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Time off work for stress

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by LucyLou1997, Mar 3, 2019.

  1. LucyLou1997

    LucyLou1997 · Member

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    I am really unsure what to do.

    My blood sugars are moderately OK, I very rarely have to make changes to it. Therefore I know when something is not right.

    Basically, I started a new job within a school doing admin work in November 2018. I was really excited, I have only been in retail since I left school in 2014. However, I didn't realise the amount of abuse I would get from parents/students (ignorant I know). I have been threatened to be smacked, punched, kicked, even as far as being killed due to the school just being outright lazy. Obviously being on the reception we are the first thing people see and automatically their anger comes out on us. There is no form of security in this place at all. I see myself as a pretty laid back person, I love helping people in any way that I can as it gives me the satisfaction, but when I'm threatened to be kicked in the gut because of a misbehaving child (which I don't have many dealings with as the teachers know them better than us on the admin team!) needless to say it has been eating me up a lot.

    I have had a headache for the past 3 weeks, it will not budge. Not only that, but my "monthly's" have been extremely painful since starting and I'm thinking it's stress that is causing it. My blood glucose have been shooting up from my usual 5 - 7 range, up to 20 - 25. I have not changed my diet, my times of eating or anything. I simply cannot get it down. I called in sick due to my meter just showing up "High" the other day, and my ketones were 3.2, my employer got really salty about it. I have had a meeting about how I feel and how it is affecting my health, they put in some changes that lasted a week, and now those changes have been disregarded and I'm back to square one.

    I had a job interview, and have been made a formal offer, they just need to do some employee background checks and a DBS check before I start so this may take a couple of weeks. However, the thought of going in for the next month or so (I have to work a months notice) is physically making me feel sick. I was looking into getting signed off for stress, but my next GP appointment won't be until the 20th March. I can only self-certify myself for 7 days. The way my bloods are going, I can't see myself lasting a day in work.

    I am more worried about:

    1. My employer being angry at me
    2. Sitting at home in self pity if I do get signed off
    3. Making it harder to return to work after having that time off
    4. Risking my new job if they find out I have been signed off, they are aware of the threats as I told them that is why I wanted to leave, but I have not signed a contract yet.

    Sorry for the long story but my question is this, if my GP appointment isn't until 20th March, how am I supposed to get signed off officially if I can only self certify for 7 days? Do you think I could contact the diabetes team and see if they can do anything to help?

    I know it sounds silly being "signed off for stress" but honestly I can't carry on like this. I feel rubbish and just want my diabetes to return to normal.
     
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  2. Chook

    Chook Type 2 · Expert

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    Oh you poor thing - how awful!

    Check your contract and/or letter of employment - most places have a one week notice period for the first six months (sort of probationary period) only going on to a month's notice after that.

    Just my opinion, but, if you've discussed the problem with your manager and no long term changes gave been implemented, then you've given it your best shot and the fault is theirs if you are off sick with stress then chose not to go back.
     
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  3. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
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    What are they now? If still something like this find emergency help now! You're in serious danger with those numbers plus ketones.
     
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  4. Phoenix55

    Phoenix55 Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Is there no way that you can get an earlier emergency appointment with your GP? You may not like to think it is an emergency but for your mental health it is and also for your physical health if your bg is high.
    Did you join one of the various unions that have a section for school staff? If so then contact your local rep. and get their backing for changes to be made at your place of work and support in taking leave. Check the contract that you have signed for the length of time that is required for notice.
    It is not acceptable for any member of staff working in a school to be threatened in the way that you have been. If you do go back suggest that the school should purchase personal alarms for frontline personnel and buy one for yourself and use it every time that you are threatened. It will make people aware of how often this is happening. If it is happening to you in Admin how often do you think it is happening to the teaching and other ancillary staff? We are all well aware that we are dealing with a priceless part of people's lives but that priceless part needs to learn respect as well as confidence to stand up for themselves. If they do not see respect being exhibited by their parents how will they ever learn? Children learn by imitation.
     
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  5. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
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    For all type2's reacting. High glucose and ketones at 3.2 equals an emergency in T1, and I suppose @LucyLou1997 is T1 because of her age.
     
