go back to work or stay off longer ?

Hi wondering if i can pick people's brains with this dilemma - Last year i had an emergency admission after a virus lead to an autoimmune crisis. I was nearly a year off work then told to take it easy. I have been doing well on reduced hours (no sick time) but have just been off sick for a week after a weeks holiday . I had a virus/ illness thing that hung on - of course with an auto immune condition and fibro (are they the same?) i always get worse once the initial symptoms have abated - so my dilemma is :- i feel better than i did yesterday but still washed out - i feel i could go to work but scared of having a set back - every time i decide i will go i have a feeling telling me it is silly and may risk setting the whole thing off again, but then i get a feeling telling me i am 'milking it' and i should have some backbone . Anxiety making the whole thing worse !

9 Replies

  • It's a difficult one isn't it. Don't accuse yourself of milking it. There's plenty others will do that without your help. Look after you. No one else will. You'll do yourself no favours if you knock yourself out, at the same time this must be balanced with the reaction of the employer. How supportive are they? I'm starting to rely on Occy Health to keep them in check - despite being a "top notch" organisation. While you're entitled to be off if you're ill, and employers may not discriminate, there can come a point where medical retirement rears its ugly head.

    I would take off as much time as I need - BUT NO MORE. I went back early after my last absence but still met what I saw as hostility. I can't advise you. You're the only one who can truly decide. Do make sure the doctor is recording things properly. It may support you later. Make an appointment if you need one, there's no disgrace in that. Good luck and sorry that's not more helpful.

  • That really is difficult? If it was me I would personally take another week off just not to push things and send me back to square one.

    I want to genuinely wish you all the best of luck.


  • Talking from experience I think you should think very carefully about it. I carried on working full time and really paid for it. I have now reduced my hours and feel much better for it. It is important not to push yourself too hard or you will end up regretting it. I suppose you could try it for a couple of weeks and see how you get on.

  • How about taking mon-wed off then going back on thurs? This would mean you only have a couple of days then the weekend to recuperate. Gets you back slowly

  • Thanks to all - really helps - in the end my decision was made for me in that i actually feel a fair bit worse -with dizzyness etc so it is easier to decide. Went to GP and she was very supportive signed me off for another week and I also spoke to my manager. So i feel so much better (as it were !) But thanks for your kindness and wisdom - its so weird the stuff we put ourselves through isnt it? Thanks fibromites that is why i love this site.

  • oh Sanje, so glad your GP is supportive and that you spoke to your manager. And genuinely wishing you feeling better soon, gently and fully.

    Rest well and very best wishes :-)

    (ps I was writing my reply so slowly earlier that I didn't see your update before, yet good to learn what helps. Yes, its such a good site, I love it too.)

  • Sangje

    This is what this site is for and we your fibromites will do all we can to help you and others the best we can. Take care. :-))

  • Hello Sanje, so sorry you got this virus. I understand the feeling of being washed-out. I feel everyone wants to support you doing the best thing for your well-being...and I feel there's much wisdom of experience already shared above.

    I have experience too, of 'going back' a touch too early and understand the learning and caution that brings, because you would like to sustain your recovery, right?

    From what you say, feeling washed-out sounds like a bit of improvement yet still needing a few more days of real rest and recuperation.

    I'd say that If you find yourself feeling any frets (e.g. 'overthinking' or any worry) that's probably a sign that your being is calling for some more recuperation space.

    It doesn't have to be long, yet could be important to really renew yourself? Kind of on the basis of 'a stitch in time saves nine'.

    Personal experience tells me its a good and wise idea to make a decision reasonably promptly - and feel good and confident about it, when you communicate to others.

    If you're interested, I found a good way to guide the timing....

    What I do is gently test a couple of alternative dates

    e.g. by saying (like rowantree suggests) 'how about we go back on Thursday?' and seeing how your body feels....

    then trying 'how about we go back on Monday?' (like The Author might do)....and seeing how your body feels then...

    ...and when you feel the one that brings a peaceful feeling inside...that's usually a sound guide.

    I hope that makes some sense. Above all I genuinely wish you good recuperating and feeling better soon.

    Best Wishes

    Rock Rose :-)

  • completely agree with fenbadger. my employer persuaded me to return to work (with reduced hours) before i was ready. of course, like a good little people-pleaser, i did as requested. i did well for a few weeks (although it was really taking a toll on me), theniI just couldn't do it anymore. wanting to support my colleagues, i kept trying to work long after I should have acknowledged it was not possible, even with the reduced hours. this resulted in my taking excess sick days before I finally came to terms with my limitations and went back out on medical leave. but the damage had already been done. by trying to do the "right thing" (returning to work out of a desire to lift the burden on my colleagues) i had created what we americans call "a hot green mess" (others' anger and resentment toward me and my blaming myself for not doing my work well because I COULDN'T).

    I think all of this is exacerbated when one has an "invisible" disability. I learned the hard way to err on the side of caution and not be persuaded (by others) or bullied (by myself) into agreeing to commitments I would likely be unable to fulfill. I wish you all the best in making these very tough decisions.

You may also like...