Back to work - help!

Hi everyone,

I’m fairly new to MS Forum, but have made a few posts here and there. Hope you are doing ok?

I went back to work this morning - just for the morning, and I’m wiped out! How the hell did I do this job? Makes me appreciate how good things were, and how hard things are now.

I hope that things will get easier, because I love my job, but it’s scared me how much I have forgotten and how much I struggled this afternoon, because I was tired. My speech wasn’t too good, and my co-ordination was shot. Work are being awesome, but it doesn’t stop me feeling scared.

Anyone else struggle to return to work? Any advice for how I could overcome the fatigue and speech issues?

Any advice you can give would be great.

thank you.

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I hope your employer gives you a graded return to work, after a period of sickness.
I believe Occupational Health can draft a timetable to gradually ease you back into your normal job role.
I remember an OT told me once jumping straight back into the work flow is much too hard on your body and you most likely won’t cope.
Best regards,

Hi JP,

Thank you for your reply.

My employer is being really great, I am having a graded return, and have done 3 mornings this week while working from home, which has been a godsend. Have to admit I am shattered!
Things that I could do without a second thought now take me quite a while, and by the end of the morning I’ve had enough. I just hope that it will improve with time? The job I have is pretty full on, and involves a lot of collating information. I just hope that I can get back to full strength sooner rather than later. I love my job, and it took me a long time to get into this role, I don’t want to give it up, just because I have MS.

thanks again :slight_smile:


Well I’ve been back to work for almost a full week (mornings only) and I’ve had a mixture of good days, bad days and one exceptional day which I am now paying for bigtime. Not sure if it’s the same for you but when I have an exceptional day, it is almost always followed by several pain filled days, where my mind is full of cotton wool and it’s a fight to get through each day. Don’t get me wrong, this is a huge improvement on the time before I was diagnosed, but it can be so frustrating. Work are being awesome, and just sending me a steady stream of things to do, but it’s getting busier, and it’s going to get much busier in the coming weeks, I don’t want to let me team down anymore than I already have, but I know it’s going to be a struggle.

Sorry - don’t mean to whine, just wanted to talk to someone who understands what MS can be like…

Thank you for being my sounding board.

Hope you are doing ok? Anything you need to talk about?

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I totally feel for you. MS is a bugger alright but when we truly want to work,enjoy our job and have fantastic colleagues its just so hard to keep going when this bugger doesn’t allow us to.

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Sorry, shrek fingers me sent that too quickly to you.
I am currently off work just now,my third month and things don’t seem to be improving although I am really trying my hardest. Hopefully I will get back at some point.
Please take care and listen to your body.
All my best wishes for you to keep going and getting stronger.

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Hi AT,
How are you? I think you need to start taking work at much more measured pace.
I know if I push myself too hard and too soon, I end up feeling I’ve managed to take one step forward but, I now need to take two steps back.
I know it’s cliche, but start treating work as a marathon and not a sprint.
Don’t work too hard,

you are so right in what you say. I’ve finally started to think “I’m doing everything I can” to get back to the working me and will need to be patient and if I can no longer work I’ll adapt to that too. Hope you’re well.

Hi AngryToaster

If there is an MS Therapy Centre near you that offers hyperbaric oxygen therapy, I would definitely recommend giving it a try - I don’t think I would be able to carry on working without having O2 therapy now.

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Dear Mary,
How are you? I’m afraid I’m still off-sick from work, since January but, just working on my mobility daily and awaiting general surgery on the NHS; along with the other countless numbers still.
If and when I do return to work full-time, I believe I have no alternative but, to work remotely only; if that will be acceptable to my employer, idk?
Perhaps then, ill-health retirement may be a godsend.
Best regards,

I am doing much the same as yourself working daily on and hopefully things may ease.
We just have to listen to our bodies and do our best which is what we are doing. Hopefully you get a date for surgery soon.
Take good care of yourself

Thanks for bringing this up AngryToaster! I am fairly new in my MS journey and was struggling with concentration and fatigue at work. I was really stressed between my MRIs and diagnosis, so wonder if that contributed to it for me personally. After a few days off, I go back on Monday and hope I can make it through a week! Sending you some strength for yours :blush:

Hi JP,

I’m ok thanks. Just taking a day at a time. It’s so frustrating though. I’ve never been good at pacing myself, everything is always all or nothing in my life, always been the same. I will try to step back a little though.
How are you doing?
AT :slight_smile:

Hi Kaytea,

How did you get on today?
Stress does make things worse, along with broken sleep when worrying about something. A very vicious circle.
I’ve spoken to OT today, and they are talking about brain exercises to try and help with memory, and concentration and fatigue.
Try and do some cardio exercise if you can, it makes a huge difference with fatigue - I do 30mins/day, just walking indoors (you tube is great for these). I also do 5 minute abs, again from youtube. Some days this is the last thing I want to do, but when I don’t do them, I feel so much worse, like my muscles are getting so sticky and hard to move.
Keep your chin up, we’re here for you.
AT x

I’m just like you, alas the spirit is willing but the flesh is just too weak at the moment. Just have to see what next year holds, for JP.
Take care of yourself, AT.

Thinking of you all.

Thanks so much for checking in with me! I was proud of myself making it through the day - but my confidence in myself has taken a hit so that will take some building up. This morning I feel a lot less energetic, so its a good moment for me to take on the tips you have shared! I am really lucky that work have been so lovely about it all and I can work from home when I need to. I came to the office this morning and already feel exhausted. I need to learn my limits I think. Thanks again for the advice, I will be taking that on board!
I see the MS nurse in a couple of weeks and will ask about any brain exercises, I think that will make a huge difference. I hope you got on ok at work too! :blush:

Hi all,

Thank you so much for your support - means so much. Hope you are good?
@Kaytea confidence being knocked is a horrible thing, it takes a lot of courage to get back out there and start building it back up, it will take time but you will do it.
I think work is one of the biggest/best brain exercises you can do. I play games with myself through the day to see if I can remember the figures that I have to input several times, seem silly to some, but things like this help, and believe it or not my recall is getting better, I can remember the passages in the book I read and the figures are sticking better.
I have been complimented on how fast Im doing things, and I’ve managed to break my laptop - I’d like to think I worked it to death :wink: I even managed to have the radio on in the background one day this week which is huge as I’ve been struggling with concentration so much.

Hope you are looking forward to the weekend and have something lovely to look forward to, doesn’t matter how simple the thing is you’re looking forward to… For me its meeting our friends for lunch (the first time they have seen me since the diagnosis and the use of balance poles). I just hope I don’t lose my speech like I did when I caught up with a different friend, I scared him silly when I started not being able to talk properly, he even offered to stay with me until hubby got home.

AT x

You show that laptop what for :joy: I used to not be able to work without the radio on and noticed recently that it was quiet. I hadn’t put the two together till now but I think it’s the same for me, I don’t think I can multitask with as much agility on occasions! Getting to the end of the week was a struggle. But I took it really easy and the weekend and it helped give me a good day today!
I hope you enjoyed your time with your friends and they were nothing but supportive of you :blush:

Hi @Kaytea

How are you getting on? How’s work going?

I now have a new laptop (yay!), it’s great and really quiet compared to the old one. Some days I can’t do any multitasking and find it so frustrating, my job involves getting information from 3 different screens at times, so when it’s a bad day, it’s really difficult. Having said that, as time is passing I’m getting back into it, albeit very slowly. Work are being really good which is a huge help.
The lunch with friends was good thank you, but it was all the same questions again (frustrating) luckily hubby took over as he knows I get snippy with those questions.

Hoping that you are having a better day today.

Take care x