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Hi Sandi,

As Louise says, well done you for getting as far as you have. You're doing brilliantly.

Reading how you're getting on with your return to work brings me mixed emotions, I read about your days and your feelings and I wonder how things will go for my return to work, how will I feel if I can't do the job I love and have done for 20yrs.

 

It's so so hard to accept we are not, and will never be, the person we were before SAH. Yes, it is a rollercoaster journey. One that gives you such a range of emotions some that I personally can't even find words for.

 

You really really are doing so well, I wish you wouldnt be so hard on yourself.

I truly believe it's all about grieving for what you once had, finding that acceptance of who you are now.

Personally I prefer the new me, and I really hope I continue with those thoughts, that my return to work is a positive thing. I pray I can do it, I know I'll face very dark times if I can't.

I'm sending you big hugs dear Sandi, keep smiling. You've come a long way, and there's more to come yet.

Take care,

SarahLou Xx

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Hi there Sandi,

Once again, its been quite a few days since I was on BTH, so I've checked in to seew how your journey is going. Over this last week or so, I've been in conversation with work and we now have a "Back to Work" Plan. I just hope that it goes to plan ! I'm already worrying (in a mild way) about what it will be like. I can accept that I need to go back on "light" duties but I do fear be side lined or overlooked - or worst still molly coddled !

 

I know exactly what you mean about overdoing it. I think I've done so very well on my recovery, and it really is the good days when you push yourself that bit too far, isn't it ?

 

Yesterday, I made it back to the gym for the first time in 2.5 months. I was a bit nervous - not about the exercise, but more about whether I could cope with the music in the gym - especially if it was a bit on the loud side. But I need not have worried. The music was at normal levels and whilst I didn't feel especially invigorated when I left the gym, I did feel sooo much better as the afternoon went on.

 

But today I was a bit more tired than usual. I went to go for a walk and got caught in the rain. Maybe that was a good thing, because it cut the walk short and made me rest !

Gotta break off and have supper now - cooked by my luvly hubby. Keep up the good work and keep us all posted on your progress. I'll do the same when I go back.

Take Care,

Mags

x

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Good luck with your return to work Mags. I find it really hard to pace myself. It easy to get rolling on something and forget to break away from it. Remember to pace, remember to take breaks. For me, it works best if my breaks are having a walk outside by myself. This takes me away from the work, ensures no one requires my attention, and my brain gets quiet time.

 

It helps me to organize my thoughts and I feel refreshed when I return to my desk 5 or 15 minutes later depending on how much of a break I think I need. Its really helped me to be more productive and I feel like I'm accomplishing more during the few hours I'm at work.

I hope this helps you with your return!

Sandi K.

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Hi everyone, as the first two days of the week were spent looking for holes in my head (neuropsych testing) I was only able to work Thursday and Friday. I worked 5.5 hours each day. Friday I needed a nap after work.

I'm feeling 'ready' to try and move up again. I have a three day weekend and then next week I'm going to work three days each being 6 hours. This will be the milestone the GP was looking for. I haven't been to GP since August. She said come back when you are at 3 days and 6 hours.

I'm also scheduling an appt with an occupational therapist who will help me with fatigue. Hope to get that going soon!

Sandi K.

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Good luck with your increased work hours Sandi, you're doing so well. If I can do half as well as you're managing then I'll be happy.

Remember to take those breaks though.

Well done with the way you are coping and dealing with things, you should be very proud of yourself.

Take care,

SL Xx

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Hi Sandi K,

I have read your thread with interest as it reaffirmed my own return to work progress problems. I returned to work in April after my SAH in November 2009. I followed the agreed Occupational Health Doctors Plan and took about six weeks to reach five days working about 37.5 hours. I was mainly sited in the College doing a variety of Admin work but no Training as of old and very little travelling.

 

I struggled with fatigue after about 8 weeks and was asked to return to Occupational Health where my Doctor told me that I might have overstretched myself and should drop down to four days for a month as a trial. This went well and low and behold because you feel okay the hours creep back up again.

But I was finding myself falling asleep in the evenings without warning. The biggest problem I have is in saying "no". But this week I have asked again for a discussion and a request to drop down to four days for a month to see if this is easier to manage.

