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Return to work

I'm returning to work on Monday after 9 months off sick. I've been very lucky so far because the company I work for has been very supportive. However, I drive for 5 hours to get to work and I work long shifts -albeit only 2 days a week. This wasn't a problem before SLE but things have changed. Anyway, having made the decision to go back to work, I have gone into a flare. I feel awful. I just don't feel I can now ring up and tell them I'm not coming in, so I'm going. Going to work usually involves getting up at 4am on a Monday morning and getting into the car. This is an impossibility now. So I'm going to drive up Sunday. I'm just worried. Worried that my brain fog will interfere with my ability to do my job, worried that the pain in the joints in my hands will prevent me from using my computer (i write for a living so this is essential) worried that the fatigue will effect my ability to drive. Worried also, and perhaps stupidly, what my colleagues will be think about the stick I use on bad days and the stone and a half weight gain due to the steroids. My husband gave up his job last year to pursue his dream of running an organic farm. I can't afford to go onto statutory sick pay. WORRIED. (Sorry for the shouty capitals) x

3 Replies

Hi, I think it's perfectly natural to be worried, but it seems like underneath the worry you have a positive attitude, such as reducing the stress by travelling the previous day. I also have to use computers extensively in my job but I have had voice recognition software loaded on to my laptop. I use a program called Dragon which 'types' for me as I dictate into a headset. It isn't perfect and doesn't always recognise some of the peculiarities of my accent. When I feel OK I type normally, but at times Dragon is a godsend. As for your colleagues reaction, there may be people who don't understand but I'm sure there will be others who are supportive. Be proud that you are going back to work despite the difficulties. and GOOD LUCK (I don't mind 'shouting' that!!!)


Oh dear, poor old you. I can really empathise with the work thing. I had several years of having to have over 100 days off sick/year. Not good. I too had a very supportive workplace and they tried hard to accommodate me. I'm sure you know they are obliged to make 'reasonable adjustments' to your work situation. This could include more working from home or more flexible working hours? I always have to sleep between about 2-5pm which means afternoons are a right off. Try to negotiate a more flexible working pattern - one that will fit in with ensuring that you get good rests in-between working shifts. Easy to say I realise. I found honesty was the best policy and following occupational health visits where I was declared 'disabled' (really quite difficult to take) I was taken more seriously.

I have actually just been made redundant after 14 years at the same place. I think, over the years my work certainly became a lot less important to me than my health. It was a steep learning curve though and I've had a big change to how I live my life. The things that were important to me have changed...... Years of counselling have also helped me to change from the person I was to the, more relaxed about life, person I now am. I sleep for England, enjoy life when I can, appreciate those I love, don't worry about tomorrow so much and then I sleep some more!

So sorry for you. TRY NOT TO WORRY ABOUT IT ALL THE TIME! That just makes everything much worse. When you feel rotten just go with the flow - try and rest - . Sorry, not terribly helpful I'm afraid. D x


Thank you both much. I'm just going to see how it goes. Mornings are definitely my worst, so I might see if I can start later. I appreciate the support :-) x


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