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Hoofbeat

Returning to work?

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Hi

I was just wondering how other members knew they were ready to return to work (even if it was phased return)?

 

It's now 2months after my brain haemorrhage (cause still yet to be determined but thought to be a cavernous angioma and just a one-off). I'm still having headaches, but they're becoming less frequent, although occasionally they are still bad). I would say physically I have more energy than I did a month ago, although I do still find by the end of the afternoon I'm getting tired. I still have quadrantanopia (quarter of my visual field missing); this might be permanent. I'm awaiting my follow-up MRI and this, along with my next neurologist appointment, is anticipated to be in Feb/March.

 

However, I'm starting to get a little restless, and am wondering whether at some point in the next month or so I should start doing just a couple of hours of work from home (providing my employer is happy). My work is testing computer software, so is both quite taxing and visually intense. I don't yet know if I'm up to doing it or not, but equally I feel like I'll never know unless I try. I'm going to see what my GP says when I see him on Wednesday and also speak to my Headway advisor to get their thoughts.

 

Am I crazy to even think about returning to work so soon (especially before my follow-up MRI)? I'd really appreciate hearing people's stories - how did you know when to try going back to work? Do you wish you had waited?

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I returned to work two months after my second op and I don't regret it however I wasn't ready I was told return or be sacked,however if you had asked me a year and a half ago I would of said I regretted it. Goodluck with whatever you decide. Jess.xxx

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Hi there. I think you know when you want to start testing what you can do from a work point of view but don't underestimate the impact of looking at a computer screen and running complex test scripts that requires masses of concentration. It may be worth checking out how you do with things like crosswords and complex tasks on the PC first etc so you can see how you feel and how it affects your headaches, fatigue levels and eyesight.

 

My best advice is just slowly and take it easy if they are agreeable to that. I know it's corny but health I'd more important. I built up stamina off work by listening to audio books and taking notes .

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I returned at 4 mos part-time. It was hard and had headaches in the evenings. Its hard and you really are not yourself.

Do what you feel but be careful not to overdue.

Iola

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I went back to work after six months. I felt I was going stir crazy at home and wanted to boost my recovery and speed it up by being pro-active about it. Huge mistake. I went back far too early, went straight to bed when I got home, suffered headaches and bodily fatigue.

 

I later found fatigue was caused by a faulty pituitary gland, damaged in the repair to my brain. My short term memory was poor, (and still is, but less so now, three and a half years later. I still have fatigue even though I now take daily injections of growth hormone. They're still trying to get the balance right now.

 

I have now decided to take early retirement at 58. Most people, with whom I work, are great but some have decided to label me as nuts because they know I had a brain injury and it suits them to perpetuate the myth. I look the same and walk and talk okay but some just want to label me and tread all over me in order to advance their own careers and they see it as okay to run me down in the process.

 

I still perform well and dare I say it better than many, but I recognise my own limitations. One person even told a manager senior to me that I was volatile and unstable. You couldn't meet a more calm and laid back man than I.

 

I addressed a meeting on Wednesday, where I met that manager for the first time. That person said to me privately afterwards 'Very well done, that was a great presentation - you're actually very well respected here aren't you?" It was re-assuring to hear that but also very annoying. Why? Well, it was obvious that before coming to the meeting I had already been judged by what had been said by the other person. However, it changed that manager's mind about me and at least she had the gumption to acknowledge that she had perhaps been a little hasty.

 

I've had enough of that kind of bias now and I've done my 40 years and can't add to my pension fund so I'm getting out and will do different things I have lined up - but at my own pace, no-one else's. I'm going out on my own terms with my head held high and with many good memories, but do you know what? I won't look back, not even a glimpse. Forwards is where I'm going!

 

best wishes,

Macca

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I returned to work after 54 weeks off sick. It was purely for financial reasons as no way was I ready. My benefits were about to run out and my employer wanted to dismiss me for capability. This would have put me in a position where I received no money at all from anywhere. The only solution was to argue the Occupational Health report and prove them wrong.

 

My manager was an unpleasant person before I was unwell and my extremely serious illness did not inspire her to suddenly develop empathy. I honestly thought that returning to a role I been doing for 3.5 years pre-sah wouldn't be too difficult but actually, it was awful. I started on 2 x 4 hours per week and was exhausted. It's probably fair to say that a fair amount of that exhaustion was caused by trying to resist taking the negativity I was faced with on board.

 

There is a lot to consider when returning to work and I wished I had known this in advance. Perhaps working from home will take away a lot of the potential issues - you can control the noise level of your environment and the amount of distractions around.

