Disability and Work Related Issues

I developed an illness 18 years ago following a car accident, I was diagnosed some 2 years later with CFS which in my case manifests itself with low blood pressure (standing is a major problem as I go dizzy very very quickly) and a fast heart rate. Of course, the 2 are connected because as the blood pressure drops the heart beats faster to try and get the blood pressure up and so becomes a vicious circle. This condition is also called Autonomic Dysfunction.

I spent 6 years virtually housebound, bedridden and in a wheelchair. I have learnt to live with my condition, by no means cured but learned to manage from day to day. In 2011 I was forced by the government to go back to work, I could n long do the job I was qualified to do (I am a trained nurse with 3 nursing qualifications) but unfortunately there aren’t many sit down jobs for a nurse.

I was lucky that my first job was as a carer but sitting with people with dementia while their partners went out, I only worked a maximum of 12 hours a week but it was good to get back into work even though most days I did feel like death.

In 2013 I saw an advert that a new supermarket was open, why not I thought a job on the checkouts, meeting people every day, talking to people sounded like a good idea. It was for a major PLC and they had a sickness policy for my illness

I might add that the whole time I worked for them, I was dismissed in September 2017 NOT once did they adhere to the policy for my illness.

The policy stipulated I should be placed near a toilet (my manager constantly had a problem with me being placed there)

I should have had extra breaks …… never happened sometimes I had to wait over 4 hours for a break

Any absences to do with my illness should have been void of having a warning, I passed out at home and cut my mouth resulting in stitches took 2 days off work and was given a verbal warning for doing so

I was covered by the Equality Act from Day 1 …….not once was it adhered too

The policy for my illness clearly stated that unsteadiness on feet was a prime symptom, this didn’t stop my boss from asking me if I had Gin in my water bottle ( I might add I have been alcohol intolerant ever since having this illness)

I had a bout of sickness one night in October 2016 was up most of the night vomiting so the next morning I phoned in sick, I knew I was ok to go sick as I hadn’t been off for 10 months so was under the 3% necessary to get a meeting with my manager

When I returned to work the next day my manager called me for a meeting and said that there was a new policy in place now and when people went off sick they would now be dismissing people like me

This was like the beginning of the end for me, one thing with this illness is the body does not respond well to stress, I began to be very stressed, worried I would be ill, my customers noticed the change in me and kept asking what was wrong. My manager belittled me at every opportunity, I was shouted at in front of customers for wearing fingerless hand warmers (low blood pressure makes your hands very cold and your fingertips numb)

When I had my 1:1 she would say that she had heard bad things about me but would never elaborate. Then I was told that a manager wanted me dismissed for being rude to his partner, I actually knew the person in question and just couldn’t understand why they would have said that?

My symptoms continued to get worse I started to dread going into work, my heaty rate was going faster and faster I wasn’t sleeping till finally on 30th December 2016 I was sent home from work ill. I went straight to the doctor and put off work immediately. Then I heard the bitchiness goes off sick and her husband was back half an hour later with a sicknote……erm yes he was back with a sick note because I was ILL

With 2 weeks of me being off, I was called in for a meeting with my boss dismissal was mentioned and I was referred to Fit For Work, not once did they look at the sickness policy for my illness

I went through the Fit for Work process and they said I’d obviously had a major relapse and should stay off until my sicknote expired in March and they would speak to me again. I was called in for monthly meetings which I struggled to get in for (the sickness policy advised home visits should have been done for my illness)

I was getting no better, I was put off sick until May, Fit For Work advised some things to be put in place for me to return, these were NOT carried out by my managers

In April I was forced to return to work, I cut my hours right down I was not paying NI I was not eligible for sick pay, bad things were still being said and done by my manager. I documented all these things all were sent to the union. Some of my colleagues used to record conversations they had with the manager, at times I now wish I had done this

I lasted 6 weeks then I was off sick again, my last working day was June 8th, I found out I had been dismissed by a message from a colleague on social media……I didn’t receive the letter from my company until 10 days later 😦

I was invited to meetings in July and August I wrote to the company to say I wasn’t well enough to attend, not once was I offered a home visit

My advice to anyone in my situation, seek legal advice before it gets to the point of dismissal, don’t allow people to bully you on the workplace, think of the long-term effects on your health

I would never want to return to my job, I won’t even spend money in that PLC anymore or step foot in any store belonging to them. I’m not the only bad story to come out of there but I am one of the only ones who stood up for myself. This I will discuss in another posting

Hot, Hot and Hot

The weather has been glorious for the last week or so, we live about a mile away from the beach and try to get down as often as we can with our dog Jess. She loves going for a paddle. Unfortunately this year I’m having difficulty getting down to the sand due to there being steps and this is the only access. Hopefully, I will soon be feeling the sand between my toes again IMG_0341

For the last 10 days, I have been following a no wheat, no sugar and no dairy diet it has been very hard and I have cheated a few times but I’ve lost almost 7lbs and my resting heart rate as really gone down. The postural tachycardia is still there but not as high a rate as it was. So at least some good has come of depriving myself.

I have been feeling really lethargic and have got listings to do on eBay as well as knitting to finish off for my Etsy shop but to be honest it has just been too hot

We started watching Riviera the other night, I like it and we have watched 6 episodes so it must be keeping my attention.  I find when I have a relapse that noise really irritates me and that my attention span is non-existent.  I’m in the middle of a really good book here but can’t bring myself to read more than 1 or 2 pages

If you like a good book then I can recommend Rachel Abbot, all her books are so good, I’m currently reading The Sixth Window

Tomorrow we are going to see my Mother which means an 80 mile round trip which we do every other Tuesday , we will be doing it twice this week though as it’s her birthday on Saturday, as my husband is working we will go over there on Sunday and make a birthday tea for her

 

 

First blog post

My name is Karen I’m the Mum of mummytodex and I’m hoping I can make my blog as successful as she has made hers.
I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in 2000 and after 6 years of being housebound and wheelchair bound I made almost a full recovery. For the last 12 months I have felt my health slipping, scarily back to how I was back in 2000. I am getting no help from Doctors all they tell me is they have no magic pills for me. My main symptoms apart from the Fatigue is my Low Blood Pressure and Tachycardia. I am in danger of losing my job at the moment.
This is no new thing for me for 27 years I was a qualified nurse RGN, RMN Ob.N.C. when my illness started, I was put on sick leave and after 1 year off sick my contract was terminated. The NHS wouldn’t retire me on ill health so my pension is not worth having unfortunately. Anyway back to the present time I now work for a large supermarket and I was off for 3 and a half months from January went back to work for 6 weeks and unfortunately off sick again now .
I’m trying to use this blog to supplement my income. I Knit, I Crochet and I do Cross Stitch. I have an Etsy Shop called HafHeulwen I also sell things on Ebay my user name is Thekabin
I also do online surveys and quizzes and have found that there is quite a lot of money to be made here as long as you are willing to spend a little time doing them