Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Stress and Strawberry Milkshake

The black hole that appeared around me a few weeks ago just seems to be getting bigger. In my previous post I explained that after much deliberation I felt it time I had to take a step back from working full time and reduce my hours which has actually been accepted now by my employers, however the rigmarole around this seems to be never ending an a ridiculous bunch of policies, procedures and politics. It took nearly two weeks for my request of hours to be dropped due to my struggle with my condition and that is subject to a review from occupational health. 
No that sounds pretty simple right? Wrong. My occupational health review has been confirmed to take place in December. It's only 2nd week of November. I was told that I can only return to work prior to the occupational health review under my existing full time hours contract. My doctors have agreed that I have pushed myself too far and agree that I should only be doing part time right now and I have to agree that I don't think I'm capable of doing full time hours. I feel I'm being pushed into a corner to be honest. To top it off today I received a call stating that because I previously had time off sick this year (following my shoulder replacement I had time off to recover post surgery) I have reached my limit of sick pay for this year and will not be paid for the time off I have had recently. Again, I'm backed into a corner as I now feel I have to return to work for financial reasons rather than actually being ready. I am unsure what to do at the moment, I feel very isolated and my choices are limited. If I remain off work I won't be paid. If I go back I'm not sure how well
I'll cope. I also feel that they haven't fully supported my request for fewer hours but have had to accept due to legal ramifications rather than concern for my health and I now worry about the attitude towards me when I do return to work. It's actually made me very stressed out, at a time where I have been signed off by a doctor anyway and should be resting and I'm receiving calls and emails from work almost daily to update me on my fate. I just have a gut feeling this isn't right. I was then told today, after the call informing me I wasn't being paid for time off, that occupational health will now agree to me returning to work on part time hours until my review only if a doctor states that I am fit to work with these conditions. That has just emphasised the pressure to go back to ensure I have some money coming in but who knows what they will say at this review? Are they trying to get rid of me? I'm starting to fear that I am more of a hindrance than a help and I'm sure that's not right. These feelings are subjective and it could easily be denied that it was my employers intention to cause any stress or worry at a time of ill health. Cherry on the cake is the stress over the past couple of days has triggered yet more illness. I developed a really sore throat and a visit to my GP (again... I swear I should be paying rent there) today confirmed its tonsillitis. I just thought it would be easier than this, that I would be fully supported and encouraged to come back when I am fit and ready and be welcomed by my colleagues in doing so. I don't feel welcomed whatsoever, more like forced back into a team that is only following the rules rather than actually valuing me as an employee. I have worked very hard all my life, been a valued member of every team and I could not feel more worthless at this point. I'm fed up. Sick and tired of being sick and tired more to the point. I always try and be positive in my approach to things but there are some days where I just feel enough is enough and want to hide away until things get better. The best thing about today? A cool strawberry milkshake to soothe my throat which my sister bought me. Life isn't all that bad.

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