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I shall have to rename "Hump Day" to "Wonderful Wednesday". I called in sick, early enough in the morning so I didnt have to talk to anyone.....mind you I have no idea why the boss isn't there at 5:55 am! That is the time I usually show up for work for some reason he doesn't come in till around 6:30. But my memory being the way it is, who remembers such things.

I really did enjoy the day off and today I went back to work refreshed with a good outlook. We had a very productive day.

If they do ask me for a note I will re submit the letter the doctor gave me. Oh touching on the same topic, the health and safety officer told me he would have a letter for me to take to my doc sometime midweek. Is Friday midweek anywhere in the world :) Well maybe tomorrow.

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I'm now 16 months post NASAH and began my return to work 9 months ago. I sure put a lot of pressure on myself to just 'get on with it'.


After making and finding some pretty big budgetary mistakes a few weeks ago I think I've made some progress in that area. When I found my mistakes I was devastated. PreSAH that just wouldn't happen. My operational budget would come in on target and I was always on top of my numbers.


I found my mistakes before anyone else did but I completely lost all confidence in my abilities and began to question everything. Was an emotional mess again and fatigue set in heavily. My boss and I met and I 'fessed up' and we talked and he said my work isn't up to the same level it was preSAH. I knew that and was prepared to hear it but it still hurts. I have the biggest ego in the world.


Off to Hawaii we went for a week so I could 'hit the reset button' on my brain. I was disappointed to realize that a 5 mile walk is still too much for me. The break from work was good though and the sun on my face always works magic.


Back at work and the numbers are coming together. The budget will be delivered on time and I'm consolidating 4 operational budgets into 1 so it's more complicated than usual. My brain is a wrung out dishrag though! I'm pushing myself but once the budget is delivered I should be able to lessen the pressure.


I'm trying to stick to 3 days plus up to 6 hours from home. At least 22 hours a week but up to 28 on a good week.

Sandi K.

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Sandi--one thing I say to my clients who beat themselves up over their weight (I work with weight loss clients quite a bit as a trainer) is to treat yourself the way you would treat your own daughter. Don't beat yourself up over mistakes, but instead go easy, nurture the positives, learn from the mistakes, and move forward.


So I'm going to tell you the same thing...it is not your "fault" that you have, for all intents and purposes, brain damage. Love yourself and go easy on yourself. If you were your own daughter, would you beat her up over a few mistakes, or would you lovingly nurture the positive aspects of how far she's come and help her come up with coping mechanisms to minimize mistakes?


David--glad you are letting the losers go. There's nothing you can say or do that will convince them that meeting your needs as a post SAH patient is "fair" but in fact, fair is not equal. I am allowed to leave work as soon as the kids do every day I feel the need to, cutting almost an hour off my work day (although because I'm not driving, in fact I come in an hour early every day). I'm sure there are people who do not think that's "fair" but the fact is, it takes me 5 times the effort to get through my day as it does others and I am coming in even on days I am impaired because I feel a responsibility to my kids. I couldn't care less if someone else doesn't like it.


This is my fourth week back to work and it's been really tough. I took Tuesday off and slept all day. Wednesday and Thursday were student interview days so I met about 40 new kids and interviewed them which meant a lot of being "on". By the end of yesterday my brain was being eaten by spiders, I was exhausted, and my headache was at a level 8. Went home early and slept for 90 minutes before going to PT. Got some neck release massage, which does help as I tend to tense when the head hurts. Went home and took morphine and flexural, and within 15 minutes had a bile duct spasm (unrelated to my SAH, obviously, but related to a surgery I had in 2003....get them to some extent at least once or twice every two months). That with the headache sent me straight to bed last night early. I needed it SO bad.


Woke up feeling a lot better today, but almost like a bucket with a leak in it, I can feel my energy draining. Thank God I have a job where my kids love me because they're being very good...quiet, doing their work, and doing anything I ask them without argument. Ah well! It will get better!

