Going Back to Work after 3 Months of Working at Home

Lupe is heading back to the office after 3 months of working from home. How she felt, was it safe? What did she bring with her to help?

Lupe is heading back to the office after 3 months of working from home.
How she felt, was it safe? What did she bring with her to help?
Join us for this episode of Sjogren’s Strong!

Lupe & Brian: [00:00:00] Welcome to another  Sjogren’s Strong.

[00:00:02] Brian: [00:00:02] This is Brian.

[00:00:02] Lupe: [00:00:02] And this is Lupe

[00:00:05] Brian: [00:00:05] And this is your podcast discussing how to live an active and healthy lifestyle despite a diagnosis of Sjogren’s.

[00:00:12] Lupe: [00:00:12] And todaaaay.

[00:00:14] Brian: [00:00:14] And today.  Man, it’s been a busy week.

[00:00:19] Lupe: [00:00:19] Sure has. I can’t believe it’s Monday. Oh shoot! Well, let’s see, where do I start?

[00:00:31] Brian: [00:00:31] Because yesterday was a little comical.

[00:00:34] Lupe: [00:00:34] Well, you know, yesterday I woke up, okay, today’s Monday, yesterday was Sunday. And then I woke up and I told Brian, I feel like a Run and Coke this morning.

[00:00:46] Brian: [00:00:46] And I said, I’m in.

[00:00:48]Lupe: [00:00:48] And so that’s how we started our day, Parrot Bay and Coke.

[00:00:55] Brian: [00:00:55] A while back, if you’ve been listening for a while, you know, we stopped drinking. We did not drink a drop for over two years.

[00:01:04] Lupe: [00:01:04] I’m going to say that. Yes.

[00:01:06] Brian: [00:01:06] And then when COVID kicked, there was a day where we said, and when I say we, I’m just going to say we, cause I don’t want to throw anyone under the bus, her name starts with an L.

[00:01:18] Lupe: [00:01:18] What? Me? Was it me?

[00:01:19] Brian: [00:01:19] I want a beer! And we bought individual servings of beer, one that I liked. And one that Lupe liked. And we went home, and we had a beer and it tasted really good.

[00:01:33] Lupe: [00:01:33] Yes, it did.

[00:01:34] Brian: [00:01:34] And that kind of curved it for a while.

[00:01:39] Lupe: [00:01:39] It was just hot that day, I think.

[00:01:41] Brian: [00:01:41] Yeah.

[00:01:41] Lupe: [00:01:41] And we just wanted a beer.

[00:01:43] Brian: [00:01:43] And it was the shole COVID, oh my gosh, you need to go get stuff. And so, we got stuff. And then I don’t know, it was a month later. She’s like, I really want a beer. So, I bought a six pack of what I like in a six pack of what she likes. And I think there’s still four of yours in the fridge.

[00:02:05] Lupe: [00:02:05] I didn’t enjoy that beer that much. I mean, I liked that beer. I just, maybe I wasn’t in the mood. I don’t know.

[00:02:11] Brian: [00:02:11] She said, hey, I want to Rum and Coke and she likes Parrot Bay. We went on a hunt for Parrot Bay and we couldn’t find Parrot Bay. And it was like the fourth or fifth store, finally had Parrot Bay. And the Parrot Bay has been in the fridge for a couple of weeks now, unopened.

[00:02:28] Lupe: [00:02:28] Until yesterday.

[00:02:29] Brian: [00:02:29] Until yesterday. Sugar is bad. Alcohol is worse.

[00:02:34] Lupe: [00:02:34] But I was craving it. So, what are you going to do?

[00:02:37] Brian: [00:02:37] Did you end up having one or two?

[00:02:40] Lupe: [00:02:40] Well, I told you I’m a lightweight right now. Well, I’ve always been a lightweight, but especially now, Make it light. And so, I kind of finished it, you know, I kind of doubt it right away. And he’s like, would you like another?

[00:02:54] Yes. But can you make it a little bit stronger? Because the last one just tasted like Coke.

[00:02:59] Brian: [00:02:59] And be being a good husband that I am I said, yes, I can.

[00:03:03] Lupe: [00:03:03] And it was a little bit strong, but I muscled through it.

[00:03:06]Brian: [00:03:06] And then she was done.

[00:03:08] Lupe: [00:03:08] Totally done.

[00:03:09] Brian: [00:03:09] And you know what it was later on in the day where she’s like, I just feel all this sugar in my veins.

[00:03:14] Lupe: [00:03:14] I was like, the Sjogren’s is kicking. I don’t know what it is. I mean, I kind of knew what it was. I knew it was a drink and I just said the Sjogren’s is kicking. Because I started feeling fatigued and I started feeling brain fog and just weird pains. I started feeling this weird pain that I haven’t felt in a long time.

