By in Personal

My return to work has been approved!

I have been seeing an occupational health physiotherapist since I have been off with my back injury - there may not be many benefits to working for the NHS these days, but if you call occupational health telling them you are off with a sore back, you get a physio appointment the next day instead of waiting in the regular queue to see a normal physio - which is apparently a 23 week wait right now where I live.

It sounds like a great perk, and it is for sure, but its not really for our benefit, its so they can get us back to work asap. Also they are specialised occupational health physios so they are trained to assess if you do in fact need to be off work, and when you can go back.

I have wanted to go back from the second I went off - I hate being off work, I get bored far too easily. Obviously I wasn't fit to go back and I do understand that, but I had made it very clear that I wanted to go back asap. Last week I had spoken to the physio about going back, I still had two weeks left on my sick line at that time, she said we would decide this week but that hopefully I could go back when my line ends.

Yesterday she offered me two options, either stay off for another week, or go back on what they call a 'phased return'. I chose the latter. Basically it means you go back part time at first and work up towards your normal hours. So I go back a week on Saturday for a night shift, do two shifts split up the next week, then three split up the week after, then two together and so on so forth until I get back to my usual shift pattern.

I called my boss and we worked out my shifts, of course I have had to give up my last remaining weeks holiday to facilitate this but I feel it is the right thing to do to make sure my back doesn't get worse while I am trying to get back to work. The new allocation of holiday days starts in april anyway.

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MegL wrote on January 25, 2017, 4:24 PM

I am glad you are getting back where you want to be. Those exercises must have been good. Do you have to keep doing them?

Kasman wrote on January 25, 2017, 4:28 PM

How the other half live! In my present employment it's a case of 'come back or you're sacked!' There is no sympathy whatsoever and it's only relatively recently that the company has started paying full wages if you're off - for a while at least. I have worked for better employers and I am quite envious of how your employer treats you. Take it easy 'cos you're not fully back to fighting fitness yet emoticon :smile:

melody23 wrote on January 26, 2017, 5:29 AM

If i am being 100% honest I think I am partly to blame for my current back problems. I know I have a back injury, and I know I need to look after it, I usually do a reasonable job - I go to the gym fairly regularly and I do my stretches at home. However I have been so busy and so tired recently that I have let it slip, I haven't been to the gym since before Christmas! So yes keeping up the exercises is pretty much the only way to ensure I keep my back healthy. My spine is really curved, which is something that only came to light after my accident a few years back but it has been this way forever, I just didn't realise it was a problem. Now they don't know if the curved spine caused the weaker muscles, or if the weaker muscles actually changed the position of my spine - either way its super important for me to exercise it due to the curve. Who knows maybe I will be able to straighten it out a bit and gain a few inches in height!

melody23 wrote on January 26, 2017, 5:33 AM

I have to agree that our sickness policy is a pretty good one, although I do have to go to a management meeting when I go back due to the amount of time I have had off this year. In my old job I didn't get any sick pay at all but today I got my full wage and believe me we couldn't survive without it so I am definitely lucky.

I think this is the hardest bit of recovering a sore back, I have been through it now three times - you feel much better (and I honestly do) so you want to get out and do things, and you know the only way your back is going to get better is to get out and do things but A. you feel guilty because if you aren't well enough to work how are you well enough to get out and about? and B. you worry you will make things worse by doing too much! It's a hard balance for sure

Colibry21 wrote on January 28, 2017, 1:36 AM

I'm glad to hear that you're slowly getting back into things. Hopefully, it goes well for you and continues to do so.