Returning to work!

I am a Midwife, pre stroke I worked in the community, driving around visiting families at home and faciliting clinics in childrens centres.

My stroke affected my visual field and I have had the DVLA eye tests and awaiting results.

My stroke was on 12th November, and I just had my occupational health appointment and they’ve said I’m fit to return to work - office based only awaiting DVLA results, and phased return for 6 weeks.

Sympton wise I have the visial defect that I’m learning to live with, have terrible fatigue and am getting support for anxiety and panic attacks.

Am I crazy for going back ‘so soon’? My pay is about to half, I have a home and 3 children to pay for and I dont know if I can afford it if I don’t go back. But I feel massive guilt - what if I return and sometimes happens because I’m going back so soon? So many what if’s and buts. I’m saying to myself I can try and if its too much I’ll get signed off for longer. It’s only a job I keep saying to myself, put my health first - but I’m also just sat at home and maybe sleeping more because I have nothing else to do.

Any advice would be appreciated? Xx

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@Emmap1982 hi Emma, it’s difficult to juggle work and family on normal times so, after a stroke I think it’s it’s even worse to try to to do this full time.

Maybe a longer phased return. Or data entries for colleagues work just some ideas.

Do you have a partners wage coming in to help if not you can apply for financial help. ESA.

Every ones strokes are different. It’s how you are feeling so you can only make the decision and guilt is always there. I quit my job at school as I cannot bare the noise. I still think oh if only I could do 2 days but I know it will wipe me out and cause lots of stress on me.

I’m 22 months post stroke and still have fatigue if I over do it sometimes dizzy or off balance feeling.

I wish you lots of luck and recovery on your journey and listen to you body.

Best wishes Loraine

I would talked to u GP or ubstroke team ti see what they say then talk to HR dept and see what thrtr say then you can base you decisions on facts which should help to empower you with kind regards des


@Emmap1982 it really is a difficult one & will vary for everyone.

A few things to consider maybe.

If you weren’t short of money would you go back?
How will being in an office affect your visual field issues?
If you do reduced hours with regular breaks could you manage?
What sort of things bring on your fatigue? Can you avoid them at work?
What adjustments are being put in place as well as the office based role? Are they sufficient? Do you need more?
Can you work from home?

Your long term health has to come first but as you say if you try and it doesn’t work then you can be signed off again.

Whatever you decide make sure you don’t overdo it, take regular breaks and if it is too much don’t be afraid to take a step back and rethink it.

Best of luck.

Ann xx

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@Emmap1982 only you know if the time is right and you’re ready to go back to work.

It’s great you’ve got a phased return to build up your hours. I was off work for 5 months, thought I was ready, though I can tell you it was tougher than I thought it’d be and I was only doing 3 hours, 3 days a week when I first went back. I needed that day in between work days to rest and recover, once I was back at work I discovered I couldn’t possibly have done 5 days in a row, even at 3 hours, I had underestimated my ability.

Fatigue was the biggest hurdle for me to manage.

As you say you can give it a go.

I hope it all works out for you, best wishes

After a stroke in August I have Just returned work. I understand your issues as one of the reasons for my return was going on to half pay. This said in my opinion you should only be at work if you feel up to it. If you don’t maybe the concil can help.

Hello Emmap1982
You state that your stroke was 12 November and you are about to go on half pay. Do you work in the NHS?
I am retired NHS. When I had my stroke issues and was signed off sick I was paid 6 months on full pay then 6 months on half pay. An early retirement package was then negotiated. I believe this is standard NHS procedure.

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Thank you everyone for your comments. I returned to work today, I am on a phased return doing 4.5hrs a day. My manager has been so good, even picked me up this morning to take me in. Shes set me nothing to do and said just take my time and reintroduce myself to being in the hospital environment / office and that I can take breaks or leave for fresh air whenever I want to. I came home absolutely shatted though and needed a nap.


I do work for the NHS. Our trust is full pay for x amount of months you’ve worked there. So for me 5 months on full pay. But I had time of within the last 12 months with a dislocated shoulder

@Emmap1982 sounds like you have a great manager. Hope your return goes really well. Keep an eye out for fatigue creeping up on you but if you’re able to take rests at work.that should help.
Best of luck. Ket us know how you get on xx

@Emmap1982 sounds like a caring manager you’ve got there.

Take it slow and easy after work till you build up stamina. I had to lie down and ‘switch off’ for a good few weeks when I came home after work. I hear you when you saw you were shattered, it’ll get easier with a few weeks under your belt.

Definitely take those rest breaks whilst at work to pace yourself.

Well done, best wishes

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