I don't want to go back to work!!

Lubs
Lubs Member Posts: 155
Hi,
Over the festive period I have really felt down and really, really tired. I have suffered with sores on my lips and nose which are not healing, I know the antiTNF suppresses the immune system, but how much of my holiday do I spend in bed? I sleep all night, wake up still tired, manage to have breakfast but need a nap by 11am, wake up again by 1.30-2pm, still tired and managed to stay in the same place, until 7.30-8pm when I'm ready for bed again.

Currently I'm in St Andrews at this nice hotel and only managed to have dinner on the first day, when we arrived. The rest of the time we have had early meals so that I can sleep. My husband is suggesting early ill health retirement from teaching. However, because I feel such a sense of responsibility to the children, I feel that I shouldn't take time off from work. I know I would be supported by the consultants I see as well as my GP. But I feel my absence record will let me down.

I know my husband is right about early retirement, because I have no work life balance, even though I have reduced my responsibilities recently by taking an average teaching job. I still find myself coming home and working extra hours planning, sometimes I'm really tired I just can't do it, the next day I'm so tired that I sometimes beg the students to behave, which they don't do.

The last week of school I actually cried towards the end of a yr 10 lesson as some girls turned on the gas. The girls noticed at beginning of the lesson that I switched off the gas from the mains tap, so one of them got up turn the mains supply back on, while I was at the back of the room checking on other students. While girls turned on the taps where they sat. The room quickly filled with gas. The quickest thing I could do was to get to the mains and switch it back off, then go around the room and close each gas tap that they turned on. While the students left the room, disrupted other lessons, and opened windows. I asked a student also to go to the staff room to get someone to help me deal with these girls who just wanted to watch some stupid video because tomorrow was Friday?.

While I have been asking for support with this class continuously, and not received any, but been told to phone home and deal with it myself (yes I have only been in this school for six weeks). The head of department did not express any concern for me whatsoever. Did not even ask if I was ok. Instead I was asked for my lesson plan, what the students were doing and how many were on task I was made to feel that it was my fault that this occurred in my lesson. . I also emailed the head of year, who just wanted me to phone home for each girl involved, I had to email back and said to him 'shouldn't we get statements?' Before I accuse a child of turning on the gas taps? Finally, because I wanted statements written which involved a senior teacher, the students were isolated for the remaining two days and will be punished for the new term.

Support is nonexistent in the department, the newly qualified teachers could see that I was very upset by it all, and do not want me to leave as I have been teaching for 13years and they turn to me for support and advice. But who do I turn to in this new school? The next day finally when the head of department felt like talking to me about the incident she told me that I should be planning little fun activities for the boys in the class! I told her the boys are not the problem, but the girls are. She is moving one quite girl out of the class, but not splitting up the group.

I really do not want to go back, it's not the kids, they were concerned about me and came looking for me the next day. I just can't cope with the work load, teaching is not a 9-5 job. My husband and I were thinking about ill health retirement, but I do t know if I will get it because I do not take time off work. I force myself to go into work because I feel guilty leaving examination classes without a teacher.what should I do?

Comments

  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Your husband is right. Every employed person is dispensable, no matter how much extra effort or work any employee puts in it will be taken entirely for granted by those in authority. Thanks to having a BlackBerry my husband worked whilst cooking our Christmas meal, during the afternoon and most of the day yesterday. Today he's back in the office - I wonder why he's bothered to drive a ninety-mile round trip when he could be here ignoring me? :wink:

    I reluctantly stopped working as a self-employed tutor for dyslexics and all I feel is blessed relief. My life is easier, I'm better-tempered come the evenings and although I'm tired it's not as bad as it used to be when I was flogging my arthritic-nearly-dead-on-its-hooves horse to teach and do the rest of my household duties. It's time to put your needs - and those of your husband - first. I daresay he would like to spend a little more time with you. Any form of arthritis is progressive and degenerative - it will do both quicker the more pressure you put on yourself. Everyone's life changes, yours is not the first nor will it be the last but it is still an affront to how we see (and value) ourselves. I wish you well. DD
  • ruby2
    ruby2 Member Posts: 423
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Ah Lubs I could have written those exact words too!
    I really do understand how you are feeling. Love the work, but beginning to realise that just recuperating and regaining strength in the holidays is not the best of plans.
    Great words (as usual) from DD, and it is hard to let go and think of yourself.
    I had almost this exact conversation with my husband yesterday as I tried half heartedly to celebrate my birthday but didnt have an ounce of strength to even fake it.

