From Braemar to the son of God: Robbie Shepherd Takes The Floor for the last time

And so dear listener I went back to work with my first nightshift in five weeks and I enjoyed it. And altho’ there are still issues to be resolved, I felt quite happy in the twilight world where I work.  One of the service users, on knowing I was coming back, had bought me a small cake – pretty much pure pink sugar with cream but the sugar buzz made sure I made it until 7.30 in the morning without any drowsiness and well beyond. 🙂

But it’s been a difficult four weeks being signed off with ‘anxiety and depression’ – although as I have said, I’ve been more anxious than depressed.

And the main issue has not gone away and altho’ there are people out there with much bigger issues than mine, five weeks ago, I had got through a difficult weekend and had had a smashing twelve hour night shift and had had two hours sleep and then I got an email about the issue and I just broke down……..tears and shaking. 😦

So I did what I told you at the time; I wrote a Post-It to myself – ‘phone doctor’ –and went back to bed for a very fitful sleep.  The next day I phoned the Green Zone Surgery at Maryhill Health Centre at 8.30 and, if I needed any confirmation of my anxiety, it began to show. I was worrying whether their phone system was working properly, had they changed their phone number and not told me or……well you get the idea.

But, none of the above. I got Doctor Fiona; we talked and I got signed off for four weeks. I phoned the work from the Health Centre and after a minute or two of disbelief they were fine.

And then the next set of problems starts.

I’ve been signed off from this current job a couple of times before. The first was a throat virus infection thing which built up over a twelve hour Saturday dayshift and it was obvious to co-workers and service users that I was not well; the other was when I planked, unintentionally, to the side and I had a huge bruise or several and a black support bandage. Not only was it obvious that I had a problem but it did my street cred no end of good cos of ‘the fight’ I’d been in. 🙂

But when it’s mental, it doesn’t always show.

So the first week was about telling people and because it was so sudden, I was still getting work related stuff by both e and snail mail which didn’t help; I spoke informally to my legal which did. But there is a guilt in that first week. People do make contact and some are quite comfortable in doing so; others are not so sure. And if I’m anxious and depressed, am I right to accept offers of coffee and lunch and so on? What should I be doing instead?

But a big thanks to those who did get in touch or, just as importantly, kept in touch telling me what was happening to them in an update on what they were doing. Serious thanks. It would be so easy to just think about myself and create my own little world. Hopefully, I didn’t.

And Dennis, I will be in touch.

I had settled down by weeks Two and Three and Week Four was about getting ready to go back to work, although I had to go in for a stress assessment first – which in itself was worrying.  But going back to work has not been a problem. My support team never ceases to amaze me. Thank you 🙂

Cya, still wearing that badge (which helped to keep me sane) and quite content to keep it simple

Johnt850, feeling good, looking fine.

So I was right to be paranoid about the tyres. All four valves were very, very, very slightly open and a little each day they were getting flatter and flatter but when I took them for a drive, they seemed to fatten. But one morning it was obvious that two were deflated (but not depressed) so the AA came and pumped them up (techno doesn’t do it for me as much as it once did). 😀

So the next day I bought a new car (although I had decided to do it a few days previously). Now, this is where a wee bit of the guilt thing kicks in. Was I in the right frame of mind to make this decision? Well, Son Brian came with me when I first went but I was trusted on my own the second time around.

It’s a nice colour (Deep Impact Blue) and the Eco-boost thing is where it switches itself off at lights, etc and you have to nudge the clutch and it kicks in again, so a wee bit of practice before I can do the boy racer starts. And I have to engage the clutch before I turn the key.

Dear car drivers out there, when was the last time you had to think which one was the clutch?

And on that note……..

One of the biggest buzzes I have had in the last ten years was when I did a live on STV’s The Hour about six years ago. I was talking about prostate cancer (now, there’s a surprise) and Stephen Jardine finished the 3’ 48” by saying to me,

‘Robert de Niro, Nelson Mandela and Johnt850 – all of whom have come through prostate cancer – successfully.’

(and I had to bite my bottom lip to prevent a small tear appearing in my eye which is not a good look on teatime TV)

This week? It’s me and Bruce Springsteen.



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