Going back to work

Hi my fellow mav-ers,

I’ve been signed off work now for coming up 13wks. I dont actually feel mucy better symptomatically or mentally but in the last few days I’ve become scared that my employer doesn’t have an obligation at some point, to keep my job open for me, and I figure that if I go back to work il feel either the same, better or worse, so if it’s worse il deal with it , but I won’t know til I try. But my physio and counsellor both don’t think I’m ready. I’m
Not better… I’m just fed up n figured I should try it.

I’m meeting with my work Thursday to discuss going back and things, but I wondered at what point any of you guys decided to go back to work, any steps you took to minimise mav affects, in particular I’m very worried about the bright fluorescent lights and constant computer use…
How did you know you were ready? How did you cope? What did you find difficult?

Any advice would be fab. Thanks xx

Ps I have read scotts thread on his struggles with his new job intently… But I still wonder if anyone has any other advice? I’m desperate and have my meeting with work in 24hrs ! arrrgh

First of all you need to phone ACAS to find out your rights and how you’re protected. Google them for the number.

Secondly, I dont think you’re ready and I’m only going by my own story. It was 6 months before I returend to work and then at only 3 days per week in a vew low stress, strictly 9am - 5am job compared to the 50 hour a week high flying job I was doing at HSBC. I’m nowhere near capable of doing what I used to do and this job maxes out my threshold. There is no room for anything else.

As my doctor says, the brain is very irritable and needs time to stabilise more.

Please speak to ACAS before agreeing with your employer to go back to work and also review your company’s sick policy.


Hi - please don’t rush into going back as it may set you back. I had about 6 weeks of sick and since then I have been on modified duties (this is for around a year now). Do you have an occupational health at your work? If health professionals are telling you it’s too soon you may have to listen to them. Can you do a phased return to work or reduce your hours if you really want to try and go back? Just consider all your options and like Muppo says get some advice. Remember your health is more important than anything. Good luck
Tracey x

I feel for you, because I am in the same boat. I am going back next thursday. I work 12 hr shifts, and because of my kids that is the schedule that works best for me. I am concerned as I do not feel “normal”. But… I HAVE to go back! (My job is only “protected” for 12 weeks) I am hoping that it will help me feel more like myself because work was my routine. Maybe taking this step, despite some setbacks on the way, will help us towards recovery. I would definitely talk to your employer, as I will probably have to do as well. Good luck with your decision!

might sound silly but if your not in reception/dealing with clients i try the sunglasses(they do help) in the the office. I couldnt use a computer for 8/9 months. you might as well give it a go, if you dont have kids you can go home to bed straight after work. Try and get reduced hours maybe. I think your doing pretty well as i was house bound for nearly a year and your already on a computer i couldnt do that for 13 months. Dont get disillusioned if all goes haywire at least your employer will know your making an attempt not just sitting around saying im sick


My own experience is perhaps a bit different to the others, so I thought I would give a different perspective. I am a PhD student, and although I get paid to do it, I’m paid a stipend (bit like a grant), rather than being an employee, which means I have no right to sick pay or any employment rights at all :frowning:

So I had to be at work as much as possible, or else I got nothing.

I had a few days off when I had full room spinning vertigo and was incapable of walking/driving, but apart from that I went to work throughout. It was unpleasant at times, particularly due to all the false motion I was getting, and also I had to be really careful regarding certain movements, so I didn’t set off vertigo. But overall I found it much better for me to be at work, due to a) distraction and not sitting at home being miserable, and b) not having the financial worries. I also think it aided my recovery, forcing myself to do things. It took months for me to be able to get out of my car without feeling like the pavement was moving beneath me for a few mins, but eventually it did stop. It’s taken about 18 months in all, but I feel pretty normal again now.

Anyway, obviously it is different for every individual on here, as we all have slightly different symptoms, and we all have different ways of dealing with it, and of course, some of us have jobs that are easier to do whilst feeling crappy than others do.

It strikes me that you’re not actually getting much better being at home and taking things easy, so in that way I don’t think you’ve got much to lose by giving it a go going back to work. How about you see if you could go back part-time to start with, and gradually build up your hours, rather than going back full time to start? A “phased return” is what my HR department calls it! Good luck, and I hope your meeting goes well today.

After the first 3 months of being really sick (back in 2007) I tried going back to work. It was a miserable failure; I was totally worthless and didn’t even last two days. I went back to work successfully seven months after that when I finally found the right combo of meds and was somewhat adjusted to the bilateral vestibular loss I sustained.

Anyway, I think if you’re really bad off, you can’t work. If you’re a little less sick, you might be able to go but be completely miserable. Don’t know if you have to drive, but that would be very dangerous of course. This all really sucks; I remember thinking that if I didn’t have a great family, I’d have been homeless.

Good luck. Things WILL get better; keep up the fight.

Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for your advice a month or so ago.

As it turned out, my employers delayed my return for 6wks, they were waiting on legal/medical advice… Don’t know why my gps fit to return note, was not enough for them. But as it happened, I’ve suffered a bereavement during that time so I didn’t have the will power or strength to fight it. Nevertheless, I’m going back tomorrow, on a very phased return in terms of hours and duties. I’m doing 2-3hrs for the first week, 3-4hrs the second week and so on. Starting at 3pm as I’m not too good in mornings.
I’m worried I’m going to be symptomatic, ESP since they aren’t doing an occ health assessment til Thursday, but I’m so desperate to get back to a bit of normality seeing as I’m functioning at about 85% at home, I’m just going for it and hoping for the best.

I’m particularly worried about the computer screens and lights. Has anyone dealt with these issues and overcome it?


Do you have your own office? Do you have windows? I happen to have my own office with windows and I simply do not turn on the lights. I travel to different clinics and have founds different rooms in each clinic that have offices or rooms with windows and I go in and turn off the lights. I have a good amount of seniority and people have seen me become sick (Basilar associated migraines-not pretty) so no one gives me a hard time. I have to admit that it gets tricky in the winter when it is dark outside. I have a small light right at my computer and I use it just until it is light enough for me to read by the light from the windows. I have a variety of tasks to do, so if the computer screen gets to me, I just change tasks. Last year, my hours were cut to 20 hours/week. I felt bad but it was at the same time that I was finishing my doctorate, so in reality it helped me. Now I have graduated and am feeling a bit better (yeah BOTOX!), I feel like I could work perhaps 5 hours more a week. But I’m not in a hurry, my body just doesn’t tolerate head movement and increased activity in general as well as it used to. Still, my goal is to get back to treating patients as a physical therapist,

Hope that helps a little.