On Monday I went back to work for the first time after a 3 year hiatus.  During those three years I’d undergone a major operation on my neck and 30 radiotherapy treatments for thyroid cancer, and also had been looking after my 92 year old mother until her death earlier this year.  I was now, of my own choice, a medical secretary for 2 days per week,  covering for holiday leave and sickness in any department where I was needed.

It felt strange walking to the hospital from where most staff park their cars for free (too many staff and visitors and not enough parking spaces at the hospital).  It’s about a mile from the rugby club’s authorised parking area to the hospital, and as I walked I noticed a twinge in my left knee that hadn’t been there 3 years previously.  Nevertheless, still determined as ever not to take the courtesy shuttle bus, I carried on walking, trusty rucksack on my back, and waved at cars honking at me, recognising some of my son’s friends as they went on their way to work.

Just for that day I had training on the new I.T system.  In the future it is hoped that the hospital will be entirely paperless, but at the moment this task is about halfway complete.  I must admit that the new system left my head spinning after only about half an hour.  At the age of nearly 60 it takes longer for me to assimilate any new information, and the trainer was moving along at an alarming pace.  I even left my umbrella in the training room, so ‘moggidored’ was I with 3 hours of unfamiliar exercises to do.

Next came the visit to I.T for a password to log into the system.  I didn’t have an I.D badge as the machine had broken that very day.  No I.D badge = no password, and so I came away slightly annoyed that I’d have to drive over there again on Thursday to have my photo taken and badge prepared before I can start earning any wages.

All in all not a very good start!  Hopefully in time I’ll get used to the new system and can actually be productive again.  At the moment I’m dreading that first day in one of the offices where I’ll have to keep asking ‘How do I do this?’  Over the years I’ve had many secretaries asking me the same question on the old system, but now I feel just like a newbie.  Nothing is familiar except the hospital corridors;  I must have walked hundreds of miles along them in my 13 years there.

So… there’ll be less time for blogging and writing, but going back to work is something I want to do.  There’s something satisfying about earning your own money, enjoying your job, and feeling like a normal and useful member of society again.  I don’t care that I’m working in a hospital, just as long as I’m not staying in there as a patient!