 

I have finally realised that as told to me by Dr Jones at Occy Health, I may have reached my limits!! It was such a relief to finally make a sensible decision and felt like I had lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. It feels like I have finally reached a point of harmony with myself.

 

I sympathise enormously with people who write about finding it hard to pace themselves. My biggest problem is still having no memory of being ill, I am also so lucky that I have not lost any of my intellectual abilities. But what I have lost is the ability to multi-task and the stamina I used to have. Any sessions of cognitive loading and I am soon wiped out.

 

I now leave the desk for a coffee break every couple of hours, I leave the desk for lunch. I do not take work home. When I go home I switch off.

 

I am waiting for my 2 year check up MRI scan appointment to come through, but am so happy with life.

Mags good luck with your return to work, listen to your body and take heed!

Sandi K carry on with your return. Take as long as it takes.

;-)x

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Hi All,

Sandi, I know it's been awhile but we did talk a bit about return to work. I did go back July 25. I started with 3 hours 3x a week and did that for 2 weeks. The 3rd week though they expected me to be at work for 4 hours everyday. Quite a big jump! It was the insurance company and work that "organized" this gradual back to work program. I was exhausted and had to call in sick a few times. I went back to my GP and told him that I don't mind the hours but I need a day in between to rest. We agreed to 5 hours 3x a week. Of course, the insurance company and work could not refuse. I did that for 2 weeks. It was manageable but I was dead when I got home and is not functional the next day.

 

They expected me to work from 6 hours 3x a week to 7 hours 4x a week then finally come September 26 they expect me to work full time. I said that seems unrealistic. The insurance company said my work could (I say wouldn't) not accommodate an extension. I was given 2 options. One is to continue with the program and work full time as scheduled or two, to undergo a Work Conditioning Program for 6 weeks. Of course I went option 2. It has been great so far. I have a team which includes a Physiotherapist, Kinesiologist and Psychologist (an OT is also part of the team but they don't have one right now).

 

I do cardio, strengthening exercises, work simulation and stress management classes, etc. The physio treats me as needed for my neck and shoulder pains. Otherwise, I love it! It feels great to be in shape. I do that 4 hours everyday and everybody there is so supportive and understanding. Sandi, ask them if this could be an option for you.

 

The only catch is that I have to go back to work full time after the program which is October 17th no questions asked. The team suggested a gradual return was best but insurance said it was not possible. Anyways, I am done with insurance companies. They did not think I am or was sick enough! Well, I do feel so much better now. I still suffer from headaches and cannot live without my painkillers (I tried to no avail!). Fatigue is not as often.

 

I am a bit anxious going back full time but figured I might as well try it. I do love my job and most people I work with are great and very understanding. I am celebrating my 32nd birthday on the 16th and realized that life must go on. I was given the incredible gift of a second life...might as well start living it.

Best of luck to all of you! Stay strong!

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So good to read all your comments

Johntaras you have made me stop and look at myself again

I work full time and find it hard to multitask or do things that require concentration bu it such a big part of my job

I have found I can cope if I take things slowly and only do one thing at once without distracti9ons

I often put earplugs in to help me concentrate and this does help

But I am now 20 months since my NASAH so have now denied myself the luxury of still having problems.... how stupid is that

I worked 11 hours on friday without even going for a break in the fresh air then I wonder why I am shattered when I get home

Reading your post has reminded me of the importance of having breaks and I will start afresh next week resting when I feel overwhelmed instead of trying to work through it

Thanks for thge reminder

Di

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John you are so right about the relief of realising that you have reached your limits! I worked 35 hours before my SAH and now work 18 & 3/4. I was coping with work, that is with concentration, accuracy etc. I too couldn't (and still dont') multi task but could still get through my work load. But it was when I came home and switched off that the fatigue would hit with a vengeance and weekends were being lost to headaches and sleeping. I kept thinking that it would get easier but it didn't and that's when I decided to reduce my hours and reduce the number of days I worked.

