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Health issues while waiting for operation, but not enough to be off sick - what can I do?

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by lucyrose50, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. lucyrose50

    lucyrose50 Occasional commenter

    I currently have some ongoing health problems for which I've been
    getting passed from waiting list to waiting list courtesy of the NHS
    since before Christmas...you may have seen me whinging on here before,
    because I'm an appalling patient and am finding it all very frustrating!

    To sum it up, at some point - most likely after the summer
    holidays now - I'm going to need two separate operations on my feet for
    an orthopedic issue (about 6 weeks off work each time), plus surgery for
    uterine fibroids which will either be a minor op with a couple of weeks
    off work or a full hysterectomy with 6 weeks or more out of action.
    This is obviously all going to add up to some fairly significant blocks
    of time off work next year, and I've already forewarned my HoD and the
    HR manager at school.
    Until recently I've been doing OK at work
    despite being in some discomfort and needing a
    wee all the time, but since shortly before Easter all of my symptoms
    seem to have been getting worse and I'm in more pain than I was before. I
    have no energy as I'm not sleeping very well due to annoying pains and
    needing to go to the loo at night, and I think that being in constant
    discomfort and having to take painkillers every day is just draining me.
    I've never been in a situation like this before, I've obviously had
    absences for short illnesses like flu but I don't really know how to go
    about dealing with having ongoing problems that I know aren't going to
    get treated for at least another term. I'm certainly not so unwell that I can't go
    to work, but I'm definitely nowhere near my usual standard and I'm
    really struggling to teach all day and get all of my marking and
    planning done. I don't know if there's any point discussing it with
    anyone at school because I can't think of anything they could reasonably
    do to solve the problems so I feel like I'd just be going along and
    saying "hey, I'm not very good at doing my job at the moment!", plus I'd
    have no idea who to approach. Does anyone have any comments or
    suggestions? I really don't know if there's anything I can reasonably do
    or if I'm just going to have to stick it out!
  2. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Hi Lucy,
    Poor you, it's not a lot of fun I know. If you had a decent sleep would that help do you think? I have never suffered physically like you are but not being able to sleep has been an on-going handicap for me for years. Every so often I get strong pills from my Dr. for short term use and I do feel much, much better. Another idea is could you have an LSA in your class to free you up so you can prepare lessons, teach and mark the minimum amount (if that's possible) ? All the admin stuff, collecting books, handing out books, wall displays etc...could be done by LSA? I had a colleague/friend who had major gynae problems and she had a permanent LSA for as long as she needed her.
    Can you talk to a freindly colleague who understands what you are going through - a trouble shared and all that. Is your line-manager approachable perhaps?
    Hope you feel better soon
    joni x
  3. I had a similar situation when waiting for a hip replacement. I suggest you talk to your line manager. My school were very good and reduced my timetable and other committments while I was waiting to go in and that worked fairly well for us all. Good luck.
  4. lucyrose50

    lucyrose50 Occasional commenter

    Thanks both of you for your advice, I guess I do need to speak to my HoD although I don't know that he'll have any idea what best to do either!
    Joni, I'm in a secondary school and I don't know that having an LSA would really make any difference, even if someone was available, as I'd still have to plan and teach the lessons and do any marking. It's going to get even more busy over the next few weeks with exams coming up and revision sessions going on as well! I'll have a couple of extra frees a week after mid-June when 6th form finish, but it's not much in the grand scheme of things. I'll see how I go next week and if I'm not finding it any easier then I'll talk to my manager and see if we can come up with any solutions.
    If anyone else has any more suggestions, I'd appreciate them!
  5. Does your school have an occupational Health service? If so, I'd speak to someone there.
  6. OP, I don't have any words of wisdom to offer but just wanted to say I know how you feel as I'm also waiting on a gynae op for endometriosis and each day is a real struggle. I too am living on pain killers at the moment and feel drained at the end of the day. I was off for 3 mnths last yr but hopefully this yr my op will be during the Summer hols so won't affect anyone else, thankfully! I know how frustrating it is when you want to be able to carry on as normal (and are expected to do so) but aren't physically fit.
    Sending you big hugs ((((((( )))))))
  7. lucyrose50

    lucyrose50 Occasional commenter

    Thank you so much to everyone for the advice, support and lovely messages! I'm going to speak to someone at the Teacher Support Network and see what they suggest, and if they don't come up with any other ideas I'll probably try and talk to the HR manager at school, who does already know that I'm waiting for the operations. Hopefully he'll be able to arrange for a meeting with Occupational Health or suggest some things we could do at school to make things a bit more manageable for me.

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