After almost 9 long months off, I finally start back at work in a few weeks! I currently feel like Matilda when she’s told she can go to School. A little anxious, but mostly super excited because it’s insane how much time I’ve actually had off. Much longer than I, or anyone else, anticipated. I remember setting my out-of-office to say I’ll be away until October 2019, as a precaution. In my head, I thought I’d be back by September and so even adding that extra month on, ‘just to be safe,’ felt insanely long.
At no point did I ever enjoy being off. At first, I was so focused on the fact I was unable to walk, or write, and that my right side was much weaker. I spent a good month with daily physio improving this, leaving little time to enjoy the actual break, as I naively thought I would. After 5 weeks, when things felt a little better, I came back to London just to get back into a routine and regain my independence. The enjoyment of that was short lived as my ability to still not walk very far, or use the escalators, meant that I quickly became isolated and completely bored.
I set up BITB and was busy writing my earlier blog posts, having interviews and selling bracelets, which was all amazing. But work is my main social hub here and I craved being back in that busy office environment that I was used to, with the feeling that comes with having a ‘full’ life. Because of my double vision, I had difficulty focusing on a screen for long periods of time, and the stairs, and escalators, on my daily commute became a temporary barrier to going back to work. Accepting that I’d need longer off due to the post-op complications I experienced, I moved back to the Midlands for a few months until Christmas.
When January came, and I took up permanent residency in London (again), I felt so much more recovered and ‘able’. I fully expected, and hoped, to start work straight away. But, admittedly, it didn’t make sense given that I was averaging 3 appointments a week, one of them scheduling me for strabismus eye surgery, which is now just 9 days away! Work and I agreed to go back after I’ve had that and so here I am. It’s March 2020 and I am STILL off. Cue eye roll.
I received my return to work plan last week and, as expected, it won’t be full time right away. At this stage I’m just happy to go back at all but, guiltily, my first thought was, “when will I eat?!” The hours I’ll be doing make it slightly awkward to have a lunch break, yet it’s too long – for me anyway! – to go without eating anything. After being off for so long, the last thing I want is to be dipping off to the kitchen, or taking messy snack breaks either. Dilemma. So below are some yummy, healthy and super easy recipes that are perfect to curb those hunger cravings, can be prepped and eaten at a desk AND boost brain power.
Quickly after my surgery, I read up on foods that are excellent for brain health and have since tried to include these to each meal whilst recovering. I’ll do a separate post including them all, and the reasons they are so good for you, but for now, these all feature ingredients which are known as the best foods brain foods including turmeric, dark chocolate, nuts/nut butters, eggs, blueberries and oats. As you can see, I’ve tried out a few already, with the sea salt peanut butter blondies being my favourite!! (After months of zero accounting projects, I’m going to need all the brain power I can get, which is a great excuse to indulge them!)