It's a SAD place to be

At work, whenever we have been off sick, we have these little "back to work" meetings, where you sit down with a senior member of staff and fill in forms saying "I was ill but I'm better now" and that kind of thing. Had one the other day. Again, it was suggested I seek medical help for a cold I don't currently have. This time, the guy I was talking to, made a bit more sense than the last guy, who just sounded stupid. Firstly - a doctor won't see you about a cold. Secondly - why on earth would they see you about a cold... which you don't even have any more? Ridiculous. This guy suggested maybe they could check up on my immune system, which makes sense.

The thing is, no doctor is going to give a stuff about my immune system, unless I have CONSTANT diseases, and having a cold a few times a year, I don't see as constant. My immune system has been a bit dicey for years, my blood tests have always come back perfect no matter what it's been checked for, and that's about it.

If I'm more prone to illness during the winter months, there is very little I can do about it. Why? It's got nothing to do with putting on warmer clothes. My mother has been telling me for years I have SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), but I've never believed her, as I've never felt more tired just because it's darker in winter. Except for last year, when it felt as if I had been hit over the head with a brick as soon as we switched to winter time. I don't like when it's frost outside, so if it's been winter, I've mainly been moaning over the fact that it's cold, not dark, as dark is nice - you can cuddle up in bed with lit candles and hot cocoa. So, last year, it hit home. Okay, so yes, I have SAD, I get it.

Went to see the doctor about it. Go to any doctor in Sweden, and they'd be able to diagnose you, or at least refer you to someone who can. In England? Hell no. The doctor, who first of all had a problem understanding me talking to begin with (probably because I spoke better English than him), secondly, he had NO idea what I was talking about. His words were along the lines of "what? What's that?" so I tried explaining what SAD is, and since he couldn't quite wrap his vocabulary around "Seasonal Affective Disorder", I said it's also known as "winter depression". His response? I couldn't possibly have a depression, I was smiling and looked happy! F***ing IDIOT!!!

I did the test here: last year. If you score over 20, you have SAD, it says. I don't remember my exact score, but it was over 40... If you want to find out more about SAD, see

Light therapy, artificial sunlight, which is the only medication for SAD sufferers, is considered "alternative" in the UK. In Sweden, you can get referred to a hospital for light therapy sessions. So the UK is a great place to be. You can't get a diagnosis for SAD and you can't get treatment for it either. You can get yourself a daylight lamp (incidentally, the links above are to a company who actually sell those in the UK) and treat yourself, but that's it.

Anyway. Having SAD makes you more prone to illness during the winter months, and there's nothing you can really do about it. You can eat vitamins all you like, it's not going to help. The only one who could get my immune system back up and running would be a homeopathist or some other kind of alternative therapy, as the doctor kind of medicine won't work. Been there, done that.

Even though this bloke managed to make more sense in checking out immune system, one thing that did piss me off royally was his attitue. Tried and tested before, I must admit (it involved calling someone fat). He was saying how he, when he went to uni, had so little money he was eating very poorly and he kept getting ill, because since he was kind of malnourished, his immune system wasn't working very well. That's what he was saying aloud. Between the lines, he was saying I was fat because I don't eat properly, because he was really gettin' his preach on about "if you need to cut down on stuff, don't cut down on nutrition". I might not be the sharpest tool in the box when it comes to read between the lines, but he was so far from subtle even I could see through him. He has no right to make assumptions like that!

Yes, anyone can see I weigh too much, but that doesn't mean you know the reasons WHY! It could be genetic, poor nutrition, illness/medication, psychological issues, lack of excercise, "chakra padding" like someone said so beautifully a few days ago, or just eating too much. As it happens, the reasons are the last four stated, but what if it had been genetic, or if I was taking a medication that made me swell up? Then it's even more offensive! I eat perfectly healthy, if perhaps a little too much.

But stop f***ing make assumptions about me!!!

And I haven't even mentioned the fact that we get paid to do our jobs, not being ill, and that we're all just a number in the big scheme of things and that I've once again been reminded why I hate working there. Like the interview also has if there's anything I'd like to discuss about my job, or if work can do something to make me less ill and attend more... I mean, what do you say to that? The only way it would improve is to remove the phones, the customers and their computers. And if you did that, then it wouldn't be a computer support callcentre, would it? You can't make it into something it's not. The only way to make my role as Techincal Adviser better is to not be a Technical Advisor. It's as simple as that.

P.S. Hey, Universe, listen up! I asked for signs and I'm still waiting...