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Help! I really need some

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by TattyCoram15, Jan 2, 2020.

  1. TattyCoram15

    TattyCoram15 New commenter


    I’m hoping to get some honest advice as I’m really struggling at the moment.

    A long story short: after having my second child in June 2018, I was diagnosed with PTSD after haemorrhaging heavily (1850ml blood loss) due to a retained placenta, which a doctor tried to manually remove (without telling me explicitly what she was going to do— it was “I’m just going to try something; have some gas and air!) and it all went wrong. There was no space in theatre so I was literally (cringe word, sorry, but true!) bleeding to death on the bed they’d wheeled me out on, out in the corridor. I was in theatre for over 2 hours and didn’t get to hold my daughter until she was over 5 hours old.

    Anyway, I soon after received therapy from a psychiatrist as I was suicidal and not in a good place at all after having panic attacks, flashbacks, temporary facial paralysis, terrified of noise and crowds etc. It all got more manageable and I returned to work after my mat leave. However, my school was terrible and wouldn’t let me attend my hospital appointments; I then tried to get a new job then the Head made that all near-impossible but I did secure a new job but the whole process of that ordeal meant I was back down to rock bottom.

    So, I started my new school and I love it— almost. My colleagues are great, the kids are, on the whole, good kids BUT we only get a 30 min lunch break, and only 15 minutes if you do a duty, which we all do, twice a week. It’s hard. I have struggled a split timetable: one week, two PPAs and 6 period lessons with 15-30 min lunch etc. I have found it tough, but just got on with it.

    However, two weeks before Xmas, I found my mum in her house after having a stroke. She was just slumped on her sofa. I had to call an ambulance and wait alone with her (she couldn’t talk etc...the scene was horrific) for an hour whilst I waited for the paramedics to arrive. In the meantime, I had several panic attacks and I was signed off as a result. It was all too much.

    It still is. My mum is still very, very unwell. I can’t sleep, I have flashbacks and I have palpitations; I’m just really struggling. The prospect of me returning to work next week is unbearable. I just can’t. I have my doctor’s review on Tuesday, when I should be starting back after Xmas. My doctor said to me before Xmas that it will be awhile before I recover from this relapse. Don’t I know it— I’m living it!

    BUT now I have discovered that I am pregnant over Xmas too and it has just sent my head in a massive spin. It was planned but that was before all the trauma with my mum. I’m of course very happy but equally apprehensive and scared because of what happened with my second delivery. I’m now terrified of going back to work next week because I just can’t at the moment; I’m not mentally strong enough and I now need to get my head around this pregnancy whilst balance and trying to arrange care for my mum (and care for my own children!!). I’m struggling. I really am.

    I’m worried about what people at work will think if I don’t go back next week— and the kids. I can’t sleep and I am so anxious alllll day. People don’t understand how difficult having PTSD is. I want to do things but my mind affects my body and I just can’t. I’m now also terrified I will have another silent miscarriage which I have had in the past too.

    If you’re reading this, I’m asking: what would you do if it were you? “Soldier on” and see how you go? The structure of the school day really doesn’t help my anxiety ( or my need for the toilet or sickness atm). I don’t want work to know I’m pregnant yet either. I’ve been signed off with PTSD not pregnancy— that’s a new dynamic to the messed-up maze I’m in.

    Please can anyone give some advice. It’s a rather lonely place to be with no family to talk to.
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Poor you.
    First piece of advice, is to concentrate on your own health. That must always take priority and even more so, now you're pregnant again. So as to
    Definitely not!

    That's a lot you're having to deal with and I know this advice will be difficult to follow,but you need to try not to worry about your mother at the moment. Recovering from a stroke will depend on her mobility beforehand, and how badly affected she was and how much 'fight' she has in her. All things you can't control, so try and leave that to her and her physio / Dr.
    Ditto with school and the children.
    sunshineneeded and TattyCoram15 like this.
  3. Ezzie

    Ezzie Occasional commenter

    I just wanted to agree with @Lara mfl 05 in that you absolutely cannot go back to work. Reading through your post, I’m full of admiration for you - despite all the trauma in your life, you sound like a very caring, compassionate and sensible person and I’d be surprised if your colleagues thought otherwise. You must explain all of this to your GP; maybe show him/her your post. I wish you the best of luck with your pregnancy xx
  4. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Agree with above posters - you are not well enough to go back to work. You must take care of yourself - your children (and your expected new arrival) need you. You and your family are the most important people here - school will cope. Finding your poor mum must have been so traumatic for you - my mum had several strokes and I know how distressing they are. Give yourself time and follow your doctor's advice. Very best wishes to you and your mum x
    TattyCoram15 likes this.
  5. TattyCoram15

    TattyCoram15 New commenter

    Thank you all for your replies and for being kind, @sunshineneeded, @Lara mfl 05 and @Ezzie. I will have a good chat with the GP on Tuesday and also inform her of my pregnancy too. She has been very supportive so far— last time I couldn’t talk but just sobbed for 10 minutes before I could speak and she said she was signing me off first, without question.

