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Back to work - tiredness and headaches


Leo
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Hi Everyone,

I started back at work at the very end of September. Even though I am on reduced hours I cannot believe a) how tired I am ALL the time and B) how frequent and intense my headaches have become ... again.

I was more nervous returning to work than I even admit to myself but am slowly starting to relax and enjoy it again. I have also started on the GP exercise referral scheme to try and increase my cardio fitness. This has been really hard because the gym is so loud - why is the music at such a deafening, headache inducing level? And because of the dizziness and lack of co-ordination which has led to some hairy moments on the treadmill. To be honest, I don't really do that much and so I have come to terms with the fact that the extra bellies gained since my SAH will have to stay with me for a while yet!:redface:

Sorry I haven't been online much since starting back at work as am finding it hard to turn on my computer after work these days - unless I force myself. Makes my eyes burn. I'm rambling. Sorry. :crazy:

I was warned by occ health (who have been great in assisting my return to work) that I would feel more drained etc. but my question is - HOW LONG WILL IT LAST FOR? I feel like I am drowning despite everyone, even my line manager at work staying that I am doing really well. Finding time to do the stuff that I like doing between naps and bouts of headaches isn't easy and its beginning to get to me. I think I am turning into a very grumpy old woman who isn't very nice to be around at 38!:devil:

Does anyone have a rough estimate how long things will take to calm down a bit? Or it that like asking 'How long is a piece of string?'

Have a great afternoon everyone,

Leo xx

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Hi Leo,

You're right about the piece of string. Everyone is different. Some return to work quite soon (not many) and some return to work much later or not at all, and then you have all those in between ...

I returned to work quite early - less than 4 months - and found that the headaches and tiredness increased quite dramatically. It was a few months before I could do a full day with minimal effects. Even then I would get quite tired if I was doing any intense work or doing too many hours. I know now that I probably returned too soon, or built my hours up too soon, but the feeling of normality that came with being back at work helped a lot. It does get better, but the time that it takes can vary enormously. Don't increase your hours too soon or maybe consider reducing your hours if you are able to do that.

Regards

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This is why I dont work, I decided that although lifes not great its bareable but if I worked I would have no life at all, although money is an issue it easier to manage what I do its a small price to pay I think.....

Some maybe think I'm mad, but in all honesty I dont think I could cope with it all work home life day to day stuff ect.....

take care

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Hi Leo

Mine was trial and error I initially returned at about the 7 month mark on 20 hours then increased after a few months to 25 then 30 hours a week. In my second year I realised that all my weekends and evenings were spent recovering so slowly reduced my hours down.

I now only work 20 hours a week over 4 days and find that this suits me even if the cut in pay was really hard to take at first. I suffer with permanent nerve pain in my head but I think it took a few months before the really bad headaches and tiredness lifted got better.

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I have been off work for over a year so the return has been stressful on a number of levels.

It wasn't until a couple of months ago that the registrar at the hospital told me that about (in his opinion) 50% of SAH patients never go back to work. He was surprised I was going back at all!

Thanks for the advice about building up the hours slowly. This is what has been agreed already and hopefully it will be stuck to by management.

Interesting that ... Janet? (I think it was) mentioned ongoing nerve pain. I have been offered a nerve block injection for my headaches but was unsure whether to go for it as the doctor could not provide me with any concrete evidence on the pros/cons. He told me to look it up online which I did but ... am still none the wiser! Oh well, off to munch some more painkillers :wink:

Thanks again for the wise words,

Leonie xx

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Hi Leo

Yes there is no answer really to your question. I went back to work after 6 months, first on 3 afternoons a week and then increasing to full time after a few months. I'm now nearly 2 years post-SAH and I would definitely say the first 6 months back at work were the hardest, the tiredness let up quite a bit by the end of 12 months and there has been further improvement over the past 6 months. I think improvements can be so very slow that they are difficult to spot on a day-to-day basis and are only really apparent when you look back at how you were. I think your stamina will improve - maybe don't focus too much on it just now - a lot of patience is required!

best

Anne

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Leonie

I have never been offered a nerve block injection even though I have now be told it is most likely a trapped nerve due to the operation but nothing further can be done. I tried several different types of anti-epilepsy and depressants in low doses until I found one that helps for me, that and a steady supply of paracetomol when the pain gets really bad.

