On 20th March, almost 16 months post stroke, I will be returning to work. I am lucky that my employer has put in place plenty of adjustments and I’ll be returning on reduced hours initially & hopefully building back up to full time over 13 weeks. Whilst its an exciting time and a major step in my recovery journey I am feeling quite anxious about it all although I’m sure it’ll be fine once I get back into it. My biggest worry I guess is that this will test whether my role is the job for me going forward & the thought that it might not be is quite scary. Something you’ll all understand.
I’m also worried my employer, despite making all the right noises, will soon forget about my stroke and expect me to carry on as before. They’ve already asked me if I want to attend a 2 day conference on my 2nd day back
I was hoping for a quiet couple of weeks prior to my return to work but life had other plans & threw me a few health curve balls to deal with.
I’ve read people’s stories & experiences of returning to work & hopefully I can take some of those with me during the next stage of my journey. Any more hints & tips will be very gratefully received
Thanks Loraine (@Loshy). I’m hoping it will go well & that i’ll be able to pace myself. I’ve been telling my boss for months that I won’t be able to (&don’t want to) do everything i did before. She seemed to take it on board so fingers crossed it’ll be ok.
I hope to work from home most of the time but need to go in initially as my work laptop has given up just as i’m due to return
It’s wonderful that your employer has implemented adjustments for you to return to work Ann @Mrs5K Remember you too will have to manage your own expectations, don’t feel too bad if you’re all at sixes and sevens initially and aren’t very productive during the initial return, pace yourself, take regular rest breaks and be patient with yourself.
It is exciting a huge step forward, take care, best wishes
You’ve got this Ann, as you say don’t rush yourself into trying to do what you used to do too soon, relax and ease yourself in. It’s all too easy to become your own worst enemy and become stressed if you’re not meeting your own high expectations
Good luck Ann. In the few weeks I’ve been on this group I’ve enjoyed your wise words and posts. Hope you will still find time to post on here. Sure you will be fine once you get back. PS I’ve broken my wrist! Nightmare
Just wanted to chip-in - and of course offer you my very best wishes with your return.
With perspective, I had a TIA end of December 2022. I began my phased return start of February. Working within IT, I have a mix of hands on and off and can work from home - but the mix also sees work at the office too.
Ultimately, go at your own pace - never let anyone push. The only person who is allowed to push is you. Divide your 13 week ‘plan’ so that you can start slow and steadily work (aim) your way back to fulltime by the end of it. Whether you increment your effort each or biweekly is up to you.
And keep notes, keep a diary. Record each day so you can look back and understand what’s working - and what isn’t. You may find on a day that you can keep going, or just want to. Try if you wish but consider you may suffer the following day. I’ve found myself pushing here and there, and have been learning from it. Noting and learning is key I find, like going to bed that bit earlier. Then you can try a bit less perhaps.
Your employer will likely approve of such a solid approach in place. It’s golden for you but you also get to demonstrate to to them what you’re doing, trying etc. Means you can always call things out, adjust… even the horrible that it’s not working if it isn’t.
Well done for wanting to go back it is a big step in your recovery journey and one that you personally need to take. I also had to go back to work and am still there nearly 6 years after a major stroke.
Please be kind to yourself and do not try to be the person you were - just embrace the person you are now, take it as easy as you can and feel proud that you are able to go back to work. Take any help that anyone is happy to give don’t feel you have to be a super hero some colleagues will not know how to treat you - be honest and tell them how you are - you are the priority and you need to take care of you
As time passes people will forget and sometimes that is hard but please only ever do what you feel able to and don’t be afraid of saying no. Rest when you can and need to - good luck and make sure you stay healthy.
Brilliant news @Mrs5K, I’m sure the challenges that you will encounter will be overcome and put behind you as you progress. I guess, try not to let the work overwork you, and find those techniques that will help you be more productive like time out and knowing when to rest the brain if it gets too drained. Wishing you well over this next stage.
Hello Ann @Mrs5K. Just wanted to wish you well. This is a massive achievement to get to this stage. I’m sure you will heed the good advice already posted. Look after yourself, there will be many benefits to returning to work, I hope that makes it a rewarding exercise which will outweigh the understandable worry you have. Julia x
@Mrs5K good luck in returning to work. I am not returning to work. think it’s bonkers you have been asked about attending a conference. That’s the sort of thing my old employer would have done, take it easy and be strong enough to stand up and stick to what they have agreed.
@Motherbear thank you. There’s lots of sound advice there and i will definitely try & take it all on board. It’s good to see that you’ve been able to stay in work. That gives me some hope & encouragement.