comfortable while not working. I know the staff of each business well and I know my jobs well. I just don’t know why I feel a little anxious. There’s no reason for me to… Each job has checked on me, listened to my needs, encouraged my rest for recovery, and made sure I knew they are looking out for me and will help any way I need.

Just wondering if anyone else around here has felt this way? I guess in a way it’s like my very first day all over again. I believe besides some short term memory problems, crying very easily now, getting irritated when I’m tired or overwhelmed (paperwork for social security and leave for one of my jobs), and some concentration issues… I’ve suffered very little deficits from the rupture/surgery. In fact, I wrote an email to my surgeon after I followed up with and met him just to thank him for everything. He replied thanking me for my words and told me he is very happy with how well I’ve been recovering and he’s sure I’ll only continue to get better. Amazing considering they during my follow up he told me, my mom and sister that upon arrival he wasn’t sure if I was going to make it at all. Shocking, because I feel almost as I did before except the issues I’ve mentioned already.

Thank you for reading, and thank you for any responses. I hope you are all doing well in your own journeys!

Hi Robin...I donot work outside of the house...but can only imagine this will be stressful...

You sound like those at work are very supportive...~ just don't overdo if you start to feel too overwhelmed

Cyber~thoughts your way ~ Colleen

My first day back was overwhelming and I ended up leaving after one hour. I waited an entire week before trying again. I worked 8 hours 2 days, took off Wednesday, and worked the last 2 days for a couple of weeks. Just make sure that if you GET overwhelmed they understand you will have to leave and try again later. I STILL have all of those, crying easily, irritated, short term memory loss, and trouble concentrating but they are getting better!!! I ruptured on December 30th so I am a bit ahead of you!

Hi Robin,

I have had some set backs too and have yet to return to work, I will say that it sounds like you have many looking out for your welfare. Take the rests when you feel you need them, take the time when you feel you need it. Listen to your head and your body. I wish you all the luck in the world for your speedy recovery back to pre aneurysm.

wish you good health.


When I returned to work I had very similar feelings, returning to a position I held for 9 years. I attributed mine to not knowing for certain exactly what kind of issues (problems) I would encounter - the fear of the unknown basically. While I was comfortable with the idea of returning to work and wanted to desperately, I still felt some anxiety. You will do just fine.