Awaiting DX and needing employer advice...

So, basically four/five weeks ago I saw my GP who decided to refer me to a neuro due to a long list of worrying symptoms she could not diagnose herself and the fact that they can’t run any more blood work. I was informed that I need to see the neuro and if they find nothing then I will be given the diagnosis of ME/CFS. Since then, I’ve been back and forth for extra blood work, an ecg and update phone consult with her regarding being signed off further and due to new symptoms developing.

At the first hurdle of being told she had no clue what was wrong with me and didn’t quite wanna tell me that she even thought it might be ME/CFS, I managed to pull myself together enough to talk to my manager about the situation. Rather than be oh wow, that sucks, I’m sorry, why are they referring you to neuro, etc. It became more of a “why does your dr think it’s ME”, “what symptoms are you having” and “I don’t think it’s ME”. (Hence sicknote detailing everything was under investigation)

So, after that backlash I then had to call in to let the team know I wasn’t going to be in for two weeks. Which I was then told “This is the way I see it. You’re 20-something and I’m 60-something and I’m still going.” De-light-ful! (This was someone else not the manager might I add.)

Next sicknote I got my father to ring in because at this point I started to research some of what a neuro does and diagnose and realised this could be more than just ME.

Now she’s insisting on talking to me. I honestly am barely holding my head up from what feels like a rushing river I’m being thrown around in. The questions she wants answers to, I can’t. Even my GP said she doesn’t know what to think anymore.

Regardless of the conditions at my work place do I have to honestly speak to her? Am I allowed to hold my rights about my health above everything? I’m having help in just about every aspect of my life right now, including finance and care.

Sorry for the little rant/long story. Any advice I’d really appreciate. The whole situation is stressing me right out!

Tsu xx

As far as I know she is not allowed to contact you when you are off sick other than to offer support or a brief enquiry as to how much longer you are likely to be off to get cover. Challenging symptoms, telling you you should be back etc all count as harassment. Axx

Is there an attendance management policy and procedure at your place of work? Where i work, you (not someone else) are meant to call in sick. All i have to say is i am ill. I do not have to give details (rg tummy bug, flu, etc). I am not a doctor and should i see a dr i can discuss upom my return to work when it is necessary. Are you in a union? If so then consult with your union rep. It is free. failing that and if you are in the UK, you can contact ACAS. They deal with employment legal advice etc on 0845 74 74 74 7. good luck.

Thing is I’ve been with the company for about 4/5 months and the manager hasn’t even got around to getting me to sign a contract or even given me an employee handbook so I don’t know the sick protocol for the company. There unfortunately isn’t a union for pharmacy staff that are not pharmacists. I can contact the NPS, but that’s a long winded process which won’t give me much help.

I know she’s gonna question everything, it won’t be how are you getting along, when are you due back in? It’ll be when are you going to get a diagnosis, what are your symptoms, etc.

So the way I see things, I’m not able to deal with things right now. Either she takes a call from someone else or I just don’t ring in.

My workplace is not very friendly about sickness. Seems to be a personal thing as there are no qualified staff to help any cover for anything right now (yay for the economy).

But thanks, I’ll try and get something sorted. Phone call is due Monday/Tuesday. xx

Thanks birdlady for the link to acas it’s really helped me get my head around things. The manager needs to talk to me in regards to knowing if there’s anything they can do as my employer to help me back into work, but it’s a bit of a twisted system.

My previous workplace would accept the sicknote as it is, ask if there’s anything they can do and then just wait to see what’s happening. But not every company is the same unfortunately.

Just gonna have to bite the bullet and do it. But I’ll make sure someone else is there for the call so in case anything is said that is discriminative I have proof. xxx