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Learning new things after SAH


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Hi, I had SAH 2 years ago & have been determined to get well ever since (mostly as I had no idea how long this might take!).

I am still doing the job I did before but not at the same level & find it all a confusing muddle. I have managed to 'wing it' so far. On the whole, everyone has been fantastic with helping me and understanding that I'm not as bright or quick as I used to be. The problem is my new(ish) boss who knew me before, has come back as boss again and seems to think i'm putting it on!! (Oh how I wish I was!)

He's clearly trying to get rid of me & I spoke to the personnel office last week about medical retirement (I have only just turned 40!!!!!) I was told I wouldn't get it but would be moved to a new job instead. This fills me with total terror - I struggle to learn one new thing - a whole job would be beyond what i'm capable of. I think this would make me ill & destroy what's left of my confidence.

Has anyone else been 'sidelined' and managed to learn something new? I know I can learn one thing eventually with repetition and help from others but the massive headaches and overwhelming tiredness my last attempt caused lasted for 2 months before I felt I'd cracked it. In a new job, absolutely everything would be new and I really don't think I'm able to do this.

I would love to hear from others who have managed to do new things. Thank you x

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Hey you,

First of all, CONGRATULATIONS ! You have managed to stay in the same job as before your SAH. I'm sure that it is not by "winging it" ! It is because you are good at your job and your "lovely" brain, knows what it is doing.

Isn't it funny how one person out of many can cause a stink? It appears that you have some good colleagues and most probably very good friends, do they know what is happening? If not, they should !

The new "Boss" sounds like a charmer. What ever you do, don't let him wind you up. You know that it's not good for you and you certainly don't want to give him the satisfaction.

I have been worried about what i may have forgotten, for when i go back to work and have told my family, friends and my work mates. As long as i have someone that believes.................Who can stop me????

I wish you all the best........." we are here, believing"

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Hello Goldfish girl,

sorry, I don't know your proper name. What a horrible boss. I do wish people in his situation would try to find out more about what SAH can do to people. He's probably not even interested. :mad1:

I am sure the prospect of learning a completely new job is really daunting. I know I wouldn't like to try it. I haven't even tried doing my old job again, because they wont give me my drivers licence back yet. But the thought of such a massive challenge would horrify me. Surely he's not going to be able to "get rid of you" as that would be discrimination. If I were you I'd tell him that. Sounds like he needs to Know that even the boss has to follow standard rules of the law. Hope you sort him out real soon.

Best of luck. Sally x

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Hi Gary & Sally,

Thank you for your messages and support. I have brilliant colleagues at work who have been amazingly helpful and patient, they all know what is going on but it seems I am powerless to do anything about it. I had thought speaking to the HR office would have helped - until they said they'd just move me! I think people are completely ignorant of the side effects of SAH as they have no experience of it. (Not an excuse not to go and find out though).

A lady from Momentum is coming in to work next week & I'm hoping she will be able to explain things more clearly to them. I don't know the legal ins & outs but I had thought that as I am now registered as disabled there would be some sort of protection of my interests in situations like this? Does anyone know anything about this?

Thank you.

Michelle x

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Hiya am so in awe at your determination to return to the person you were pre SAH,like Gary said your managing because you know what you are doing and you are way too good for them!

Just thought i'd pop in and say that and wish I could give you some advise other than not to let the Bleeeeeeeeeeeps grind you down. :shock:

........." we are here, believing"

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Hi Michelle

Ditto what everyone else said I wasnt able to return to work so I cant really comment however I did end up going to college and learning all about computers wasnt easy but I did it with a lot of hard work & determination.....

Good luck

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Hello GG.

I found it a struggle returning to work.

I had to completely change my job role after my SAH. It was a public facing investigations post. so whenI was shifted to the backrooms I was rather upset. But I learned the job quite quickly. But I decided that the job I was doing (& the one I am doing now) wasn't enough for me. So I have started a degree and am pleased to say that I have gained new skills and knowledge thaat are helping me to improve myself.

I think that for me, changing jobs was the best thing I could have done.

From what i have seen, lots of people have had problems with their bosses (not so much the employer) who do not seem to understand the issues surrounding SAH.

but simply getting back to work and doing your old job is a fantastic start!

