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Anxiety about returning to work

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My SAH happened 4 months after I started my new job. I really liked my job even though the workload was very high and the pace is very fast (company is in start up mode). After the clipping surgery in March 2010, I really wanted to return to work once I recovered. In hindsight, I really wanted to return to work because I didn’t want to think about what happened to me.

Then after my second clipping surgery in June to treat an unruptured aneurysm, I became very anxious about returning to work. Part of my anxiety is that I’m not sure if I can do my job like I used to! Because I work on medical devices, I recently took the neuropsychological tests to check my cognitive abilities (still waiting for test results).

Adding to my anxiety is that I work 200 miles from my family (but this is another story since I need health insurance and disability).

Was anyone else anxious about returning to work?

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Hi Grace,

I totally understand where you are coming from, I am just starting the process to get a phased return to work. I am an NVQ Assessor?Trainer and my job involved a lot of travelling and sometimes away from home stays.

Since my SAH I do not feel that I can cope with this style of work and am hopeful that work can find me a post in college.

I still feel that I have a role to play, I am only 53 and feel that I still have alot to offer. My Neuropsyschologist told me that my after my tests that my SAH did not cause any obvious damage to my intellectual abilities but to my memory ability. I think it is perfectly normal to be apprehensive after what has happened.

Take your time and make sure you are ready before trying to return to work. Get as much help as is possible to make the return work for you. The brain is a marvellous organ and I have found myself improving since last Christmas. There are things I still have problems with but I do not let myself get down about them because know how lucky I have been with my recovery compared to a lot of friends on Behind the Gray.

Give yourself time and I wish you good luck. :wink:

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I do feel for you, it is quite daunting returning to work, but it is not nice wondering if you will be able to keep up the pace as before. They surely would not expect you to be able to work quite the same as before and I would just say that any good employer would take account of your illness/recovery and make any necessary allowances for you, like giving you plenty of breaks etc. I hope it works out for you, but try not to get too anxious about it - you can only do your best.


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It is normal to feel anxious about returning to work. Many questions and uncertainties come with it. If you really don't feel ready, then you may not be. I would talk with your supervisors first, to make sure they understand how you're feeling and whether you can return part time to start. I was quite anxious about going back to work. My neurologist said I could return after a month, post op! I felt pressured to get back at it and needed to have some income! Also, my SAH occurred at work, while doing a massage on a patient! So there were lots of mixed emotions. I did go back on a phased return. Because my job is somewhat physically demanding and my head in a downward position, I did have troubles. I am no longer doing massage regularly, but working as a receptionist/secretary at same place. I do go back and help on the therapy side from time to time. I keep trying! Have to say I do recognize so much improvement since day 1 back at it. I do still get tired after a long day and headaches occur. But they are fewer and less intense than before, so that is good.

I wish you luck getting back into the swing of things. Just take it easy and listen to your body.

Keeping you in my thoughts,


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Thank you for all your help and good wishes!

John – I’m glad you understand me. Good luck with your phased return. You definitely have plenty to offer.

Jess – I’m thinking along the same line as you (i.e. find a job closer to home).

Sarah - Thanks for letting me know what a good employer should do.

Carolyn – I’m glad to know that I am feeling “normal”. It’s amazing that you went back to the place where your SAH happened. My fellow American, you need to take it easy and listen to your body as well.


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