 

While my initial experience of returning to work was a negative one, it definitely boosted my recovery. My logic, reasoning and memory have advanced in a way that I believe would not have happened if I'd stayed at home. I don't regret returning to work, I just wish I'd been allowed more time to recover. Good luck!

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Macca and Dawn thanks for your stories. It's now been over 3 months since my intracerebral haemorrhage and I'm still off work with no immediate plans to return.

 

A few weeks ago I felt that I was making strong progress and I started doing more when bang I had another 3 day headache that wiped me out completely. Since then I've been trying to incorporate more proper rests where I actually go and lie down with my eyes shut, rather than just thinking that lounging on the sofa watching tv counts as rest. Unfortunately though I had another horrendous headache on Saturday and Sunday (resulting in a trip to an out of hours GP to try and get more pain relief).

 

I'm definitely struggling with working out what I can and can't manage at the moment. Doing nothing I feel like I'm improving (and I start to think I should be getting ready to return to work), but then as soon as I try and do something I end up exhausted and with a headache.

 

I had my follow-up MRI last week and am seeing my neurologist this Thursday to get the results, so that is a good step forward as hopefully we will be able to rule out some more sinister causes of my bleed, and potentially have an idea what caused it (though I've been warned that we may see nothing suggesting the cause has just disappeared when the bleed occurred). I'm also going to speak to my neurologist about my headaches and fatigue and ask for his advice.

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I return to work too soon and did too much as well. My advice is to build up your stamina at home and if you can manage your home life with ease you can try adding a few hours a week. Good luck.

Maryb

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Good luck Hoofbeat!

 

Your body will keep on telling you when you've done too much! Go at your own pace and just remember this. Resting well is as important as getting up to go to work. Eat well, sleep well. Don't let others force the pace. To them you probably look normal so they expect normal - you mustn't be shy to tell them to back off when you've had enough - in the best possible taste of course - shades of Kenny Everett there! The message is serious though

 

Macca

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Was really feeling great so  3 months after by SAH  I returned to work part time( I do childcare) and was not ready  Trying to do 2 half days but thinking I will have to give that up to, just to much for my brain.  So fatigued I am being  treated for anxiety   Feel like I am in a  fog  and have slight head aches with neck pain 

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I returned to work after 2 months...Looking back at it I went back too soon.  I did do a gradual re-entry to work but only did it for 2 weeks.  I clearly felt pressed to return feeling I would be let go.   I don't think it did me any harm but I was very stressed by it.  I work in healthcare with patients so clearly needed to be up to speed.  I did well and on occasion asked my good friends if I was keeping up, they said I was.  

 

It took all the energy I had and I don't work full time only 3 shifts per week but they are overnight 11pm to 7am so they take their toll..

 

I had some tell me I would know when to go back, I don't think I did.  It was fear that sent me back.

If you can take the time be gentle and kind to yourself, you have been through a lot..The brain heals slowly..

Best wishes

 

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Hi everyone, 

Returning to work sounds tricky. Thanks for all your advice/comments.

Ves 😊

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Hi,

 

Today was my first day back at work. It was ok but hard. I did 3 hours. Early bedtime for me i think. Not back til Thursday. 

 

On 18/01/2014 at 08:44, iola said:

I returned at 4 mos part-time. It was hard and had headaches in the evenings. Its hard and you really are not yourself.

Do what you feel but be careful not to overdue.

Iola

 

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Hi Ves

 

Well done on your 3 hours, that was better than the 2 hours I did first day back. 

 

Hope it felt good! Now rest up till Thursday 😀

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Hi Ves

 

Well done on your first day back. Good luck for tomorrow, hope all goes well for you.

 

Go steady !

Tina :) 

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17 hours ago, ClareM said:

Hi Ves

 

Well done on your 3 hours, that was better than the 2 hours I did first day back. 

 

Hope it felt good! Now rest up till Thursday 😀

Hi, 

Today i woke up very tired back in bed for most of the day. I hope i am ok for work tomorrow. If not maybe I am trying to do too much.

 

😊

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On 01/05/2018 at 04:33, Linda Sue said:

Was really feeling great so  3 months after by SAH  I returned to work part time( I do childcare) and was not ready  Trying to do 2 half days but thinking I will have to give that up to, just to much for my brain.  So fatigued I am being  treated for anxiety   Feel like I am in a  fog  and have slight head aches with neck pain 

Hi Linda,

I totally get how you feel. Its very hard. The more tired i get the more anxiety. Maybe its the body's way of saying slow down, too much too soon. Let me know if you are improving.

 

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12 minutes ago, Tina said:

Hi Ves

 

Well done on your first day back. Good luck for tomorrow, hope all goes well for you.

 

Go steady !

Tina :) 

Thankyou 😊

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