    We are have guests round tonight someone who I went to school with and who retired to Cyprus in the summer, I will be listening very carefully to how she is enjoying it and hopefully make a decision next year.
    Enjoy the holiday Lubs it sounds like you deserve it.
  • Lubs
    Lubs Member Posts: 155
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you both DD and Ruby,
    It means a lot to know that I am not the only one who has to go through this. I know deep down that what my husband says is correct and that he is saying this for my benefit. It is just the part of accepting that at the age of 38 I have to admit to myself that I can no longer work. My independence to do things alone has all but gone. I do have a fantastic husband who will try every evening to talk to me, but as I am very tired from work, or have been working the extra hours, planning all he gets are indistinct noises/grunts. He even doesn't mind when for a week all he gets for dinner is tinned soup, it's gotten to the point where I can't have the dinner anymore. I find it difficult to swallow the food and you can see that he is concerned for me. He did mention yesterday that if I did continue like this I wasn't going to make it to 45!
    I have an appointment with the rheumatologist in January and I will see what he has to say about all this, hopefully he can help me and determine if I can start the ill health retirement route. :?:
  • ruby2
    ruby2 Member Posts: 423
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Ah Lubs, have you seen the doc about the swallowing, I'm not a doctor but have a couple of friends who are a little stressed at the moment and swallowing has been a feature.
    Your husband sounds concerned for you, I'm sure he wants to see you relaxed and eating well.
    Do check it out with the doctor often some simple advice and medecation can ease this.
    Wishing you a happy and peaceful new year.
  • Lubs
    Lubs Member Posts: 155
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Ruby,
    Thank you for your advice, I have been to my GP about the jaw, but felt the swallowing issue trivial so I didn't mentioned it to him. I have only just explained how it feels to my husband. It is the top of the gullet/oesophagus that gets very tight when I swallow food at times. Sometimes, it causes me to hiccup and feel sick at the same time. It feels like the food is stuck there for sometime. Anyhow this feeling comes and goes, so I will seek advice from the consultant this month. I never knew that so much could be linked to arthritis but I am learning slowly. :-? Wishing you a Happy 2014 !!
  • dibdab
    dibdab Member Posts: 1,498
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Lubs,

    I'm really feeling for you and empathising with you. I finally took early retirement in March after 30 years of teaching 4-6 year olds. I loved the children but grew to really resent what the job was costing me physically and emotionally. I have RA and Bronchiectasis, and like you I battles and battled not to take time off, until 15 months ago when I was off for a month with a combination of pleurisy and a massive RA flare. I had simply got so tired and worn down that my body took over and I spent 3 weeks in bed surrounded by my lovely family who were worried sick. I could have held out for ill health retirement, but early retirement was a quicker route for me.

    I just want to reassure you that if you go down that route there is life after teaching :) . Only you will know when the time is right for you to go, but listen to both your body and your heart- there are other careers which can be equally fulfilling, and life is about so much more than struggling through day after day, tired, stressed and increasingly desperate.

    I would encourage you to go and chat to your GP and be really honest about how you are feeling- he may well feel you need a time out to recuperate. A very good friend of mine battled and battled with minimal support from an unsympathetic head teacher until she finally crashed and had a nervous breakdown that took many months to recover from. She took ill health retirement and now runs a B&B in France with her hubby- she is truly happy and content, earns less but has a far greater quality of life- please be encouraged that there is a different way to be.

    Deb xx
  • polly123
    polly123 Member Posts: 96
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi,
    I'm in a similar position in that I really don't want to go back to work! Im so so tired as it is, and the thought of having to be competent, optimistic and cheerful is a struggle at the minute. I don't know anything about early retirement - in my profession if I leave my job i'll have to be financially responsible for myself and I haven't figured out yet a way to manage this - if early retirement brings with it a certain assured income I would definitely go for it - if you feel the benefits you could always use your skills on a voluntary basis?

    Good luck with your decision, and do remember that we only have one life to live - if the quality of your life would be improved and financially its viable then what have you to lose?

    Polly
  • ouchpotato
    ouchpotato Member Posts: 453
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi, I know how you feel too. I have been self employed for a few years, but haven't really worked at all for the past year; I'm a therapist and a) it is emotionally draining dealing with other people's problems all day and b) sitting down for long periods of time are impossible. Walking around the office doesn't give the impression of listening! Also the fatigue meant that during relaxation therapy I was falling asleep before the patient!

