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Been ill for a while; feel like the doctor doesn't believe me!

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by Fiona L, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. Well I've recently had 3 weeks off work due to some sort of virus which was probably shingles. Doctor didn't diagnose it though on my sick note as at the time of me needing a note, the red line on my body had gone. Three different doctors said that's probably what I had though they just put 'tiredness' and 'debility' on the sick notes . At one point I was worried I might end up with ME as I wasn't getting any better and hardly had the energy to get up off the sofa or talk to my mum on the phone. I've felt really guilty about being off as it's a new job and a promotion so they are probably wondering why they appointed me!
    I went back last week and after one day I was back with swollen glands, headache and general lethargy. I had two snow days luckily so I could recover and I did some work at home. Was back in again today and I feel dreadful. I've got no energy at all, I can't concentrate, my glands and throat are sore and my head is banging. I don't seem to be able to do anything that exerts me (even just meeting a friend for coffee) without suffering ill effects. All I want to do is sleep but I've got a huge backlog of work. Just teaching one lesson today was really tough going (monday is my light day). I've only just gone back so I can't be off again!
    Anyway, I saw the doctor this morning and he said that it was just normal recovery from a virus and I just had to push through it. He said all my bloods were normal, my glands aren't swollen (even though they hurt) and basically to get on with it as he said it wasn't post viral fatigue syndrome or anything like that. This doesn't feel normal though; I know when I'm well and when I'm not! Seem to be getting worse.... I live on my own and am single (am 34 btw) and I wonder if I should look at it that if I had children I'd have to get on with it somehow as I wouldn't be able to rest. Just want to feel well as I haven't been right since September if I'm honest....:(
  2. lrw22

    lrw22 Senior commenter

    My dad had shingles and ended up in a similar position to you. He still felt very poorly after the rash had gone but doctor refused to sign him off work. He went to work feeling awful and managed to crash his car on the way. Thankfully no one was hurt but he still blames that particular GP for losing him his no claims bonus! Anyway he did feel better eventually but it took a little while.
  3. I am sorry you are feeling this rough.

    I have the dreaded ME diagnosis and if you have had PVFS there is a chance you are more susceptable to a relapse... I don't want to scare you but do think you should be aware so you can work to prevent it.
    Make sure you are not doing anything extra that is unecessary, I knwo its hard but just right off time out with frien sand a social life until you pick up.. if you nee dto get into your jammies and be in bed by 7.30 so be it.
    Make sure you are eating healthily, and have energy snacks, can you snack on a few apricots or nuts or something between lessons to keep blood sugar topped up, and drink plenty.
    Give yourself a break with lesson planning.. can you set some project work.. I wa sscience so could group kid sinto 2or3's and give them a sheet of things to find out, or revise that had to be presented as an info poster.. give them page numbers or specific websites an dlet them get on with it whilst you catch up on marking.
    You ahve to be kind to yourself.. chances are it's just the shingles taking it's time to heal but if retsing now helps you heal quicker you ahve to do it.
    Take care
  4. Thanks for all the replies.
    Woozle I've been following your thread and it makes me very aware of what can happen if you push yourself when you aren't well and having had post viral fatigue in the past, I'm hoping that I don't go down that route again! I'm just trying to get enough rest which is hard in this job but I'm doing my best to. Slept the whole night without waking up last night which made me feel a bit better. I'm a long way from feeling well again but I hope I'll pick up soon. Am aiming to get better for January but it's a slow process!
  5. Fiona,
    I didn't mean to scare it was just when you mentioned PVFS it rang alarm bells.
    I am gla dyou got some sleep.. just take things easy and look after yourself.
  6. Thanks Woozle, you didn't scare so don't worry as I had been thinking along the same lines myself.
    Well I managed just over a week back at work and now I'm off sick again! I'm gutted as this is a new job and I want to do well but my body is just not playing ball! I'm finding that a tiny bit of exertion i.e meeting a friend for coffee leaves me rough the next day with glands up, headache etc and I'm struggling generally with fatigue. Although I managed in that week back, it was hard going being out all day at school, going to meetings and trying to get everything done and I was very tired, especially as I'd had 3 weeks of inactivity before then. I'm not able to concentrate that well either. I feel like it's all come back with a vengeance now as my glands and head are so sore and I've been on the sofa all day in my pyjamas. School are going to be regretting appointing me!!
    I can't get a doctor appointment until friday but I'm wondering if there is much point (school breaks up Tues 21st) as they are basically telling me I'm fine and to just get on with it. This doesn't feel like fine though. I've had to cancel all my social events and it's really getting me down as I can't do anything.....:( Sorry for self indulging there, I know it could be worse!

