Is it likely i am going to need to be signed off work or reduce my hours??

Posted , 7 users are following.

Upon taking everybodys kind advice from previous discussions here, i have been in contact with a free specialist based locally who i managed to find online. Although i am yet to have a meet and greet with her, we have discussed my ME/CFS at length and she is of the belief that- as many users on here have told me- i am overdoing it and trying to fight through the pain and fatigue. I work a full time office job, 40plus hours a week with overtime. She has said i should look into taking some leave from work, or reducing my hours. My main concern with this is financially i cant afford to not work, nor can i afford to lose my job. My second issue is that i have tried to talk to my GP about how difficult im finding it at work most days, and it seems to get shrugged off. Or he just puts me on a different anti-deppressant. He doesnt believe taking any time away from work will benefit me as he doesn't want me to get into the mindset of being "ill" all the time. I definitely do not want to give up work, its not like i'm just doing and saying these things so i can lounge around and be lazy for a while. I have worked since i was 13. I've never been unemployed in that time (I am now 25) so this is far from an ideal situation for me. Especially with my partner being out of work at the moment too. But i now see that pretending i am coping or suffering in silence for fear of judgement or losing my job isn't helping me in getting any better. So what do i do from here? How can i get my GP to take this seriously, and help my employer to understand so that they don't get rid of me all together?! sad

1 like, 9 replies

Report / Delete

9 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Sarah - My sympathy to you.  You are in a catch 22 situation.  You want to keep your job on the one hand but need your doctor's support to help you get the medical help you need and somehow navigate a reduction of work hours in the near future.  Is there an occupational health doctor you could see through your work or independently?   My first thought is for you would be to find a GP who is sympathetic with CFS.   If your employers are aware of your condition are you able to enlist their support and help in this?  I wasn't sure from your post whether you had told your employers or not.  I can understand if you haven't.  My friend was able to take a month off through sickness with a doctors support.  There are some doctors who recognised CFS more than other.  I hope you can get through this in time.  Sue 

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi Sarah- I have not been communicating on the site for a few months now due to depression running alongside M.E. but have been reading what people have been putting on and felt I had to reply to you.

    I worked from age of 17 until 50 and was never unemployed or claimed benefits.  I have been diagnosed with M.E for 8 years now this being my 8th year.  I managed to work up until 2013/14 quite well all be it part-time hours, until I had a major relapse.  I can tell you now nothing prepared me from going to the stage I was relatively mobile, active, able to work with pacing and rest, leading a normal life.  I then had to use a wheelchair at times, commode, have been bed-bound, house bound, unable to drive etc, etc. and developing depression.

    I would say to everyone when there comes a choice between finance and health, health is priority.  Without good health you are unable to work at all.  I would suggest that all employers should know if you suffer with this awful condition.  You are protected under the Equality Act 2010, and re-adjustments should be put in place to help, support and assist you.  You can talk to a disability officer about this.  Also, you can claim the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) whether you work or not. 

    If you do not reduce your hours, and start pacing and getting help you are really putting yourself in a serious vulnerable position.

    Visit the Action for M.E. site whereby you can obtain information on how to communicate with employers, family and friends.  Also, you can obtain information for G.P's and professionals explaining how difficult it is with someone with this condition, and what they should be doing to assist in the way of benefits, although a G.P does not have to abide by this.  However, it is worth finding a G.P. that will listen to you.  You really do not want to go down the route some of us have travelled and struggling to get back.

    I hope this helps.

    I wish well and good luck.


    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted


    As you may have read from my own recent post I have been in the same position as you and I too am the main earner and can't afford not to work. I  think finding a doctor who understands is the first step. Next get referred to Occupational Health and get the reasonable adjustments entitlements. I had some in place and they were making a difference, then a new manager came in and got rid of them all and now I'm in the situation where I'm off work for at least 4 months. I am petrified at losing my job but there is nothing I can do except try and manage my health better now I'm at home. 

    Best of luck and put yourself first!

    Can I just ask Tina what the PIP is as I've not heard of this.


