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Need some advice: not sure what to do, can't continue like this.

(3 Posts)
HeadInjury Tue 04-Nov-14 09:21:07

Long story short: 8 weeks ago I was in a serious accident with my DH and some friends. Physically we are mostly fine. DH has a head injury, for which he is not receiving any treatment. I started a separate thread in chat and have received some very good advice that I will be following up. Due to the circumstances at the time I had the opportunity to stay with him in hospital but could not (my friend's DC was in the car and she needed help to care for them at home - genuinely no one else available). This is haunting me, even though now he is (vaguely!) compos mentis he agrees I made the right decision and would actively have wanted me to leave as he dotes on the DC and they are our closest friends. The whole week after the accident was a total nightmare for various reasons that are nothing to do with the physical effects and all to do with lack of help, care, insurance being bastards etc. I keep waiting to wake up and find it was a bad dream sad

I work away from home several nights a week. I have an extremely demanding job that involves a lot of complex assessments and dealing with people who aren't minded to do what we need them to do, so a lot of negotiation, persuasion and - if it needs it - a bit of shouting on the side. I do a lot of travelling, mostly by train, and can clock up 1,000 miles in a week quite easily. Meetings tend to be long - 4 hours is not unusual.

In addition to the severe anxiety I have now about leaving DH (crippling - I can't sleep, I cried myself to sleep last night, silently next to him at the thought of not seeing him from Sunday to Friday next week because he messed up his schedule and although he was meant to be travelling with me next week he now can't) I have extreme pain in my back that makes me feel sick. I am also getting a lot of flashbacks, can't cope with fast moving traffic etc.

I have been to a very understanding Dr who prescribed me a gel for my back, on top of paracetamol and ibuprofen. Additionally I have beta blockers to help me relax and sleep away from home or at home/when required.

I took 3 weeks off sick, two weeks working from home and have been back for three weeks. I feel like I am completely exhausted and can't cope. I just don't want to go to work, all I want to do is stay home and hold DH. He is also not coping well at all, we can't do normal every day levels of activity. I don't know what to do. He has a part time job that is taking him all week to do (to a standard he's not happy with - self employed).

Mentally I feel like I am burning out. I have a history of MH issues that were mostly dealt with but I am sensitive to any re-occurrence.

I went back to work for two reasons, 1) DH and my DMum kept insisting that if I didn't my work would label me as uncooperative/a piss taker (my DM was doing this a lot - she said my boss would get angry with me), 2) I felt like I wanted/needed to go back.

But I feel I have taken more than I can chew and I don't know what to do. I changed bosses whilst this was going on - the old one was offering for me to work from home, the new one has offered me one or two days a week in a local office and I was too timid to ask for more.

I don't know what to do, have never been in this situation before and don't know what it is reasonable to expect or what I can do. I am happy to go back to the Dr but don't know what to ask for. Through my work I am on a waiting list for private CBT... they were meant to have arranged an appointment by now but haven't. I am also privately seeing a chiropractor for my back, which feels like it has completely seized up. All these physical things are impacting my mental health as well. I just want to get better as normally I love my job, I really do - it is my dream job. The last thing I want is to resign because I can't cope, but at 2am when I can't sleep all I can think about is handing in my notice and hiding in bed for a few weeks sad

YeGodsAndLittleFishes Tue 04-Nov-14 09:36:12

Can you get more sick leave? Long term sick leave?
Could you do your job from home long term, and if so appeal to new boss to try this as otherwise the risks to your health are potentially going to affect your work long term. Some more time off now, or perhaps shorter hours and less travelling (working part time/job share?) so you can see more of your DH could make all the difference. Does your DH need a carer? Are you effectively his carer?

Back problems: could be worth starting a separate thread in general health to ask what to say to doctor if your concern is about diagnosis and treatment. Tell dr about not sleeping, anxiety etc as well and difficulties of work, as there could be more that could be done to help you. Doctor needs to take your MH into account. Can the doctor sign you off work?

Do you have any savings or ways to cut back on expenditure so that your DH could take time off work and rest properly?

HeadInjury Tue 04-Nov-14 10:10:58

I am worried about taking any more time off.

Money is not an issue - we own our house outright and I earn nearly double what DH does... he just doesn't want to work fewer hours. I have spoken to the head injuries charity and they have given me some advice on how to gently persuade him to take it easy.

DH doesn't need a carer but he does need someone to gently prod him in the direction of food, exercise (just gentle walks) and sleep, none of which he's doing properly (think sitting on the sofa from 7pm to 3am eating snack junk food instead of having dinner - before all this he was a salads type of person) when I'm not here.

I just don't know what to do as it's a two-pronged thing, with the back and the anxiety. I didn't sleep last night, feel like I've been hit on the head and my eye is twitching. I am working from home today but as a "one off" (boss' words) due to a meeting I have locally this afternoon.

I probably need to suck it up and speak to my boss about part time hours. Not sure I will be very popular as there is no one else who can do my job to the standard required in the company (not being big headed - it's a one person per company role). Also don't want to damage my career, but then worried about damaging it in the long run anyway if things continue.

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