Still wish I hadn't gone back to work, and did get a note from my doctor today faxed over that states that my health issues are ongoing and I should still be able to have leave as needed. That's relief as my HR wasn't sure if I could use my donated sick leave beyond my initial time off. So this will allow me to do that.

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Hi Sandi

I know how that feels, it's like an electric jolt when you realise you've made a mistake, knowing that it's something that would never have happened before. it does knock your confidence for a bit. I used to be able to calculate quite complicated sums in my head and I was quite a whizz with spreadsheets. But like you, I'm very stubborn and determined. I worked at it and found that when I do something repetitively then it will all come together.


I would be left with thumping headaches and could barely string a sentence together but that all goes away after several attempts. Your brain is getting better all the time because it's picking up your mistakes. That's a great breakthrough I believe. This has to mean your concentration and memory are improving. Well done. All your hard work is paying off and I really believe it will get easier for you, the more you do it.


I'm now 3 years post SAH and still improving, I still have days when my brain feels as though it's under water when faced with a new task and the dreaded fatigue will hit me and I'll suffer headaches. But I see it now as my brain getting even more better! The one thing I still find very difficult is showing someone what to do. Having to concentrate on the task as well as explaining it, makes my brain really hurt. But at the same time it feels wonderful that colleagues have so much confidence in me that they will ask me for help in doing something when they are stuck!


I've said it before and I'll say it again Sandi, you are such an inspiration and a fantastic example of how hard work and determination (and quite a lot of stubborness lol! ) certainly pays off.

Good luck to all of you on this very rocky road back to work.

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Liz, thank you! That's exactly what I need to hear. To read that you were in the same place and felt the pain and fatigue but pusing through it was worth it because coming out the other side you are now doing stuff you weren't able to do very well earlier in recovery. I'm beginning to worry that I'm getting as far as I'll go in recovery. I need to know from those that have been going through this awhile if it's still possible for me keep getting better or am I hitting my head against a brick wall. The fatigue is so discouraging and I feel like its a fight between my happiness and the fatigue. Happiness meaning success at work and having the energy to have fun outside of work.


You can't imagine the relief I feel when you say you are still improving after 3 years. And your perspective on the headaches and fatigue meaning that your brain is healing is a much more constructive way to look at it than how I've been feeling. Each time i feel the heavy blankets of fatigue I feel defeat. I'm going to try and think of it the way you do Liz.


I don't feel like an inspiration, I feel tired! I feel like I'm missing out on life. I'm so tired I have nothing leftover for fun. Our family gatherings have dwindled down to almost zero and when family does visit I can only go through the motions. I'm not really present because I don't have enough energy. At the same time I don't want to give up work. Yes, I'm stubborn.


Thank you Liz. Teechur, you are right, Im way harder on myself than anyone else. I've thought about you said and if it were my daughter, friend, or even someone who works for me I would put way less pressure on them!!

Sandi K.

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I read this thread today. it makes a lot of sense and resonates with me. I have a lot of similar experiences since returning to work. I had my SAH on 1st September 2010. I was unconscious for 6 days and they had three goes at operating on me. I was in hospital over two weeks and since then it has been a long and hard road to recovery. Even now, eighteen months on I suffer terribly with fatigue, sometimes depression, and I, too, had a phased return to work after I had been off for six months.


Now I am working as hard as ever and am usually in bed within two hours of getting home especially if I have been travelling. I am finding it hard to cope with everything but I am giving it my all and doing my best, but I always listen to my body and quit for the day when it becomes too much. One of the most annoying things though, is I look ok, on the surface there looks to be nothing wrong with me, but I suffer with short term memory loss and nobody, but nobody makes any allowances for my condition any more.


Sometimes I am grateful for that but on others I need them to be more understanding and they are not. It confuses, frustrates and annoys me. I also struggle to get things done around the house or to do any of the things I want to at night because all I want to do is sleep after working all day!! Still, I am lucky compared to others - at least I got to go back to work and am managing to hold my job down. Doesn't mean life is easy though!


I am back at the hospital this Tuesday. I am having a scan in the mornning, blood tests every two hours after that and some psychology tests as well. Then I will be knackered. I'll let you know what happens!!



