Going Back To Work


“Eileyn, it is time to update your blog,” my sister told me.


Even though it was annoying to hear it from her, I knew she was right.


A few of my friends have been wondering why I stopped writing for a few months and whether anything has happened to me. 


I assured them that everything was alright. I had started working again.  Just a few years ago, I didn’t think I would go back to work anymore.


Being immobile in the ICU, I had plenty of time to think.  It was the only thing I could do.  Did I have a happy life before the explosion? Was my life worth it? Will I ever be able to get out of hospital?  So many things ran through my mind.




As I reflected on my life, I remember having feelings of regret that I spent too much time at work.  I told myself when I am well again; I didn’t want to go back to the same job anymore. I have lost interest in it.  It didn’t just happen after the burn. I have been losing interest even before the burn. It was in the ICU that I realised how much time I had wasted at work. Working was something I did with no passion. Something which I do not wish to repeat anymore.


Why then have I changed my mind now? 


And why have I gone back to the same profession?


Perhaps this happened when I was having a conversation with another burn survivor early this year.  It had been months after his burn. He was really worried. 


“Will I ever be able to work again?”, he wanted to know.


Based on my personal experience, I didn’t have an answer. However, I told him there were other burn survivors who have gotten back to work and he can do the same too.  Also, he can do whatever he wanted when he gets well and discharged from the hospital. That he shouldn’t limit himself.  However, I could feel he wasn’t convinced with my answer.


Then a sudden realisation crept from behind and hit me.  I needed to go back to work, or at least give it another try. If I am serious in building a support group, I need to tell other burn survivors that they can return to work and get back their life again.  Even though life may not be the same, that doesn’t mean we can’t live this life to the fullest. There is life after the burn. 


With this understanding, I began to view the prospect of going back to work in a different light and perspective. I have a different purpose for going back to work. It has now become a stepping stone for bigger plans in the future. I know there is more to life than just work. It is important for burn survivors to have hope and to believe there is a life waiting for them when they step out from the hospital.


I want to inspire other burn survivors in this second chance in life.  This is my one step closer to building a burn support group in Malaysia. 


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