I’m starting to feel better, the fatigue is still very bad some days, but I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel
My sick note is going to run out on 6th April and I will be asking for an extension of 2 weeks when I see GP on the 4th (see rheumatologist on the 15th) My boss told me yesterday that he was expecting me to be coming back after the 6th (wishful thinking?) That he has 5 staff off sick (I’m sorry, but not my problem!)
So playing the game? I will now have to be referred back to Occi Health as I will have been off for 6 weeks plus. I will have to go back on a phased return lasting 6 weeks. This is the first time I have sat down and calculated a plan on my sickness and return to make sure I see the right people for MY benefit and not my employers. It feels strange and I feel a bit guilty, but I think that will pass, If not I will club it into submission!
I honestly don’t think you are playing the game. I think you are looking after Louise. There are no medals (in case you didn’t know already, LOL) for returning to work when you aren’t ready. I wish I had done a bit more self-advocacy when I was still working. Of course, I wasn’t diagnosed at that point: I was just plain old and tired.
Good for you, Louise! Kick that feeling of guilt to the kerb.
Thanks girls, its so hard to be your own advocate but I know although my back pain is improved its purely because I’m not working…doing the hoovering proves that! I will keep trying to do what’s in my best interest, and I’m not ready yet.
Is your company large enough that your duties could be changed? Nursing is very physical work, yet there are numerous tasks that you could conceivably get switched to and still use that training. I have a good number of employees and would never ask that anyone do tasks that are against doctors orders. In some cases this has meant that I have needed to get creative but it is always doable. As an employer it does not make any sense to have an employee do work that will cause injury or extend an illness.
I work for the NHS in the UK Sassygrl, so it is a very large organization. We have a good sickness policy but I’ve had to point the management in the right direction on occasion. Unfortunately we are often understaffed, so my sickness adds pressure to a team already under pressure. There are quite a few reasons for the understaffing, some due to upper management not knowing “their onions” lol…I digress.
My shift pattern has been changed to help me and some equipment also, but unfortunately when my fatigue is really bad during a flare, I just can’t do it. I work in a fast paced dialysis unit and my employer is a NHS Trust based about an hours drive away, whereas the satellite unit I work in is about 2 miles away from home, and based in my local hospital. Any lighter duty jobs at the Trust I work for are too far away for me to manage day to day. I have looked into changing employment to the Trust which runs my local hospital but I would have to work 5 short days rather than the 3 long ones I currently do. I have tried shorter shifts and more days but I didn’t cope well with it at all.
But on a brighter note, today has been a good one, managed some food shopping AND a 20 min walk, so I’m well chuffed this evening.
I am glad that you are feeling better. I hope that you can squeeze out as much time off as you really need. I can't imagine doing your job with this condition.