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SPD and Working(9 Posts)
Am new to this board and to pregnancy....at the grand old age of 41 and being told I'd probably never have children, here I am expecting our first (23+4)!
I have been having niggles on and off for a few weeks (and was signed off by GP for pregnancy related illness as they thought a brewing water infection) but last week I walked into the village where I live which is no more than 5 minutes each way and when I got home I was in total agony.
Have been diagnosed with SPD and it is eye watering. Today is my first day back at work and my usual 10 minute saunter from the train station to work took me 25 minutes and I was in tears by the time I got here.
Sadly my colleagues seem to think that I am milking the situation - nothing said outright but some sarcastic comments like "wait until you're 8 months gone", "these things weren't even around in my day". Going from sitting to standing and then having to walk even to the loo is killing me. I should also add that I suffer from fibromyalgia and this seems to be exacerbating the situation.
I have a meeting with HR this afternoon and am dreading it as I had to have time off with sever morning sickness too.
Any help/advice would be wonderful.
Many thanks in advance
No real advice but lots of empathy. I missed 10 weeks due to sickness. And now I'm back on reduced hours due Guinness Book of Record hemerroids. I work with all men whose wives seem to have sailed through pregnancy. I'm no spring chicken with - 37. I'm 31 weeks now. It's grim but you know in the grand scheme of a 40+ year career nobody will remember
Ignore your colleagues and if necessary get signed off from work. I've still got SPD 19 years after my last pregnancy.
Is there anyway you can get to see an osteopath? They're usually much better dealing with it than an NHS physio. The Pelvic Partnership might be able to help you find one in your area.
If walking is too much you might need crutches, so it might be a good idea if you can get referred to a physio for them. Don't wait until you are desperate because there can be a bit of a wait.
You can take paracetamol and codeine in pregnancy if necessary so perhaps an appointment with your GP might be worthwhile. P
When I worked in an office environment for 6 months, post pregnancy, I had to have a foot rest thing under the desk. It was hell though, sitting all day with that pressure on my pelvis.
Hello! Sorry to hear you're suffering - I'm in the same boat. I was signed off sick early on for three weeks due to severe morning sickness and am now 34 weeks and have missed days of work/been on amended hours for about 10 weeks with SPD. It is truly miserable. My eight minute walk to the station now takes me 20 minutes, then I do train and tube and my ten minute walk at the end now takes me almost 30 minutes! I arrive at work and just want to cry/lie down/go home. By the end of the day I often have to spend �15 to get a taxi to the station as I can barely walk!
Right, moan over. The things that have helped me - have you bought a Serola belt? That made a big difference early on - it's not been so effective over the last week or so, but to start with it was brilliant and I think it stopped things getting worse faster. I've been seeing a physio privately which has helped (NHS referral would have taken too long). I also have a gym ball at home and a sit fit at the office both of which seem to take some of the strain off my pelvis and hips. Sleeping with a pillow between my knees has also been very helpul, as have obvious things like trying to keep my knees together while getting in and out of the car etc. I have also found that swimming (float for my arms and kick my legs - not breaststroke!) has given me some relief.
I've given up caring what my colleagues think - as I stagger around the office, I think it's fairly obvious that walking is agony and after weeks of it I would have to be pretty committed to be putting it on! I've found that HR have been really helpful - offered amended hours so I don't have to travel in rush hour, days working from home to give me a break from the commute. Some days I can't get into work and I've just had to get used to that (and so has everyone else!)
I hope some of that is helpful and that your meeting with HR is helpful!
I agree with others... get signed off work! Don't feel guilty. Take no notice of the sarky comments at work. You shouldn't struggle around in pain just to prove a point. I bet if they were experiencing the same level of pain and reduced mobility, they would be taking sick-leave!
