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AIBU?

To feel miserable about my health

4 replies

Utterbunkum · 07/01/2024 10:46

A little over a year ago, we moved to be closer to my elderly mother. It's a low employment area, so struggled to get work. Finally found employment last Easter with an agency working as a Teaching assistant. I lucked out (or so I thought) getting a lovely school as my first and they kept me on until Christmas, BUT...my health has been awful.
I had a cold all over the May half term. Then, just before summer break, I got a hideous virus, bad cough, sinuses, temperature, the works. Off work the last week of term, first few weeks of holidays spent ill. Despite negative home tests, I suspect this was actually COVID.
Autumn term, 2 weeks before half term, I develop a cough. It got so bad I couldn't talk without coughing. Two weeks off, half term in recovery. I went to the doctor's (for the first time in years)as was starting to worry about the frequency and severity of these bouts of illness. I got antibiotics for the debilitating cough, which she thought was due to my sinuses bei g infected and causing post-nasal drip. I had blood tests which ame back clear. Just before we broke up for Christmas,I developed what seemed to be a bog-standard, no big deal cold, manageable, I could work with it. First day of Christmas holidays I woke up feeling dreadful and spent the entire festive season unable to sleep because I was so blocked up and eating cold and flu tablets to get through. And the bloody cough came back.
Schools start back round here on Tuesday. I am back in general rotation with the agency now. They ask my availability on a weekly basis. I have said no to next week as I am still getting over this last illness and want to be fighting fit.
My diet is good, I have started daily berocca to see if that will help, but I can't face another bloody illness. Apart from anything else, I don't get paid if I don't work.
I know it's part of the difficulty of working with kids (my last posting was reception aged special needs). Nowhere else is likely to employ me as I have ruined my very good sick record, and I do love the work, but if I get ill again I think it will break me.
I feel so low. I wouldn't mind if it was just a normal cold/sniffles, but every time it's been debilitating full-on in bed illness. I have never had this before.
It seems so silly to be so brought down, it's not like I have cancer or anything, but it's another holiday ruined.
As I said, I am trying berocca, am trying to maximise immune boosting fruit and veg, has anyone got any more tips to bolster my immune system for the term ahead?

OP posts:
Namechange357 · 07/01/2024 10:54

Gosh, so sorry to hear this.

Maybe the emotional stress of the move and caring for elderly mother is contributing to weaker immune system.

Are you getting enough sleep? And nutritious food? I batch cook and freeze portions of soup, so I always have something nutritious to eat (just have to remember to defrost the night before).

And exercise is supposed to boost immune system too. I know it’s hard. Not something I usually ever get round to myself. But maybe trying to carve out some time for yourself for this.

And quit alcohol too, as that weakens the immune system, just until your body is stronger.

Take care of yourself 🤗

Utterbunkum · 07/01/2024 11:03

@Namechange357 thank you. As it happens, I don't really drink much at all anyway, so at least there's that. You are right about the exercise, I like to be outside and always feel better for getting out and about.

OP posts:
FoFanta · 07/01/2024 11:10

I would see about getting a Vitamin D supplement as well. Most of us in Northern Europe have low levels of Vitamin D and if you aren't getting out and about in the day, you get less opportunity to get it from sunlight.

You don't mention your age or circumstances, but is there a possibility of taking a couple of months of a planned work break - maybe sign on or get carers allowance, and just focus on a period of rest and recovery? You have had some big life changes, and it sounds like you have just plowed on (as most of us have to - life is relentless!). But maybe you just need some time. A couple of months isn't that long in the great scheme of things.

This winter seems to have been very difficult with lots of viral stuff being passed around. I'm sorry that it has been so rubbish for you, and I hope you are feelign better soon.

Utterbunkum · 07/01/2024 11:51

@FoFanta whilst we are fortunate to have paid our mortgage off now so there isn't quite the worry there once was, I don't like to risk an employment break. I was genuinely shocked at how hard it was to get a job when we moved. After endless interviews in the field I have stacks of experience in and getting nowhere, I was so pleased to get this. As it's agency work, I can take more extended leave (just by not being available) but there's definitely an element of not being quite used to not having to worry quite as much. Also, DH is working and I don't like to feel I am mooching off him, even though he doesn't see it like that.
Fortunately, we haven't got children, so at least I am not trying to cope with little ones. Makes me feel like such a wimp when I read about all the mothers are doing on here...

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