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Hi All

Advice and opinions would be wonderful, cos I havent got a clue what is for the best!

I have been off work since my SAH in January this year, have just passed my 6 month anniversary and to be honest I'm getting a little restless and need to feel I am being useful. Financially whilst the extra money would be great (i'm on half pay at the moment) it isn't vital and my wife is happy to continue to support me.

My boss at work is a dinosaur and to be honest is next to useless at this sort of thing, he means well but!! I have discussed work and he tells me he has a project he wants me to undertake starting in January.

Before my SAH, he agreed that I could work from home Mon & Friday, be in the office Tues-Thursday and they would fund the overnight cost (I now live 150 miles from work) I think he is going back on that and the fact I have had my licence rescinded as I have been diagnosed with epilepsy post SAH.

He has made it clear I need a driving licence to undertake the project. I'm not sure why it is only is a project overseeing the design and implemention of a new IT system. I may need to visit sites occasionally but there are such things as trains and taxis.

I am also concerned that post SAH, I am not as effective as I used to be, I had a senior role as the companies operations director, it was very challenging and I'm not sure I will be able to do it as well as I used to, even after a back to work programme.

I will not get my licence back for at least 12 months, I can do a lot of my old job remotely and could probably get away with visiting the office once a week, or even once a fortnight.

I now have a poor memory, get frequent unexplained adrenaline surges, and have difficulty concentrating for extended periods. Last night we went out for dinner and I couldnt even remember which hand to hold which bit of cutlery! pathetic hey!

Anyway, what do you guys think? I know I am not capable of returning to work full time and being as effective as I used to, but I also dont want my brain to rot away, it has been damaged enough already!

Look forward to hearing from you all

Thanks

Adam

I am aware that some of the issues are probably a lack of confidence

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Hi Adam

I think when it comes to returning to work you do have to think about a phased return. I returned after 7 months but phased it in gradually only ever managed to get to 30 hours but have since reduced that back down to 20 hours a week. I found working too many hours meant that it took me all weekend to recover leaving me no time to do much of anything.

We are all very individual in the way we recover and many members have managed to return to full-time working. Have a word with your Doctor and if the company have them Occupational Health. Going back to work does increase your confidence and sense of normality though. Just make sure you can ease back in on your own terms. Best of luck with it.

Janet x

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Hi Adam

I had a senior job within local education authority and like you I was keen to get back and prove that I could do it, I went back on a phased return and the authority was very good and allowed me flexibilty but it soon became clear that I has lost my cognitive skills and couldnt think like I used to do, or move as quickly and do 10 things at once! It was very hard to come to terms with and I had hypnotherapy/life coaching to help me. I have since decided to apply for medical retirement (I'm 53) and to do some thing else - I have to I'm not ready for a zimmer frame yet! so I'm thinking of the next chapter in my life - not sure what it will hold but I do know I have the support of those who matter.

good luck with what ever you decide to do, PM me if it helps and I'll be happy to share my experience.

Take Care

Caroline

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Adam, poor old you and I bet you won't be surprised if I say that your feelings are very, very similar to most of us :wink: Caroline (Charty) has it exactly right in my opinion! You may ask who am I to say that, but here goes, for reasons other than my SAH I had to take early retirement at about Caroline's age. Then and now, fifteen years or more on, I needed to do something as I was and am far from ready for a zimmer :wink: I am now pushing 70 very hard, so to speak :lol: My solution, keep at it, whatever you want to do, but do it in your own time or as a volunteer, keep the remaining brain cells at top speed. This all allows you to recover at the speed your body and brain want to and no pressure, except that exerted by you :!: Develop your hobbies, use your skills but above all listen to your body and your wife and GP :wink:

My brain is not what it was but Yep! It still works even if it does things differently and I think the best compliment I have had is from a forty years younger than me friend who described me as seventy going on thirty-six :oops:

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Before my SAH two years ago I was self employed doing accounts for small businesses and also had an interest in computing and built my own pc. It has taken me a long time to accept that I cannot do this type of work anymore, my memory is shocking and my concentration is pretty poor. I am now trying to think of something that I can do, as I would like to contribute something, and am thinking of some sort of voluntary work to see how I cope back in the world of work :)

However something that did happen is that I see the world differently, I notice the colours of the trees, the beauty of the things around me, so have taken up photography. I am slowly learning about shutter speeds and depth of field and also have a record of family events, so that I can look at them and remember. I now have people asking me to take photographs for them and last year took the photographs at my son's wedding and some of mine were better than the professional pics!

So even if you can't go back to your original job you might find something else even better :)

Vivien

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Hi Adam,

Take your time regarding getting back into work again, you are still recovering and try to rest.

I had mine SAH in March 2008, I don't think that I can work to my full capacity as SAH has left me with problems, one of them being speech. Like Vivian, I too have taken up a hobby that seems to bring a little bit of money but the most important thing for me was that I am able to do something that makes me happy and content.

It's all life changing after SAH, that's what I think but I do believe we find looking at ourselves in a different light. I hope that makes sense!

Take care Adam and let us know how you get on.

Myra xx

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Hi Adam,

Try and get your GP to refer you to your nearest neuro occupational health specialist. Failing that, contact your local branch of Headway and ask for their advice about being referred.

I had my SAH on New Years Eve 2007. Until a friend mentioned me to her relative I had no support what-so-ever and was feeling exactly as you do - willing to go back to work but very unsure of my abilities.

However, following a neuropsychological assessment at the hospital (8 months post SAH & instigated by friends relative who works in the field) where I was clipped, I was referred to the neuro-occupational health team who have been excellent in both supporting my return to work (contacting my employers and setting up meetings etc. to facilitate my return) and generally sorting out what are my real from my perceived deficits (concentration and not memory).

Employers generally seem to think that if you look OK then you can do everything straight away or that you look OK but must be totally incapable of doing your previous job without giving people a chance to try to return to work on a realistic phased return timetable.

This is probably a result of the unfortunate huge gap between the medical treatment and the help/support (if available in your area) that is on offer.

Basically what I am trying to say is get to see an occupational therapist who specialize in brain injuries as soon as possible. It will help one way or another.

Best wishes,

Leonie

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Guest jennybee

Hi Adam,

I'm a relative rather than someone with SAH, but it occurred to me that under the Disability Discrimination Act, your workplace should be doing more to support your return to work, if this is what you want. Rather than putting obstacles in your way (eg the driving licence issue), they should be sitting down with you and constructively working out what you are able to do at this point, with a process of re-evaluation as your confidence, memory etc improves, potentially leading to an increase in responsibilities etc. I don't know how big the business is, but if there is HR department, perhaps they should get involved? I think employers struggle with 'brain' stuff rather than say, someone with a broken leg - I'm sure they wouldn't have insisted that someone on crutches take on a job where they 'must' drive.

Returning to work shouldn't be an all or nothing process and the fact that you want to return is something your employers should be delighted with - you obviously had a responsible and valued role and it is in their interest to help you achieve what you want.

So, my advice would be to phone up one of the major disability charities, talk to their employment folk, and set the agenda for returning to work yourself.

Good luck!

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