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Really worried about being signed off

(32 Posts)
makeitabetterplace Tue 25-Nov-14 14:07:24

I'm 30 weeks pregnant and have been off work for over a week with rib pain. I'm unable to drive or walk for more than about twenty minutes and I can sit for longer than about that time.

I've never been signed off in my life and I am getting really worried about it. I've been having Physio (Nhs) and osteopathy (private) and it's not made any difference yet.

I have three weeks left til the Christmas break and then I am thinking I'll start my maternity leave after the break. I had wanted to go on longer but it's clear I can't.

I'm so worried about everyone at work thinking I'm just skiving off and about not being able to do a proper handover. I could go in on Friday and see how I cope. It's not that I don't want to work -I would really love to be able to go in. It's not like I'm home having fun -I'm just in pain.

I've booked a doctors appt for Thursday as my sick note runs out on Friday.

Is anyone else in this situation? I know that this pregnancy comes first for me but I am feeling so guilty. I hate that people might think im a fraud.

makeitabetterplace Tue 25-Nov-14 14:08:13

Sorry - that should read ' I can't sit' not can! If I could, I'd be in work!

GooseRoasties Tue 25-Nov-14 14:16:36

At the end of the day you have to think of you and baby.. You and baby come first and you don't want to hurt yourself further.
Lots of people who haven't experienced pregnancy or had the typical glowing easy ones can forget each woman is different and pregnancy effects them in different ways. Don't worry about what people at work are thinking and focus on you and baby..

I went off on my mat leave earlier as I couldn't walk from one side of the building to another (I have a very physical job). I felt so guilty but during my signing off meeting, my manager told me that I was doing the right thing by not pushing myself too far and said it was the best thing to do to keep me and baby safe and healthy.

Chatty987 Tue 25-Nov-14 14:29:33

I got signed off unexpectedly and really worred about work and what others thought so I understand how you feel.

Can you ask work for a day or 2 (working from home if that's possible) to get everything in order now/start handing over in case you need to finish unexpectedly. That way you can then be at home and not worry that you've "abandoned ship" and you've done the best you can to leave things in good order. Given you were going to finish at Xmas anyway, finishing now should not come as too much as a shock to your work/colleagues and I'm sure they'd understand if you did have to finish completely straight away.

makeitabetterplace Tue 25-Nov-14 14:47:36

I wasn't going to finish at Christmas. I was supposed to finish towards end of January. It seems now that that will simply be impossible. I'd like to do a proper handover so that's a good idea. Unfortunately I can't do any of my job from home or is be trying to do that.

Im emailed my boss with an update and will have to see what happens as the week goes on. Maybe it will ease off and I'll be able to go in.

dragonflyinthelillies Tue 25-Nov-14 15:42:31

I'm 30 weeks as well and have been signed off since 26 weeks due to hip pain. To begin with I felt so guilty but my colleagues kept telling me I had to think about my health and the baby first and I have got many working years left in me yet! I have had a few funny comments but as others have said every pregnancy is different and only you know your body and what is is capable of.

Now everybody is telling me how much healthier I look and my pain has decreased massively. Most importantly I am really starting to enjoy my pregnancy for the first time.

It is only for a short period of time and I think sometimes in life you have to just think about yourself.

Good luck with whatever you decide!

MrsCK Wed 26-Nov-14 19:28:41

Ugh it's hard isn't it? I'd suggest staying signed off. now to take my own advice...!

littlesupersparks Wed 26-Nov-14 19:34:00

Are you a teacher?

I feel dreadful whenever I have time off. I am suffering from AND and feel awful but I haven't made an appt with GP - I'm so sure that they will sign me off. I realise that means I'm not fit to work, but what will my colleagues dooooo? What will happen to the kids? What about controlled assessments? Exams? :-(

makeitabetterplace Wed 26-Nov-14 19:35:07

Thank you folks. I had chat with boss today who wants me to get a fit note to go in on Friday and talk about what I could do. I've been worrying about it all day as I've spent all afternoon on my back as my ribs hurt so much. Ideally I need to go in for a few afternoons to tie up loose ends. I really don't want to go back in for full days as past midday I'm in lots of pain. It's rubbish as I hate the feeling that I'm being suspected of being lazy/ a wimp / faking it when I'm normally so hard working and dedicated. If I'm honest I want the doctor to take it out of my hands and sign me off until the Christmas break when I will start my maternity leave. I imagine the doctor won't do this because a) I'm seeing the trainee and he's about 12 years old and probably has no experience of pregnancy in any capacity and b) they're only taking my word for how much pain I'm in anyway.

ClearlyMoo Wed 26-Nov-14 19:39:28

I had lots of hip and pelvis issues when I was pregnant. I had planned to stop work at 35 weeks but was pretty much immobile by 30 weeks. I worked from home (OP know you've said that isn't poss), for all but 2 days in the last few weeks. I am so glad I did cos I actually got better. I think I was worst at about 33/34 weeks then with more time at home and rest I was able to recover a bit. I started swimming which helped massively and swam every other day for the last 6 weeks of pregnancy (DD was overdue and I swam 2 days before she was born)! So please give yourself a break. Don't worry about work, you realise when you're on maternity leave that work isn't the end of the world.

makeitabetterplace Wed 26-Nov-14 19:49:48

Boss also said I'd hit an absence trigger. I thought this didn't apply with pregnancy sickness. So I have to have a meeting with someone from HR about my absence which seems a bit OTT and is adding to my worries.

prettywhiteguitar Wed 26-Nov-14 20:37:15

Talk to ACAS about that your last post, sounds like bollacks to me, you are pregnant so that is a reason, rather than you being depressed and going on and off sick where you would need a review.

