I was just wondering if you have taken anything for fatigue and whether it worked. My neuro has suggested that “a therapeutic trial of Modafinil and Amantadine is worth considering” He also said “cognitive behavioural therapy has shown to help recently”

I’m seeing my GP tomorrow to discuss this and wondered what your thoughts are. I also have a meeting at work to discuss a possible phased return which realistically I don’t think will be successful. Maybe I’m being a bit hopeful that one of the drugs I’ve mentioned will give me a new energy level!

Take care all of you

S x

Thanks Sarah for your advice.

Please don’t worry about punctuation, spellings etc - I didn’t even manage to spell Dogtanian right when I joined! And if it’s any consolation I teach in a special school - we can only count to 10 and have trouble recognising and writing letters of the alphabet!!! The kids are great though and that’s what I’ll miss if I can’t work.

S x

Hi! investigate LDN, nothing to lose, it seems to be doing me

good, only been on it for 5 weeks,

take care, Peter

Hi all,

Just thought I’d keep you up to date with what’s going on.

I tried Amantadine and took it for just over a week but it gave me terrible constant headaches and an awful dry mouth. My GP advised me to stop taking it. I know I probably didn’t give it long enough to be effective but I certainly didn’t feel any less tired.

I took my 1st Modafinil this morning after having an ECG yesterday. I’ve felt sleepy all day! How can something that was intended for narcolepsy have this effect. I’ve heard it’s used by students cramming for exams to help them stay awake all night - it certainly hasn’t had that effect on me!

I’ve had 2 sessions in school this week from 10-2 (with an hour off for lunch!!) I wasn’t teaching, just observing and I came home shattered!! I fell asleep for 3 hours, had my tea and was in bed for half past 8!!! I’m doing a full morning (8.30-12.00) on Monday and then I see the Occ Health doctor on Wednesday morning. I think we’ll be looking at medical retirement as I can’t see it being successful - not fair on me or the kids.

S xx

Hi S,

Just wondered if you could help out with a few questions from me and my husband? It seems you have quite a lot in common with my husband who was diagnosed last july. he is also a teacher and works with SEN children. his school is an independent. He started getting fatigue symptoms in September and had 2 weeks off followed by a phased return of working mornings only. as soon as he tried a full day after that, he realised he couldn’t cope and his gp ordered mornings only for another 2 weeks. His head then told him he would be paid 0.6 of his salary. Obviously, if he was off all day on sick leave, he would get full sick pay so this seems very unfair. He really wants to carry on working but the early retirement suggestion has also already been made by his head.

before diagnosis, it was aknowledged by his head that he was a very valued member of staff and had an excellent record for performance in his role and for attendance. the school has some financial issues so is looking to cut costs anywhere they can. however, after more than 30 years in the profession, it seems a little early to be writing him off!! the NUT have confirmed that the head is within her rights to pay .6 if he only works mornings. he has seen his neuro last friday who has prescribed amantadine for fatigue (I think…he hasn’t actually got them yet for me to check the spelling/name). Just wondered how long your fatigue has been going on, what prognosis if any you’ve been given for fatigue and how long has it taken to get an Occ health dr.? Also, have you had to accept reduced pay for phased return?

Sorry to go on…too many questions!!! :slight_smile:

j x

Hi J,

We do seem to have a lot in common don’t we! Don’t worry about the questions I totally understand - it’s such a stressful and confusing time.

I’m back on the sick again. I tried the full morning, again not teaching and I only lasted a couple of hours. I went to my GP and he signed me off for 8 weeks.

I’m not sure how independent schools work but we’re entitled to 100 working days on full pay and 100 working days on half pay. My full pay is due to run out this week. My phased return was planned to take place between half term and Christmas with me hopefully back up to full time in the New Year. I was told that as my phased return was due to start before my full pay ran out that I would continue on full pay. If I had been on half pay I would have been paid half pay plus and hours that I worked. I’m surprised that the NUT have said your arrangement is ok but maybe it’s independent school rules???

I’ve been off since the beginning of May and was diagnosed with PPMS at the end of September. Fatigue has been a problem since Easter - I can only walk for 10-15 minutes before I’m shattered. I do try and go out each day with someone to try and walk for 20 minutes in order to keep things moving. I break tasks up at home and do something for 10 minutes and then rest for an hour or so! We take my wheelchair with us if we’re going to be out for longer.Concentrating is hard too, I did some paperwork for school and it really took it out of me. I find that hard to accept, I can understand fatigue being exercise related but not sitting fiddling about with bits of paper!!

I’ve been on Modafinil for 10 days now, yesterday was quite good but other days I’ve been quite sleepy in the afternoon so time will tell if it works. My GP has said to me that even if it works it will probably only give me an extra 10%, so still not enough to teach!

I was referred to Occ Health by the council’s HR department. It’s HR’s policy that anyone who has been on longterm sick has an asessment before returning to work. He’s been great and what we’re doing at the moment is giving it time to see if the meds take effect. I’ve only been teaching since 2001 so my pension pot isn’t very big. School used to be hugely important to me but the diagnosis has made me look at my life and reconsider. If I was working then I feel my quality of life at home would be poor so I have adjusted to the idea of medical retirement. We still have hoops to jump through (metaphorically of course!!!) but I don’t think it will be that long before we’re filling in those forms.

Have you claimed for DLA? The forms a nightmare to fill in but worth it. Join Benefits and Work online who will give you lots of advice in how to complete the forms. I was awarded higher rate mobility and middle rate care without a medical which will make finances a bit easier.

Take care, both of you. If I haven’t answered something or you’ve got any further questions then just ask.

S xx

Hi again,

Just thought I maybe should have said that my Head had planned to keep the supply teacher in my class while I was doing the phased return. This was to support me and also for continuity for the kids. I suppose it does get complicated and expensive if school is having to pay 2 members of staff for the same class. Our sick leave is covered by an insurance policy that school takes out which pays for supply after 3 or 4 days I think… I’m not sure if I was still covered by the scheme during my phased return. However, if your school doesn’t have this system it could be a probem if finances are an issue for the school.

S x

Hi S and thank you for the replies! i just sent a great long reply which dissappeared just as I clicked on post!! just like the bloody DLA form I filled out online at the weekend! I am now waiting for the hard copy to arrive in post for that. Thank you for the link for help with the DLA claim too. I will check that out before applying this time.

I am also a teacher and had my pm obs today. It went fine but as you may appreciate, I am dead tired and am not in the mood for writing lots on a forum and then have it all disappear! So here are the main points in bullet points this time!

  • R (my husband with the ppms) has same pay and conditions as those in mainstream (100 days full and 100 days half pay)
  • GP has signed him off full time now for 2 weeks so he gets full sick pay
  • school has no insurance taken out as they say it is not cost effective for a small school to do so (?)
  • R has very similar reports of fatigue to you-some days knackered after just getting dressed and pottering about-no rhyme or reason sometimes.
  • R also has lost his sense of dedication to the teaching cause but misses the kids.
  • Currently waiting for OH visit via school as the NUT were insistent that the school should provide that (independent or not…a legal obligation on their part, I believe).
  • the part time pay was apparently given for last 2 weeks because a they claimed that if you work part time you are not ‘sick’ and that a phased return is only valid for a certain period and the hours should be increasing not remaining the same…???

I will let you know how the drugs go,haven’t received them yet.

j xx