Forum

getting back to work

Hi all I have recently been dx with MS and been off work since en of Jan. I am really suffering from fatigue, vertigo and weaknes and nnumbness in my arms. I have been restingand was on iv ssteroids. I really want to go back to workto try to get some control bback in my life. Has anyone got any advice on how I can do this. My dr has signed me off until after my first visi t the MS nurse whwhich is in a couple of weeks. Suggestions would be greatly appreciated after yo have gone bback to work after diagnosis and suffering a relapse. Thanks

All I can suggest is that you do a gradual return rather than rushing back to full time (if that’s the hours you work). Maybe a few hours Mon, Weds, Fri to start with to give yourself some resting time in between (or Tues, Thurs if you think three days is too much)? Occy health should be able to discuss this with you and your manager as well as any other ‘reasonable adjustments’ they may need to make, which will depend on the type of work you do.

Best of luck!

Mags

Hi,

Have you discussed a phased return with your employer? If not, you should have a meeting with your manager and Occ Health to discuss this and any other adjustments you may need.

I recently returned to work after having 5 months off and was absolutely shattered to start with. I went back on a phased return and started off doing 2 hours every other day. I thought they were joking when they suggested 2 hours, but I went home and slept 4 hours after, so don’t underestimate how tired you will feel.

The second week I did 2 hours every day and then I increased my hours slowly each week. My employer gave me 8 weeks to get back to my normal hours and said it didn’t matter if it took longer, but I was back to my normal hours after 6 weeks

I felt quite down to start with, as I thought I would just spend my life working and sleeping with nothing in between, but I have slowly adjusted and even got up at 5.30 this morning (which is a big achievement for me!).

I would also say not to go back too soon…I thought I was well enough to go back after 2 months, but my GP insisted I wasn’t, but looking back, he was definitely right.

I didn’t mind being at home, but I am enjoying being back at work and having some structure to my day now.

Fizzy x

Thanks it is good to see how people managed it. Will speak with occupational health and employer to see what we can arrange. Asking accessto work for aassistance getting to work whilst I can’t drive. I live a 45 min drive from work. Iam feeling in limbo lland since dx just waiting for appointments which I know you all understand. But felt on my own to deal with diagnosis and not knowing what’s next in my life. Goin bac to work feels like I will start to have sosomething positive bac in my llife. At moment struggle to get out of bed for more tha a ccouple of hours :frowning:

Hi Some good suggestions. I guess a lot depends on the type of work you do and how helpful your employers are? -access to work - great idea, even to use on a regular basis. - reduced hours to get you back to work. I would say essential. - change of hours to suit you. I work 4 days a week but longer hours each day. This allows for long weekends every week. - is home working an option ? - easier parking if you drive to work. - I have an air con unit to keep me cool & comfy chair. Best wishes Neil

Hi - just to add to the advice already, are there things you could do at home to make it easier when you’re not at work? For example, we always double what we cook and have the leftovers the next day. And we often cook up something like a big chilli or curry as well and then freeze a few portions, so there’s always an easy option for tea.

Dan

I have been off work for 2 1/2 months with work related stress. I work for the NHS and have been told this is common!! Anyway I am going back on a phased return. Recommended by GP Week 1 - one day Week 2 - two days Week 3 - three days Etc Still apprehensive about going back - going to plan some coping strategies. My initial thoughts are just to be a positive happy person. Not to talk about the stress. To put all me stress thoughts in a box in my head, lock it and forget about it. Sorry Barney Owl - just reread your original post and realised I haven’t really answered your questions just gone off on a tangent. Hugs Min xx

Hi barney owl. The first thing I’m going to say you is DON’T RUSH! I was dx last June following a severe relapse. Like you I wanted to get back to work for some sort of normality, big mistake, just as soon as I started feeling a little better I went back to work (I was only doing 3 hours a day) but after just a week I had another severe relapse. That was last September and I’m still off work and don’t know how long I will be. I’m so eager to get back to work but my neuro, nurse and employer just keep saying make sure you’re ready. Sometimes I feel like ill never be ready. Only you can decide but definitely do a gradual return and listen to your body. All the best, Donna x

Thanks for the replies. I had to complete a form today for work and had to be typed. I still haven’t finished it yet as more than about 10 minutes typing set off a real burning psin in my hand, so I stopped then the numbness returned. It also took me an hour to get my contact lenses in, first time I had tried since the relapse but needed yhem in for optician appointment. I don’ know whwhether my body is ready but I don’t know how I will manage financially if don’t get back soon ssp doesn’t cover my monthly outgoings. This whole thin is sscaring me, I was relieved at first when diagnosed as I felt like I had finally found some answers and was being believed tha I wwasn’t making everything up. Since having steroids just been left on my own don’t meet MS nurse for another 10 days and GP has run outof ideas of mmedications to try and help with vertigo. I spend mos o the day snsnuggled up in the duvet fadt asleep. I don’t know any other way to try and feel like I’m getting there without trying to attack it full on and going back to work seems like the best option to do this. I don’ know wwhether I’m expecting too much from my appointment but I need help knowing how to smanage this and get my life back to be abl to ffunction agai. Sorry for the long post.