As for feeling guilty ! Remember that you are only pregnant a few times in your life so they can just bloody suck it up. Honestly

prettywhiteguitar Wed 26-Nov-14 20:38:22

It pisses me off when a trusted member of staff gets grief for something so common as pregnancy ! Sorry posted too soon

overthemill Wed 26-Nov-14 20:42:01

Think of yourself and your baby . They can't touch you for pregnancy related sickness. I was signed off from 26 December until baby born a month early at beginning April.

Have you seen an osteopath with expertise in pregnancy related issues? Mine was a star ( not the reason I was signed off which was bleeding and contractions throughout pregnancy ).

makeitabetterplace Wed 26-Nov-14 20:51:49

Thank you again people. It's horrible to feel bad about work AND be in pain most of the time. I see an osteopath once a week and I think they're basically saying now that they can try to ease it but that the only 'cure' is not being pregnant anymore because as fast as they manipulate the ribs my body moves them out again as the weight of my tummy grows.

I am seeing the doc tomorrow morning and I'm always worried that I will cry as I'm so worried about it and I absolutely don't want anything related to stress on a sick note as that would basically sigh my death warrant at work.

superram Wed 26-Nov-14 22:00:43

I was signed off early in both my pregnancies. Cannot 'trigger' anything if pregnancy related (mine was). Mat leave starts automatically at 36 weeks if you are signed off.

prettywhiteguitar Wed 26-Nov-14 22:05:42

What do you do ? Is it that important that for 6 weeks you're not there. Honestly people think that you should just struggle through when you're pregnant and you are making a person.......yes making a person !!! Are any of the others making a person from scratch at work ???? No so they should just cut you some slack smile

makeitabetterplace Wed 26-Nov-14 22:13:54

I'm a teacher. So you can see why I can't work from home!

I have found out that I can be signed off sick and still go in for some time to sort things out for a handover as the new 'fit note' means they old 'fit to work' note they had to write at the end of a 'sick note' if you returned to work during your sick time no longer exists. I was worried that if I got a 'fit note' to go in an sort some stuff out that I'd be cajoled / guilt tripped into staying in. So I think I could get signed off again and still drop in to sort stuff out before starting maternity leave.

If I wasn't in all this pain, I'd really love to be in school. Frankly, it's boring at home and I love my job. I just know that the minute I step in through that door everyone will see me as being 'back' and although they will be kind, I will be expected to be 'normal' when in reality I can sit or walk for about half an hour before the pain means I need to lie flat again.

I've also found that it shouldn't trigger anything HR related. I hate having to feel so militant when I'm just being honest and I'd never take the mickey - I take my responsibility at work very seriously.

prettywhiteguitar Wed 26-Nov-14 22:30:33

Can you not set work from home and write a handover programme ?

I think you are totally right not to go in as they will see you walking around and think you are fine.
However I really feel there is a guilt trip with teachers that somehow the works will fall in if youre not there. You are ill, they need to recognise that and adapt to the situation.

My dp is a head of dept and he says the school should treat the two things as separate, one that you are not fit to work and the other that you are going on maternity leave and need to handover. He says that basically if you are not fit to work until after you have had the baby they will just have to wait for you to do the handover then.

SilverStars Wed 26-Nov-14 22:32:25

You can be signed off by a dr on full pay until 36 weeks pregnant and then start maternity leave, so no need to start maternity leave before 36 weeks ( you may already know this, sorry).

I could only work half days in my last pregnancy due to complications in pregnancy so had a fit note that allowed that.

makeitabetterplace Wed 26-Nov-14 22:40:31

I can plan work from home to some extent, and have been doing so. But it's really very difficult as you don't know how far the children have progressed, and adapt the plans accordingly. I would alter plans according to what I'd observed in the lessons, the marking I've done etc. so the longer I'm away the harder this is to do. Also I don't have access to the resources and software I'd use at school to do this planning.

A large part of my role is non-classed based as I have a senior position as well as class responsibility. I simply can't do any of that role from home as it involves supporting other teachers and giving presentations etc.

I am still answering work email while at home and having regular conversations with people I line manage.

I will start my maternity leave at 36 weeks which is during the Christmas holidays anyway. It's just the next three weeks I'm worrying about.

I'd love to wash the guilt and anxiety out of this pregnancy. I'm pretty sure, for a number of reasons, it will be the only pregnancy I'll ever have and I don't want to spend it all worrying. (And having heartburn, cramps, pgp, and all the other stuff that soles with it!)

prettywhiteguitar Wed 26-Nov-14 23:00:18

I really think your answer lies with management and how they are going to deal with the next three weeks whilst you are laid up. I really feel for you, it's very stressful

littlesupersparks Thu 27-Nov-14 14:29:05

I knew you would be a teacher xxxxx

Just do it. A PP is right, you ate only pregnant a few times in your life. If you aren't fit to work, you aren't fit to work xxx

PickledPorcupine Thu 27-Nov-14 14:40:23

Hi OP, I'm also a pregnant teacher in a senior position and desperately want you to get signed off and switch off. You're ill, and your school are being unreasonable expecting anything of you. Please stop feeling bad, get a good book and put your feet up (or lie down!). flowers

MrsCK Fri 28-Nov-14 17:25:57

Hi OP what did you decide?

I'm in such a similar position to you but my school aren't supportive at all sad

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