Diana’s story: Returning to work after shielding for four months

Posted on: 30th July 2020

Diana, who had a liver transplant in 2008, was one of 2.2 million people who are classified as clinically extremely vulnerable in England and was advised to shield to keep her safe.  She shared her experience of shielding earlier on this year.   As the shielding restrictions began to ease, Diana decided to return to her job at the local doctor's surgery.  She tells us more about this below.  

My advice would be just dip your foot in the water and take baby steps you might surprise yourself but stay safe.

So I have been shielding for almost four months. I was very strict and followed the guidelines to the letter.

Last week, I had a blood test so walked into town making sure I was 2 metres away from everyone. I found this totally out of my comfort zone and felt anxious so I made the decision to walk back home through the park, which is massive and made me feel much more at ease.

Once I'd done this, I felt more confident and was keen to see more of the outside world. I think that we need to be sensible coming out of shielding but we also have to try get back into society but safely. I have now gone back to work as a phased return and am shielding.

I work at a doctors surgery so not the ideal job but we have a small surgery, which was shut since lockdown began, so I'm working from there so totally on my own with doors locked and no patient contact.  I needed to go back at some point for my mental health if nothing else.

Its good to be back but I am on annual leave next week as should have been doing the European transplant games in Dublin.  It's not all bad, I can at least go out and do stuff with my daughter who I feel safe with as she can go to places for me that I don't feel ready for.

My advice would be to just dip your foot in the water and take baby steps you might surprise yourself but stay safe.