    I am concerned about my two Yr11 classes I’ve taken on since starting my new school though. It’s not great for them to just have supply but I can’t push through this. I need time.

    My mum also has a complicated mental history (schizophrenic) and was supposed to be checked regularly by a mental health nurse but she hadn’t been for 6 months! She hasn’t been taking her medication and had been ignoring the door whenever I randomly called round to check on her.

    I didn’t always live with my mum when I was growing up (grandmother, primarily), so I don’t see her as often as perhaps the average person sees their’s. Nevertheless, the day I did find her was by chance as her door was unlocked so it was the most shocking thing to see the state in which she was in. She hadn’t been taking her medication and she weighed around 5 stone, paramedics said (she’s usually a size 14).
    She was gaunt, unable to speak and lost mobility. It was like a horror scene her face; it will stay with me forever.

    Now I’m having to liaise with social workers, doctors and other agencies to sort out the help and care she needs. The irony again of me playing the parent to my mother when I could really do with a supportive mother around to help me get better.

    Moreover, I’m very concerned about being dismissed or being given a formal warning for being off for PTSD? Can they sack me?

    I’m also anxious about my maternity pay and how my SMP calculations will be affected by being off sick, if I am, during the ‘qualifying period?’ I read somewhere via Google about the sick year starts/ ends 31st March/ 1st April but wasn’t sure what that means?!

    Can anyone shed some light on the above? If I’m signed off before mat leave, would my first 4 weeks on full pay during mat leave be on half pay as I’d have been on sick leave? I feel forced back into work because of my situation (pregnancy).

    I’d really appreciate some advice on this.
    Many thanks
  6. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Unfortunately the person best able to help with this question, other than your Union, no longer posts, but I'm sure in the past there was mention of 'some discrimination protection if a relative has a health issue, and as a pregnant person you will have some amount of protection against discrimination.
    TattyCoram15 likes this.
  7. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    You poor thing, Tatty! I can hear the desperation in your voice.
    You're not fit to go back, yet. I broke my wrist, and the consultant told me to take 6 weeks off. I felt dreadful doing that, but my health came first.

    Your health and sanity come first. Speak to your GP. Explain what's going on to your Head. Could you go part time?

    So sorry to hear about your mum.

    Things will get better, but put yourself first.
    TattyCoram15 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  8. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Your employment rights do give you the right to some time off for illness, covered by a doctor's note as I'm sure you know so play it by the book. Get a doctors note for the immediate future and contact your union to clarify just what your rights are in these complicated circumstances. You cant work if you are mentally unwell but your employer also has rights and you need to know what these are and to know what processes might be started if they are worried about your attendance.
    TattyCoram15 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  9. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    I can answer the sick pay question.
    If you are still off work in March, and it goes into April, then the April days continue accruing under this years entitlement. (100 days etc as per your contract). When you go back, if after April, if you need to be off again, the clock starts at the beginning.
    TattyCoram15 likes this.
  10. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    I also think it highly unlikely the school will dismiss you for PTSD.
    They need to give you time to get well - and potentially an Occupational health referral for a phased return first.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  11. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    Just to try and put your mind at rest re the retained placenta.
    That happened to me with my first pregnancy. I had a forceps delivery as they said they thought the baby was struggling and the afterbirth didn't come despite me volunteering to push more ! I was told almost immediately that I would be having an anaesthetic and op to remove it.( I must say I am very surprised at what they did with you so many years later as maternity practices in my reproductive years tended to veer to the barbaric side !! ) All went well for me as far as I know save I had very little contact with the baby (this was 40+ years ago) and no-one told me next day at 6am when they wheeled everyone else's baby out but not mine what had happened to my baby. It took me a couple of hours to pluck up the courage to ask where the baby was. They apparently kept forceps babies in the nursery ICU for 24 hours after birth but no-one told me. I wasn't allowed out of bed for 24 hours too.
    No-one , in those days did any of the explaining bits they do all the time now so it didn't occur to me to ask would the same happen in a subsequent pregnancy and birth but.... it didn't. Noone seemed bothered or interested and for my 2nd birth 6 years later all was fine.
    Do what I didn't do and discuss it and get some reassurance from your GP/midwife etc. Congratulations by the way.
    Lalad likes this.

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