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  6. Deleted Account

    Deleted Account · Guest

    And because this thread is in the Type 1 sub-forum :)
     
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  7. LucyLou1997

    LucyLou1997 · Member

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    My contract states that I must give a months notice, there is nothing in there about anything less even though I am on probation. I know a colleague told me "it may be flexible, but they doubt it." But I completely agree, I'm annoyed that nothing long term has been put in place. It's not just my safety, but students/other staff as well. I'm just more concerned with them being salty over it and possibly terminating my contract if I go off with stress.

    This was a couple of weeks back, they are back to somewhat normal now. A few hiccups here and there but I assure you my ketones are back down to 0, and my blood sugars, admittedly not perfect, but manageable. Thank you for the concern though, fortunately this doesn't happen to me very often :)

    I'm not sure if I can to be honest, I see my GP for routine check ups for my diabetes, but luckily have never really had to go for anything other than my diabetes. I guess it's something I could ask if I go down there (trying to get hold of them on the phone is a nightmare).

    I'll be totally honest with you I was not made aware of any unions. It's something I guess I never really looked into as I'm not quite informed on what they do? It's definitely something I will look into though if it will help for the time being. Also I'm not the only one who has stressed the importance of teacher and support staff safety as well, I'm 100% certain their safety is more at risk than ours.
     
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  8. Chook

    Chook Type 2 · Expert

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    Then its definitely a medical emergency and @LucyLou1997 needs to get help ASAP.
    Your health has to come before your job.
     
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  9. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Moderator
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    Hello @LucyLou1997 sorry but from a stress point of view there are some jobs a type 1 really isn't conditioned for and taking this amount of stress isn't one, put yourself first, take care of you and do not let this job grind you down, there are far easier jobs you can do without this level of stress/abuse. Your bg levels need urgent attention and remember this is life threatening so please get urgent help from your DSN in correcting this and if necessary go to A&E for help, take care and best wishes J.
     
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  10. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Moderator
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    Hi @LucyLou1997 ,

    Welcome to the forum.

    I've worked as a line manager of a maintenance team at a school & understand this stuff you speak of.
    I worked my notice out in the end after an ex employer rang me offering my old job.
    Don't get me wrong, i love a challenge in a job. Just don't see why i should be subjected to "Jeremy Kyle."
    oddly, i've also worked in retail..
    Some employers can bury their heads in the sand & deny this sort of abuse "doesn't happen."

    I will tag in @Brunneria & @DCUKMod . They are not insulin dependant. But may have advice regarding employment rights & your work issue?
     
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  11. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    No one should be subjected to that sort of abuse on a daily basis - I suggest that you make a log of all such events and be able to supply copies of it to whoever might become involved.
    Request instruction on how aggressive people are to be dealt with - who should you contact to raise the alarm within the school, or should you just dial 999.
    There are many notices around in places such as dentists, doctors' surgeries, shops and garages warning that aggressive behaviour will not be tolerated - your place of work should not be any different, and your employers should back you up.
     
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  12. Scott-C

    Scott-C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Erm, did you really just say that there are some jobs a T1 can't do!?!

    We've got a whole lot of T1s on this site doing a wide range of jobs such as commercial jet pilots, receptionists, marine engineers, care home assistants, litigation lawyers, police etc. etc.

    These jobs all have stresses but the wonderful thing about T1 ingenuity is that we figure out ways of dealing with them.
     
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  13. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
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    Ah, that's wonderful! I really was worried for a moment. Which leaves the thing with your job, I'm positive you'll get a lot of helpful advice!
    Good luck!
     
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  14. lucylocket61

    lucylocket61 Type 2 · Expert

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    I read that as job situations, not job types. And dependent on individuals reactions to stress.
     
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  15. Scott-C

    Scott-C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Nope, the post was, "there are some jobs a type 1 really isn't conditioned for", which is clearly referring to job types, not job situations.

    I'm not going to get into an argument with you about this, Lucy, you've been a voice of sanity amidst a world of extremist low carb nonsense!
     
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  16. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    Hi and welcome,

    Everyone has jobs that don’t suit them - for any number of reasons.
    And the same people can, and do, find jobs that DO suit them elsewhere.
    Hopefully your next one will fit you better, so please do not start thinking that you are a failure because this one doesn’t fit you.

    I’m afraid I can’t offer much in terms of your legal rights, or employment law, but I can make a couple of suggestions:

    Get yourself round to the nearest Citizens Advice Bureau and ask them. They are great at giving out such info, and finding it out if they don’t know it.