 

It's having to adjust to another change, as a result of the SAH. Another reminder that I'm not the same person but I am so glad I made that change. I love my work, I look forward to going in and I don't ever suffer from Monday morning blues (maybe becauuse I work Monday afternoons)! I now have enough time and energy to really enjoy my hobbies. But from time to time I still get hit with fatigue and will give in to it and rest. I dont' let it get me down because I know it will pass.

 

We have to remember not to be so hard on ourselves and realise when it's time to stop pushing (I know it's not easy). Everyone, whether they've had a serious illness or not, has to find a work life balance. You have to have enough time and energy to enjoy life away from the workplace, it just seems that we SAHers might be a wee bit more stubborn than most!

 

Sandi this really is such a good thread you have started and you are doing amazingly well on your return to work.

Good luck Mags on your return to work.

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Hi Folks:

I am learning so much from everyone so Im gonna try and jump in the middle and share my thoughts. Had SAH 2 1/2 months ago. Still don't feel a whole lot better. Went back to work last week and that is on my introduction thread. I have to go back to work for financial reasons. My company has been great with me so far but I could feel like they needed me back. Going back 1/2 days M-f for now. Had headache for 74 straight days 24/7. Not trying to be dramatic it just I cant wait for that FIRST day that I don't wake up with a headache. Fatigue is relentless and intolerable. Beginning to wonder what kind of life I'm gonna have. Can only hope it gets better. It does get better right? Pleeeaaase.

David

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Hello David,

Welcome to BTG.

You are doing so well so soon after your SAH, but maybe too much too soon??

My SAH was 14mths ago, I also suffered all the time with head pains and temple pressure. It has got better over time but I still get them. Now as I type this even. It is alot worse when tired or stressed.

For me the biggest step was when I accepted that I'm not and will never be the person I was before my SAH, it's all about acceptance of who you are now.

 

I can totally understand your concerns for getting back to work, maybe you could do less days to start with? Have rest days in between. I myself have started my phased return to work this week,I'll be doing half days Mondays and Thursdays for a few weeks,see how it goes from there.

Don't push yourself too hard, you don't want to end up going backwards in your recovery.

Drink plenty of water, it really does help.

 

I know it's really hard but please remember your health and wellbeing comes before money and work. Well, I believe it does / should!

I wish you well with your recovery.

Take care,

SarahLou Xx

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I am so pleased to see so many contributions to this thread! : )

Returning to work is a major challenge during recovery. All of this experience gathered here can only help others just as your experiences are helping me.

 

I've completed two 6 hour shifts, Tuesday and wednesday. I didn't need to drive either day so was able to manage both days quite well. By the end of yesterday though I was short circuiting and I forgot a chiropractor appointment. I was so tired that I was in bed for 10.5 hours last night.

Today is my day off. I did 10 miles on the bike, 3 loads of laundry, and a grocery shop. My head is a bit tight and I do feel tired and lethargic but not totally depleted.

 

Tomorrow I work 5 hours and then meet with neuropsych and my hubby to discuss results of neuropsych testing. Monday I meet with the Occupational Therapist about fatigue, after my 6 hour work day.

Sandi K.

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Sandi - that's not a day off!! Tired reading about it :lol:

I got Dylans Nuero-psyc results today - helpful in identifying any deficits and suggesting strategies to enable him to cope & work around any issues. I hope your results will be equally as helpful and look forward to hearing, if you are happy to share them.

Good luck, Michelle xx

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This past week I managed to work the 2 six hour shifts previously mentioned plus a 5 hour shift yesterday. After work my husband and I met with the neuropsychologist to hear my neurospych assessment results.

 

There were no surprises but there it was good to have what we were already thinking validated and explained by a professional. I have an auditory attention deficit when I'm tired which is quite often since the NASAH. This explains why I have trouble following conversations and why sometimes I cannot understand what people are telling me. They may as well be speaking a different language. The more exhausted I am the worse it is. It's not a memory problem, I don't hold onto the information to begin with.

 

When I do feel well and am able to pay attention and retain the info it really drains my brain and energy and brings on the fatigue. So meetings or social settings with several people will do that. Presentations with lots of new information. Restaurants with many conversations going on.

The neuropsych said I'm expected to recover from this but it will take a long time. He also said that some NASAHs have residual effects and don't fully recover from this stuff but statistically I should recover. And he said it will be a long time before I'm back to work full-time. And I cried. I guess I knew that but hearing it from a professional is tough.