    I've done a lot of thinking lately. I am going to apply for a (very) part time job at the local school, 7 hours a week, and then I am going to concentrate on doing something I love...restoring wooden furniture. I love to buy old chairs and tables, strip them down and then decorate them. I also do it to walking sticks, and if they're good enough for me then they might be good enough to sell? There is a vintage shop/flea market in town and when I have done enough I will take them there and see if I can have a space to sell them. It's something I can do at my own pace, sit down, stand up, walk around and take a break from when I need, in my own home. We are used to living on a very tight budget, so I am not really worried about that - my health is too important. My son said the one and a bit hour a day at the school will kill me, but I will at least be getting a bit of exercise and will have regular money coming in, even if it is just a bit. It will also still allow me to claim working tax credits as the job (if I get it) and the home work will put me at about 16 hours a week. It is the only way I can see me working.

    I hope you get things sorted, one way or another. You can't put a price on your health, and you may well find that there is something you can do from home as a side line anyway.

    Let us know how you get on

    x
  • polly123
    polly123 Member Posts: 96
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Ouch,

    I do have a very small craft business but it isn't enough to support me, and I wouldn't qualify for tax credits as I don't get DLA/PIP, so the 17.5 hours I do are my core income. I have put off applying for DLA/PIP - part of my job is to support people to do this and I know how difficult and soul destroying it can be. I'm trying to put it off as long as I can - especially as the criteria for PIP are harsher. Like you, a core part of my role is listening to other folks problems and that can be difficult!

    Good luck with your plans,

    Polly
  • ouchpotato
    ouchpotato Member Posts: 453
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Polly, I don't get DLA or anything else but I still get tax credits. I'm a single mum so maybe that is where the difference is?

    x
  • polly123
    polly123 Member Posts: 96
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    High Ouch (love your username!),

    I think you can get tax credits if your children are younger, or if you get DLA. My children are grown now, so that's probably the difference.

    I did go back to work today and although its really busy it went ok - I think for me thinking about it is the worst thing! Good luck with your job hunt, and your craft enterprise,

    Polly
  • Lubs
    Lubs Member Posts: 155
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi
    Well I didn't make it into work today. I was just too tired and in a lot of pain to go in for half a day. I don't teach on a Monday as all my free periods are on this day, so I thought I could try and plan some work at home before my consultant appointment in the afternoon. It didn't happen.
    My consultant was concerned about the swallowing issue (thank you Ruby) and has asked for a Barium Swallow X-Ray, he marked it as urgent!! Has anyone had one of those?
    He also said that I need to stay at home for this week, so for the first time has given me a sick note for 5 days. I will be having a steroid injection with ultrasound on Wednesday and he wants me fully rested for this to take effect.
    As for continuing to work! Well I have discussed this with him and he did say to consider part time work. I had to remind him that as a teacher if you work part time the other days are spent planning for those lessons. At the moment I am more or less working on a timetable that is for a part time teacher (4/5 days). The days where I am teaching are very hard as I do not get any breaks because I have most of my lessons on those days, so I am teaching 5 out 5 lessons on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Yes I know I may gain an extra free lesson on one of these days, but it's really not worth it! Furthermore, I'm a science teacher with bad hands
    So I showed him the forms that need to be filled out for early retirement and he suggested that my GP fills out the forms! Otherwise a more senior consultant will fill them in who doesn't know my situation at the hospital!
    Has anyone had these forms filled out and by who? GP or consultant?

    Once retired I will be able to think clearly about what I would like to do. At the moment when I'm not tired I crochet, but end up dropping stitches due to my hands. It takes me a long time to finish anyone project (in fact many are started and very few are finished). Ouch -I like the idea of a hand painted walking stick, when you have a website up and running please let me know! Also Polly if you also have a website for your craft enterprise, I wouldn't mind having a look!
  • polly123
    polly123 Member Posts: 96
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Good Morning Lubs,

    Sorry to hear you weren't able to return to work - I'm feeling the effects of yesterday - feel like i've been beaten up! every bone aches and every joint is stiff - ouch! Been up a couple of hours to allow me to function well enough to go again today - need to leave at 8.45. I'm only working 3.5 days but its exhausting - shall be cutting back to 2.5 days in May and am going to try and just live on that.

    Not sure if i'm allowed to link to my wee website?

    Polly
  • Lubs
    Lubs Member Posts: 155
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Morning Polly,

    I'm sure you could link your website, or send it to me via a private email. I have just requested that my father In law makes me a knitting board loom as I find it difficult to hold the knitting needles, as soon as I get it I will let you know how it works.

    Lubs

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