[00:03:36] And I was like, oh my God, what is it? Is it stress? Is it the Rum and Coke? What is it? But you know what? I just said, the Sjogren’s is kicking.

[00:03:45] Brian: [00:03:45] She stopped drinking. I think I had one more. I think I had a third. But we were actually doing some deep cleaning yesterday. So, we were also active. It was hot.

[00:03:55] Hindsight being what it is, I asked her today, do you think it was because that you knew you were coming back to work today?

[00:04:05] Lupe: [00:04:05] Okay. So, I’ve been working from home for three months. And for those that have been listening for a while, you know, I got a new job three months ago, right! And then COVID hit. And I was at work for one week and then they’re like, okay, you’re working from home.

[00:04:23] And I’m like, I don’t even know what my job is, how can I work from home, right? But, um, you know, over the course of three months, I know my job now, but, um, Brian, he spoiled me, and he really dialed in my workstation. He got me these really big monitors even hooked me up with the TV right at my desk, you know so I was pretty hooked up. And having only worked in the office for a week, I mean, I kind of feel like I’m still the new kid on the block because I don’t know anybody at work, because I’ve been working from home.

[00:04:59] Brian: [00:04:59] Right. Right.

[00:05:00] Lupe: [00:05:00] So I just know the person that trained me in my department. So basically, she’s been my only contact to the outside world, since I’ve been working from home.

[00:05:11] Brian: [00:05:11] I think that wanting that drink yesterday was maybe a little bit of anxiety of having to come back to work.

[00:05:17] Lupe: [00:05:17] Could be. Um, so I got up, got ready, drove to the office. You know, we have this little badge that we need to use. And we had received emails  with instructions of what to do when we go back. So, we have to, every morning, go get our temperature checked before we could enter the building.

[00:05:40] Well, somebody is going to be at the front door, right. And they’re going to be checking our temperature, and then they’re going to say yay or nay.

[00:05:46] So, you know. So, yeah. And so, I get to my desk and I had a bunch of goodies. I had hand sanitizer. A box of gloves, my size only for me. A bag of  N95 masks, wipes. I had this cool water bottle with the company logo on it. I mean, so they really went above and beyond and hooked us up.

[00:06:14] Brian: [00:06:14] You know and one thing she described to me, that was really cool, some people have a lower cube or cubicle wall. And some people have higher walls and those with lower cubes, they actually put plexiglass extensions on them, to help contain any exhalation or just to act as a better barrier than the low cube. And I thought that was above and beyond.

[00:06:36] Lupe: [00:06:36] Definitely. Um, and there’s actually two buildings. The building that I’m in, I wasn’t allowed anywhere else, but my workstation. So, I couldn’t tell you what’s going on in that building. So, what my company did is that they closed common areas. So, you can’t go into the kitchen, bring your lunch, put it in your lunch bag, keep it at your desk. You cannot access the kitchen. They want to contain certain people in certain areas. So, if you don’t belong there, you’re not allowed.

[00:07:08] Brian: [00:07:08] For example, she can’t use the bathroom in her building. She has to go to the other building.

[00:07:13] Lupe: [00:07:13] I’m like, what do you mean I can’t use the bathroom in my building? It’s right there, three feet away from me. I just have to open that door and there’s a bathroom and five feet away from me, there’s the kitchen. But I can’t use that bathroom and I can’t use that kitchen.

[00:07:28] Brian: [00:07:28] Yeah, but I think it’s pretty cool that they’re trying to keep office workers separated from warehouse workers. Cause office workers never faced public and warehouse workers are touching things that are being shipped to the public.

[00:07:40] Lupe: [00:07:40] Absolutely.

[00:07:41] Brian: [00:07:41] So, it’s awesome to see a company go above and beyond.

[00:07:45] Lupe: [00:07:45] So I’m an Operations, so my workstation is in the warehouse. I mean, don’t want oh you guys to picture a warehouse, you know, like Amazon, it’s smaller, it’s clean. it has an administrative area. So, you know, that’s where I am. But I have access,  like right behind me, three feet away, the product that ships to the customers, because I work for a medical company, now, they manufacture medical supplies. And so, yeah.

[00:08:18] Brian: [00:08:18] And I can only imagine, we’re actually having this conversation for the 1st time. So, as you hear it, she’s hearing it for the first time. I’m sure there was a level of anxiety about, oh my gosh, I’ve been working really hard at staying away from people, wearing a mask ,spending very little time in a grocery store, bringing stuff home, sanitizing it, before it comes in the house. And now I am being thrust into an environment where there’s people and I don’t know what their behaviors are.