  7. Oh heck..post exertional malaise.. payback is far in excess of normal for small exertion.
    Brain fog?
    Sofa is best palce for you.. remember watching Telly all day is not proper resting. search for guided meditation on you tube.. give yourself proper rest eyemask.. no sound no stimulus. I hate this but do stop every hours and rest properly.
    Not your fault or your problem.. look after yourself.
    Take the appointment.. tell them straight out you have had PVFS and want a referral to the local ME clinic now...
    I am so sorry it is miserable and in the 'season to be jolly' it is almost rubbing your nose in it.. You ahve done the right thing by cancelling .. rest, rest, fluids and rest.
    You are not self indulgent that is what this forum is for (lol.. someone wrote that to me this time last year). It could be worse but it could be better.. lets aim for better.

    Please try to stop pushing yourself.. minimise all tasks to the necessary and rest... this is a horrid illness and you can't win by pushing.. you have beaten it beforean hopefully will again soon.

  8. Thank you so much Woozle; you are so supportive and lovely when you are having to cope with so much yourself. I take on board everything you have said. In terms of relaxing, I think I will try and listen to some self hypnosis CDs I've got and relaxing music. I won't be well enough to go in tomorrow so will do that then. xxx
  9. How are things going?

    Are you off to the Doctor's today?

    Hope you are as well as possible.
  10. Thanks for asking Woozle and hope you are o.k today. I had an appointment this morning and saw a very young GP registrar. She was very nice and at least this time I felt listened to and not dismissed but there is nothing new really. She went out to ask advice from another doctor and basically said she feels it's been a situation of a couple of back to back viruses, coupled with new job stress and then my Dad being ill which has just knocked me for six. She said that hopefully with the school hols and some relaxation time with family, I might pick up. She mentioned low mood and wondered if I might be a bit depressed which can sometimes manifest itself phyiscally.
    Although I still feel I could well have PVFS, I'm hoping it is just what she's described. School finishes for xmas on tuesday so depending on how I feel, I might go mon and tues although I feel almost ashamed to show my face there considering how much time I've had off. They must be so ****** of with me!
    Off for a rest now! xx

  11. Hi Fiona,
    Have you ever been tested for a vitamin B12 deficiency?
    Just a thought!
    You really are going through a bad time. Take care of yourself.
  12. Fiona ..

    I think that is great news and I hope she is right.
    I am glad she listened to you and actually ha dthe courage to go and confer rather than making up an answer.
    See how you go this weekend before deciding if you go back Monday Tuesday... if you are off make sure you phone in on wednesday to say you are well enough to work so that it doesn't count as sick leave if you go back afetr hols.
    Don't feel ashamed or embarrassed you are poorly that is not your fault.
    Do you feel depressed? Do you think this may be a possibility?
    If it turns out to be PVFS you know the drill and there is support available online.. if it doesn't I will mentally join you in dancing round the christmas tree in celebration!
    As the poster above suggests (sorry can't see name from this page) have you had a full set of bloods done? Might be worth an enquiry as allsorts nee dto be ruled out first. A B12 defficiency is easily fixed (been there done that and still doing it), thyroid function etc shouild also eb checked.
    Take care and keep us posted.. I am always online at some point.. so will keep an eye out for you.

