Struggling with work

Hi everyone, I am a primary school teacher who works part-time. I have spinal stenosis, bulging discs, arthritis in hips and spine and have just had to take 4 weeks off work with horrendous sciatica. I am in pain every day but try to manage on over the counter pain medication with prescription meds for when things get worse. I am now back at work but really struggling. The fatigue is difficult to cope with, as is feeling like I've been hit by a bus at the end of the day. My non-working days are spent recovering from the 3 days I work. I know everyone is different but do you think, from your experience, that things are likely to get worse? How have you managed with a stressful job? I am wondering about using Access to work to see if adaptations can be made to help with work. Sorry about my rambling and thanks for reading.


  • noddingtonpete
    noddingtonpete Moderator Posts: 831

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  • Baloo
    Baloo Member Posts: 359
    edited 16. Jul 2023, 09:25

    @Lilydog66 possibly think of the adaptions you need as being off the scale of simple adaptions somewhere along the line, and go for it.

    I happened to have an understanding employer. Access to work at their suggestion - I now take a taxi to work and back every day without which the journey would be near impossible to bear.

    Workstation assessment not so interesting but the bluetooth headset wow.

    Consider other options too. I am currently training as Union Rep, as they are legally allowed paid time off work. I am aiming to obtain an hour a day off in the middle of work just to do something else that will come with a useful sense of job satisfaction in it and a break to the run of the mill routine.

    It can be done.

  • Hi,

    I am a primary school teacher too, currently full time and have just been diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my knees. To make it worse, I only started my job at my new school 2 weeks ago and have just been signed off for a week. I had my first physio appointment this morning and he has told me i can't go back to work yet as i had a massive flare up and I'm on crutches to get around. I feel gutted to be honest. I'm only 45 and this is my dream teaching job at a great school, but I dont know how they will take it when i give them my update on Monday. I have been doing the exercises on the website which the physio said was a good start, but i just feel my whole future has been thrown into chaos now. Teaching is a full-on job, and you invest so much of yourself into it and the children, I just don't want to let them or my colleagues down. Sorry for rambling, i feel so overwhelmed at the minute but was just glad to see another primary teacher on here!

  • Lilydog66
    Lilydog66 Member Posts: 10

    Hi, I hope things are going better for you. You are right that teaching is full on, physically, mentally and emotionally. It's really hard but due to hitting rock bottom, I had no choice but to start looking after myself more and worry less about the job. Therefore I stepped down from the slt team and went part time. This has helped but I still feel extremely tired. I am now being referred to occupational health to see what can be done to support me. Please don't feel that you are letting anyone down. Like the oxygen mask analogy, you need to be as well as possible to do your job. Staying off and listening to the advice of the medical professionals will ensure that. Take care and best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  • ALander
    ALander Member Posts: 8

    I like some of the advice I've read in response to your question. I hope it's helped you.

    I can really relate...ony feet all day & regular heavy lifting , only a half hour break in the middle of the day with no other breaks at all.

    I hope your employer will help you to stay and use your skills and dedication to do the job you love xxx

  • Barbara1
    Barbara1 Member Posts: 3

    I feel for you. I'm also primary. I spend a lot of time on the floor and find getting back up pretty embarrassing. I just do loads of exercise and max out on painkillers term time. I also have a tens machine which helps. I think it's far worse in winter.

    I have thought about doing TA work but that can be a very physical role as well plus less money.

    Sorry empathy more than good advice.