    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Paz, yes PIP is the benefit that is taking over Disability Living Allowance.  If you have a condition that affects you day to day and have had it I believe for 6 months or more, then you can be assesses for P.I.P.  It is payable a different rates, and you can still work and claim.

      Hope this helps.


      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Oh dear , I had to stop all work and unfortunately spend my time in bed now. I might sound jolly, but as the only man in the family, this stinks and I feel so so guilty.

    I try to get up and do some light work,but I pay for it next day or so.

    There is such a range of degrees with ME. Some people throw it off after a couple of years, others tend to get worse. One thing is for sure, if you try and push yourself,you  are likely to get worse.. There are medications that should help.

    Britain uses Duloxetine. As well as that you need  help with energy CO enzyme Q10 and Alpha Lipoic Acid should begin to boost your bodies reserves of energy.

    It is the reserves we just dont have with ME.

    I do understand your problem with work believe me. I have been there. Trouble is

    forcing yourself on could end up leaving you worse off. My suggestion would be to find a level that you can manage with. I get financial help and if you live in the UK you will get benefit as well. ME is a recognised disease now, no longer all in our minds. Whatever you decide , get medical assistance and someone who can champion your cause, and speak for you if nobody around you believes in your stresses mental and physical. Hold on whatever you do.

    Best wishes....Mitty.

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    First of all, you do need to take time off from work. If you don't do this now, there's a good chance your body will make the decision for you later. I went back to work prematurely and then, one day at work, I effectively collapsed. I became so ill I thought I was going to die. My supervisor ordered me to leave (not that I had a choice, I was so ill) and not to return till I felt better. He knew that I was a hard worker, and there was never a question of my being lazy. Anyhow, that was the last day I ever worked. Can you have a specialist write a letter about your condition, which you can then show to your GP? Or can you get a different GP? Maybe the specialist can recommend someone. I would never see a GP who didn't take my illness seriously. Like you, I saw 2 GPs who told me my illness was all in my head. I found someone who took me seriously and never looked back. 
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    ME is no joke. It is a recognised disease now under the WHO. The last thing you want is to get even worse, and then I assume your finances will be in great peril.

    Down load  a report from the internet from one medical site and . Actally run off a few as you may have family and friends who don`t believe how bad you are as well as your medic. The truth is out there to be read or ignored.  Some doctors must be lazy or entrenched in paradigms. Which just makes them as stubborn as it is possible to be. Large companies have to move with the times and so should doctors. I would give out as many leaflets as you can and swamp your office with the truth. To get rid of you as you put it would be discrimination in anybody`s opinion. There is no doubt at all in my mind. This type of discrimination runs with sexism, and racism. It is NOT you fault you are ill , in fact if there is a fault it lies with your doctors who will not bother to read the writing on the wall.

    My best wishes to you. Good luck and don`t stop knocking on the doctors` door.!!

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi Sarah-louio69, I truley feel for you.My opinion is I would find a different Doctor asap. Are you able to take a 3-4 weeks on full sick pay? if so have your doctor (New) sign you off. Spend your time doing normal household stuff and social activities and see what a difference it makes to how you feel. Pace yourself. If you feel much better then you know in your heart that you must slow down and stop pushing yourself. Could you then have your hours in work reduced, you will probaly be more productive, and top up with bennifts? I dont know all your situation or what benifits are available but you could find out.If you have worked with the same company for a while they are required to accomodate your health issues. When I was working I explained to my boss and she changed my hours and day to suit us both. I find that the explaining to people who see a healthy person infront of them that I am unwell and in pain. The constant 'let me explain' why I can't, why I need to res,t why I need to take a break or why I can't do that any more is worse than the exstream pain I sometimes feel. Do we have to wear a badge?!!!
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi guys. Sorry for a late reply to you all, i've been so wiped out recently. Thank you all for your advice and shared experiences. It's almost a relief to know i'm not the only one feeling this way. I have my staff review this morning at work and i'm so worried. I do have a question though- If i was to suggest tp my manager the idea of reducing my hours some way, would i need to have a written letter from my GP to back that decision up, like proof that i'm struggling as much as i say? I know you need it for being signed off work to receive sick pay etc, but i wasnt sure if this is the same for reducing my hours or changing my days?
    Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up