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AIBU to ask for 2 more days sick? Long post

(39 Posts)

Following on from my other thread the other day about me being signed off with Hyeperemesis and exhaustion and my manager seeing me shopping and reporting me to HR (hmmsad) I am due to go back to work tomorrow (Wednesday) for two days but then on Friday I am signed off for holiday. Here is my problem.

I have a meeting with occupational health in the morning, 9AM. To discuss wether a phased return to work would be the best option, shorter hours easing myself into it.

Considering I'm starting tomorrow, having 2 hours off on Thursday for maternity appt's then taking a week of pre-booked leave on Friday is it unreasonable to tell occupational health PLEASE to let me have the two days off sick and start my phased return after the week of holiday?

I still feel utterly terrible, and it's not as if I'm having a week's jolly holiday, I've got a week booked off as its my birthday (last one before I become a mother) but at this rate the way I'm sick I'm not doing anything for it!

I've honestly just had a really miserable 22 weeks so far. I know how lucky I am to be pregnant and love the baby but Hyeperemesis/Exhaustion/Physio Appointments/Low Lying placenta, it feels as if nothing else can go any worse sad

ChuffinAda Tue 07-Jul-15 17:12:27

Go to work. Have your occy health appointment and go from there. OH should be working with you not against you.

Stickerrocks Tue 07-Jul-15 17:18:24

If you go into work tomorrow, you will be showing that you are trying to work with them, even if they send you home for being poorly straight away. There is always a risk that your employer can forcibly start your maternity leave early if you are ill (I think it used to be 11 weeks before your due date), which reduces the mat leave you can take after the baby is born. Therefore, go into work, show that you are trying your best, see what they suggest and hopefully come up with a plan for the time you have left.

coolaschmoola Tue 07-Jul-15 17:19:31

Unfit for work doesn't mean confined to the house. You are perfectly within your rights to go shopping. Your manager should know this and is an ignorant arse. Hopefully occy health will have pointed that out to him.

ExitPursuedByABear Tue 07-Jul-15 17:20:46

I would go in to show willing, then if you are clearly ill they will see that and send you home.

Good luck.

MrsHuxtableReturns Tue 07-Jul-15 17:26:00

They can only start your maternity leave at 36 weeks so don't worry about that part.

DragonMamma Tue 07-Jul-15 17:27:20

I would go in.

It's not really for OH to tell you to have time off work. If you're too ill to attend work then you're too ill and your Dr will sign you off.

PercyGherkin Tue 07-Jul-15 17:32:31

Go in. OH may well come to that conclusion but if you're well enough, and if they think it best to start phased return before holiday, do it. You will come across v badly to go in and ask

LilacWine7 Tue 07-Jul-15 18:18:04

I strongly advise staying off sick until you feel well enough to return. It's worrying that you feel terrible yet feel obliged to return to work even on phased return. The trouble with hyperemesis (HG) is that it tends to relapse when you push yourself too hard or put yourself under stress.

I'm nearly 30weeks pregnant and have had HG since week 5. Sadly few people understand what this condition is like unless they've actually suffered with it themselves or watched a close friend suffer.
Have you explained to your boss it's not just the vomiting that makes it hard to be in work, but the relentless nausea, exhaustion and dizziness that often accompanies it?
I'm still on sick-leave and now plan to go straight from sick-leave to mat-leave. I tried to return to work a few times, on reduced hours, but every time I relapsed badly within days. I tried many types of anti-sickness meds but the only thing that really helped was REST. That and not putting pressure on myself to go back to work.

Please don't feel you have to battle in before you're ready... give yourself time to recover and rest.

About being spotted in town shopping, this shouldn't affect anything at all. I regularly go out and about and never fear bumping into people from work. For all they know I'm having a good day, or on my way to an appointment, or getting something essential from the shops like a prescription! Also, even when I was in the early stages of HG and hadn't been off sick for long, my midwife and GP encouraged me to get out of the house whenever possible (HG is linked to depression and isolation, so getting out can be considered part of the recovery plan). Being off work sick doesn't mean 'too ill to leave your house'. HG is very unpredictable and erratic. I have days when I can't get out of bed, yet the next day I might feel almost normal for most of the day and be able to go out shopping. Or some days I can be vomiting all morning then suddenly feel better and pop into town in the afternoon.

Oh and if you're worried about the occ health appointment, maybe you could call in sick, explain you feel too unwell to work but are able to attend the occ-health appointment? This is what I did. Attending a quick appointment with a nurse is very different to being at work. Make sure you take a sick-bag with you and emphasise how awful you feel!

Best of luck and hope you start to feel better soon. Do get your GP to refer you to EPU or antenatal clinic if symptoms continue, there are lots of different meds they can try.

gointothewoods Tue 07-Jul-15 18:29:44

I'd keep the holidays for another time and go in to work on a phased basis and see how it goes.

Thank you for everyone's advice, it's reassuring when you feel you're not alone. I will be going in at 9AM to the occupational health appt, and see what they say regarding going to work. The only thing is that they won't start me on a phased return before I go on holiday if you see what I mean so I would have to work 2 full days tomorrow and Thursday and I just do not feel up to it, so I hope they take it into consideration, occupational health have so far been really really helpful so that is good.

It's just the immense pressure to go back, especially after the next week or so I will just been down to statutory sick pay and that isn't very helpful sad I've tried to go back so many times and then just have time off with more exhaustion, I'm really at my wits end and feel so misunderstood, so many people think it's just part of being pregnant everyone feels tired and sick and to get on with it. Sorry for long rant just feeling really fed up for myself.

