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The UKFibromyalgia Forums • View topic - Work: Need advice from you ...STRESS



Work: Need advice from you ...STRESS

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Work: Need advice from you ...STRESS

Postby cocobella » Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:49 pm

Hi All,

Hope you are all as well as you can be with this blasted condition! I am at a low point again. Had my thyroidectomy/parathyroidectomy back in August and experienced a huge flare up of my fibromyalgia afterwards and it hasn't really ended. I went back to work for 2 weeks and had my hours reduced from fulltime 37 hours to 16 hours and I completely FAILED. Lasted two weeks but was at the point where I was on oramorph and driving home and basically falling asleep at the wheel. Whenever I woke in the mornings I was so stiff almost like my joints were glued together. It got so bad that I had no other choice other than to go off sick again.

I am now at the point where my sick pay has ended and now I have had to go on to ESA, WHILST employed?? WTF! I work for the NHS so there are so many sick policies/attendance figures etc that you do get pushed quite a bit. It is causing great stress for me, which makes my pain worse. Anyway, my boss has been really good and patient with me, however he has said that 'we can't keep going on like this'. i,e. me returning to work and then going off sick after approx 3 weeks. It has gone on for the past 8 months. My thyroid levels are abnormal and I have felt AWFUL after my operation and I just feel that they don't understand.

I am only 27, I love my job and don't want to lose it. However, physically I am incapable just now of committing to work. I can't even cook myself a meal some days never mind go in to work and work with codes and figures etc!!

A meeting has now been scheduled with HR and my manager in 2 weeks to discuss what options I have. I have basically been told my options are - come back fulltime (basically impossible due to my illness and the flare ups), start a job share (I do 16 hours a week and keep my job and another person does the rest of the week), or ill health retirement - which I don't think I would even be eligible for as I have only paid my pension for like 2 years! I DO NOT want to lose my job.

Do I bring my union rep to the meeting? What on earth do I do? My option that I would like to chose is the 16 hour job share. That way, they do have some security as there will be another body doing my job for half of the week. My only worry is that I continue to go off sick and they terminate me on the grounds of ill health. Occupational Health have been involved and haven't been very helpful, they are now writing to 3 of my consultants - Rheumy, Endocrine and Pain Clinic. Why on earth do they even need to write to them, this now makes me paranoid that they don't believe me. I am also worried that one of these doctors say I am incapable of working at the moment.

I know there will be some of you going through the exact same thing. What are my options here? Am I going to get sacked? What on earth do I do?

Sorry for the ranting and moaning.

Coco x
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Re: Work: Need advice from you ...STRESS

Postby fibro-lu » Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:03 pm

hi coco,

i do remember a few month back that you were posting
just wrote a lengthy post and am absolutely :crazy:
will get back to you
don't know if you remember but i was kind of in the same position
i'll try to scamble something up?out?
one thing for now: yes, take your union rep with you


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all the best :cow-wave: Lu
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Re: Work: Need advice from you ...STRESS

Postby cocobella » Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:34 pm

Hiya Fibrolou,

Yes I was posting quite a while back when I had just been diagnosed earlier this year. Since then I basically had a completely failing thyroid, a parathyroid adenoma (Which was causing bone pain) due to it releasing high parathyroid hormone. I had a large swelling in my neck which was thought at the beginning that it was follicular thyroid cancer. I went through 10 weeks of basically believing I had thyroid cancer due to the amount of nodules/lumps in my neck. I then got told the best news that it was all benign but life without a thyroid is proving to be hard for me just now! lol.

At the beginning work were great with me, because basically as soon as a potential cancer is mentioned they back off!!! As soon as it was found that it was benign I have found that they have started to be slightly pushy.

It would be great if you could direct me to your earlier posts about your similar situation.

Coco x
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Re: Work: Need advice from you ...STRESS

Postby denys » Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:30 pm

Take your rep in with you and make sure they are completely up to date with all the information about your case :fingerscrossed: :fingerscrossed: :fingerscrossed: :fingerscrossed: :fingerscrossed: :fingerscrossed: you get the outcome you want
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Re: Work: Need advice from you ...STRESS

Postby whoami » Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:58 am

Coco.......I am so sorry that you are having all this added stress with work. I wish I had answers for you.

I am very happy to hear all was benign with your thyroid. I remember you being so scared of the outcome. As you know I have been there but with a different result. Having your levels out can play real havoc on your body. What meds are you on for your thyroid , or lack of, if you don't mind me asking?

I am having a hard time right now with symptoms. I am going to London, Canada on thurs to get things checked. Something is out of sorts. I have gained 25lbs in 10 weeks. I am so tired, sweating again like crazy but ice cold. My hair is falling out. I am thinking the cancer is back and that residual thyroid cancer cells have settled in somewhere. It is hard to distinguish sometimes what is fibro and the thyroid cancer. Anyway, enough of me, LOL

Coco.......Use every resource that you can find to help you with the issues at work. It does come down to your health though. If you are not healthy you can't be expected to work. I know you want to work full time . Hun, maybe if you can you need to take some time off, not just a fortnight. Your body is stressed to the limit right now. You won't begin to heal if you are stressed.

