So there I was, back in Glasgow at the beginning of 2010.
Paul landed himself a job and I slept. When Paul got up for work in the morning, I used to let our Vizsla pup up onto the bed, under the duvet and he’d nestle behind my knees and we’d drift off…
But I needed to get myself a job. I had to go to the Job Centre once a week and prove to them that I was applying for jobs. I didn’t get any money from them, but it was for tax rebate or something.
When I look back now, I can see that the sort of positions I applied for weren’t appropriate. I was trying to go back to work from where I left off, so basically apply for postdoctoral positions. God, I even once applied for a professor post. I was clearly delusional as I hadn’t realised or come to terms with what the brain injury had done to me.
I applied for literally hundreds and hundreds of jobs. With applying for postdoctoral positions, I needed to present my previous work at each interview.
While I was hoping to get employed, I got voluntary work in a Save the Children local charity shop. It was great, sociable, working on the floor, behind the scenes. I used to arrive with my Tinderbox coffee and Dougie, the guy I worked with, would sneak over, lock the door and we’d go downstairs for a chat. It was lovely.
One day when I was downstairs in Save the Children I got a phone call. It was an admin lady who offered me a job - and I remember doubling up with a fist pump – I’d finally done it!
The job was working for BioBank. This is a company that collects samples from around the UK for people to use in research. I ended up aliquoting blood samples, part time. I remember my close friend Jane saying to me that before my brain injury I’d have been bored stiff doing that over and over again. But I wasn’t, I was happy. There was something very therapeutic about the repetitive movements of the job.
I did it for a few years until I was signed off through my pregnancy with Jack in 2016.