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I am 4 and a half months post PMSAH. I am back to work with slightly reduced hours. I am doing 24 hour shifts (about 3 to 4 per month) also but with breaks in between. Now we have some staff shortage and my colleagues expect me to share the work load which means about six 24 hour shifts per month. I am needing at least 48 to 72 hours after the duty for recovering and I am in no stage to handle so many.

 

I have a meeting with the boss in two days (which may be pleasant or unpleasant if I insist that I cannot do more, though I have to say he has been extremely supportive so far). 

 

My colleagues have been very cooperative initially, now that it is 4 and a half months, they expect me to be back to normal. They don't seem to understand my battles. They say I don't look so unwell. It takes a lot of energy just to be up and about. I am completely alright on the outside, in fact have gained some weight also. My activity is good in the morning when I am at work. Most of the evenings I am just having to rest, rest and rest.

 

We have been a friendly bunch earlier, now this seems to be affecting my work relations.

Just frustrated, tearful and feel low. Worried about the upcoming meeting also.

Sorry for venting. I just needed someone to talk to. I know BTG will listen.

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HI Ami

 

Sorry you have found yourself in this situation.  Is there anything your GP /Consultant can send to them to make them realise that this is an unacceptable situation for you?  If you'd had a heart attack, no one would be expecting you to work those hours so why should they when you've had a brain bleed??  

 

The problem is we look well enough to - we walk, we talk, we do nearly all the things that we did before but no-one can see the inner battle and pain that we go through on a daily basis, sometimes just to function.

 

Explain to your boss that this not achievable for you right now and tell him hour long it takes to you to recover from each 24 hr shift.  I wouldn't be able to do that now, 13 years later, let alone 4 1/2 months.  

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I m sorry to hear that. I would suggest you get some info about the SAH . It has to be a handout in simple language or a letter from your doctor. Try to explain to the boss. Have them call your doctor if they need to. Just a few suggestions. Goodluck.

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Hi Ami, I echo what Skippy has said, there is no way I could work those punishing hours now and I doubt whether your brain will cope either. You could end up making yourself quite unwell and stressed. I did this to some extent in my last job and ended up going off sick and eventually changed my job and working hours.

 

You say your immediate boss has been helpful and understanding so far, let's hope he continues in that vein. Maybe he could explain to your colleagues your limitations. It may be that you will never be able to work those punishing hours the same way you did and that you may have to make permanent changes. Sad but it may be something you have to consider for your own sanity.

 

Sorry to sound so harsh but you have had a life changing event happen and you need to protect yourself. I hope the meeting goes well and that you are supported by your employers. But seriously maybe now is the time to make some changes. I didn't think I wanted to do that but now I have made those changes I am much happier.

 

Good luck, keep us posted and keep venting here on BTG, we do understand xx

 

Clare xx

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Hi AMI,

 

You don't say what you do for a living but I have some points in addition to the ones made above which are very valid in my opinion.

 

Your first duty is to yourself, your health and your family.

 

Second, four and a half months out is no time at all in terms of recovery from a brain injury.  In fact, you are only just starting. If you overdo it your body will lose no time in telling you.

 

Third, just because you look well, it doesn't mean you are well.  A car with no engine in it looks well from the outside. Only when you try to start it up do you realise it's not what it looks like!

 

Fourth, get a letter from your doctor telling you that whilst some work is beneficial to your recovery, too much is directly harmful and may well set you back.

 

Fifth, if your job involves anything that may pose a danger to yourself, your colleagues or the public, then there is a responsibility for you, and the company, not to make mistakes that may endanger them.  If your role does that and the company insists on you doing this extra work then they may be held responsible for any mishaps, not you if you have informed the m beforehand of your concerns (so keep a record of that and time and date it).  

 

Sixth, if they are already short-staffed, can they really afford to lose another experienced member of staff like you?  it is in their interests to keep your skills. If they are to take on new people could you become a trainer for instance - thus putting your skills to good use and giving you day to day involvement, but not directly in the front line?

 

Keep communicating with your colleagues and tell them how you are affected, especially when you are off duty.  I suspect from the way you have written that you have not done this in case it shows weakness.  It doesn't.  In fact, the reverse is true.  It shows strength, courage and responsibility.

 

Get your chin up, you are doing remarkably well and have nothing to reproach yourself for?  How many of your colleagues could do what you have done in such a short space of time?  Being teary, and emotional is a part of your recovery. I remember being like that for quite long periods, but in between there will be periods where you will feel you are making real progress, although it may or may not get back to where you were pre-SAH.

 

However, I would say at this point too, that you can only control what you can control!  So, see if you can manage what you do in a better, or at least a different way.  Can you delegate, can you take more breaks? Can you organise your time in abetter fashion etc?

 

Good luck, and keep on letting us know how you're getting on.  Venting is good, it means you aren't bottling it all up!  I wish you well.

 

Macca

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There's a very good saying too - "I look well from afar, but I am far from well"

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Hi there

 

I normally find answering this hard as I wasn't able to get myself back to work, however first thing is ditto what others have said... 

 

Wow!! well done hun on getting back to work so quickly but it was in my view too quick and the hours Wowa!!!

 

That is and I suspect always a problem with looking ok - but not feeling the way you look....

 

Recently I said to someone on here You have to educate people to this....

 

I wish you well and as others have said maybe a change is in order....

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Hi Ami

 

It sounds like your colleagues are not being very supportive considering all you have been through which is a shame but that is their problem.  You just worry about you.

 

I thought this might be useful.

 

https://www.headway.org.uk/media/6580/managing-fatigue-e-booklet.pdf

 

It is a great way to understand fatigue and could help your boss and colleagues to understand.

 

Good luck. 

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Hi all

 

Thanks a lot for all the kind words. Sorry for the delay in reply. After the meeting and another small get together (in which I could not stay because of the loud sound), I was totally knocked off and needed a long time to recover.

However I am glad to share my meeting went on well. Boss was very very understanding and accommodating. He is ok with my current schedule and infact offered more liberty in timings. Colleagues still had some concerns but they also seem to be settling down now.

 

Feeling better for the last three days now. Hope the good days last a little longer. 

 

Thanks again for the support in difficult times. There was no way I could have shared all these things with anyone else other than this forum.

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Ami,

 

So glad that your boss has been understanding - it makes life just that little bit easier for you as the stress about it all has now gone a little bit.  Don't worry about your colleagues - it can be very hard for people to understand, so don't feel scared of explaining it to them.  It's like your brain has had the equivalent of a heat attack and no-one would expect you to work full on after one of those.

 

Take care and remember - you are the most important person to you, so look after you xx

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