 

The good part is, now I have the details of what's happening in my head. Now I explain it to my friends, family, and coworkers, and boss. Knowing this is another wag to help me recognize and acknowledge when I'm at my limit at work. Awareness is everything.

Sandi K. Xo

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My goodness SandiK, this is such positive and hopeful news. Awareness IS everything, you are right!! This can only help in preparing for each day, knowing when you have reached your limits and for taking your breaks. I would have cried hearing the news as well from a 'professional' but this gives you clear understanding on how to proceed and for the team you work alongside to make allowances. Such a brilliant 'Story of experience' you've started, which will help others in the future, to take heed and learn from your valuable insights.

Indeed I am very proud of you!! x

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Aww Sandi, I know how difficult that information would have been to hear for you.

At least you now have professional results you can give to the people around you.

You are doing brilliantly and you will get there, just not right now.

Take credit where credit is due dear Sandi.

Take care,

SL Xx

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Hi Sandi.

Having the information to explain what causes the problems and having what you already knew verified is indeed a very positive step forward, as is hearing that it is very likely you WILL get better eventually. I hope you feel better on the whole after this (it is very draining going through these assessments & waiting for the results). I cried a LOT when I got mine & again when I got Dylans.

 

I took a few days to be upset as the reality hit me, since then I haven't looked back. I may not always like it, but I am how I am and I found it helped to understand why. It stopped me thinking 'I should be better now' and made me feel that it was OK that I wasn't, it's not a lack of trying or laziness that's holding me back. Realising that was a very positive step forward for me.

Hopefully having this information will help you to be a little easier on yourself while your recovery continues :wink:

Michelle xx

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Sandi - This thread has been wonderful!!! Thank you for starting it. I know it has helped LOTS of people that are dealing with all of these same issues! Have you looked at the numbers who've viewed this thread? Job well done :smilewinkgrin:

 

Although the review of your assessment was difficult to hear and process, I think with your positive attitude and now having validation of what you had suspected, you may find more acceptance with all that's happened. I realize it's a tough pill to swallow, but I think you're going to continue to do well!!!

I've just remembered that I've not gotten the results of my neuropsyche assessment yet! I think I had it done in June? I'll have to look back now and make some calls. I know I'd made several calls in the previous month or so, regarding it and never heard back, and then sort of forgot about it. Where's my brain been? On vacation maybe!

 

The auditory attention deficit sounds like what I've been dealing with. It makes perfect sense to me and I'm really going to be agressive now, in getting my results. I think it would be helpful to know exactly what I'm dealing with.

 

Again, thank you for starting this thread - most helpful in many ways!

Sending huge hugs from the south (can't say across the pond with you :biggrin:),

Carolyn

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Hi Sandi.

I have been reading this thread for some time now and have been wondering what , If anything, I could contribute.

 

Unlike most people on this site, who have struggled to return to work, I was propelled into

employment by my big sister.

From the pit of despair and deep depression, within a few months, I was a valued person again.

All my physical problems were eclipsed by the self esteem that flowed from teaching.

The symptoms are still there, and are constantly invading my functions, but the requirements of my role, force me to override all the negatives

in my life.

 

I know how lucky I have been. Support on a mammoth scale, and people who forgave all my strange behavior in the early days.

I was allowed,to slowly, integrate back into normal life.

Not all people will have this level of support.

I will say something now,

that will seem strange to most SAH sufferers.

I actually believe, that I am in a better place now , than I was before the event.

 

Now, I know this is an impossibility for people who have physical aftermath that is much worse than mine.

But, if anyone reading , in the early years of recovery, with similar symptoms to me, can take any comfort from my experience.

Anything is possible!

 

Coincidentally, it took six months of volunteering to get any work at all. But when I became indispensable, they had to pay me.

I feel a kind of guilt , in many ways, that my recovery was so problem free.

So many people on this site have had no help at all.

The key word is, Volunteer.

 

Sami and Lin will tell you the same.

We are all damaged, less than perfect individuals, full of symptoms and needs.

The insight that flows from our events makes us all, uniquely placed, to contribute to society, in ways that non - sufferers couldn't.