Coco.....I hope that your Dr can get things sorted out with your levels, that will help a lot. Lorraine x
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Re: Work: Need advice from you ...STRESS

Postby tinag » Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:53 am

Ur employer shud be making "reasonable adjustments" because u are classed as disabled under the DDA / Equality Act. Are u in a pension scheme? Maybe you cud be signed off on long term sick by ur Dr and then get ill health retirement through ur work? U shud not be forced to go back to work if ur not fully recovered. Your boss and HR need to be given a slap for treating u like this.. do not go into any work mtg without ur union rep there.. if he/she can't make the mtg then reschedule when they can.. u are being cornered and its illegal. Keep ur chin up and get decent representation from ur union. They can stand up for u when all u want to do is give up. Good luck. Keep us informed how it goes xx :twisted:
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Re: Work: Need advice from you ...STRESS

Postby sensualitykj » Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:41 am

Hey Coco, sorry to hear you are suffering. I had a car crash in 2002, when I was 26 years old and working as a mental health nurse for the NHS. I've been in pain since the crash, and got diagnoised with FM. I had various work assessments to try and make working easier, and had to opt out of various tasks. I also had to see Occupional health, and they contacted the doctors I was seeing for a summary of my treatment. My sick pay also ran out, and I was put on incapacity benefit even though I was still employed. My manager tired different working hours for me, however 5 years after the car crash I was discharged due to ill health because I was constantly being signed off sick, no matter how little work I did! I'm currently being retired from nursing due to ill health, it's taking forever to sort out, the pension people are basically like an insurance company and will do anything to stop you getting retired as they don't want to pay out the money!

Regarding the meeting you are due to have, I had various meetings with management, I had a Union Rep with me, I would advise you do the same. I guess if you opt for the job share you give yourself a chance to keep your job, with hopefully less stress for you. Good Luck!

Kirsty
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Re: Work: Need advice from you ...STRESS

Postby migrembe » Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:28 pm

The one thing i can say for certain is that if you are going to claim a ill health retirement from the NHS don't expect them to be sympathetic and give it to you, the chances are they won't, although your bosses and Occ health may say you are unfit for work. There is a long gap between 27 and 65 and you have to prove you will never get better in that time and FMS you can't do that. I would make them give you a job you can do before leaving and only leave if and when you have no other choice.

Good luck with it all
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Re: Work: Need advice from you ...STRESS

Postby cocobella » Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:38 pm

Thank you everyone for your informative responses, I really really appreciate it. I have contacted my union rep today and have asked to meet with them and if they could attend the meeting. I am just waiting on a response now :yikes:

I do not want to lose my job, I want to keep it. Research has proven that people who have illness/disability to give up or lose their job end up feeling a lot worse and generally decline. I just want to keep that little bit of normalcy in my life.

sensualitykj - I am so sorry to hear your story :( it is really hard trying to lead a normal life when we have this condition. I do believe in future we will have proof in black and white that we have fibro, through a protein or some type of research study.

whoami - I am so sorry you are still have the thyroid symptoms. Hopefully it is just abnormal tsh levels that are giving you the symptoms and not the other 'bad' thing. :(. Let us know how you get on or PM me when you have been seen. I know, I remember you gave me some great advice before, during and after my surgery. It was a good 10 weeks I was in the limbo period and told it was 'likely' cancerous. It has been a huge relief having it out. Lymph nodes were also removed, back to surgeon in January, however my neck still feels a bit lumpy. I never received radioiodine as he felt I didn't need it. This makes me worry though, that the thyroid hasn't been completely removed. My levels at the moment are all over the place. I am completely hyperthyroid and am taking 150mg of levothyroxine. My GP won't let me go any lower and I do not want to just do it on my own accord. I am experiencing lots of hair loss, I have really long hair and it has completely thinned to the point where I think I need to get it all chopped off which makes me sad. Also, I have the sweating, hand shakes and fluttery heart beat. Despite all that, doc says continue as normal with the 150mg thyroxine. Hmmm....

This is also going to "Pi**' a lot of you off. I spoke to a distant friend/through a friend who is an NHS manager for some advice. She was completely COLD with me and basically told me 'Not our problem if you're feeling crap'. She also had the CHEEK to say to me "Are you sure fibromyalgia is covered by the disability discrimination act"?? WTFFFFF you are an NHS manager and you do not know this!!!? Needless to say, she got a piece of my poison tongue :crazy: :crazy: :-P

lol.

Anyway, thanks everyone. Getting your support makes me feel a hell of a lot better. Peace out.

Coco x
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Re: Work: Need advice from you ...STRESS

Postby FluppyPuffy » Wed Nov 06, 2013 4:45 pm



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Re: Work: Need advice from you ...STRESS

Postby whoami » Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:34 pm

Coco.......I bet you felt very strong after giving that woman a piece of your mind. Sad though that she didn't know something that is part of her job. She knows now.

Coco......don't be too concerned that you did not have the radiation treatment. It is normally only given if cancer is present, and even then sometimes not. I was told that there are reasons for not getting it even with cancer present, age of the patient and history. You didn't miss out on anything , it tasted like stale water, LOL. It was hard to swallow though, thinking I am drinking something to kill cancer that could potentially give me cancer....bit of an oxymoron there! I am hoping that all these symptoms are just meds out of line or contradicting one another.

Coco......good luck at your meeting, I hope having a union rep there takes some stress away from you. Lorraine x
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Re: Work: Need advice from you ...STRESS

Postby fibro-lu » Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:19 am

all the best :cow-wave: Lu
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