    And ring your doctor’s surgery back tomorrow and explain the situation to them. If they cannot arrange an appointment sooner than the 20th, then ask for a phone appointment. If they won’t do that, then ask what they DO suggest. Will they backdate the sicknote? Should you go to A&E the next time your bgs go high? Keep asking til they give you an answer. Stay polite. Be quietly persistent. And if you cry, then don’t hide it. Your emotional state is relevant to the situation.

    They may well shunt you into an appointment with a nurse. Accept it.
    Then when you go to that, the nurse may be able to fast track you to see the doc.

    Actually, you blood glucose being high should be enough to get an appointment before the 20th. So mention that too.
    You need advice on bgs and medication, stress levels, and so on.

    Good luck.

    In my 35 year working life i have had 2 jobs that i endured with a kind of horrified fatalism. Both were when I was new to the workplace, didn’t have experience or confidence, and both made me thoroughly miserable. The weight that settled over me on Sunday evenings is a strong memory. Months after leaving the jobs, I would wake up in a cold sweat, after a nightmare of having to go back.

    Nowadays, with the gift of hindsight and experience, I know that as soon as those jobs started causing me that level of distress, I should have left. Just got my coat and left. I certainly wouldn’t put up with those working conditions again. Nor would I stand by while managers allow those situations (effectively causing them) ever again.

    One thing I will say is that you need to be making the decisions here.
    You are not helpless, and you are not a victim. Unless you make decisions that make you helpless and a victim.
    I think if you want to move on to your next job with confidence and a sense of moving forward, rather than running away, then you need to think, decide and act, rather than being acted upon, or not acting and letting things unravel.

    In my (usual) somewhat ******minded way, I think I might ring the school tomorrow and ask for reassurance that the agreed changes be confirmed and re-implemented. And explain that I can only come into work with these assurances. Then, should these measures fall down (again), I would quietly make my exit in a professional manner.

    But that is me. I have always found that having a plan of action is tremendously empowering.
     
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  17. EllieM

    EllieM Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm so sorry this is happening to you. Lots of sensible suggestions already but I'll just add one more.

    Do you have any colleagues you can talk to about this? Hopefully they should be able to advise about unions, which sounds like an excellent idea to me. Also, a bit of moral support would also help your stress levels.
     
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  18. LucyLou1997

    LucyLou1997 · Member

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    There are plenty of colleagues to talk to, I just would not trust them. They're the kind of people that will act supportive to your face, but then talk **** behind your back. I don't know, there may be a few but I have yet to find someone I fully trust. I have only been there a few months though.

    My issue is that I've had a lot of jobs since I left school. In fairness some were just temporary contracts, but I'm in this loop of not being able to settle. I have walked out of places that treated me like dirt, but this one just seems more difficult to do due to this offer needing to do background checks for 5 years, I don't want these guys saying "she walked out on us" as it'll look bad on my part. But at the same time I don't want to be stressed 24/7. I will definitely go up the surgery first thing tomorrow though, I forgot they do telephone appointments too so even if they can assess me there I'd be more than happy with that. Thank you for the advice :)


    Jeremy Kyle is the best way to describe it. It's embarrassing really. I have a lot of respect for the people who can put up with it, I just can't. I don't see how threatening people will get you anywhere. I love challenges too, but admittedly I think this was throwing myself in the deep end a bit.

    I think this is my main problem, it's not that I'm not cut out for it, I think if there was some sort of policy in place to encourage people not to use physical violence I'd be OK. I've had 4 years of retail experience, I've been called all different names but never once have I been physically threatened. That's more than likely the problem here. But as I stated above, my issue is probably not knowing what I want to do. I'm just trying to get secured financially but not thinking about what I would genuinely like to do as a career. I'm a firm believer that it is never too late to do whatever you want to do (go to college, start a family etc) but knowing what to do is difficult these days and having the time and funds to do it.


    Thank you all so much for your advice though, I really appreciate it. I will be taking myself to the doctors first thing tomorrow morning to get something sorted, I've just got to pluck up the courage to call in sick tomorrow now :S
     
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  19. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod I reversed my Type 2 · Master
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    @LucyLou1997 - Firstly, I'm sorry you're having a rotten time in your new job. Unfortunately, it's hard to tell whether any given position will suit us, as individuals, before we start, and that's all part of the gamble of starting a new job. Like others, I too have done a job I detested, and actually I ended uo having some time off there, due to all sorts. It was a bit unfortunate that my Mother unexpectedly died the day before I was due to start the new job (it was an internal move), so my first day in post was my first back after compassionate leave. The job itself didn't suit me, as a personality, and I fairly promptly started looking for other options, which worked much better for me. So, I do get how you could be feeling a bit - even though I wasn't diagnosed at that point, and I'm not T1 anyway.

