Returning to work

I had a cerebellar infarct last October. I am feeling a lot better than I did the first couple of months. I’m still having a fuzzy head. I can think I’m doing okay and then I overdo it and I have a few bad days when I do not feel right and really tired. It’s hard sometimes when you do not realise you are doing too much.
My full time pay stops soon and I need to think if I’m ready for a phased return. I know at the moment I’m nowhere near ready for full time. I cannot retire yet as I’m 58 and I’m on my own, so I need an income.
I am going to ask if I can do reduced hours for a few weeks. Normally phased returns in our company are over six weeks but I go not think this is long enough for me. How have other people managed this , and how have the found returning to work.
They did have someone doing part of my job. Before I had my stroke they were supposed to be looking at my role as I said it’s far too busy for one person and was very stressed. The person they hired is no longer there as they were getting a lot of complaints, we also have two staff going off on maternity. I’m very anxious as I’m worried they will get me to do more work than I’m ready for? I’m not sure what to do? I have got Occupational Health contacting me and I am going to share my worries about returning .
Any advice would be most appreciated ,
I

@Dolanjo hi and welcome to our SS forum, I’m sorry you had a stroke in fact you had the same one as me. I worked in school teaching I cannot bare noise so I’m not returning to the classroom. I’m 60 now had my cerebellar left back infarct last March when I was 59 , I was fit running and loved skiing but now I’m just walking for now. I have improved a lot but I have carpel tunnel in my hands and a problem in my nervous system numb in some places. I will be having an operation on my hands soon and I think others will be able to help you more about returning to work. Remember not to let anyone dump work on you which your job sounds stressful anyway. Part time is a good idea to start and see how you get on. Always remember to listen to your body and rest when it’s needed. I wish you well and look forward to chatting. Best wishes Loraine :blush:

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Hi @Dolanjo returning to work is a big step and it really does have to be managed carefully, good to hear you’ve got a OH meeting arranged . Tell OH all your concerns, don’t hold back. My phased return was initially over 6 weeks but had to be adjusted as it was too much at first and it was extended to 10 weeks, but I still don’t work full time at the end of that 10 week period (I can’t manage that) as fatigue kicks in, so I now do Mon, Tue have Wed off, then Thu and Fri.

You have to pace yourself and factor in additional rest breaks throughout the day, your HR department need to know this and make sure OH put that in the report (they did for me) and it may have to continue for months, not just weeks. OH also need to mention you’ll be a little slower at completing tasks your firm expected you to do previously.

As for the workload, you have to keep an open dialogue with HR and your team manager, if your feeling stressed you need to mention it to them, before it becomes an issue, don’t be afraid to say ‘no, I can’t make that deadline, or I have too much work to complete’.

There’s no way to sugarcoat it, it’s tough, when I was at home I felt good and thought it would be easier than it actually was, I was shocked to find how drained and exhausted I felt after 3 hours at work.

Wishing you all the best for a safe, steady return to work :grinning:

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@Mahoney well said great advice :kissing_heart::wink::+1:t2:

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@Loshy @Mahoney
Thank you for responding. It’s great to get advice from people who are feeling the same and are working through it too.
I am going to take it slowly. Just thinking of returning heightens my anxiety and I will have to deal with that and the fatigue.
I will let you know how it goes !

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@Dolanjo have you thought about counselling for your anxiety, it was a real benefit for me, being able to discuss my fears, triggers and concerns with someone who listened, didn’t judge and provided constructive feedback on how to manage anxiety was so helpful.

Take it slowly, speak to OH and if you’re not ready to return to work, take more time, I know that can be difficult when finances come into play, but your health is a priority.

Take care, best wishes

I had a very stressful job with multiple European trips per week and working a min of 50hours so I packed it it.

I now have another job on contract so in general the hours I work are more my choice.
There is still stress but I can work at home 3 days and find that easier as I can choose my own pattern for thes days.

This is much better at 60 now I need ensure my work like balance does not cause the previous stres.

I do recommend you go to work if at all possible it’s good for the mind however do not overdo it, it’s easy to say and very hard to do.

Wish you all th best for the future

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@Dolanjo that sounds so much like my situation. I too suffer with a lot of fuzzy heads. Just when I think I’m through the worst they come back with a vengeance. I had a job that was overloaded and had been asking for help for a long time before my stroke. I have been honest with my employer about what they can expect when I return and made it clear I can’t return to the same stressful workload. They seem to be listening but time will tell.
I think a lot about when the right time to return is but have decided that I’d rather have a bit longer off now (despite half pay) and make sure when I go back I can stay back and be effective. I know finances are an issue but I’m going to take the pain now in the hope that longer term it’ll be OK. Hope you get the support you need to get you back to work successfully. Be good to hear how you get on.

@Mahoney.
Thanks for the advice , I will look for some counselling. As you said it will be good to talk to someone who will just listen.

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