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The midweek break last week did me wonders and I felt like I had a very productive time at work when I returned.


The health and safety officer wants to have a meeting with me and the superintendent some time Monday or Tuesday. Not too sure what will be said but I am sure it will raise my blood pressure. This is the same person who was going to give me a letter to take to my doctor sometime midweek last week. I thought I was the one with the concentration problems!!!!!


There will be changes in duties for me in the up coming season. I have heard I will be flushing watermains through out the city. I know it will be a little more physical than I am used to so I am not sure how that will affect me as far as fatigue.


I do find the closer I get to retirement the less stress I feel. It is a toss up. 36 days to a reduced pension or carry on for 522 days to get a full pension. The ideal would be to enjoy all 522 days and walk away with the max. There is no reason why I should not be able to do that, but time will tell :D

I see the light at the end of the tunnel and that is a huge inspiration!

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In the three weeks I've been back to work I've had to take at least one day off each week. I get to the point where I think "I can make it one more day, but I know if I want to make the two days after that I'd better take today off" and I do it without apology. I have to be careful because I only had 11 sick days left when I came back (and have used 3).


It makes all the difference in the world. While I don't just say "I think I'll take the day off!" Sometimes I do measure the value of each day. For example, I know that Wed and Thurs I have my kids taking a CPR class which means an easy day for me, but also for a sub...and Friday I'm here from 6:20 until midnight for a LAN party for the kids. So if I feel fatigue, I won't feel bad about taking one of those days off so that I'll be able to handle Friday.


My job is not my life. My life is my life, and if someone doesn't like it, too bad. Fire me. (Actually, I'm a damned good teacher, even since the SAH, and I brought them all cupcakes today so I think I'm good.) I won't just take the day off to sit at home and catch up on my stories...but I will if I feel that I'm overdoing it.


I think one of the things that bothers me about being back at work so early on (was back after only 4 weeks) is that it feels like my life revolves around work and sleep...and there isn't a whole lot of "living" in between there. I'm tired when I get home so I sleep, then I get up and go to PT, then I come home and maybe last an hour then off to bed. Up, zombie around for awhile, go to work, repeat. Although this last weekend was marvelous, I had to keep it laying low on Sunday just so I could make it to work on Monday. (I did get a short walk and a movie in...but...oh well nevermind about what Sundays USED to be like.)

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Well a miserable day at work today. All was well till around 2 oclock I had a meeting with the health and safety officer and the superintendent.


After careful consideration, they reviewed the letter submitted by my doctor for a midweek break to recover from being over tired due to the way my brain processes the simple every day tasks. The reply from the employer is, you are tired not sick, therefore you do not qualify to use sick time, We want to co operate so you can take a leave without pay or use your holidays to get rest.

Then they told me they are keeping a close eye on everyones sick time and I need to be aware of that.

I replied that after 33 years and saving over 800 hours of sick time I do not take advantage of it. I turned and left the room.


Head ache and raised blood pressure. good job there were no sharp sticks about!

Oh well I am still alive :)

I am not giving up. They would like me to retire next month, save them lots of money but I am stubborn. I will stick it out.

I wonder if I broke a leg and was recovering, if I would be denied, since I am not sick. :D I may not have the brain I was born with but I didnt lose my intelligence :D Don't worry I am not going to break my leg :lol:

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Hope everyone is doing well.


Carl- I can't believe they treat you that way. I would think a doctor's note would suffice. You are not sick. You are PARTIALLY DISABLED. I would file some sort of complaint myself. They don't seem to understand your condition very well. I know you don't have much time left but that is ridiculous. Offer to trade places with them if they think you're not sick. Tell them to hold still still while you hit them in the back of the head with a baseball bat and then have them tell you that they're "not sick".


In other news, I have been feeling better, at least last week. up to 35 hours week. Tomorrow is my wife's surgery. They are testing her for ovarian cancer and will likely need to do a full hysterectomy. I am sure I will be wiped. Please keep her in your thoughts and I will let everyone know Wednesday.



