“I will never call in sick because of my hips”
That was the sentence I would repeat in my head over and over on the mornings of my ‘bad’ days. You all know what that is like! Finding the motivation to get your arse out of bed and deal with the imense pain that has been bestowed on you.
Then the dreaded day happened… I fell at work. One moment I am coping well.. pretty okay day.. then I felt it go. My right knee giving up and just buckling. I tried to steady myself.. grasping for the nearest work station, but it was too late. I landed on the side of my hip. I sat there wondering how I was going to get up, thinking
“I can’t reach the phone”.
After a moment of realising that I would have to get myself up and carry on… time was ticking on and the next practical was due. So I used every ounce of energy I had and got myself back onto my feet. I slowly plodded on getting the practical sorted. I was finally able to take a seat when pain suddenly swept over me like a hurricane. The adrenaline that had been keeping me going was wearing off. I knew there was no hope of me even trying to carry on, so for the first time in my life I decided to email HR and tell them what happened and that I needed to go home. They were very kind asking if I was okay etc. After a few days of intense pain I decided that I needed to see the doc so off I went and he signed me off for 2 weeks.
Upon my return I underwent the usual back to work interview, where I was told that I needed to see Occupational health. I thought fair enough, may need me to review my manual handling or something.
How wrong I was!!
The nurse looked at my job description then looked me (I was still unstable on my feet) and then said
“I know you love your job but it is simply too dangerous for you to continue in this role”
My heart broke, I literally burst into tears. My job was everything to me and just like that she could take it away from me. She went on to start explaining the process of what would happen. I couldn’t think straight, I was barely taking in any word she was saying.
She kept trying to comfort me but I could not seem to stop the tears from flowing. In the end she turned to me and said
“I can see how much this means to you, so rather than putting in a recommendation for you to stop work, I will refer you to the doctor. Bring as much evidence as to how you are at no more risk than any one else and see what they say then”
I looked up, all red eyed and sniffing, with the buggest smile on my face.
‘There was a chance’
After shelling out £20 for a doctors note explaining that as long as I am risk assessed and a policy is put in place then I was good to go.
I was so excited…
By the time it came to my occupational doctors appointment, I was not taking any chances. I took all my evidence with me. After he examined me he was very reluctant… I was going to lose. So I began to Bullshit all the health and safety that I already do that (because it is soo extreme) already reduces risks.
So when he finally turned to me and said “OK”, I had to ask him to repeat it.
“So I can stay in work? I can definitely stay in work?” I sounded like a broken record.
He said that my employer still had to give the final ok but most likely.
So when work gave me the ok (as long as I complete a risk assessment) it was the happiest moment I’d had since Christmas!
Until the other day, when I had my letter saying that they will not be renewing my contract. 😦
So now I face the long process of finding another job in a subject that I love, that is close to home and that will not throw the health and safety book my way.
Please comment with any stories or issues that you have had with your work.
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