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Catch 22-Need time off but can't

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by Georgia99, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. Georgia99

    Georgia99 New commenter

    Hello and thanks for reading my post :)
    I currently have severe neck and back pain since an accident and despite being prescribed strong painkillers and Physio, I am struggling to get through the day and can't sleep at night.
    To top it off I am a NQT in an unsupportive school where I don't see other staff as noone uses the staffroom. I am in a block on my own and when I manage to catch up with my HOD, at best I get nasty comments or am given errands to run for her classes when I am struggling enough unsupported with my own workload.
    The physical pain, lack of support and my unhappiness in my current school have meant that I am now stressed, miserable and anxious. I am at a point now where I am struggling to get through the day. But if I take some time off it will reflect very badly as I am currently working a maternity contract and will never secure another teaching post.
    I know it is the school and not the job that I hate because I loved my PGCE placements. I feel like this is going to ruin my career, I try and talk to people but others respond that I am lucky to have a teaching post and should stop moaning :-(
     
  2. Georgia99

    Georgia99 New commenter

    Hello and thanks for reading my post :)
    I currently have severe neck and back pain since an accident and despite being prescribed strong painkillers and Physio, I am struggling to get through the day and can't sleep at night.
    To top it off I am a NQT in an unsupportive school where I don't see other staff as noone uses the staffroom. I am in a block on my own and when I manage to catch up with my HOD, at best I get nasty comments or am given errands to run for her classes when I am struggling enough unsupported with my own workload.
    The physical pain, lack of support and my unhappiness in my current school have meant that I am now stressed, miserable and anxious. I am at a point now where I am struggling to get through the day. But if I take some time off it will reflect very badly as I am currently working a maternity contract and will never secure another teaching post.
    I know it is the school and not the job that I hate because I loved my PGCE placements. I feel like this is going to ruin my career, I try and talk to people but others respond that I am lucky to have a teaching post and should stop moaning :-(
     
  3. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    You're in pain, anxious and stressed - being ill will not mean you never get another job. Honestly.
    I'd stop talking to them if I were you!
    Are you well enough to be at work? If you're not then you need time off - that's the bottom line.

     
  4. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    Get a referral to OH and see what adjustments could be made at work to help. If you were in less pain you might feel better about other things as well. Try teacher support line, you can say as much as you like to someone who understands. Keep looking for a placement elsewhere.
     
  5. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Oh Georgia and you were so happy and excited to get the job!
    Chronic pain wears one down- I know. If you're struggling with persistent pain and lack of sleep, this will 'skew your perception' of your school situation.
    Yes you may be lucky to have a job, in that it provides income but not lucky, in one in which you feel so alone and unsupported.
    Are you in a mobile when you say you're all on your own? Don't you have a mentor at the school? You sound as if you need some support.
    So not sure how much we can help you here. First port of call is your GP and see if they can prescibe stronger painkillers or something to relax you so you sleep better. A good night's sleep can really help one face the day.
    As to the job. Think about all the positives about your class, about your teaching.After all it's for your students you're there, not the staff, who sound as if they're all under pressure too, if they don't come into the staffroom.
     
  6. Georgia99

    Georgia99 New commenter

    Thank you so much for the advice. Some days I feel ok to work and other days when the pain is worse or I haven't slept and it is a struggle. I definitely need some stronger painkillers, my current ones (Naproxen) just aren't helping. I have found co-codamol some help but know they can be addictive so have stopped with those.
    I think the pain is making everything else seem worse but I know in my heart that even if the pain goes, I will never be happy at my current school. I do have a mentor who I have met with once but despite looking for them and sending emails, I am yet to secure another meeting. My contract is due to run until the end of May, but I have been told today that they might be offering me permanent although nothing is set yet.
    Today I made the decision that I will give notice at the end of February to leave at the end of April. I was phoned today by two recruiters with offers for interviews next week for adult training roles. I have qualifications in this area from before my PGCE which helps. Unfortunately once they found out that I have to give notice until April, the had to withdraw the offers as they need someone in a month. I know it is a big risk as I may be unemployed but I physically can't continue in my job, it is a circle of the pain making me anxious and stressed at work and the work making me tense and the pain worse!
     
  7. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Georgia, hang on a bit Feb 29th is a way off yet/ See if you can get it sorted before then.
    I'm just beginning to feel I can 'function normally' now, getting roughly 5 hours (admittedly still 'broken') sleep per night. Lack of sleep and chronic pain does not make for good decision -making.
    By the by I wouldn't worry about the addiction element. I gave in over Christmas (8 weeks after surger), chronic pain and having to sleep? 'sitting up' to avoid pain at nightime very little sleep over that 8 week period, so asked for a prescription of stronger painkillers from my GP. I was also worried about the 'addictive element' but met someone last week who's been on these same painkillers for 5 years and she's was on quadruple my dose having halved it over that time. Finally I'm beginning to experience less pain and coping better because I'm getting some sleep, I even laughed out loud last week first time in about 3 months!
    I know I'm now in a much better position to make important decisions now.
    So I urge you to set about getting yourself well first. Then in 5 weeks, see if the situation still looks as bad, it may be time helps, THEN will be the time to make such far-reaching decisions. <u>Lack of work</u> will bring it's own problems too!

     
  8. Georgia99

    Georgia99 New commenter

    Thanks Lara and you are absolutely right, being out of work will bring problems. I have a mortgage etc and husbands wages don't even come close to covering our outgoings.
    I am in such a state at the moment. I have an interview for a job this week but am actually going to withdraw because I have to prepare a presentation and can't even bring myself to finish it. I know that if I go to the interview I will not perform as my state of mind is terrible at the moment. The job isn't ideal anyway as it is part time and I think it is variable hours based on the advert as the wage was listed as a hourly rate (it is for FE).
    Maybe I am stupid but something doesn't feel right about the job and my stomach feels sick when I think about the interview. Maybe it is because of my other health problems that I feel this way but I won't be doing myself any favours if I go to the interview as I believe that I will breakdown.
     
  9. fey090900

    fey090900 New commenter

    Hi Georgia

    Sorry to resurrect an old thread - did you have your back/neck problems during your PGCE?

    I've just started a PGCE and I've been told I shouldn't have any time off for physio even though this was mentioned on my fit-to-teach assessment. I'm going in to talk to the course leader tomorrow but it's already been mentioned that I may need to drop out, which seems extreme considering I only need 1-2 hours off every 3-4 weeks!

    If you did have problems during your PGCE how did your provider respond?

    Thanks!
     
  10. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    Have you joined a union? Even as a student teacher, you might need their support.
     

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