[00:08:50] Lupe: [00:08:50] Definitely. So, with the exception of maybe two or three times, we went for a small hike and a small walk, you know, during these past three months. And for the most part I’ve been staying at home, not going to see my parents, my family, nothing. I just go out once a week, maybe to the grocery store, right. And now I’m going to be around all these people, where have they been. I don’t know.

[00:09:18] But it was really weird because I felt like every doorknob, like just everything was dirty. Especially,  I mean, I got to work and I cleaned off my area but, the other building where everybody goes to the bathroom, I just felt like that, it was just dirty to me. I didn’t want to touch anything.

[00:09:38] But they did give us a box of gloves. And so, you put on your gloves, go do your business, wherever you’re going to the restroom, whatever you’re doing and throw them away. When you leave, come back to your desk and when you leave it again, put on a new set of gloves.

[00:09:56] Brian: [00:09:56] I don’t know if any of you have seen, but out here we’ve seen them, so I’m sure you’ve seen on social media and whatnot, is a key chain with a loop and like a post off of it with almost a hook. And I found a few at a local store and what it is, it’s brass and don’t quote me, germs can’t live on breasts, uh, the metal.

[00:10:17] What it is, is you can hold that loop in your finger and you can push an elevator button, the hook, you can grab a door handle and pull it towards you. So, you don’t actually physically have to touch door handles and buttons and faucets in the restroom. And all of that. You’re touching this piece of brass, which will limit your exposure to things other people are touching. Did you use yours today?

[00:10:38] Lupe: [00:10:38] Well, I was getting to that. So, I did in.

[00:10:44] Brian: [00:10:44] Air quotes.

[00:10:44] Lupe: [00:10:44] Yes. So yes, I did have it on my key chain, but this brass key thingy is kind of heavy. I did use it in the morning when I opened the door to the building. And the first time I went to the restroom, it’s pretty cool. You just have to get used to it. You know what I mean? But if you use it and then you stick it in your pocket, it doesn’t collect any germs?

[00:11:12] Brian: [00:11:12] Well, I still sanitize mine. When I come back here, and I spray it with alcohol before I set it on the shelf. Um, but yeah, I do use it and put it in my pocket sometimes.

[00:11:21] But remember, it’s not one little tiny germ is going to get you. It’s a multitude of, you know. So anytime you can limit exposure you’re better off.

[00:11:32] Lupe: [00:11:32] So I did have it on my key chain with my car keys and my house key, but it’s a little big and it’s a little heavy for me. So, I actually put it on its own key ring.

[00:11:45] Brian: [00:11:45] I mean, it’s something new and you have to develop that habit to use it. I forget sometimes too, it’s in my pocket. I mean, I just, I was worried about you going back to work more, so how you were going to feel and, and where are you going to be anxious when you came home? Was it a negative experience and you not like it or overall, did you feel OK, they’re stepping up and I feel safe or?

[00:12:13]Lupe: [00:12:13] I mean, it wasn’t a negative experience. However, I think when I left, I was a little bit grumpy. I got here. I was a little bit grumpy, right?

[00:12:23] Brian: [00:12:23] She’s grumpy right now.

[00:12:25] Lupe: [00:12:25] Yeah,  I was a little bit grumpy. I don’t even know why I just feel grumpy and nothing happened. I just, what do you mean I can’t use the restroom and it’s right there,  two steps away. You know what I mean? Maybe it’s sad. I don’t know.

[00:12:37] Brian: [00:12:37] You don’t like change well, though.

[00:12:40] Lupe: [00:12:40] Well, does anybody, I don’t know. So now I’m holding it because I don’t want to walk to the other building. You know what I mean? And I think I went maybe twice, which is a big no-no and I didn’t drink enough water, as much water as I liked drinking, but I drank enough not to get headache, that the dehydration, headache, you know.

[00:13:01] But, um, I mean, overall, it was a cool experience. Like I said, I’m the new kid on the block. I don’t know anybody. So, that’s weird. Was I a little bit stressed about it and anxious about it, maybe a little bit? I mean, it, wasn’t a good experience, you know, tomorrow will be a better day.

[00:13:17] Brian: [00:13:17] Of course.

[00:13:17] Lupe: [00:13:17] So, and you know, they’re just going to get better and better. They did give us these cool N95 masks. I mean they’re  kind of weird looking. Cause you know why? Guys, I’m a girl, right. And I have been shopping these last three months.

[00:13:37] Brian: [00:13:37] Yes, she has.

[00:13:39] Lupe: [00:13:39] Shhh! Quiet. And I haven’t been shopping these last three months?

[00:13:45] Brian: [00:13:45] Our Amazon delivery guy called up, are you guys OK? I haven’t had a delivery in two days.