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Hello David,

It's really great to hear things are going well at work, that you're feeling better with your working hours.

You and your wife will be in my thoughts and prayers tomorrow. Big hugs to you both.


Carl I admire your strength for sticking with work in the situation you are. You hang in there, bless you.

I'm off work this week, a much needed break. It's great to spend some quality time with Miss C.

Next week I will be working two full days. Not done that since before my SAH. A kinda strange and scary feeling. I hope I cope ok. In May I will be starting to do my pre SAH hours of 3 full days a week. I'm trying not to think about it too much.


I've other things going on in my life right now, I can't use all my spoons just at work.

Time will tell how I cope I guess.

Take care and keep smiling,

SarahLou Xx

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Hi Carl,

Keep calm and deep breathing......Just make sure you have a dentist appointment or a Docs appointment when tired...you have tried to be fair and open....so perhaps a few white lies would suit them better .....annoying isnt it.....Grrrrrrrrr

Just you keep well Carl and try and relax....Good luck


WinB143 x

Edited by Winb143
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I am sure I could get a book published when all the dust settles :lol:

Not sure if I will change the names to protect anyone LOL.

I went to the union office today and had a one hour chat with the president. He got to experience first hand just what emotional liability is.:roll:


We went over the events of work for the past year, and I provided him with most of the documentation he needed, letters and replies. There are three medical assessments that the employer has but he shouldnt need those. I have documented comments made by various managers, I keep a daily journal these days and it has been a treasure trove of information.


Part way through our discussion the Provincial Union Rep showed up. He says there will be no problem for me to get the midweek break as the doctor requested. There are just a lot more hoops to jump through in the form of grievances. The employer has a legal duty to accommodate unless it creates undue hardship for the employer.


So the wheels are in motion but I dont expect to see anything from either party till April 16.

At the end of the day the employer served me with a letter confirming that being " tired" is not acceptable rationale for time off coded as sick time. But they will support me by giving me unpaid time off. I adore the generosity :devil:


I could use a misquoted Churchill speech here...... We shall defend our island whatever the cost may be!

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Holy God, Carl! That is incredible! Perhaps the word "fatigue" would make more sense to them. I have a note from my doctor that I will continue to feel fatigue and headaches for three months (through the end of the school year) and my boss accepted it without problem.

God forbid we wish ill will on anyone, but don't you wish you could just let them feel how you feel for a week? Then there would be no question.

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There have been a few times where I've wished someone else felt the way I do for an hour, a day, a week!

After my day on the couch Saturday I went to see Hunger Games on Sunday (ear plugs in). Loved it! But Monday at work a migraine began in the morning and by the time I got home all I could do was sleep. I guess the big picture screen was too much for me this time but I will do it again!

My head has subsided, I'm going back into work today.

Carl, your union should help you out.

Sandi K.

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Oh Carl, some people can be infuriating. There's a world of difference from being tired and being fatigued! I returned to work 10 months post SAH and my then manager and office supervisor were so unsympathetic and put me under so much pressure that I lasted 10 weeks and was signed off sick with stress for 4 months!


My union (and our occupational health service) was invaluable to me and got me through the grievance process.I was redeployed to work with wonderful people. My colleagues are so supportive and understanding. They know what I mean by fatigue!


I've said in posts before, we are at the mercy of managers/colleagues personalities when we try to return to work. If they can be understanding and empathetic and generally just nice people then we are very lucky. But if not then we've got an even bigger mountain to climb!

Thank goodness for Unions, hopefully yours will help.

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Liz, well said!

I went back to work after a few weeks post SAH & before the 2nd brain op which took place 3 months after the SAH, for 2 years, albeit not able to do the level of work I previously did but who knows I might have improved (maybe a bit of wishful thinking on my part??). A new bullying, nasty manager arrived a year after I went back and put paid to my attempts to keep going......


