I am an additional support needs teacher in a primary school, which is a very physical job. I can be outside with children running from letter to letter or number to number, racing up and down corridors with all my supplies, including a very large whiteboard, in 4-5 different heights of chairs in a day from very tiny to just right, I might be building forest dens or going on long rambles with my upper school nurture group or I might just as well be spending all day in meetings followed by 5-6 hours of non stop typing to get everything recorded. In addition to this there are all the other bits of the job which sees a very packed timetable where I move from place to place and task to task with barely time for a quick toilet stop followed by putting away the morning's resources and collecting those for the afternoon. My job is by no means a typical class teacher's job.
Unfortunately all of this and my ongoing muscle and joint pains finally caught up with me and when the day came that I was unable to get out of the building in the allotted time for a fire drill I knew I had to take some time off. I was in agony, despite having a reduced contact timetable, and was certainly not fit to be in work. That was in October 2013. In November I was diagnosed with fibro and by December my employers occupational health team had put me forward for early retirement on medical grounds. In early Feb 2014 my GP received a request for a report on my health and a possible prognosis re my return to work. This report was finally completed on 22nd April 2014 and came to a mighty page and a paragraph! I bet he is glad he doesn't get paid as a piece worker!
This report states that I have required physio 7 times since 1995, never for the same thing twice but all joint and muscle pains. I have had ongoing issues with depression, anxiety and agoraphobia and treatments have included CBT, counselling, day to day help from a CPN and various medications. I was diagnosed with lymphoedma in both legs in November 2012 but there is no mention of that in the report.
What is totally galling though is the second last sentence of the report which states "She is clearly very anxious about how she might cope with a return to work and I think this anxiety may be affecting her progress at the moment." I am so angry about this as I feel it makes out that I simply do not want to be back at work which is nonsense. At the moment I can barely get to one shop, but a few things and get home without being in total agony for hours afterwards and completely exhausted! I feel like this man has barely heard a word I have said over the past months. I have decided that on my next visit I am going to ask to be referred to a pain clinic and see how I get on with that. I have never seen a specialist, I am unable to apply for a blue badge as I need a letter from a hospital or to be awarded PIP for mobility but my PIP application was only sent away in February of this year. I just feel very angry and let down at the moment and I just needed to get it out to people who will understand. If you have got this far then thanks for persevering, Linda.