Would you like to be a member of our research panel? Join here - there's (nearly) always a great incentive offered for your views.

Signed off work

(11 Posts)
Primaryteach87 Thu 10-Jul-14 10:31:59

Hi all,
I work with children in a residential setting, where I am often in sole care of little ones. My boss is very concerned for me due to previous miscarriages (incidentally happened at a v stressful time at work) and has said she's not prepared to have me at work unless I have a doctors note to say I am fit. Also that, if it is up to her she would be very happy for me to have the whole first trimester off and I should not feel guilty (bless her).

I was initially quite upset about this ( I love my job), but on reflection have had a tricky pregnancy so far (3 scans and only 6-7 weeks along!). Yesterday morning sickness hit badly nd I'm now totally incapable of doing anything all day & most of the night due to nausea/vomiting/extreme tiredness & fainting episodes. I am not severely dehydrated though, as I am managing to keep down small sips of water.

The GP was only prepared to sign me off for a week and was heavily pushing unlicensed anti-nausea meds. Given my miscarriage history, I am not prepared to take any risk, however small. I totally understand that some people take them happily without incident but surely this should be my choice.

All in all, I was made to feel like I was fraudulent or bringing it on myself by refusing medication. Has anyone else had this issue, or should I just see a new GP?

Thanks ,

CoolCat2014 Thu 10-Jul-14 10:54:13

See a new GP. I was signed off for morning sickness an prescribed meds for it - I didn't take them as preferred to brave it a bit, and the next GP was thoroughly sympathetic, and just reminded me they were there if I needed them.

Your boss sounds lovely. If your workplace have assessed that it's not good for you to work (would usually happen eg in a factory setting, or a school where a kid breaks out in disease you're not immune to) then I think don't you need a sick note from the GP.

Hope you have an easy and healthy pregnancy. Look after yourself!

ShovettyMcShovetty Thu 10-Jul-14 10:56:17

Sorry to hear you are having a tough time OP thanks.

I had a similar experience with a GP when under serious stress at work. My advice would be that if he / she is only willing to sign you off for a week and that is not sufficient, make another appointment when that week is up and repeat what you have already told him / her.

IME patients sometimes have to really fight for a decent level of service. If you are genuinely too ill to work, do not take no for an answer.

When you say 'unlicensed' do you mean not recommended for use in pregnancy or actually 'unlicensed'? There are guidelines for prescribing unlicensed drugs:

www.patient.co.uk/doctor/general-prescribing-guidance

Alita7 Thu 10-Jul-14 11:05:02

I'm sorry you're going through this and I wish you luck in this pregnancy!

If you're work deem the environment unsafe and choose to pay you sick pay you do not need your gp to sign you off.

A licenced drug can be used for things it is not licenced for at the medical professionals accountability...

Primaryteach87 Thu 10-Jul-14 11:14:03

Thank you for all the support and replies. The GP said the medicine was unlicensed for use in pregnancy, that's all I know. I totally understand that their may be situations where that is appropriate, but given how supportive my work place are, I just don't see why it would be best to take that risk. I might feel differently in 3-4 weeks if I'm still struggling to have a shower or brush my teeth without being sick!

I guess it's more just the fact that I felt like I was being treated like a naughty child, rather than a mum-to-be trying to make the best choices for my child. I'm not the best at advocating for myself, as I find doctors surgery's quite intimidating, so I really need to see someone who listens to me. I think I might just request to see a different GP if I'm no better in a week.

I don't know if it's hereditary, but my mum was very ill with my sister and actually ended up leaving her job at 8weeks due to sickness.

Thanks everyone.

mrsgembles Thu 10-Jul-14 11:27:02

I was signed off for six weeks in my first trimester and six in my third. Please don't feel guilty about things you can do nothing about. It took me a long time to come to terms with the guilt, and I wish I'd found my peace with it sooner.

SilverLinings2014 Thu 10-Jul-14 11:55:37

See a different GP op. I know you said you're not the best at advocating for yourself, but on this occasion you have to. If it helps remind yourself that what you're actually doing is advocating whats best for your child smile

I always find making a subtle reference to complaining usually moves things along nicely. Just ask for a copy of their complaints policy...they're generally very reluctant to give them out things miraculously improve in your favour afterwards.

squizita Thu 10-Jul-14 12:17:47

Just to reassure you: work stress cannot cause miscarriage and neither can sickness meds.

As recurrent miscarrier who also works with vulnerable young people and is under the care of some of the most experienced of consultants, I thought I'd let you know this to reassure you.
For me, it was psychologically very important (more than I realised) to be 'free' of these ideas during my pregnancy, and to understand that if I just follow NHS guidelines I would be doing "my bit" properly.

squizita Thu 10-Jul-14 12:23:30

Oh...and for some perspective on 'unlicensed' drugs.

The ONLY drugs that keep any pregnancy of mine alive are unlicensed. Without them I would be 90% likely to miscarry and they are incredibly common for use in high risk pregnancies - thousands of women take them routinely, they save babies. They have done for 2 decades with low risks.

Because you cannot do random tests on pregnant women (in the same way as flu camp might on students for cold medicine etc) most drugs are not licensed for use by pregnant women. Including those which have been used with no ill effects for decades.

It may be worth making a note of the name of the medication and checking here on the hyperemesis thread as you never know, it could be one of the very established medications and completely safe.

squizita Thu 10-Jul-14 12:27:54

Primary and Silverlining I would ask for a second opinion, not complain. There is probably NO RISK to that medication- if you don't want it, fine - but someone else next week might really need it and the word 'complaint' could stand in their way.

Someone complained before me about using 'unlicensed' medication.
My nervous young GP was scared to follow my consultant's request for my prescription at a crucial point. It caused a lot of worry and the delay could have actually caused me to miscarry.

Primaryteach87 Fri 11-Jul-14 11:43:02

Hi all,
No sign of sickness abating yet :-( As for the medication thing, like I said I can totally appreciate medication is right for some people but just like it is their right to get the medication, I should be able to wait it out at home. We all need to feel in control of our situations, especially if our body feels really out of control.

I'm a fertility patient too, so probably that is informing my opinions. Re the recurrent miscarriage, I think as a result of the stress at work I had lost quite a bit of weight and wasn't looking after myself- so I do think it's possible it had a knock on effect, but just as equally it could be entirely unrelated.

Lots of thanks to you all.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now