Carl, if you feel you can, push that union, that's what you pay into them for! I had to go 200 miles outside my union 'catchment area' to get any help at all (even to get a return phone call or e-mail :frown:) I'm so glad a relative made me go further afield when all I wanted to do was cry & stop fighting - being sacked would've been fine by me at the time. The distant union rep was amazing (and put in a complaint against the local 'help').


I got the best outcome for all concerned, medical retirement. If I had given up I would've left with nothing after 23 years service all because of one manager. If your local rep doesn't anticipate getting back to you before 2016, go for one higher up who knows their job!! Good luck Carl, you absolutely deserve to be treated better than this. And just to give you a wee giggle, the evil manager insisted he had to have full time admin support.......18 months later there is still NO-ONE doing my job :lol: It's good to get the last laugh and a wee pay off with a small pension - I think it's called Karma????? :wink:


Sandi if only we could get them to try a day in our shoes, I think there would be so much more understanding of the amazing achievements we (well, YOU in particular) have reached xx

Michelle x

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Thank you all for your support and kind words!

Today wasnt a bad day. Other than the headache, This one has been constant now for about 5 days. If it doesnt ease up I will go to the clinic.


I called my docs office today but he is on holidays and I cant see him till April 26.

As for the union, I may have to do the ground work and hand them a package to deliver.

I talked to the president yesteday and when laying out the history of my event and treatment by the employer I asked him if he was notified about my work transfer. I normally read water meters but 5 months ago I was transfered to another job for disciplinary reasons..... long story... Maybe related to the SAH but not going to use that as an excuse.


Anyway the president says the employer doesnt have to notify the union about transfers. I asked him to open up the Collective Agreement to article 4.08 and read it. when he did he replied I guess they do, I will look into it.


So I think I have a better grasp of the agreement and the human rights code. I know I have a better grasp of the symptoms of ABI and SAH. I think I will just need to spell it all out, hand it over and let them deal with any confrontation. It is the confrontation that I find stressful and hard to process. It seems the closer I get to May 1 the stronger I feel. (that is the earliest date I can get my pension)

I know I could get the doctor to rewrite the letter. Part of me just wants to say to the people at work." It seems no matter how simple we make this for you to understand you just dont get it, and I am the one with the brain injury!"


I look forward to the 4 day long weekend and then the following week is holidays :D There is always a light shining behind the gray!

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I went to the psychologist last Friday (march 30) and she told me all the same stuff over again.

My drive is too strong, I'm trying too hard, I'm expecting too much too soon. The GP told me earlier that day my recovery seems slow to me but it doesn't to anyone else. I told my psych that when I think back a year I think I had more energy then. She reminded me I wasn't working then. She also pointed out that Im trying to do a full time job in part time hours. She's a smarty pants that psychologist. I feel a bit like I've been to the principal's office at school!


Pacing. I just can't figure that out. Maybe that's because I've had a brain bleed.

Carl, it sounds like you will have to do all the heavy lifting on your case. You will need to pull all the information together to make your case. If you don't do it though and choose to walk away it will always bug you. How you are being treated is wrong and you are right to be sticking up for yourself which in turn helps anyone who follows.

Sandi K.

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Hi Sandi,

Sorry I've not been around much to reply but I've been trying to keep up with your posts.

I wish I could say the right words to try and bring you some comfort.

We all know how amazing you've been, how hard you've been fighting.

Maybe it is now time to take a step back and take a big breather. Give yourself a little bit more patience and understanding.


You really are doing so well, be proud of all you've achieved.

You're such an inspiration to so many of us.

Stay strong dear Sandi.

Big hugs to you.

Take care,

SarahLou xx

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Thanks to everyone for the wishes and support for my wife :).


Carl, looks like you need to give them some brochures on SAH or something. Like everyone has said, if they could live one day in our shoes that would be all it would take.


Sandy- Keep on keeping on, the results will come.


SL- Good to see you back on the thread, we missed you.


GG- It was good to hear your story, very interesting how it turned out.


Skippy, you had the right words as always.


I will update in the Green Room on Thursday re my wife's surgery, but the news was good. Thanks so much to everyone for their thoughts and prayers.

Kind regards,


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