[00:13:52] Lupe: [00:13:52] That’s funny. No, come on Amazon and buying online is not the same as going to Macy’s or. TJ Maxx. I mean, I don’t really go to Macy’s, I just threw it out there. I like shopping at TJ Maxx and Marshall’s, you know, and they’ve been closed. So, I’ve been getting my fixed from Amazon and Costco. What am I going to buy a Costco, but you know? So, what I have been spending money on are these cool looking cloth masks, and guess what?

[00:14:22] I can’t even worry about work because we have to wear those N95 ones make you look like a pterodactyl, right? With a pointy beak and stuff. That’s what I feel like. And I’m like I bought one in every color for every outfit, polka-dotted flowers, pink, red. I can’t even wear them.

[00:14:44] Brian: [00:14:44] She even has one with a Santa Claus on it for Christmas.

[00:14:46] Lupe: [00:14:46] Wow. He’s exaggerating, but serious. So anyways.

[00:14:51]Brian: [00:14:51] You know, one thing I was thinking about asking you, and I forgot to over the weekend.

[00:14:55] Lupe: [00:14:55] What?

[00:14:56]Brian: [00:14:56] When you wear your mask, do you find your mouth not drying out as much and moisture building up because of that barrier?

[00:15:05] Lupe: [00:15:05] You know, what’s funny this morning when I was at work, my mouth was really dry and I think it was just nerves, right. But thankfully what I always carry in my purse lately, Lubricity, I love that little pump. But, um, I think, I think it was nerves. And I haven’t had that feeling like, you won’t know Brian, but that feeling like you can’t swallow. I had that feeling of this morning for about an hour. And I’m like, what is going on?

[00:15:40] And you know, it’s just going back to work. That’s what it was. Because again, I’m the oldest,  newest kid on the block, right. Cause I’ve been there three months, but really, it’s really my first day,  if you think about it, right?

[00:15:54] Brian: [00:15:54] Yes, it is.

[00:15:55] Lupe: [00:15:55] So, I’m not sure when I wear my mask, I’m going to pay attention because I don’t think I’ve paid attention to having dry mouth like that until this morning while I was at work. So definitely going to pay attention.

[00:16:08] Brian: [00:16:08] And we want to say thank you to Lubricity. If you have not tried this product for dry mouth, we recommend you do.  In the show notes to  this episode, there will be a link to their website, and they have graciously given you, our listener, 30% off code and that code is SS30.

[00:16:29] And that will be in the show notes as well. But this product is available in half and or two-ounce bottles. It comes in a nice little pump spray, and it is rocking. I’m even utilizing it in the studio. Today I’ve done a lot of talking. And my throat is a little hoarser and rougher than usual because I have been talking so much and I’ve been using this Lubricity spray just to help create saliva and help my mouth feel better.

[00:16:59] But guys, we really want to know what you’re feeling about going back to work? When are you going back to work? Do you have anxiety about it? Because like I said, I’ve been a hermit at home and, you know, kind of going out there and not only am I in an office environment now, I’m with people that I don’t know, right.

[00:17:24] Cause when you’ve been at a place for a year or so, you know, the people, you kind of know their habits, right. But these people, I don’t know. So, I mean, I know this episode was all about me and my day to day, right.

[00:17:38] But you know what? If you’re thinking it, feeling it, I’m sure others are.

[00:17:43] Lupe: [00:17:43] Yeah. I wanted to throw it out there. Let us know what you guys think. What are you guys feeling?

[00:17:48]Brian: [00:17:48] Did you ever get the COVID test? 

[00:17:51] Lupe: [00:17:51] No and unless somebody makes me, I ain’t gonna.

[00:17:54]Brian: [00:17:54] The VA called and I’m going to go get one.

[00:17:57] Lupe: [00:17:57] You better record that.

[00:18:00] Brian: [00:18:00] What if I cry?

[00:18:02] Lupe: [00:18:02] I want to see you cry. You know what? I’ve seen videos, Ms. Andrea, she’s in our group and she posted, she went, when this first started, she posted a picture and they go deep into your nostrils. And like I said, I’m not doing it unless somebody tells me I have to.

[00:18:25] Brian: [00:18:25] Alright, I’ll  record it. It’s  a drive through, number one. Number two, if you guys never see it it’s because I cried.

[00:18:34] Lupe: [00:18:34] Oh, they’re going to see it. You better record it because we want to see.

[00:18:39] Brian: [00:18:39] It’ll be on my phone though. And if I cried, I’m just going to delete it. You won’t see it.

[00:18:42] Lupe: [00:18:42] Come on now don’t be like that. You’re going to do us like that. We want to see you cry.

[00:18:47] Brian: [00:18:47] We’ll see.

[00:18:49] Lupe: [00:18:49] Real men cry. Until next time  sip constantly and stay hydrated.

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