I was signed off work at 5weeks with severe sickness (later diagnosed as HG) and didn't return until around 15weeks. Before long I was off sick again with severe nausea and vomiting. Then SPD kicked in. I soon realised it was making me more ill trying to work, so I stopped struggling in and have been off sick ever since (I'm now 32 weeks). My GP is happy to keep signing sick-notes and my boss is understanding. When I went into the dept for a sickness review most colleagues were nice to me, though a couple were a bit frosty and I suspect some talk behind my back about how long i've had off sick. I suspect this because there is always gossip and speculation in work-places, it's just one of those things. No matter how serious your condition, there will always be a few who doubt you're really that ill and resent you for having time off. Don't take it personally.
Are you entitled to sick-pay? If not, can you use up some annual-leave to stay on full-pay for the mat-leave calculation period?
SPD is horrible and you have my sympathy. Things that help me are not walking too far, avoiding steps and hills where possible, sleeping with a pillow between legs and gentle stretching exercises throughout the day. I avoid standing for long periods and have also tried aqua-natal and Physio.
If you do return to work, your employer has to make reasonable adjustments to your job role. Get a note from GP explaining SPD diagnosis and how it affects you, with recommendations for adjustments (could include adaptations to work-space, reduced hours etc).
As I'm sure you know, your employer (by law) can't discriminate against you or dismiss you for taking sick-leave during pregnancy.
Your health and baby's health comes first. Even if you have to be on sick-leave the entire pregnancy and/or take early mat-leave, it's better than risking your health and wellbeing.
Good luck and stay strong
Aww poor you. I know exactly how you feel though. I'm 39 and 34 weeks pregnant and have had SPD since the first trimester. I had it really bad in my last pregnancy and ended up on crutches. I pushed for an early referral to the physio so that has been helping but it doesn't go away. I also have fibromyalgia and hypermobility, 2 things which seem to make you more prone to SPD unfortunately.
I am very lucky - and probably the only way I have managed to continue at work until now, is that my husband has been able to drop me off and pick me up at the station therefore avoiding half the usual walking. I have a 10 minute walk at the other end in central London which takes me about 25 minutes now and by the time I get to work I am either almost crying or just miserable about the constant pain. My work are pretty understanding though, I have 2 more weeks left and I have planned to work from home 2 or 3 days per week. Have you tried talking to your work about maybe working from home some days?
Support belts do help a bit when walking, also if most of your pain is at the back like me, doing cat stretches really helps too. This exercise is really nice anyway as a nice stretch for your lower back.
Have you got a birthing ball to sit on? That is sometimes a welcome relief from trying to get comfy on the sofa/chair.
Also, when you're not at work try to do as little possible. You should try to push your midwife to refer to the physio. Good luck, I know how miserable it is, but the good news is it does generally get better after the birth.
Serola belt. I cannot recommend these enough. You can actually feel it reduce the instability and for me it's the difference between being in real pain after ten minutes and being able to function (albeit in a rather reduced state!)
I really feel for you - I have had sickness the whole way through, very severe the first four months or so. I really should have been signed off but my boss is American and of the opinion that sick days shouldn't exist. (Yes, I know legally they can't fire me but they have already fired one person I worked with for much less- she's suing them.)
Not being able to rest and being so Ill for so long has physically taken it's toll on me- if your doctor says you need to be off, be off.
Thank you so much everyone! It's just nice to know you aren't alone!
I too suffered from really bad morning sickness and was signed off for several weeks at the start....I think this is when colleagues think things are a bit fishy but, like I said to the (male) boss, if you had your head down a bog up to 8 times a day you'd not be able to work either! (He's the one who stated the bleedin obvious on my return by telling me that I'm not the first woman to be pregnant.....!).
Because of my fibro I tend to sleep with a body pillow or one between my legs but you guys have given me so many more options....will be trying them all. I am very lucky in that my GP is excellent and has got me referred to physio within a week!
My other problem at minute is that OH is in plaster after a big ankle operation and can't put any weight on his leg so have been supporting and looking after him too....it all takes it's toll.
Thanks again everyone and good luck hugs to you all xx
There is help available for Pelvic Girdle Pain. Get your midwife to refer you to physio where you will be assessed. Either a support belt or crutches might be needed, or just some physio and tips mum got help you. Don't carry on regardless, you need to slow down. It will get worse if you keep on going like normal.
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