Lilac I hope you feel better soon too, it really is a horrible thing to be going through flowers

Thank you everyone for advice/wishes flowers

Gointothewoods that's a good suggestion. But I feel I need the holiday as I still feel too poorly. And I don't want to be ill at work on my birthday (might sound selfish!)

DancingHat Tue 07-Jul-15 18:44:58

I was off for 16 weeks with HG and I used to drop my DD at childcare on the same road I worked on so often bumped into colleagues. I'd also pop to the supermarket across the road and see colleagues who could have legitimately seen me 'shopping'. That was often the only time I'd leave the couch all day which is what no body saw. My boss arranged for my OH appointment the first week back and genuinely as an attempt to get me the extra help I needed. OH were great and agreed to everything I asked for.

Don't use your AL while you're feeling so sick. Save it for closer to your leaving date when you're knackered. Don't worry about the appointment. If it will help you go if it's to help your boss don't bother.

Raveismyera Tue 07-Jul-15 18:48:10

Does it not make more sense to just be signed off sick and forget the holidays? Can't the GP sign you off again if you're not able to work?

Cornettoninja Tue 07-Jul-15 18:50:27

If they're not open to treating the two days as part of your phased return I think I'd be pushing for my sickness to be extended. Would your gp support you?

I don't really understand why they've agreed to phasing your return but only after your holiday. You either need it or you don't imho. I suppose your other option is to change your holiday dates by two days or extend it if you've enough leave.

I sympathise with both sides to be honest, it's impossible for anyone to know when/if you are actually going to start feeling any better, but that means you really need to stand your ground if you really don't feel well enough. As with anything its best to go in with suggestions of compromises or solutions but there's no point telling them what they want to hear if you can't guarentee you can deliver. It's just going to piss them off and they'll use it against you when you can't.

PurpleHairAndPearls Tue 07-Jul-15 18:52:14

It's not up to your OH necessarily to make the decision as to when you should return to work, the decision of whether you are fit enough for work should be made by your GP or midwife, in consultation with you.

OH are there to manage the risk of work might have on your health, to see if they can implement any recommendations on your fit note (such as reduced hours) etc etc.

Do you have a current fit note, and what does it say?

I'm of the mind that if you can go in, go in. If your reason for being off is simply that it's two days, it's not really justified. If you don't feel well enough, then it's justified - but of course it depends if you have a fit note.

When are you due to start maternity leave? as another poster said,, they can force you at a certain point to start leave if you're ill - you need Flowery in employment!

PS A week off for a birthday?! Is it a big birthday? <nosy> grin

bakingaddict Tue 07-Jul-15 18:56:13

Go back to your GP and get signed off again. If it falls over your holidays you will be allowed to reclaim them as you have a doctors note covering it. Go to your OH appt and tell them your GP has signed you off for longer. OH can't override a GP's note and nothing will be done till your GP stops signing sick notes. I was signed off for virtually all my pregnancy.

I would just get signed off but I selfishly want holiday as 1) I'll get paid for that week where as I won't whilst I'm off sick. 2) If I get signed off and then get taken out say shopping for my birthday my manager would have a field day! sad

They won't start a phased return because you're not allowed holiday whilst you're on one. (I don't have any idea why? I work for NHS?) I have all of my holiday entitlement left so far

I think I will just see what they say and if it's the best thing to do then I'll just be signed off by the GP further, feels never ending!

It's a week off I booked ages ago as me and my other half share a birthday, and we were going to go on holiday (we're not now I'm poorly) for the last time/last birthday before we become parents is all, it's really not that important to have the time off now. And baby is due in November, I'm 22 weeks smile

threenotfour Tue 07-Jul-15 18:59:29

I experienced HG with my first child. It is awful and misunderstood. But I am confused as to why you are not returning to the doctor tomorrow and getting signed off sick again. If you are sick which you obviously are then you should be looking to be signed off not trying to return to work. OH cannot sign you off only the doctor can I think. OH are more about making a plan regarding returning and you don't sound like you are ready yet.

IrrelevantSquirrel Tue 07-Jul-15 19:01:18

If you feel too poorly to work then you really should get signed off again. Even with a phased return you're unlikely to feel well enough to work if you feel ill now, you'll just knacker yourself again. I had HG and tried to return to work too early. In the end I was only able to go back a few weeks after the sickness stopped and I started to get some energy back from eating a bit more "normally". A phased return really helped but only when I felt better. Hope you get some rest and start to feel better soon, HG really is unrelentless.

And I have a fit note running out tomorrow provided I feel well enough to go back, my doctors have just been doing them every 2 weeks on a see how I feel basis.

Raveismyera Tue 07-Jul-15 19:04:52

If you're saying you want annual leave next week so you will
Be paid and then you'll return to work on phased return I think you need to go in Thursday and Friday tbh

Littlef00t Tue 07-Jul-15 19:13:04

Could you go in, do what you can and go home early when you're feeling too ill? Not formal return to work? Also I'm wondering vaguely whether they should be paying you full for pregnancy related sickness...?

No I'm saying I want annual leave as I don't get paid sickleave and then I will see if I can go back or not, but I don't think I'm well enough. I think I'll just have to go back to the doctors and scrap my annual leave, it's not that much of a big deal, I just hope I don't get punished if I do get a surprise for my birthday or taken out reported for it sad

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