Good luck with work and hope the headaches and tiredness start to ease soon for you.

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Hi Leo

I also hate the noise at the gym. I blank out and use earplugs. I am benefitting though. Lost inches not weight, my lung capacity has increased and as I also have quite severe coronary heart disease I am hoping it is increasing my heart fitness. I have to use my GTN spray before I do anything though.

Balance problems I also have and it does make the gym interesting, in I go with my walking frame, park it at the side of the equipment I am using and clamber on using my arms and anything I can grab onto to keep me upright. I now do 15 mins on the recline bike, 20 mins on the treadmill, 15 mins on the hand cycle, go round all 6 exercises on what they call the easy line circuit and two lots of 10 at 10 kilo on the abdominal crunch. It has taken me 6 months to increase to this and it takes me about 1 1/2 hours to do my program and in the next few weeks hoping to add another exercise in. Difficult but I manage.

"Where there is a will there is a way"

Edited by penny
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Hi Leo

You already know the problems that I have had with my headaches since returning to work. I want to be really positive for you but I know the stresses and strains of teaching and youknow what happened to me! On the other side though, as much as I miss teaching and as much as i'm not keen on my new job, the headaches and tiredness are more manageable (even though I was about 2 1/2 years down the line when they were!)

Anyway hun, you keep at it, you've been through such a lot lately. You know where I am if you want to chat.

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Thanks everyone.

Sometimes it is really hard to know what is "normal". But I guess my tiredness is normal. It been nearly 2 years now and some days are OK but some feel like I have been hit in the head with a hammer - again. As for my bad mood ... maybe chocolate will help!

Penny - I am full of admiration for you. I can only manage walking on the treadmill for 10-15 mins and then the recumbent bike for the same!

Take Care Everyone,

Leo xxx

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Hi Leo,

Just wanted to let you know that slow is best.

I started back at work a week and a half ago for just 2 hours a day on theadvice of the neuropsychologist. I thought 3 hours would be fine but now i realise how much effort and concentration it takes and that makes you tired and dizzy. Psycho says i have a lot of anxiety and that could be making things worse and i think she is right the more we worry about not doing enough or our job properly the more pressure we are putting on ourselves and that makes us more tired and anxious. she is trying to teach me to say one thing at a time and dont worry about the things that are out of my control. It may help you to try that too. we will see if itworks for either of us

Best of luck and best wishes

caz x

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Hi Caz,

That seems like very good advice.

I'm having problems turning my brain off. Cannot seem to concentrate on one thing at once for long as am always thinking of or trying to do the next thing at the same time. have been told to stop this but ...easier said than done!

Congratulations on going back to work xx

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:redface:Even though i had a stroke i have the same problems working, and i also been told that i should not work! tiredness and bad fatique is always thier, i have changed my job at the company and reduced hours but even now is a problem, will have to look at early retirement maybe but as we all know this at the moment is not worth much:frown: Still i have learnt to take lots of small breaks which does help. tc paul

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I think that Caz's neuropsychologist has got it sussed

Just wanted to let you know that slow is best.

I started back at work a week and a half ago for just 2 hours a day on theadvice of the neuropsychologist. I thought 3 hours would be fine but now i realise how much effort and concentration it takes and that makes you tired and dizzy. Psycho says i have a lot of anxiety and that could be making things worse and i think she is right the more we worry about not doing enough or our job properly the more pressure we are putting on ourselves and that makes us more tired and anxious. she is trying to teach me to say one thing at a time and dont worry about the things that are out of my control

This is just the best advice for us all it matters not one bit if we are trying to work or just trying to live this is IT!
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