  13. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    I'd only go back if you think that you will be well in January. The school will probably get more annoyed if you turn up and go off sick again. It would look very suspicious and they could well think that you only returned to keep your sick pay for longer. It is easier for them to manage long term absence rather than bits here and there.
    I also hope that you have had a wide range of blood tests as well.
  14. Thanks everyone. I might look into seeing if I am maybe deficient in B12. Woozle, I'm not really sure if I'm depressed. The doctors seem to be pushing me towards this diagnosis but I don't really know. I'm not tearful and upset but just more fed up and frustrated. I'm very irritable but not sure if that's just my personality!
    Really not feeling too good today but not sure if that's worry about work tomorrow. Quite heady and glandy feeling. Torey thanks for the advice. It's such a tough one. I want to go in to show willing and 'get it out the way' but don't want to annoy the school if I'm still feeling ropey in Jan (which is only 2 weeks away!). I'd need to get a doctor's note for the last day of term if I don't make it in. There are things at school that I need to get access to so I can catch up over the hols and would like to tie up a few loose ends but perhaps I could pop in during the hols if I really need to. I think I'll just see how I am in the morning....
  15. Fiona... I hope your schopol has two snow days.. problem solved!!

    Seriously don't put any pressure on yourself .. you could undo all the healing your body has done with previous rest.
    I know its easier said than done but dont worry about school work.. it will still be there when you are ready and there are far more important things to do at christmas.
    Fiona if you don't go in make an urgent GP appointment and ask for bllods to be done.. the whole lot .. that way they canget them back before christmas and if there is a defficiency they have a chance to start correcting it beforeterm starts.
    Look afteryourself..

  16. Thanks Woozle. My school will def be open tomorrow so it's a tough call. I'm not really well enough so half of me says that I should stay off (and if at school they ask me if I'm better and I say no, they might wonder why I'm in and it could **** them off) but on the other hand, if I went in it would get me over the hurdle of seeing colleagues again which I'm worried about and I don't want that hanging over me over the hols. Such a tough call!
    I doubt I'll sleep much tonight from worry so perhaps I'll be feeling so rough tomorrow it will decide it for me! The journey is going to be treacherous....
    I had the full range of bloods last time (I think) and everything came back normal. I can tell the doctors think I'm just malingering and am a bit depressed but it feels like more than that.
  17. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    Depression can cause physical symptoms as well. Have you tried the depression questionnaire on NHS direct?
  18. Hello Fiona,

    What did you decide?
    In my experience , work colleagues are just glad to have you back... SMT may be a bit more probing. I used to fret but it solves nothing.
    When I went in to collect my things after losing my job I actually asked a friend to come and meet me at the car.. I texted as my Dad parked an dhe came down.. I had been honest and told him I was nervous and he stayed with me all the time I was there. Maybe when you are ready to go back someone could meet you to walk in with you ?
    I am so sorry that you are not supported by your Doctors. I had the label 'debility' on my sicknote for a few months before it became 'cfs/me' but was always supoorted.
    Thinking of you

  19. Thanks so much Woozle. I decided not to go in (and only managed about 4 hours sleep last night) but feel so guilty! I'm not right though. If I'm off tomorrow I'll need sick note and I dread going back to that surgery as I can tell they don't believe me!
    Despite all the local schools being closed today and tomorrow, mine is still open and miraculously loads of staff made it in - makes me feel worse! Keep worrying they might sack me or something as I only started the job in sept but then I suppose they'd have to go through procedures' first before doing that. I'm still getting emails from people about 'urgent' things though!

  20. Make a doctors appointment now.. it is unlikely you will get back tomorrow you need time to heal.. wether its depression, pvfs or the lurgy.
    Try to avoid the work emails.. I answered a few when I was poorly but only those I felt ok doing. I redirected some to HoD and ignored most. You will probably find some of them are sent automatically from mailing lists etc... you are not at work so rest.
    They can't sack you easily... I had been off almost a year continuosly three Occ health referrals stating unfit for work.. last one saying unlikely to be fit for work in forseeable future.. that is what instigatedthe meeting to discuss severence of contract due tohealth. You are safe.. do not worry.. the most important thing is your health.. took me too long to work that out!
    An undiagnosed illness is going to cause some anxiety and doubt in your min. A side effect of illness is often enhanced emotions... it is all normal.. you are normal.. you just nee dtime.


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