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How do you cope with ‘the guilt’ when ill?
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JustSooooDizzy · 28/11/2021 14:23

I’ve named changed as this is outing, but I’ve been in the Staffroom so long that my mug is discoloured and one of the chairs is now moulded to the shape of my bum. I’ve bought biccies and topped up the teabag supplies. Hope that’s enough to be welcomed in my new name.

I had covid about six weeks ago. It hit me hard and I was off for a little longer than the ‘normal’ ten days (12? 13? I think) I managed a couple of weeks back in school then - BAM! - felt really ill again (dizzy spells, fainting, headaches, absolute exhaustion) and had another 10ish days off. I didn’t immediately make the link to covid (thought I might be perimenopausal / anaemic or stressed) but having had a whole raft of blood tests and a long talk with my doctor, I’ve been diagnosed with ‘post covid syndrome’. Doctor was happy to sign me off but I wanted to go back to work as I know how much pressure it puts on everyone else (and how crap it is for the kids) when we’re off.

I’ve been back for two weeks. It’s been awful. I feel dizzy and light headed in most of my classes, I’m even more exhausted now than I was when I was off. I’m being a horrible parent at home as I’m so tired. I’ve not managed anything this weekend other than basic meal prep. I cried to the kids last night (they’re 7 and 10, too young to be expected to support their mum). DP - who I don’t live with - has just called to cancel all of our plans for the next month, not because he’s horrible but because he knows I’m not well enough to do anything.

I know I need to call school and say I need more time off, but I don’t know how. The guilt is insane. I know I’m not indispensable, but every person in my department has their own shit going on and if I don’t go in, I just add to their workloads. I don’t even know if time off will help, or just make me feel more frustrated and crap about what this ‘minor’ virus seems to have done to me. I used to run most days, now I can’t even walk around a supermarket without needing to rest for hours afterwards.

Sorry. This is long. Basically, how do I deal with ‘the guilt’? Or how do I take time off while having minimal impact on my colleagues?

Thank you Flowers

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FoxIvy · 28/11/2021 15:26

I'm afraid I don't really have advice on the guilt but you really don't sound well enough to be in work. Please take some time off to recover. You're putting everyone else ahead of you and your family - that's not fair on you. I really hope you feel better soon Flowers

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MrsHamlet · 28/11/2021 18:46

I had a similar conversation on Friday with a colleague who needs time off for a different reason. She was talking about being a burden.
It's not her that's a burden; it's the extra work. But she'll repay the favour when she's in a better place. It's better to take the time now in a chunk than to have bits of leave here and there - that's way more difficult to manage.
It's not a cuddly approach, but it's true.
If you're not well enough, stay off. Get your doctor to sign you off. Yes, it's more work for someone - but planning for a fortnight in one go is way easier than ad hoc days.

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JustSooooDizzy · 28/11/2021 19:12

Thank you both. I’ve just called in.

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MrsHamlet · 28/11/2021 19:17

Good. And don't hurry back too soon.

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MsGoodenough · 28/11/2021 19:25

I'm in similar situation. The guilt is awful but you have to look after yourself. Making yourself iller isn't going to help anyone in the long run. Take care
Flowers

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