Forum

Phased return to work?? xxx

Good morning all x

Has anyone had any practical experience of going back to work when in limboland? I would like to go back but being realistic - even after 7 weeks off - I don't think I'm physically (or mentally) capable of coping as I was before.

Also of course nothing has been resolved i.e. no diagnoses, therefore no treatment etc. Also I will be seeing the neuro, endocrinologist and opthalmologist all in the last week of April and there will probably be battery of tests etc following (if they do their job properly!)

There are these new 'Fit for Work' papers where the GP can state that you can go back under he following conditions:

 

  • a phased return to work - where you may benefit from a gradual increase in your work duties or working hours, for example after an operation or after injury
  • altered hours - allowing you the flexibility to start or leave later, for example if you struggle travelling in the 'rush hour'
  • amended duties - to take into account your condition, for example removing heavy lifting if you have had a back injury
  • changes to your workplace - to take into account your condition, for example allowing you to work on the ground floor if you have problems going up and down stairs

I'm going to ask about it after the weekend. I know my boss will pull out all the stops and would be happy with any decision I make (they have been so supportive) but the personnel department are something else - although they have also been supportive in all fairness - they have to protect the 'institution' I suppose. Although at the moment I am being paid full tme anyway and I know they are struggling with covering my particular area of work - so it would be beneficial for them too - surely?

The first two points - a 'phased return' & 'altered hours' are the ones that relate directly to my situation at the moment.

Ideally, working from home over the next few months would be the very best scenario for me - going in only when I need to. They allowed this a few years ago when I had to have two lots of breast surgery that required 13 weeks treatment following.

This time though, things are much more unpredictable - no diagnoses means nothing definite to go on!!

I don't know how realistic this is? Has anyone been through this?

xxxjenxxxx

Hey hun..def worth looking into..thae fact that you dont have a dx at moment is not relevent..your Gp has signed you off and they dont do that for no reason..so I dont see why you and your eemployer cant sort something that suits both.. access to work may be helpful too..in the short or long term..or both and they can address your  needs along the way..

x

Sorry Jen. No advice to offer: out of my experience.

You might get more help if you post on Everyday Living?

Karen x

Hi Jen

Yes, when I first began on my 'Limboland' journey, I was off work for nearly 3 months, and then, because I was asking to go back, my GP agreed that I could, under a 'phased return'. 

I contacted and visited the Occupational Health Department of my workplace, and the Doc there advised me to begin on just 2 shorter days a week, i.e. 2 days of 6 hrs. After 2 weeks, I increased to 3 days, and so on. As it was the workplace occupational health advisor saying this, the Personnel Dept had to go along with it, therefore it wasn't a problem.

However, after some time, I was finding the travelling a struggle (a friend was giving me a lift in to work most mornings), and after work I got the bus home, and just came home 'good for nothing'.

Anyway, things continued to get worse, so I took early retirement. (I'm still in 'Limboland'!)

If you feel you are able, and want to go back, then a 'phased return' is certainly a way to try it. You will then find out how it affects you.

I wish you all the best - but do contact the Occupational Health dept of your workplace; with their support, Personnel shouldn't give you a problem.

Take good care,

Bren x

 

Hello jen. Happy easter to you, i hope yoy enjoy the holiday w/e.

I have been in limboland for just over two years. I have a dx of optic neuritis, and a lot of the usual symptoms that wen can associate with the MS forum/site.

I had just over 6 months off at the begining of my journey. I was terrified of comming back to work. I had to have a Dr from occupational health give the go ahead for my return and had aprox 2 month faze-in-back- to work which was very reassuring for me. The occy health Dr gave me some great tips to help with my anxieties. ie: take your time. go slow and think of it as a new job untill you are feeling your feet. I also shadowed someone as part of the faze-in, this was the most help to me as i am a lone worker and have been for the best part of 25 years so I wasnt quite so worried about any mistakes i may have made for a while.

These arrangements are normally made in conjunction with HR. for the best results all around....including ....for you....so I hope your HR dept: look after you well.

Good luck and take care  xx  maria.

 

 

Thanks everyone!

I want to go back to work!

I have been given an interview date (week Friday) to manage a project that I've been working so hard to develop (4 years!) I'm absolutely passionate about this and so excited that it's now going to happen!

I'm totally gutted I might miss the opportunity to deliver it myself!!

But on the other hand I'm afraid I won't be able to cope! This illness is so unpredictable!!

Yesterday I felt like I could manage! This morning I couldn't manage to boil an egg!!!

I know this particular project won't run on passion and commitment alone - I know that it will need someone who can physically and mentally give everything - I hate to admit that don't think that's me at the moment - actually I know it's not me at the moment!! letdown

The consolation prize I suppose is that If I can't deliver myself I will be mentor & line manager to the person who gets the job - this will devastate me though - as I so very much wanted to be the one to do it xxxxjenxxxxx

Look at it another way, Jen.  Be proactive!

You have four years invested in this project. You know that you are not up to it full time.  Probably, the folks that you work with know that as well. They will also know your committment to it.

Tell them about your committment, and say that you will need an assistant to make sure that it goes smoothly.  That way it could stay your project, but allow you to get the times that you need for your own health.

I was in a vaguely similar situation a few years ago (pre-MS but post-heart bypass) where something I had worked on for several years got the go-head.  I ended up with two/three short days a week, managing the programmer who was the key to the whole project (and several others for the first year, while we tied the requirements down).

You know the project, you want it to succeed, you know you cannot do it on your own right now - so you will need help.  Take the initiative. Already you are acting like it is your project. Good Luck - but if you sell yourself right, you will not need too much luck.

Geoff

Completely agree with Geoff. I also agree that mentoring / advising on the project would be a great use of your knowledge and experience. Working from home at least some of the time might help too.
Go for it!
Karen x

Hi Geoff x

I'm going to ring to talk things through with my big boss on Tuesday - I'm more than confident my Uni would support anything I decided on but unfortunately it's a partnership project - ironically with the NHS!! Basically we are to be the employers on their behalf - it's their money and that money is tight and has been hard fought for by the board I'm on. I know there is no more in the pot.

I also know because I wrote the job description (lol) that we are expecting/needing an awful lot from the appointed person - over and above to be honest  - for at least the first 18 months. 

I hate to acknowledge it but in the circumstances I find myself in healthwise at the moment I am totally not what the project needs to be successful. The project management & mentoring would be part of my main job anywa, regardless of who delivers, so I would have full control. I just so so wanted to do it myself as have always had to work on this sort of initiative over & above my day-to-day role. I'm just so gutted that this was an opportunity for me to dedicate 3 whole days a week to something I'm so passionate about! 

As they say though - everything happens for a reason - who knows what the future holds - I suppose I should be grateful if I'm capable of going back to any form of employment at all !!  xxjenxx