    Moving forwards though.

    The first comment I want to make is on this element here:
    "I have had a meeting about how I feel and how it is affecting my health, they put in some changes that lasted a week, and now those changes have been disregarded and I'm back to square one."

    Obviously I have zero idea what the changes were, or if they were ever meant to be temporary, but I think this needs to be addressed. In implmenting changed your employer has agreed a change was required. Few employers make changes just on a whim. That they now appear to be being disregarded suggests they aren't following through on their word, or recognition of the need for change.

    You could email whomever instigated the changes to intimate that the changes have lapsed, and ask them to reinstate them without delay, or explain why they cannot be reinstated, bearing in mind, it seems you feel the lapsing changes are impacting your ongoing issues.

    That you have had a formal offer for a job, subject to various apparent formailities is good, but I would tread carefully there. The contract isn't really struck until you have started in-post, so there is the possibility (I have no idea how slight), that the job could fall away for whatever reason.

    In your heart of hearts, have you assessed how you will be in your new wjob? If it is similar, are you better equiped to deal with the challenges it could throw at you?

    I'm not being difficult here, but you do talk of difficulties settling in employment. Holding down a full-time job is a challenge in itself, and there will almost always be rubbish parts in any role, that we have to manage for ourselves, to ensure the good vs bad bits balance out acceptably.

    In terms of having time off. If you really do feel you can't go to work (and only you can assess this), then you should self-certificate yourself. If you still feel the same way in a week (and that is the point when na longer sicknote is likely to be considered anyway. I doubt my GP would ever consider a sicknote "until a new job starts", no matter what the reason for absence. They have a duty to assess your fitness to attend work,

    Again, not being difficult about it, but that is their challenge.

    When I did need my time away from work, I called my surgery a couple of days prior to my self-certification running out to tell them the situation and to tell them I was not feeling well enough to return to work. Sure enough, an appointment became free. That could maybe be a potential for you too?

    In terms of the issues you have identified, my responses would be:

    1. My employer being angry at me - If you are sick, you are sick. If you broke your leg, would they feel differently? Provided the reason for your absence is genuine, they have no reason to be anything other than inconvenienced.

    2. Sitting at home in self pity if I do get signed off - Only you will know how you would react.

    3. Making it harder to return to work after having that time off - Yes, that cacn be an issue, and the longer the absence is, the harder it can get, but sometimes absence cannot be avoided. In terms of absence due to an "invisible" issue, you can only know when you are ready to return to work or not.

    4. Risking my new job if they find out I have been signed off, they are aware of the threats as I told them that is why I wanted to leave, but I have not signed a contract yet. - How ould they know what you are doing?

    To be honest, only you can decide how to manage this tricky situation, moving forwards. In your shoes, I would definintely tell them that the disappearance of the changes made are impacting on your ability to do your job - provided that is the case. If they say, "OK, we'll put those(whatever they were) back in place, would you be happy going into work?

    To be frank, it's time for you to do a bit of thinking. There doesn't appear to be a clear cut right way here, due to the fact much depends on how you feel, and we can't know that.

    Moving forwards, I don't know what sort of thin your new job is, but I hope it suits you better. Please don't go putting yourself back into a situation that looks ticky from the outset.

    I know from my past experience there are certain types of job I would not apply for any longer, and some thinngs which in my mind are non-negotiable. We all have those, and what suits one person won't suit another, whether it be in managing our work/life balance, careers, diabetes or family life.

    Let us know how you get along, and what you decide to do.
     
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  20. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Moderator
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    Scott my comment was meant purely for Lucy, it was not meant for all type 1's, I fully appreciate that t1's can perform any role they wish, however based on my personal circumstances I could not do the role I had been doing for over 20 years as I couldn't manage my t1, I was in a Business Development role so in meetings most of the day, I had suffered a numbet of hypos which affected my confidence and self esteem as well as losing sales as I'd had to make my excuses to end the meeting. Perhaps with the benefit of a CGM and a pump I could cope better now, but I had to change jobs as I simply couldn't cope.

    My words weren't to create offence so apologies if anyone here was offended.
     
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