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Hi Goldfish Girl

Yes your boss sounds unpleasant and not fit to manage people. I have found ACAS very good - they have a helpline which you can ring up for advice on employment issues and they are impartial.

I went back to work 6 months after my SAH but was made redundant 18 months later (nothing to do with my illness; the organisation lost its funding). I was frightened by the prospect of finding a new job and learning new things and so I wrote to the Occupational Therapist I saw after my SAH and she put me in touch with a wonderful organisation called IntoWork (based in Edinburgh) which has helped me to keep positive, find a new job and settle in. You may be able to find additional support with your current situation.

With best wishes

Anne

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I actually lost my job after my SAH because I could no longer "keep up the pace" that i was able to do before. I really think the job had a lot to do with the event in the first place. It was hard and very scary but I did get a new job. Doesn't pay as much but is much less stressful (coupled with the stress of being "like you were before"). You can learn again,it is just very different and slow, S-L-O-W. It is a blow to say the least but after what you have been through you can do this. I copied the "letter from your brain" from this site, taped it to my mirror and read it aloud to myself every morning before I even step out the door. You are different and you learn different now, but you can learn. It is scary and your self-confidence takes a massive hit, you have to draw on a different source now.....the one that lived through your trauma. Yea, that gritty determination that you have...you just have to find. You can do this. Not like you did before, but you now have experience with survival, make that your confidence...and your friend.

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Hi Michelle

I returned to work last December and was being supervised by our occy health doc. My manager (who was put in place during my sick leave) ignored his advice and put me under intolerable pressure. I was signed off again in February with work related stress. She even met with the occy health doc and tried to get him agree that I was cognitively impaired and therefore unable to do my job, which was a nonsense. He refused and told her if she continued down this route then she'd be looking at a tribunal. He then told me that it would not be good for my health to return to that office and I was put on the redelpoyment register.

My confidence was rock bottom by now and because of my "new brain" I wasn't sure if I would be able to learn a new job or cope with getting to know new colleagues! I got quite worked up about it. I returned to work at the end of June and did a job for 3 weeks and then was moved to where I am now. I've to be here for 2 months. I've learnt 2 new jobs and met some great new colleagues. They know my weaknesses and give me support when I need it. I'm finally starting to get my confidence back and am now so glad that I know longer work in that office. But it's taken me a lot to get to this!

I couldn't have coped without my union, Unison. They speak on my behalf and any contact from the Trust has to go through them. My union official comes to my meetings with HR and advises me throughout. Our redeployment policy states that HR have 12 weeks to find a displaced employee a job and the employee can refuese 2 of these, however a 3rd refusal and the Trust deems you to have made yourself unemployed. Again this was huge pressure for me. However, the union stepped in and the Trust has waived this "12 weeks/3 strikes and your out" in my case.

I would advise you to contact a union. I don't know which one is most suited for you, but once yo've paid you first payment, you're covered!

There is an organisation called Health Working Lives, www.healthyworkinglives.com, that gives occupational health advice to employers and employees. Their aim is to keep people in work and sort out any problems before they get to the stage of being signed off sick. I think this is a Scottish Government initiative, might me worth a look.

I hope this has helped a little, take care.

Edited by Liz D
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Hi Michelle,

I returned to work in May (SAH in Oct 09) , slowly building up my hours as I feel stronger. I couldn't return to my "original" job as my brain was just not up to it. I'm currently doing an administration role, which is new to me. I initially had bad headaches and moments of sheer frustration but it got better. I have learned new things, I know not as quickly as I would have before, but I have done it! I am hoping to return to my "old" job but i may not be up to it. I do agree with what Liz wrote, if you can or have access to, contact a union. Unison have helped me a lot, so it may be worth you seeing if you can get the same help.

Don't forget, your doing brilliantly just being back at work !!!!

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Thank you all for all your replies. I have been moved to tears by your support and amazed at what you have achieved. It's given me hope but I can't stand the frustration of learning being such a struggle now. I will have to get used to it!!!!

I was told on Friday that a new part to my job is being added to my terms of reference. I'm not sure I can agree to sign them as I'm not sure I will be able to learn this part as it seems very indepth & complicated. I think that once it has been added, it will be used against me in that I 'can't do my job'.

Thank you all again for the advice. I will try to contact my Union Rep next week.

Michelle x

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