Diagnosed with functional neurological symptoms disorder after having Bells Palsy

At the end of May 2016 I was diagnosed with Bells Palsy after have headaches, earache, pain in my face and eye all on my left side. This was further confirmed after attending A&E after being sent there by my GP and then experiencing slurred speech after attending my GP for a follow up and being sent to hospital by ambulance after my GP thought I had a stroke. After many tests it was found that I had a cyst on my pituituary gland but no stoke and no identifiable reason for my slurred speech except for the Bells Palsy.

After the Bells went I started to experience migraines which started from my next and continued to the back of my head this lead to my speech becoming slurred and again being referred to hospital. I am now under neurology for this and have been admitted 3 times since June last year with the most recent being Friday 5th January this year.

My diagnosis is based on the migraines that I have which is brought on by cold, humidity , stress , tiredness and hunger. This in turn affects my speech. My episodes used to last a day however my last episode of slurred speech lasted 5 days which was the reason for admission, as the duration has worsened.

I am currently employed in a GP surgery since March 2016 however I was off sick with this diagnosis from June to October, the a week in September and now I have been off since 30th December and signed off until 31St January. I have now been referred to Occupational Health as my employers want to know how they can assist. My role has already been reduced from full -time to 20 hours a week as agreed by neurology. I can take breaks when I need to, I am only allowed to complete admin tasks with no front desk duties but my GP has advised me to leave this role due to distance and the stressful environment. There is actually nothing else they can do to assist me so I don't know how to respond.

Any suggestions???

4 Replies

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  • What a difficult time you've had. I'm not sure I have any advice as such but is it not possible to stay signed off a bit longer before having to make any decisions? I've not returned to work at all since July but am hoping to some time soon (within the next couple of months I like to think). Are you on any medication or will more rest allow you to recover a bit more? I'm a teacher so need to be able to be quite active and alert when I return. I've been on thyroid medication for almost 4 weeks now and feel very different - more energy and no brain fog etc so am just building my stamina back up. FND is perhaps alongside although triggered I think by the thyroid issue and extreme fatigue, pain and headaches. I've also been referred to OH and they so far deem me unfit however I hope soon I will be having a phased return. Best wishes :)

  • Thank you for your reply. So far I have probably been off work for 5 months with this month being 6. Before I return I will have to see my GP. I am currently taking 6 types of medication of which 3 I have to take daily and the other 3 if I start to get migraines. Realistically the only thing OH can say is there is nothing more my employers can do for me as there is nothing. In that case I will lose my job and have to claim ESA which I really don't want to do.

  • Sorry I don't have any further advice. I guess time will tell for you if your employee can wait keeping you signed off longer and hoping you recover further? I'm going on to ESA as my SSP has run out but I do hope to return to work shortly. Don't see it as a life long end of the road decision - more of a temporary support to enable you to hopefully recover further and if need be find a different more suitable role. Wishing you lots of luck x

  • Thank you very much for the encouragement. I wish you good luck also.

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