Education is a great place to seek employment, as is, citizens -advice and counselling.

Insight is everything.

 

I don't know about everyone else, but, to me, staring death in the face and confronting my own mortality profoundly changed me.

Money has no meaning, status has no meaning, shame, guilt, embarrassment and fear have no meaning.

 

All that matters is the love of my family and the self esteem I get from helping others.

I am better now , because now, I know what really matters.

I am one lucky SOB, and I know it!

 

I apologize to anyone reading this, who is currently struggling for employment.

Lack of income and self- esteem are terribly debilitating.

But. All that I have become, was hard won, by latching onto a life- line, given, in good faith, by well wishers.

 

All of this is possible for anyone,

When you are in deep, dark water, you have to learn how to swim.

Sink, or swim.

Choice.

Bill B.xx

"

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Hi Sandi

I've just popped in to see how things are going with you. I agree with Carolyn, you're such a positive person, I know you will pick yourself up and dust your self down. What a tough thing to hear but he didn't say you would 'never' work fulltime. You really are doing so well. You deal with traffic going to and from work, you are coping with work and then when you are at home you're doing all the chores and on top of that excercising! So be kind to yourself and give yourself a big pat on the back for what you have achieved.

 

Now is the time to re-assess your goals. Set goals that you can achieve in the short term, fulltime working can be a long term goal. I set myself small goals now with a longer time scale. At the start of the year my aim was to be able knit again. I found trying to make sense of the instructions very difficult at first and my left arm complained a lot! So I started with a simple garment and now I am back to knitting complicated patterns. I also was unable to read a book, I couldn't concentrate long enough. I have read 11 books so far, mainly autobiographies, so the next goal is to read a book with a plot!

 

So I have achieved my goals for this year. Instead of making New Year resoloutions, I will set myself some more goals for next year. I have achieved this because I cut back on my working hours and days.

My longterm goal is to finish the business degree that I had completed one year of. I know I will finish it but I can't do that and work. So I will wait until I retire in 8 years time. Too late to use the degree but it will never be too late to enjoy the satisfaction of having completed it!

 

It's just that little bit harder when you have no choice but to re-assess things but also there is a freedom in it too. Sending you a big hug Sandi, take care. xx

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Hello David,

Welcome to BTG.

You are doing so well so soon after your SAH, but maybe too much too soon??

My SAH was 14mths ago, I also suffered all the time with head pains and temple pressure. It has got better over time but I still get them. Now as I type this even. It is alot worse when tired or stressed.

For me the biggest step was when I accepted that I'm not and will never be the person I was before my SAH, it's all about acceptance of who you are now.

I can totally understand your concerns for getting back to work, maybe you could do less days to start with? Have rest days in between. I myself have started my phased return to work this week,I'll be doing half days Mondays and Thursdays for a few weeks,see how it goes from there.

Don't push yourself too hard, you don't want to end up going backwards in your recovery.

Drink plenty of water, it really does help.

I know it's really hard but please remember your health and wellbeing comes before money and work. Well, I believe it does / should!

I wish you well with your recovery.

Take care,

SarahLou Xx

Thanks Sarah,

You make alot of sense and your advice is well taken. Your SAH I believe was worse than mine so I can only imagine what you're going through. Its my 3rd week of work and I'm doing ok. Today was pretty crappy but I know bad days are common. One amazing thing. I kicked up my water intake recently and really noticed a difference, Sunday and Monday felt almost no symptoms of SAH and think it may be the water. Hope you are doing well.

David

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Hello,

This is my 3rd week back to work. I felt so good on Sunday and Monday, almost normal. Today felt kind of crappy. I have been drinking a ton of water and I truly think it's helped me. I have tomorrow off and plan to rest and cook a pot roast in the crock pot. Supposed to be rainy and cold. This is my last week of pay before I will only get paid for the hours I work. I'm going to try and stick it out financially for a month and not overdo my hours.

 

However, the inevitability of going back to work full time is daunting. I'll have to make it though. Wife is having all kinds of medical and mental issues which is adding to stress. I am doing my best to take care of her but I;m nowhere near 100%. One day at a time I guess.

Thanks all,

David

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